Let’s re-write your resume 📃
If you do a google search on “How to write a resume” this is how many results you’ll be getting.
I’ve already written an article about the same subject and most of these articles are saying the same thing.
If you are reading this article, the chances of you having a great resume are very high. You must have googled for a good template, maybe photoshop or illustrator paid for it or re-created it from scratch because you didn’t want to spend 40$-50$ on 1 or 2 pages or even you might have several templates based on the role you are applying for.
But how is it working for you now? are you getting enough callbacks as you expect?
Now we are coming to the post-Covid-19 era and having a good and working resume is really important.
Why? Most of the companies laid-off thousands of employees over the last 3–4 months. Now the situation is settling down and the businesses start to grow back, these companies will be hiring new talents and they will try to find the best talent because now the talent pool is bigger than ever. When they start fishing, how are you going to get closer to them with the resume you have? How are you going to get through, out of thousands of potential candidates?
I’ve done many career-guidance workshops, trained many people, and contributed to articles about how to write resumes. In all of them, I have explicitly said that always make your resume outstanding and appealing to the eye. Why? because of this:
“According to a study released this week by TheLadders, an online job-matching service, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. The standard thought was that recruiters spent at least several minutes on each CV.”
- (How to Make Your Resume Last Longer Than 6 Seconds) business.time.com
How to Make Your Resume Last Longer Than 6 Seconds? By making it interesting so the recruiter will keep on reading that. Well, this is accurate. I’ve done many interviews over the years and I tend to look at resumes more if they are interesting.
If that’s the case, why don’t you get enough callbacks from your fancy, colorful, cool resume with your photo in it? Well, something I didn’t mention earlier was that study was done in 2012. Yeah! 8 years ago. So many things have changed since then and until recently when you send a resume for a job, the first one to interact with your resume was a human. That’s why it was important to make it appealing to the eye. But since 3–4 years back, things started to change. How?
ATS (Application Tracking Systems) came into play!
What is an Application Tracking System?
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are human resources software that acts as a database for job applicants. ATS are used by companies of all sizes to organize, search, and communicate with large groups of applicants. 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS as part of their recruiting strategy.
With the high number of applications received and not being able to hire the perfect talent for the role, companies have been moving to use ATSs as an essential part of their hiring process. From fortune 500 companies to the smallest start-up company, everyone uses an ATS and there are many affordable services available to do this. To list a few,
But how does it work and how do I know how it works?
Well, there are different algorithms on how it works and it depends on the services they are providing. I got to know about this matter, because a few months back, I contributed to a project to develop a recruitment portal with an inbuilt ATS. To give an idea, this is a basic ATS work.
When an employer posts a job opening, they are listing minimum requirements for the specific job role. As an example, let’s look into the following:
Role: Senior Software Engineer
- 5 or more years of experience in Software Engineering or a related field
- Expert knowledge in Python 3 and React JS
- Bachelor’s Degree from the following disciplines — ICT, Computer Science.
Now let’s translate that into a simple code
Let’s assume that this is how the ATS filters out all the applications. Before filtering, the system will scan your uploaded resume for keywords such as experience, education, skills, etc and it will index your profile. If this is the case, even you have a Masters's degree or you are the world-leading expert in Java and Angular, you will not be selected for this role. Why? you don’t have the requested qualifications
So what we can learn from the above example?
1. Move back to Microsoft Word or any word processing software
This is very important. Even though you have the best-looking resume in the world, if an ATS can’t scan for keywords in your resume, there’s no point in having that resume. Most of the time, you will create an image and then export it as a pdf, how do I know this? because I did the same. It’s good if a person is looking at it first, but now the machines have taken over.
When you are using any word processing tools, make sure to use paragraph types. That’s one way how ATSs are filtering the category from the rest of the content. If you think the heading styles are ugly, you can always easily change the text layout later. Also, don’t forget the power of MS word. You can do really nice graphic work and create a good-looking CV, but just use the word-art correctly 😉
2. Page Limit: 2 pages
You should be able to say everything you have to say in a maximum of 2 pages. Summarize all the content. Allow more space for your Professional Experiences (if you are an experienced candidate) and list down your responsibilities. Because once the resume has been shortlisted, when the hiring manager looks at it, it should show who you are and what you did. When you focus on getting through the ATS, you should never forget how to impress the person, because that’s the 2nd step.
3. Do You still have more to say/show? What to do??
Create a website, write a blog, update your LinkedIn, and add that to your resume. Because once the ATS process is done and the hiring team is looking at your resume, they will click all the links provided. That brings us to another point, make sure that all your links are clickable. No one is going to copy-paste the URL on a browser to get to know about you.
4. Categorize your resume
Follow a simple format and categorize them nicely. This goes with point 1, and make sure that you add necessary text layouts for these categories. I’m using the following format and you are more than welcome to follow. But again, a resume should be your own identity and you should know what to add.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE, TECHNICAL EXPERTISE, VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE, AWARDS & HONOURS, EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS
Do I need to add references? It’s up to you. If you have an updated LinkedIn profile with peer recommendations, that’s more than enough I think.
5. Don’t create another “Multi-tool”
Because it doesn’t work! If you think that using one resume to apply for 10–15 or even 100 jobs is going to work, bad news my friend, it doesn’t. Because different job roles have different requirements. So when the filtering process happens, it will only look for the specific qualification. As simple as the above example, it should give an idea of why a multi-tool won’t work.
So have one template, and change the sections/content based on the job role for which you are applying.
6. Always keep it up-to-date
This is pretty self-explanatory. It’s always easy to update what’s new than something that happened over a year ago.
There you have it! These are a few recommendations I can give to up your game. There are paid service which does this job for you. They have dedicated teams to analyze your expertise and draft a resume for you and test them along with ATSs and optimize your resume. But surprise surprise, it comes with a price. It usually starts with 150$ for 1 resume. You will have to take that template and update it for the job you are applying to.
These formats and templates might be good for a few more years. Because now most of the ATSs are implementing NLP capabilities so they can give better results. Based on the way the model is trained, we might have to handle the way of resume writing as well.
But I hope this can help at least a few of you who are trying to find a better job after this horrible time and because the quality of the resumes is up, recruiters will be able to find better talent for their companies.
Feel free to add your comments, and experiences, so someone can learn from them and share this article.
Read more: http://www.narathota.com/#blog