It is true that your resume has only a few seconds to catch the attention of the reader before it is moved into a “shortlist” or “rejection” pile. This isn’t meant to be out of any disrespect to applicants, but simply the reality of how competitive the job market is. There are not enough hours in the day for recruiters or hiring managers to look at each resume in detail.
The biggest key to getting past the initial screening phase is Tailoring Your Resume Properly. Here are other essential tips to making your resume stand out:
Highlight the Essentials
The first thing a recruiter looks for are the essential requirements. Generally, the most important qualifications are listed first on the job posting (e.g. education, relevant experience) so if you do not have those qualifications, your chances of being shortlisted are already slim. If you do have them, make sure this information is on the top half of the first page of your resume so that it is the first thing they see.
Do your research about the company and study the job posting in detail. Highlight your responsibilities and accomplishments that are most relevant to the role and and the company (hint: check out their mission statement, values, etc.). Avoid adding irrelevant information just to make it look like you have more on your resume. Sometimes the sheer volume of details hinders the recruiter from quickly seeing what they are looking for, and this works against you.
Make an Effort
It is very obvious to recruiters when a resume is generic and used to apply to several companies. No company – big or small – wants someone who will take “just any job.” They want someone who is hungry to work for THEM. Show some effort with your resume – ensure that it is pleasing to the eye and void of any errors or inconsistencies in grammar, spelling or formatting. Use an appropriate font style and size. Check out the