Updating your resume takes time and effort. And after all that work, you’re hoping for the best results. To make sure your resume stays out of the trash can, ask yourself these five questions.
Are you qualified for the job?
Sometimes people land a position without all the right qualifications. Even so, hiring managers are looking for a close match. If the job asks for five years of experience and you have four, you may be okay. However, if you don’t have a required certification, it’s probably not worth your time to apply. If you do decide to take a chance on a job for which you are underqualified, try making a connection within the organization before sending in a resume. Companies are more willing to take a chance on someone they know.
Is your resume tailored to the job description?
Using the same resume every for every application is a top job search mistake. What’s the problem with one-size-fits-all resumes? As of 2019, more than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies were using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These software programs decide if your application is a good fit, usually by scanning for keywords and key phrases pulled directly from the job description. If you didn’t bother to customize your resume, forget about the trash. Your application won’t even make it out of the computer.
Is your resume easy to read?
Let’s assume, done everything right so far. Now, a hiring manager is looking at your resume. Be sure they can pick out your top skills and experiences at a glance. Put the most relevant information toward the beginning of the document. And, use short sentences, bullet points and lots of white space, so your top qualifications jump off the page.
Is your resume neatly formatted?
Flashy fonts and colorful borders will make your resume look unprofessional and trashy worthy. Stick with a basic layout and a standard 11pt or larger font. Georgia, Calibri, Aria and Times New Roman all are good choices. Unless you have a talent for graphic design, your best bet is to use a resume template. You can find plenty of examples online. Finally, leave out photos and images.
Did you double and triple check for typos?
Hiring managers may look at hundreds of resumes each day. Rejecting resumes with small but noticeable errors is a quick way for them to make the pile smaller. Although this may seem unfair, it can be how hiring works. Therefore, you need to be at the top of your game. Read your resume, and forwards several times, so it’s perfect. Also remember, overlooking your own mistakes is easier than you think. So, ask your friends and family for proofreading help as well.
Are You Looking for More Advice on Updating Your Resume?
FirstStaff’s expert recruiters would be happy to give you a hand. We have offices throughout central Arkansas and western Texas. Learn more about the benefits of job searching with us today!