Increase your call-backs with 5 simple resume tweaks
We often tell you in this blog that your resume is terrible. Now that is most likely the case for most of you, but for those of you who really think that you have a great resume and you really don’t know why you’re not getting calls – this one is for you.
Remember – Hiring Managers are just barely skimming over your resume for 5-10 seconds, and if something doesn’t catch their interest, it is on to the next one. So even though you may have all the right points and all the right information on your resume, it’s probably just not jumping off the page the way you need it to.
So we’ve developed a quick 5-step process to help you tweak your resume so that you will catch the Hiring Manager’s interest within 5-10 seconds, and so you will receive more call-backs.
Your format can literally make-or-break your resume. If you are guilty of submitting a resume with just text on a page, then listen up! You want your resume to look like you put some effort into it.
You don’t have to get fancy, and if you are getting fancy… then it may be time to tone it down. A few bold underlines to separate sections, a header with your name and contact information, and formal titles for each section. This is all we ask of you. Resume formats should not take away from the information on the resume; they should simply provide a good first impression and assist in guiding the Hiring Manager’s eye down the page.
If your resume immediately jumps into your academic experience or career history – this is why you’re not getting noticed by Hiring Managers. In the first 5-10 seconds of scanning your resume, all they know about you is either where you went to school, or where you last worked. Chances are, they need to know more than that.
This is why we recommend introducing yourself at the top of your resume with a value statement. Your goal here is to give the Hiring Manager an overview of your experience, education, skills and achievements in the first 5-10 seconds of them reviewing your resume. You need to articulate in a concise manner that you are qualified for the role, so they can add you to the shortlist. Once you’ve made it there, they will review your resume thoroughly and call you for an interview if you’ve got what they need.
If there’s one thing that we talk about a lot… it’s keywords. Why? Because they are so incredibly important and so often overlooked by job seekers. Again – the Hiring Manager is skimming through your resume. So why not make it easy for them to find what they are looking for?
You’ve given them a great overview of who you are in your value statement and directly below it you should include a keywords section to highlight your areas of expertise. Ensure that these keywords align with the terms included in the requirements section of the job posting. Yes – that means you have to customize this section for each role.
Remember what we were saying about making your information “jump off the page”, this is where you can make it happen. Bulleted keywords immediately catch the Hiring Manager’s eyes, so you want them to see the right ones. This will bring you one step closer to the call-back list.
Now we’ve already established that you have the right information on your resume, so that means you’ve already outlined the achievements you’ve had in each role. So why isn’t the Hiring Manager impressed by your achievements? Probably because you’ve got them hidden in a long list of bullet points under each role in your professional experience. This is not effective.
You should always create a sub-section with a title like “Key Achievements” or “Significant Contributions” so that the Hiring Manager knows exactly where to look to see your accomplishments. The faster they can find it, the more likely it is that they will review it within the first 5-10 seconds, and the more likely it is that you will be shortlisted.
When it comes to your education section, you often only include any degrees or diplomas that you’ve completed. This is usually a requirement on the job posting, but what about your additional courses, training and seminars? No one is ever done learning after they finish full-time school, we are always picking up new skills. Include them on your resume!
Showing a Hiring Manager that you are actively involved in upgrading your skills and offering added value to your team is a great highlight. Whether you’ve completed a certification, online course, internal training seminar, or even attended webinars that are well known in your industry – these are all attributes that will benefit your job search.
This is also an incredibly important add-on to the resume if you are attempting a career transition or if your resume is plagued by employment gaps. Expanding your education section and moving the focus to your skills over your experience is one of the best ways to overcome obstacles when your experience does not match up with the required qualifications.
It’s time to take these 5 tweaks and implement them into your resume. We believe in you! You’ve already created a great resume; we’ve just showed you how to make it pop!