I was haphazardly lucky enough to land into the recruitment career track for a brief five months thanks to — and I’m not making this up — a Bumble BFF match. I had zero experience but what I did have was gumption and the gall to call myself a “people-first person.” While the position was ultimately what opened my eyes to the fact that publishing is without a doubt, 100% what I want to devote my life to, it did provide me with some valuable insight to what makes a résumé click when it comes through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to the 9-times-out-of-10 lazy recruiter.
And those tips are exactly what I am going to share with you.
- Always include a “Profile” or “Summary.” I cannot, cannot, cannot emphasize this enough. At least in my industry, your cover letter isn’t getting read until it lands on the hiring manager’s desk — that’s the second reader. In order to get there, you have to first impress the recruiter or HR manager. They’re there to quickly glance and determine qualifications. Three or four short, purposeful sentences at the top of your resume are great to sell to them who you are, what you’re good at, and why you are the best candidate for this job.
- Tailor, Tailor, Tailor. Every résumé should be tailored to the job you are applying for. I know, that sounds exhausting. But it shows when it comes through the ATS that you actually want this job more than just a throw-away submission. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received résumés with “expected graduation” dates that have already passed. All that shows is laziness. Going the extra mile in not only keeping your résumé up to date, but tailored to the specific application shows interest.
- Tell a story, but make sure it’s your story. This shows specifically in the action verbs that should without a doubt start every bullet point under every position you’ve held. Always start with an attention grabbing action verb. Show exactly how you benefitted the team you were working with, how you were a key component of their success.
- Don’t worry about gaps. If anything, worry about putting irrelevant material on there that will turn a recruiter away by saying you’re “unqualified.” Simply list your relevant experience under a title stating exactly that — “Relevant Experience.” It’ll make you seem like you tailored it for them (which you should have) while still leaving an air of ~ m y s t e r y ~.
- Use design sparingly. We all love those beautiful résumés on Etsy and Pinterest, but honestly what’s more important is getting your qualifications across. Don’t make it bulky but also don’t waste time with white space. Make sure to fit the entire résumé on one page and have it look cohesive.
Now go out there and get that job!!!
All my love x