Tips for Getting Human Resources to Notice Your Resume
The rules for resume writing have changed dramatically over the past few years. Generations ago, anything more than a single page was considered unprofessional. Bullet points focusing on previous job descriptions and requirements were the main indicators of a strong applicant. Brief summaries were king. However, with the advent of a more digitized workspace and a contemporary workforce, what professionals once considered a quality resume may now be viewed as old fashioned and out of touch; not something you want to seem when applying to an executive position. This list of tips will help you learn how to get noticed by a modern HR executive recruiter.
Do Not Forget the Obvious
Before we get into the major differences, some things have remained the same. Contact information such as your full name, email address, and telephone number are absolute musts. This seems obvious, but can sometimes be overlooked, especially in stress-induced or late-night job searches. Also, keeping your resume clean and simple denotes professionalism. Flowery borders and fancy letterheads are not appropriate in most cases, especially for executive positions. Efficient, clean, and easy-to-read is the way to go. Some computer programs and websites offer resume builders. If you elect to use one of these, it is imperative you stick with something simple, as too much flash might take up more space on the page than it’s worth, or seem unprofessional in a recruiter’s eyes. Remember, recruiters are still human beings, and they may not all see the same resume in the same way.
Include Your Online Presence
One of the biggest changes in resume writing is the need for an online presence. Having a LinkedIn profile will showcase your connections worldwide, your education, experience, and any other qualifications. It’s basically your resume online, though allows you to go into far more detail. A professional Facebook and Twitter are also extremely beneficial, though not required by most recruiters. Other social media accounts such as SnapChat, InstaGram, and TikTok are not necessary, however if they relate to your business and paint you in a positive and professional light, you can include them. However, if you have any posts or videos that may be deemed unprofessional or inappropriate for the workplace, it would be wise to hide them from the public or delete them entirely.
Keep Qualifications on Top, Education on Bottom
Any degrees and other qualifications you may have, such as MBA or FACHE, can be placed above your contact information, but under your name. This allows the recruiter to quickly differentiate you from the other applicants easily and efficiently. Your full education information should be kept at the bottom of your resume, as you have most likely climbed the corporate ladder since then and have more relevant work experience. This still holds true if you are fresh out of business school. Internships count as work experience and should be placed before education.
Describe Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities
Where most applicants fall short is the old-fashioned belief that resumes should detail previous job requirements and responsibilities. This no longer holds true. Modern executive recruiters prefer to see actual accomplishments as opposed to short summaries of job descriptions. For example, writing ‘Oversee shipping and receiving department’ is not something that will get you hired. However, ‘Successfully managed team of 20+ laborers and received Award for Excellence in Productivity’ is something recruiters are looking for. Honest statistics stand out far more than brief, vague summaries, as quantifiable numbers paint a more easily understandable picture of what you have done in your career.
Know the Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills
Hard skills and soft skills can sometimes be difficult to differentiate. Soft skills are psychological traits that make you more personable, easier to work with, and often describe your character and personality in relation to the job at hand. These are generally universal and anyone can have them. They can be hard to define and difficult to quantify, such as creativity, honesty, and overall work ethic. It is important to include these in a resume so recruiters can get a good picture of your personality and match you to an appropriate position. Hard skills are pieces of utilitarian expertise you have acquired over the course of your career. Understanding coding language, specific computer programs, or something as simple as being a sales expert are all considered hard skills. These are invaluable and can set you ahead of everyone else, as other applicants may not have these.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Only include the last fifteen years on your resume, as anything further back than that has lost importance. Earlier experiences that you are especially proud of, such as working with charities or grassroots organizations are fine to keep around, simply remove the dates. With everything in total, this should bring the length of your resume to about two pages, making it quick and simple for a recruiter to read. If yours is still longer than this, delete less relevant information. For example, if you are applying to an executive position at a medical supplies company, perhaps leave out the year you worked construction in college to pay for your schooling. Lastly, remember, advertise your most recent work experience, as it shows what you’ve been doing lately, and is the most significant.