When you first kickstart your job hunt, you may be caught up in the rush and the thrill of finding new opportunities on job boards and applying. However, after the 40th resume submission and no phone calls – you might be wondering where you went wrong. It’s no surprise that your resume is one of the most important tools you have as an individual in the workforce – but could your resume be holding you back – or worse – costing you job interviews?
Here are our four tips to get the most out of your resume and get you that interview.
The 30 Second Rule
Did you know you have only 30 seconds to make an impression on a recruiter – you don’t want to lose them in the first 5 seconds because your resume is unprofessional and slapped together. Do not skim over your resume when you’re editing it. Capitals should be where they need to be, use a comma when it’s appropriate and a semicolon where it is necessary. Make sure you conclude all your sub points with a period. Grammar is non-negotiable and not being thorough in ensuring that you’ve done your due diligence on your resume can speak volumes to a hiring manager about how you will handle meticulous tasks on the job.
Think of your resume like a story - it is about you, not by you. When writing your resume, always do it in the third person. The hiring manager already recognizes that your resume is an overview on your work accomplishments; there’s no need to remind them it’s about you 20 plus times. Avoid personal pronouns at all costs. Instead of stating, “I achieved a 40% increase in sales in the first year” consider saying “Achieved 40% sales growth in first year.”
Outdated or Irrelevant Work Experience
You got a degree 25 years ago – so what? According to some recruiters, after five years, your work experience holds more weight than your education, so be sure to highlight on that background information after you have showcased your work history. The same rule applies for your work history – don’t feel obliged to rhyme off every single job you have held. Keep it to the past 3-4 jobs.
It's Too Long
Can we be honest here? No one wants to read your 4-page length resume. We know, we know – you have lots to say and plenty to be proud of; but when you consider that recruiters and hiring managers receive hundreds of applications for a single job post, it is important that the experience you are highlighting on jumps right out at them. Focus on showcasing skill sets and work experience that directly correlates to the roles you are applying for.
- Career Fair Canada Team