Your resume is the middleman who talks to recruiters and the resume screening software – Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
A good resume highlighting your accomplishments correctly can work in your favor to get interviews.
So why do you need a good resume?
A well-crafted resume has the power to open doors to your dream job. If you sell your achievements and accomplishments correctly using an excellent resume, it will help get hiring managers’ attention. Recruiters can visualize you as the right fit for the job, which could land an interview.
In this article, we will learn about the critical purpose of a resume and tips on how to have a strong, effective, and well-written resume.
What is the Most Important Purpose of a Resume?
The primary purpose of your resume is to land you an interview. Hiring managers will quickly skim through all the resumes to determine which candidate’s resume best fits the role and shortlist the selected candidates for further interviews.
A resume is the most crucial document that recites your career story concisely and directly to your potential employers.
So what should your resume accomplish?
1. Introduce yourself to hiring managers
Resumes are the first window of opportunity to present your skills and experience to recruiters.
Typically, when multiple applicants are applying for the same job, the only way hiring managers can decide whether or not to grant an interview is based on your resume.
Use your resume as a launching pad to get the attention of hiring managers.
2. Tell your Professional Story
Narrate your professional story with result-based action words. Being concise and to the point can help recruiters quickly assess your capability for the role and arrange for an interview.
An Eye-tracking study conducted by Ladders showed that the average time recruiters take to skim through a resume is just 7.4 seconds.
Remember, your window of opportunity to narrate your career story is a few seconds. The recruiter decides whether to shortlist you for an interview based on a few seconds of skim reading.
3. Show your Work Experience
Bulleted points for work experience can help recruiters quickly skim through your resume. Use active voice and start your bulleted points with action verbs, indicating the results achieved in every point.
If you are a student or fresher, focus more on your education qualifications, extracurricular activities, and any freelance experiences you have acquired in your life journey.
4. Show you are best suited for the job role
Your resume should also convince the recruiter that you are the best fit for this job. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, but there’s hard work involved – you have to customize your resume for every job role you are applying to.
Sending out the same resume to multiple job applications may help you hit your daily target numbers, but may not help you get interviews and go to the next stage. Your major target should be to get interview calls, and not to increase the count of daily job applications sent out.
From a hiring manager’s perspective, they are only concerned about one specific job role. Customizing your resume for that job requirements will help to serve that purpose well by getting the attention of your potential employer.
When Can You Say that a Resume is Well-written?
A recruiter takes a few seconds to skim-read every resume received as an application for the job role. A resume can be considered well-written if it can get the hiring manager’s attention in a few seconds of skim reading and get you an interview call.
A well-written professional resume produces results. It highlights your qualifications, skills, and experience and helps the recruiters visualize how you could fit the job.
Your resume is an evolving document. Keep your resume updated periodically whenever you have new accomplishments at work, role changes, or acquired new skill sets or certifications.
Let’s go through some of the critical aspects of a well-written resume:
- Resume Contents – Your resume should include an excellent overall career summary, skillsets, work experience, educational qualifications, and achievements, and these are mandatory contents required in a good resume.
- Resume Writing Style – Hiring managers typically scan applicants’ resumes only for a few seconds. How you articulate your experience and accomplishments in your resume matter a lot. Write every bullet point in your resume using result-oriented action verbs for maximum impact.
- The tone of voice – Use an active voice in your resume to convey your experience and accomplishments. A lot of resumes tend to use passive voice, which significantly reduces the impact on your achievements. Also, passive voice makes it difficult for hiring managers to quickly assess the resume for candidates’ suitability for the job role.
- Customize for every Job Role – Tailoring your resume for every job role before applying can significantly enhance your chances of getting an interview call. Carefully assessing every job role to understand the job requirements and customizing your resume to fit that role is a lot of hard work.
- Matching skills and experience – Ensure that the job role and requirements match your skillsets and work experience. Randomly sending resumes to multiple job applications without adequately reading through the job requirements will waste your time and the recruiter’s time.
What Makes a Resume Strong and Effective?
In today’s competitive world, having strong work experience and skillsets is insufficient to land a great job. It’s your responsibility to ensure your skillsets and accomplishments get noticed by hiring managers.
Present your accomplishments in a convincing way, using a strong and effective resume, to help recruiters visualize you as the right fit for the job role.
So what should you do to make your resume strong and effective?
1. Short and to-the-point
Go for a one-page resume. If you are relatively new with less work experience, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you have a lot of work experience, consider indicating only the most relevant accomplishments from the past 10-15 years.
2. Pass ATS Screening Test
Customize your resume for every job role before sending the job application. Your resume should pass both ATS screening tests and catch the hiring manager’s attention.
Include keywords from the job requirements in your resume to pass the ATS screening. Run ATS scanning tests to ensure you have a good score.
3. Have an impactful Career Snapshot
A career snapshot is a concise summary of the key expertise and value that you can bring to the organization.
Earlier it used to be Career Objective, where a candidate indicates the job they seek. Replace this with a Career Snapshot, where you show your Unique Selling Proposition and how you could be valuable to the company.
Skilled in customer servicing and handling calls.
Implemented operational changes, which led to a 25% decrease in customer complaints and increased customer satisfaction by 18%.
4. Use strong Action words
Use powerful action verbs to start every bullet point in your resume’s work experience. Recruiters skim through resumes, and making it easy for them to understand your accomplishments can quickly get you an interview call.
5. List accomplishments and results, not job duties
Every accomplishment in your work experience should indicate the results achieved or lessons learned. Indicating job duties and responsibilities will not make an impact. The objective is to help recruiters visualize you achieving similar results for their company and being the right fit for the job.
Luck is great, but most of life is hard workIain Duncan Smith
If you have sent out multiple job applications using the same resume and had no luck with interview calls, take a pause and work on your resume.
In this article, we have gone through the importance of having a solid resume and tips on writing a strong and effective one.
Remember – creating a great resume is hard work, and once you have an excellent resume, it can work wonders to get you the right job. Tailor your resume for every job role before sending out the job application.