After applying to a job, do you receive a response? If no, there can be a few reasons why, and some have to do with your resume content. The following are five easy resume things to check (and fix) to help with application success.
1. Contact Information
On the first page of the resume, never place your contact information in a text box or within the header section. Many applicant tracking software (ATS) systems are unable to read text box content or header and footer content.
When a resume has contact information in a text box and then is uploaded online, it can be blocked by an ATS because the software cannot verify contact information. Many organizations use an ATS because it helps with applicant ranking efficiency.
Check your resume contact information to verify it is not within a text box or header section. Also confirm that the contact information includes a first and last name, correct phone number, and a professional email address. The resume can consist of additional contact information such as location, LinkedIn URL, or other social media profile information.
2. Job Keywords
An ATS is a search engine scanning text within a resume or cover letter. A resume should not be packed with only job keywords. Most ATS will focus on hard skills such as credentials, job titles, or specific certifications.
It is beneficial to tailor the resume content to the exact job description keywords. For example, if the job description states “manage projects” then your resume should use those exact words and no other phrases such as “project manager” or PMP.
3. Experience Section
The work history section is usually the most robust part of a resume, listing relevant work in chronological order. Include responsibilities and unique accomplishments. A modern resume does not provide irrelevant work experience.
4. Education & Training
For recent graduates, the education section is usually listed higher on the resume just under the introduction section. Career changers who have a newly earned degree or training supporting a specific job can list education and training under the introduction section to highlight new knowledge and credentials.
Professionals who have two or more years of experience typically place the education section after the experience section because hiring managers are more interested in understanding work experience and contributions rather than education accomplishments.
Only attended college for a few classes? Be sure to include the education institution and the number of courses completed, even if a degree was not awarded.
The resume should also include relevant training and certifications.
5. Volunteering and Other Interests
Additional information can be a resume differentiator. Serving as a volunteer or board member can showcase leadership skills and other relevant contributions.
Sometimes providing one to two sentences about hobbies and interests can spur positive interview discussions. However, within the resume do not include religious, political, or other controversial statements and views.
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