Alpha Bits

Information, insights and advice regarding today’s IT and pharmaceutical recruitment landscape. 

Five Resume Reminders (Do’s and Don’ts)

When you want to make sure that your resume ends up at the top of the hiring manager’s list, there are some simple things you can do. Here are five resume reminders – including some do’s and don’ts – to get you moving in the right direction.

1. Do Target Your Resume to the Job

Having a generic resume isn’t going to help you stand out from the crowd. Instead, you need to target the content to a specific role.

When you update your professional summary, skills list, or work history, focus on points that relate to details in the job description. Ideally, you also want to use the same keywords that you find in the job ad. Along with making you seem like a stronger match, it increases the odds that automated screening technology will see you as a solid fit, which doesn’t make a difference.

2. Don’t Include an Objective Statement

While having an objective statement was once deemed essential, it feels out-of-date today. Plus, objective statements don’t provide much value, as they primarily state something the hiring manager already knows: that you’re looking for a job.

Instead, go with a professional summary. With that, you can showcase a couple of critical skills or achievements that relate to the position. That’s far more valuable in the eyes of the hiring manager, making it a better way to introduce yourself in your resume.

3. Do Quantify the Details

Numbers stand out visually on a resume. Since that’s the case, the metrics can draw the hiring manager’s eye to critical points about your capabilities and the value you provide, essentially encouraging them to keep reading.

Plus, quantifying the details gives the hiring manager crucial context. It lets them know more about your capabilities and the results you can deliver, making your resume more compelling. For example, saying you “increased sales by 25 percent” is far more intriguing and meaningful than simply stating you “increased sales,” so it’s worth adding the numbers in when they can elevate your position as a candidate.

4. Don’t Use Non-Traditional Structures or Features

While column-based resumes with several colors, infographic-style sections, and similar details may look excellent when printed, non-traditional choices don’t always work in your favor. Many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen applications initially, and many of them struggle with unconventional formats. Plus, they usually can’t read information stored in images.

Instead, stick with a more traditional structure and forgo fancy additions. Don’t include images, charts, or tables, and make sure no pertinent information is in the document header or footer, as an ATS may not scan those areas. Also, keep your section headings conventional, as creative alternatives might not make sense to an ATS.

5. Do Use a Hybrid Format

Generally, a hybrid resume format is the ideal option for most candidates. After your contact information and professional summary, you’ll have a bulleted skills section that showcases the critical capabilities the hiring manager is after. That shows you’re at least a basic fit immediately and encourages the hiring manager to keep reading.

After that, you can include your work history, followed by your education. However, if you’re a recent college graduate, leading off with your education and diving into your work history can be a smart move.

See How Else You Stand Out as a Candidate

Ultimately, the resume reminders above can help you make the best impression possible when applying for a new job. If you’d like to find out more about how you can stand out as a candidate, Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.