Improve your resume + land that job!

Improve your resume + land that job!

Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
April 27, 2020
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Your resume is a crucial part of your job application. It is the very first thing an employer will learn about you before you have spoken a single word to them. It provides the employer with a snapshot of who you are and includes your prior work experience, education and accomplishments.

A strong resume should do the following:

  • Define what you do and what you bring to the employer
  • Help you stand out from the crowd
  • Grab the hiring manager’s attention
  • Sell your strengths and values
  • Showcase why you’re an ideal candidate for the role

Since your resume acts as the first impression to a prospective employer, you’ll want to make sure it shines! Here are FOUR helpful #ResumeTips to help you land that #interview and move you forward in your job search.

1. Understand the three common resume types

TYPEWHAT IT ISWHEN IT’S USED
Chronological- “Traditional” resume style
- Lists work history with the most recent position on top and details about each company
Used by those with strong work history
Functional- Focuses on skills + experience instead of length of employmentOften used by career changers and people with large gaps in employment history
Combination- A mix of both resume styles
- Highlights the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying to
Good for highlighting specific qualities that make you a good fit for a particular position

2. Know the do’s and don’ts of resume writing

DO

  • Customize your resume for every job application
    This will help you stand apart from the competition and employers will certainly appreciate and notice the effort! Highlight the experience and skills you have that are related to the specific job you are applying for. Your resume doesn’t necessarily require complete overhaul! Just a few quick customizations will go a long way. If that skill or bit of experience doesn’t seem to match up with the job you are applying to make sure to remove them.

  • Emphasize your accomplishments that are relevant to the job
    Provide tangible examples of projects and successes you’ve had in the past. Did someone recognize you for something great that you did at work? Awesome, make sure to include it! If you can add numbers to show growth even better.

  • Proofread
    Ask a friend/family member to look it over, too! Typos and grammatical errors could cause a hiring manager to overlook your application. Typically over 75% of employers noted that they wanted a stronger focus on written communication skills. Be sure to use spell check and you can even download Grammarly for free to help catch those mistakes!

  • Make it easy for them to contact you
    Place your contact info right up at the top of your resume. Be sure your email sounds professional. If it begins with "cutiepie107" or random letters and numbers, create a new one with your last name and first initial, such as "JSmith." Also list your phone number and make sure that once you put your resume out there that you are checking your messages and responding!

DON’T

  • Lie or misrepresent your education or past experiences
    An employer may be able to work with you even if your skills don’t align 100%, but you’ll have a hard time earning their trust back if they find out you lied. Employers will check your references and will easily discover if you were less than truthful on your resume.

  • Get too personal
    Leave off your headshot, marital status, sexual orientation, specific home address, religious affiliation, etc. Just stick to what is important to getting hired.

  • List past pay/salary information
    It’s good practice to wait until the interview to discuss your salary.

3. Learn to beat the applicant tracking system (ATS)

It can be frustrating when you feel like you’re sending your resume into a blackhole. Luckily, there are some things you can do to ensure your application is seen. Many companies use what’s called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to help with resume screening. During this process, your resume may be overlooked if it lacks specific keywords or elements. Make sure to optimize your resume the best you can.

Here are a few ways to get past the #ATS:

  • Use relevant keywords
    Keywords are words and short phrases that relate to the requirements for a particular job. They are the skills, expertise, credentials and qualities that a hiring manager desires in a candidate. Take the exact language that is in the job description and incorporate it into your resume. Be careful not to add things just to “trick” the system and stay true to your own experience. Read more about resume keywords here!

  • Use spell-check
    An automated computer system cannot oversee spelling errors! Make sure you review your entire resume before submitting it and ask someone else to proofread it as well.

  • Keep the format simple
    Skip the funky fonts, photos and charts. Computers will have a tough time processing this and it may cause your resume to get tossed. Use basic fonts such as Arial, Helvetica or Calibri and utilize simple section heading such as “Work Experience” and “Education.”

  • Use acronyms and long-form keywords
    This will help with maximum searchability. For example: “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)” and “Commercial Drivers License (CDL)”

4. Utilize the Jobcase resume generator

Did you know that Jobcase has a built-in resume generator?! That’s right! You can download a beautiful, formatted resume right from your Jobcase profile.

Here's how:

  1. Fill out your profile completely! This includes your location, email, summary, work experience, traits, education, skills, etc.
  2. Head to the “resume” tab just under your summary.
  3. Click the “download” button below your resume preview.

Now you have a formatted, PDF resume that you can use to apply for jobs!


#ResumeWriting can sound a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to crafting a wonderful tool to help you land any job.

Questions? Concerns? Comment below, we’re here to help you!!

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Lenin Pina
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Combination resume formats work best for online applications and the dreaded Online Application Systems, ATS.

I find a simple border free resume within this format highlights my (hard/soft) skills sets first and at the top of the page which is essential for getting high online application rating.

Higher ratings = More interviews = More possible job offers!

This is a "Best Of" post Elle, thanks for sharing!

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Kristina Guadagni
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Is there any way to test one's resume and see what kind of rating it would get in an Applicant Tracking System or is it specific to each job? Are there any online tools for this?

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