Make Your Resume Work for You
It’s no secret that resumes are an important part of the application process. For many of us, it’s our first opportunity to showcase our qualifications and why we’d be a good fit for a job. That means clearly detailing our accomplishments, while also matching what recruiters might be looking for. It’s a delicate balance, which can make the process feel daunting.
Luckily there are ways to enhance your resume so that it best highlights you and your skill sets. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite (and super simple) adjustments that can have a big impact when it comes to getting your application in front of the right people.
Optimize resume content and descriptions
Resume scanning software is searching for specific keywords relevant to that role. Pay attention to the job description and incorporate role-specific terms found in the job description. Just be sure your resume still reads natural, and not like you’re keyword stuffing.
Avoid abbreviations and creative descriptions
While resume scanning software will typically pick up common abbreviations, like “MBA,” it’s safer to spell things out. Likewise, keep descriptions of your skills straightforward. Instead of “engineering guru” say “engineering expert.”
Organize achievements thoughtfully
Current experience first
Make sure your resume is in reverse-chronological order. Start with your most recent job, then work backwards. Include company name and location, job title, start and end dates, and achievements.
Use common section headings
Stick with classic resume sections, like “experience,” “skills,” and “education.”
Format for simplicity
File type matters
Use a .doc or .docx when submitting your resume. Scanning software can sometimes combine or miss words in a PDF and will not scan an image properly.
Leverage easy-to-read fonts
Stick with well-known fonts like Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Garamond or Georgia in a font size between 10 and 12.
Keep it simple
Applicant scanning software can’t read images, so it’s best to avoid fancy or complicated formatting, including tables and columns, text in the header or footer, or extra spaces. Instead make sure skills are written out clearly.
Looking for a failsafe? Try using a template designed to work in favor of resume scanning software. Templates organize your information into sections using the most common keywords, making it easier for software to pick up your unique skills and experience.