Studies show that employers reject nearly 90% of resumes they see. Having screened over 10,000 resumes, I would say that less than 1% truly stand out for a Recruiter to call for an interview. This is because not many people take the time to create a resume that represents their personal brand. Ultimately, your resume is prime real estate for you to advertise your personality, values, skills, accomplishments and results to get an interview. View the resume as a marketing opportunity to sell yourself and show off your most valuable assets. Here are some quick tips on how to fix your resume to get an interview.
1) Differentiate Yourself
With an unemployment rate of 7.2%, Canadian job seekers are facing a hostile job market that is particularly unwelcoming to youth and young professionals. Youth unemployment rate in Canada is double the national average and is the highest in the world. The average unemployment duration is 6 months. You could be very well qualified for a position, but the trends demonstrate how important it is to develop your resume into a tool for progressive career trajectory. How is this done? You must differentiate yourself. Express a compelling message and stand out amongst the crowd by using relevant keywords, showcasing your personal brand, and demonstrating uniqueness.
2) Use Relevant Keywords
When a potential employer receives your resume, its first stop will likely be an automated tracking system. This software will scan it and look for relevant keywords that pertain to the position. For example, some keywords applicable to a sales job would include quota achievement, account management, business development, client relationship management. If the system does not find any of the keywords it is searching for, your resume may be thrown out without even having been read by a recruiter. This happens to 50% of resumes. To combat this, research the hiring requirements for your targeted position to discover important phrases that you should be using in your resume. In addition, include strong action verbs. Some examples of positive keywords to describe your qualities or attributes are organized, competent, reliable, and analytical.
3) Express Your Personal Brand and Unique Value
Once your resume has passed this screening, the recruiter will look through it to find out what you’re all about – what unique value do you offer? This is your opportunity to express your personal brand. But, how can you do this through a piece of paper? The answer lies in using formatting, color scheme, and word choice to your advantage. Stop the cookie cutter resume and start differentiating yourself!