According to Trading Economics “Unemployment Rate in the United States decreased to 5.60 percent in December of 2014 from 5.80 percent in November of 2014. Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.83 percent from 1948 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 10.80 percent in November of 1982 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953.” This means a lot of resumes are still flowing through the wire, but how do you manage to take your resume from “1 of 500” to “1 of 10” that actually lands the interview? CEO and Founder of YouTern, Mark Babbitt offered a few of his personal tips on how to upgrade your resume, and land that dream job or at least something better than the one you currently have.
Step 1: Write Some Worth Reading
Too many resumes are littered with typos, unfinished sentences and poor layout. These resumes scream “unemployable” – and are the first to be discarded. Use a resume professional or trusted mentor, to create an articulate resume that passes the first-glance test with good grammar, correct spelling and an easy-to-read layout.
Step 2: It Is Okay Be Personal
Applicants many time send generic resumes to every company, showing no differentiation or interest in this specific position – without the slightest effort to indicate any research was done on the company. Make sure every resume you send to the job description and company.
Step 3: Use “Action Keywords”
Major corporations and agencies use Automatic Tracking Systems (ATS) to process the high volume of resumes received. These systems find keywords in your resume that show you meet minimum qualifications. Without these keywords, your application is sent to the digital discard pile. Try to use those exact words from the requirements section of the job description, meticulously include keywords in your resume.
Step 4: Form a Summary Statement
Through social media profiles, we enjoy getting to know each other in a matter of seconds so why should our digital world be any different? Just below your name, create a summary statement – either a short paragraph (maybe 400 characters) or six to eight bullet points – that enables recruiters, in one glance, to see who you are, what you can do and if you are a good fit for their company. (Note: the summary statement is a great place for those Action keywords!)
Step 5: You Should Quantify!
Quantifying, in the simplest form possible, enables the recruiter to see how you’ve performed in the past– and envision how you will produce in their company. The trick is to help them see your “by the numbers” value! Here are some examples:
Before: Lead my sales team in all categories; consistently exceeded quota
After: Top salesperson in 4 consecutive quarters; exceeded quote by 132%
Before: Excellent leader and mentor
After: Maintained a 75.4% retention rate among team members; 45% of my team received promotions
In an ultra-competitive job market, quantifying your work history is a mandatory step in writing your resume.
Step 6: Focus On the Culture
Ask yourself the following: Will you be a good fit within the company culture? Will you and your supervisor get along? Are you a low-key contributor… or a high-maintenance diva? Try analyzing the company’s website, social media presence and the job description. Look for those keywords that describe their brand? For example, if they often mention teamwork, flexibility, family and community involvement – your resume should be infused with those keywords. Also, relax with saying, “I’ll-say-anything-to-get-a-job.” Be for real – and be honest.
Step 7: Remove the Notion of Risk
Problem: Are you a good person? Do you make good personal decisions? Should the recruiter stick her neck out to recommend you?
Solution: To determine the answers to these questions, your LinkedIn profile is reviewed to ensure no discrepancies with your resume (specifically, have you attempted to use keywords to BS your way into an interview?) Facebook is reviewed as a digital reference check; anything that positions you as a risk is scrutinized heavily. Your Twitter account, personal blog and other forms of online presence will also be evaluated. You will be Googled.
All this is done with one mission in mind: to reduce risk by ensuring the “real” you is a close match to the “resume” you.
Of course these 7 steps will not automatically land you the job, but this will help take to from just another person apply for a position to hopefully the person they want for the position.