Job searching can be a daunting process, especially when it seems like you're sending your resume into the void with no response. One key factor that could be affecting your success is your resume. It's your first impression to potential employers, so you want it to stand out. But what exactly are recruiters looking for?
What recruiters look for in a resume
Recruiters have to go through hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes. They don't have the time to thoroughly read through each one, so they look for specific sections that can quickly tell them if a candidate is worth considering. Here are the top 3 sections they prioritize:
Professional Experience: Your work history is a clear indicator of your skills and capabilities. Recruiters want to see what kind of roles you've held, your responsibilities, and your achievements.
Skills: This section lets recruiters know if you have the technical or soft skills required for the job. Be sure to include both types.
Education: While not as crucial as the other two sections, your educational background can still play a part, especially for jobs that require specific degrees or certifications.
Now that you know what recruiters are looking for, how can you improve these sections?
How to improve your resume's key sections
1. Professional Experience
Write in a clear and concise manner. Use bullet points to list your responsibilities and achievements. Make sure to use action verbs and quantify your achievements where possible.
List your skills in a table format. It's easier to read and allows recruiters to quickly scan through.
Keep it simple. Include the degree you obtained, the school you went to, and the year you graduated. If you have any relevant certifications, include them as well.
Stand out from the crowd
Aside from improving the key sections, how can you make your resume stand out?
1. Tailor your resume
Don't send the same resume for every job application. Tailor it to match the job description. It shows that you took the time to understand the job and that you're a serious candidate.
2. Use keywords
Some companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter resumes. These systems look for keywords related to the job. Including these keywords in your resume can increase your chances of getting past the ATS.
3. Keep it clean and professional
Use a clean, professional format. Avoid using fancy fonts or colors. Keep it to a maximum of two pages.
Remember, your resume is your chance to make a good first impression. Take the time to craft it well. With these tips, you'll increase your chances of catching the recruiter's attention and landing that job interview.