I’m a big believer in tailoring your resume for the job opportunity you want. As you look at a job description, you see the skill and technologies requirements for the job. Why would you not add some of those keywords if you have that experience in your background?
A lot of large companies use Ctrl + F to do a keyword search and move onto the next application if nothing is found. This is often the first action when they receive a resume, which means if you're missing an important key word or phrase a recruiter or HR person may never even read it. Most agency recruiters use the same search tactics from applications from job sites such as Linkedin, Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, etc. This has become a common practice because the HR department and recruiters aren't experts in every field and may not understand all the jargon that accompanies an application for a technical position. They receive a lot of applications for each available position and they are trying to narrow down the numbers to pass onto the managers.
How to Make Your Resume Stand Out
To start, look at the job description and pull 3-5 skills or technologies that you have experience with, these should be things you think are most important in this job. Most of the time if they are listed a few times throughout the job description they are important. Then, go through your resume and highlight these skills and technologies. I’m not saying lie, but make sure to emphasize the experiences if you have them. Talk about projects you’ve led, technologies that you’ve worked with, technologies that you’ve implemented and how your background relates to this job while being concise. Ditch the objective and write a summary instead. Don’t forget to highlight these skills with bullet points beneath your job title and work experience.
Be Ready to Talk About the Things On Your Resume
If you put an experience or skill on your resume, be ready to talk about it. I once had a great candidate for a high-level engineering role. He had a skill on his resume from 5 years prior that wasn’t very important, but it was something that easily stood out. The hiring manager asked a question about this skill and the candidate was too caught off guard to formulate an answer. Since he couldn't talk about the skills on his resume, he didn't get the job.
I’ve worked in the staffing industry for over six years now and have held positions ranging from technical roles to admin positions. The thing that stands out the most when working with different companies across different fields is a great resume. It has the power to get you an interview. Your resume is your first impression, and your one shot to get through the door and get an interview, so make sure to put your best foot forward.
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