Over my 5 years of working in the recruiting environment, I have seen almost every type of resume imaginable; different lengths, colors, fonts, pictures, and so many other variations. Here are a couple of tips for Technical Professionals looking to catch the eye of a recruiter or HR team when applying for a new opportunity. This advice doesn’t pertain to other career fields since each market has their own way of showing their skills in a job application. Hope this helps with some of the questions you may have and lands you a great new gig!
Make it concise:
Keeping your resume short and to the point might be one of the hardest tasks for technical professionals applying for new opportunities. Most people want to show off EVERYTHING they have done in their previous endeavors but, with all of the technical products and process in this day in age, you might end up writing a new Harry Potter book instead of a resume. It’s been well documented, that on average, a recruiter or hiring manager spends around 6-10 seconds looking at a resume before making a pass/fail decision. That’s not a lot of time, especially if they’re spending the first 3-4 seconds scrolling down to the bottom of a 14 pages resume. Here are some tips I would suggest you follow to gain a competitive edge and make your resume more attractive for your audience:
- Keep it to 4 pages or less
- Write a short Personal Summary paragraph to show your knowledge and goals for your next role
- Have a technical skills section near the top to show products you have worked with
- Keep your professional years of experience to the past 10 years or again to 4 pages max
- Try not to include obvious job responsibilities
- One sentence per bullet point for responsibilities
- 5-10 bullet per previous job title
If you haven’t heard or don’t know what a “Buzzword” is it’s very simple, it’s a word or phrase, new or already existing, that becomes very popular for a period of time. When hiring managers, human resource teams, or recruiters, have a large amount of applications for an opening they begin screening by searching for “Buzzwords” on candidates resumes. Usually, the screener starts with simple keywords, words used in the job title or the key technology this person will be responsible for. If you apply for an SAP Business Analyst opportunity and don’t have SAP anywhere on your resume, you will most likely be disqualified in the first wave of screening. Here are a couple other tips for passing the “Buzzword” test:
- Include the field you were working in, manufacturing, medical, agriculture, etc.
- Include action words such as, managed, configured, tested, etc.
- Adjust your resume for the role you’re applying for, add keywords or technologies that you have worked with that are in the job description, it’s not cheating, it’s being strategic.
- Use both the abbreviated and full name of technology and processes you have experience with, for example, TM (transportation management), PM (project manager), WM (Waterfall Model)
Different roles = Different resumes
If you’re a very diverse professional and you have worn many hats over your career, or if you’re planning on applying to different types of jobs, it would be wise to create resumes based on those skill sets. This is also a great way to keep your resumes focused and aligned better with the company’s requirements, expand the tasks and accomplishments for the experience that applies to the opportunity and only include the job title, duration, and company for the previous roles that don’t pertain to the opening you’re applying to.
Does it match LinkedIn?
More often than not, when you’re in the final stages of the interview process, the current team or those who will be interviewing you will check your LinkedIn profile. Most people do this to see if you have any connections in common, but another reason is to see if your resume and LinkedIn match each other. It’s always a red flag when someone’s LinkedIn page has different information than the resume they submitted. Because LinkedIn is more visible to the public and previous managers and co-workers can see your profile, it’s harder to lie and exaggerate which is why it might be more credible. You don’t have to replicate the bullet points between your resume and LinkedIn profile, but make sure the main points of information are the same; companies you worked for, duration of employment, job title.
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