You have been submitting your resume, but not getting interview calls? You are not sure if your resume is even reaching to the recruiters or not? Occasionally it feels if these jobs are even genuine.
I want to tell you that you are not alone who is facing all these challenges. The problem looks bigger when your equally qualified colleagues get the interview call and you do not. And if it is not your qualification and not your skills, then why are the recruiters not calling you?
Most likely it’s time to check your resume writing skills and how it appears to a recruiter.
There are three possible ways in which you submit your resume to a job opening.
- Sending your resume on a company’s email id, most likely to the HR/Recruiting department.
- Submitting it on the company’s online application tracking system.
- Or submit it directly to a recruiter via a reference.
Let us understand what is happening at each level and what can you do to bring it in your favor.
Importance of Resume Writing Skills
So when you send your resume on company’s email id, you start competing with more than 200 resumes that get stock up in company’s email id within the first few minutes of the company posting the job.
Recruiters have been boasting about spending 10-15 minutes on every resume that they get. They read a full resume to understand the candidature and then make their decision.
However, the truth is entirely different. I have spent more than 15 years working with recruiters and I know they don’t spend that time. They don’t have that much of time. Think of it, 200 resumes and 10 minutes on each resume means 2000 minutes, that’s more than 33 hours.
Research shows that most recruiters spend only 6 seconds to skim a resume and make a decision on your job application. Only a well-crafted resume attracts recruiter’s eyeball.
Ok, now let’s look at the other possibility that you submitted your resume on the company’s online application tracking system. Most companies use applicant tracking system (ATS) to qualify the resume.
The application tracking system has its own artificial intelligence to qualify the resume.
The artificial intelligence works on the keywords depending on the job descriptions. It reads the resume and matches the keywords and phrases and qualifies the resume. And if your resume did not have the right keywords, chances are that the resume does not even hit the recruiter’s desk.
Lastly, if you have submitted your resume through a reference, the resume is sure to reach the recruiter. But again, if the resume was not customized to the job position, it will fail to incline the recruiter in your favor.
The trick is in your Resume Writing skills.
PS: If you are on a job search, you might like to check the 2020 Top 10 highest paying jobs.
In today’s digital world of neck-to-neck competition, your resume is the first impression in front of the recruiters. You want this impression to be the best impression.
Like to know how you should write your resume that leads to an interview? Continue reading.
What is a Resume?
Resume writing is storytelling. A resume is a one or two-page document that presents your abilities and qualities to the recruiters. Your resume is what makes recruiter feel if they should invest their time in interviewing you.
But, resume writing is not writing your qualifications and skills on a piece of paper. It is an art to demonstrate that you are the candidate, they have been hunting for. A well-written resume defines your market value. Make sure your resume reflects what recruiters are looking for.
Blocks of Resume Writing
Every resume carries some standard blocks. There is no ideal format in which you should arrange them. And for every job and every company, these blocks could differ.
Find out what is important for the job and put emphasis on the same. De-emphasize the less important blocks or try to drop them if they are not relevant.
Let us look at some of the important blocks of a resume.
Heading of the Resume
Include your name, address, email id, phone number and the best time to contact. Many disagree about the need for an address in the resume. Address helps recruiter understand your likeliness to accept the job if selected. Help them qualify you by adding an address in your resume.
Including LinkedIn profile adds creditability of your resume in front of the recruiters. Make sure you have added a link your LinkedIn ID.
Employers and professionals have different views on adding this block in the resume.
Career objectives help recruiter understand your immediate career aspirations. It helps the recruiter find if your career goals align with the job they are currently recruiting. You should showcase your most important skills and how they are inline to the job you have applied for.
Make sure that your career objectives convey specific objectives. Targeting on many things together may confuse the recruiter. Your career objectives must align with the company goals.
Education and Qualification
List down the degrees you have earned with the highest degree on top with dates and your scores that is your GPA. If you have taken up courses during your college vacation, it’s time to mention them here. Add extra-curricular activities that show certain skills important to the job.
Take the example of “communication skills”. Add some extra-curricular activity that proves you have good communication skills.
For example, anchored college debates and award ceremonies for 3 consecutive years.
If there is an important skill required for the job and you don’t have it, take up a course around that. Write that in your resume stating that you have enrolled in “XYZ course” to sharpen your skills on “ABC Skill”. This will help recruiters build trust on your claims you made in your career objectives.
This block of resume writing will vary from person to person. Any reward and recognition you earned during in your college or at work showcase them here. Find possibilities of aligning them with the skills required in performing the job.
Fresher must include their summer internships. Tell how your internship helped you build a skill that benefits the company.
Experienced people must include their works summary. Backup each work experience with dates, role, and responsibilities. Be crisp in writing your responsibilities. Your responsibilities should increase your desirability to the recruiters.
Add experiences that show your ability to learn new things for example:
- Voluntary Services
- Summer Jobs
- Extra-Curricular Activities
- Part-time work
- Non-Paid Assignments
Skills and Qualities
This is where you list your top 6 skills. Remember these skills should be in sync to the requirements in the job you are applying for.
List down your skills and their proficiency level in
- Computer literacy
- Languages knew
- Analytical skills
- Management skills
- Leadership abilities
- Research qualities
- Creative side
- Soft skills
Feel free to include what is relevant to the job and drop those are not important while listing your skills.
These are the most important blocks of your resume writing. Many like to include “References’ and “Activities and Interests” block too. I will avoid increasing the length of the resume by adding redundant information.
Few people like to include their photograph while writing a resume. The resume needs to qualify based on your skills and not on how you look. I will avoid adding a photograph in the resume.
Tips to make your Resume Writing Impressive
Avoid using an email address that looks unprofessional. Instead of “email@example.com”, it is advisable to use an email address like “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Let recruiter understand that you are serious about the job opportunity.
Easy to Locate Contact Information
This makes everyone’s job easier. It is best to include the contact information on the top of your resume. Ensure it is up-to-date with an email id that you check on a daily basis. Best is to configure your email id in your smartphone.
Use Action Words
Action words are words that helps recruiter visualize you performing certain tasks. More they see you doing important things in your past work experiences, more they will believe you doing it in their organization.
Avoid the usage of would, could, or might. Instead of writing “I would like to work in a challenging environment” write “I enjoyed working in the challenging environment”.
Pick the Keywords
Keywords are most important when you are applying online. Most large scale organizations use ATS systems to screen job applications. You resume if worked on keywords ensures that AI of ATS system reads your resume in the way you want it to read.
Follow a Format
There are different resume formats like – Chronological, Functional, Hybrid. Choose the resume format that best suits the information you want to put up.
Unless it is the demand of the profile to show your creativity, which is unlikely, do not do it. Fancy fonts might not open in the recruiter’s computer and your resume will even fail to make its point. Keep it simple. Use fonts like Arial, Helvetica or Verdana with a font size of 10-11 is best.
Avoid using many colors and fonts in your resume.
Customize your resume
Every job is different and every company has a different vision. You must customize your resume every time you apply for a job. Check the company’s website and check their mission. Read the job descriptions and find what matters most to them.
Customize your resume keeping both things in mind. The better you understand the goals of the company, the better your resume writing will be.
Balance the white space and text. A recruiter only spends about 6 seconds to decide if the resume is worth spending further time. Highlight what you want the recruiter to see in those 6 seconds. Make it easier for the recruiter to make a decision in your favor.
Avoid any type of technical jargon. Do not try to impress the recruiter with your technical know-how. Keep it simple for them to read and understand your profile instead of getting confused.
Use small sentences instead of long and difficult sentences. You are writing your resume, not your English literature exam.
No Grammatical Mistakes
If you are not attentive while writing your resume, why would recruiter feel that you will be attentive in your job? This sounds so simple, but more than 50% of the resumes are poorly written when it comes to grammar and typos.
Mention what is necessary
There is no point writing information that has no relevance to the job. No one is interested in reading a story that is not meant for them. Write only what is important to inform the recruiter about your suitability to the job. Avoid anything that sketches your political inclination or religious beliefs.
Write something that you can talk and discuss upon during an interview. There is no fun in blabbering about yourself in the resume and falling flat during the interview. What you write better be true, even if investigated.
Numbers and dates add credibility to your resume. Backup the information as much as possible with numbers and dates. For example instead of writing “met yearly sales target” you may think of writing “Achieved the sales target of 3M (100%) for the year 2018”.
Conclusions on Resume Writing
There are plenty of professional resume writing services available on professional sites. But it could be really expensive to get your resume written every time you apply for a new job.
The need of the hour is to learn this art of resume writing and customize your resume every time you apply for a job. Convert every job application into an interview now.