Job-hunting is a daunting task. Some employers require a headshot and some need an online application. Some simply don’t list any requirements. One thing that always stays the same is a resume. A good resume can get applicants through the door; a bad one can send them back on the hunt. A job seeker will only spend 49.7 seconds looking at a job posting if it is not a match for them. If a job posting peaks the candidate’s interest, they will spend an average 76.7 seconds analyzing the post. Here are five resume tips to help the job seeker get their foot in the door.
1. Be Specific
It’s not uncommon to have a plethora of activities and jobs to put on a resume. The real debate, however, is when is it too much? While being the captain of the office volleyball team is great, it is not necessary in a resume. Employers are not concerned with vague descriptions of your employment history. Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president of people operations, says:
“Most people would write a résumé like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’”
Vague is boring. Specifics are key and generate interest in recruiters.
2. Some Classes are Hard
Not all courses are equal. Employers look for courses that challenge a candidate. An “A” in History 101 versus a “B-” in Microeconomics is understandable. The harder classes are often more impressive than the easy A classes. Unless that degree is hot off the press, however, there is no real reason to include much about college education. One-to-two jobs take up the same amount of space and it is more effective than listing a class project or two.
3. Before the Dinosaurs
When does employment history become history? The average time Millennials spend at any particular job is 2.6 years. That is long enough to have a list of achievements and new skills. That makes for a long resume. Lizandra Vega recommends job seekers keep their resume to a 10-year limit. Even with the best job, 6-7 bulleted achievements is the maximum. This helps to keep the resume concise. It also allows the applicant to think of their most significant accomplishments. Recruiters receive 250 resumes per job posting, so a well-edited resume is crucial.
Nothing says volunteer or part-time work aren’t resume-worthy. Major volunteer roles or multiple part-time jobs at the same time are just as relevant as a full-time position. Volunteerism is always a good experience to include in a resume.
4. Is the Second Page Necessary?
Any resume writing class will say it should be absolutely no longer than one page. This is only mostly true. Don’t spend more space than is necessary to detail a career experience. On the same note, don’t fret if it goes over one page. Keep the font size to at least 10. There is no need to cram all of the information onto one page if it is truly relevant. Keep all redundant and unneeded material off of the resume. Recruiters will only look at a resume for 6 seconds. It is critical to stick with only the most significant experiences.
5. This is it…Submission
In today’s technology, many applications and resumes go through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). First and foremost, follow the instructions! Many organizations will dismiss a resume and application if a job seeker did not follow the directions. The ATS might even simply skip over a resume if it is not in the correct format.