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I was scrolling through one of my favorite career communities for women, Fairygodboss, when a post popped up that stopped me in my tracks. It was written directly by a hiring manager. She must have had a long (and frustrating) day of looking through resumes for an open position and decided to put out a PSA. Her helpful post had five resume tips for job seekers.
I see these types of posts all the time, but this one stood out because of how easy her tips are to implement. In fact, I was surprised that people weren’t already doing these things. So, in an attempt to get you ahead of the curve when it comes to submitting resumes to open positions, I decided to share her resume tips.
The hiring manager started by mentioning she had received 35 applications for a new role within 24 hours. As someone looking to make a career change that may frustrate you to know so many people applied that quickly. If most positions are seeing that kind of application rate, you’ll never get into a new job, right?
Wrong! Apparently, most people don’t pay much attention to what they’re submitting.
That’s good news for you because I know you care deeply about making a great first impression. I’m confident that if you implement these your resume will shine.
5 easy resume tips you can implement today
Resume tip #1: Use the correct format to upload your resume
Most companies want you to upload your resume in a pdf format. However, so many people still send in Word documents. It’s easy for formatting to change when the content on a page isn’t “locked” which is why a pdf is better. Simply saving a Word or GoogleDoc as a pdf will make a big difference. You can also rest assured that your resume isn’t telling a different story about you because the format compromised the content you worked so hard to add. All of that being said, if a company specifically asks for a different format, follow their instructions.
Resume tip #2: A good resume objective/summary is important
People get tripped up when it comes to adding that header summary or objective to their resume. I’ve heard many say it’s a waste of space, and it certainly can be. Or, you can use it to your advantage and paint a clear picture of what you’re really looking for as you change careers.
The hiring manager in the Fairygodboss post gave one piece of advice.
“Saying you are looking for a career in an industry that’s not mine will get yours tossed to the reject pile.”
I look at that and think it’s common sense, but this proves a very important point. Job seekers often use the same version of their resume for every position they apply to. You have an opportunity to WOW a hiring manager by creating a concise objective or summary tailored to that company. This is done exceptionally well in our Get the Job! Shop resume templates.
Resume tip #3: Give good reasons why you’re applying
I hear a lot of women say they don’t have enough experience within a certain area to apply for a specific job. So, they don’t apply. This keeps a lot of them from changing careers to a role that’s a better fit because of fears and imposter syndrome.
It’s 100% possible to pivot in your career. But to get into a new industry or completely different role you’re going to have to sell yourself on your resume. The hiring manager who gave this tip said she will pass you over if you don’t give a “compelling reason as to why you are applying.” So, if you want to change directions, explain why.
Resume tip #4: Know what you’re applying for
Once again, this is a no-brainer, right? You and I read the job description before submitting our resume, but too many people don’t. This puts you ahead of the game. Your resume, in one way or another, should complement the job description. Use a tool like jobscan.co to compare your resume with the job description.
I recommend taking it one step further and adding a very tailored cover letter. Get rid of the boring templates you’ve used since graduating from college, and be open, honest, and creative in your approach. Then, email that letter directly to the hiring manager and see what happens!
Resume tip #5: Offer an explanation about employment gaps
There is a multitude of reasons you may have an extended unemployment gap on your resume. Taking time off to raise kids, getting laid off, or taking time away from work for medical leave are all acceptable reasons to not have had a job. There’s no need to hide it. All you have to do is explain that on your resume. Give an explanation so hiring managers and recruiters understand why there is an employment gap.
One of my connections on LinkedIn added this to her resume after her year-long maternity leave. I think it’s genius. Even a recruiter popped in the comments and said how much she loved the addition (and honesty).
If you’re on the hunt and ready for a career change take these five resume tips and get to work. It will take you less than 30 minutes to make updates, upload your resume to jobscan.co, and gain the confidence you need to get into the career of your dreams. Good luck!Need help getting started with your resume? Grab a quality template, specific to your position, at Get the Job! Shop.