Sometimes you do need to sweat the small stuff, and resume writing is one of those times. After all, you only have six seconds to impress the recruiter. Include these essential elements to make sure your resume won’t get tossed right into the “No” pile:
1. Job description keywords
Many employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan and rank your resume before they even lay eyes on it. The ATS looks for certain keywords from the job description to determine how good of a fit you are for the position. When writing your resume, make sure to incorporate the keywords that pop up most frequently in the job description. Don’t just copy and paste — make sure to add these words naturally throughout your resume.
If you need help finding the popular and relevant keywords in a job description, try creating a word cloud with a few of the job listings that interest you on free sites like Wordle.
2. Professional title
Make your job goals clear on your resume by including a professional title at the top that spells out what type of job position you’re seeking. For example, you might put “Senior Accounting Professional” or ”Marketing & Sales Associate” right beneath your contact information and above your career narrative (also called a professional summary) to let the hiring manager know that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
3. Certifications and credentials
Do you have a certification or advanced degree that’s an asset in your job field, such as an MBA or RN? If include it after your name at the top of your resume. By showcasing the acronyms here, you’re making sure the recruiter sees this important selling point right off the bat.
You don’t need to include the acronym for your undergraduate degree or a certification that’s not relevant to your current job goals. You should still include the details of these credentials in the professional development and education section of your resume of course. You just want to keep the top of your resume a place for only the most important information.
4. Relevant websites
Any websites that contribute to your overall personal brand are important, relevant, and should also be included at the top of your resume. We advise grouping these URLs with your contact information. This isn’t limited to your LinkedIn profile — you can also include links to a personal blog or online portfolio.
When selecting which websites to include on your resume, make sure each is regularly updated and benefits your personal brand. For example, you shouldn’t share your blog about a favorite musician if you’re seeking a job in operations.
5. Stats on your resume
Metrics are important for supporting the career achievements you list on your resume; they show employers the full scope of your bandwidth and indicate whether or not you have the ability to successfully lead a team and contribute to the growth of the business.
For example, instead of stating on your resume that you “Helped grow revenue,” try this: “Grew revenue by 200% to $1 million in a 12-month period by doing [X].”
So, take some time to review your resume with a fine-tooth comb and make sure these elements are included. A better resume will set you up for better opportunities and get your job application in that “Yes” pile.