Who takes a first “look” at your resume after it is submitted online? You may think it is a recruiter or a manager, but the reality is that often the first “who” is software.
Resume submission tools have become more robust in the past several years. Systems can not only filter resumes by years of experience, GPAs, etc., but they can also filter by key words such as certifications, and skills. These systems are highly valued by busy recruiters and managers who may have to sift through hundreds of resumes for a single role. That means that even if you have a beautiful resume, if it’s not easily searchable or is missing explicitly listed qualifications, your resume may never be viewed by an actual person.
So what do you do to increase the odds of your resume being reviewed?
First, look carefully at the job description. If the minimum requirements are listed as being proficient in Excel or other software, make sure that the name of that software is included on your resume.
Second, think about the “searchability" of your resume. Use common, standard fonts and keep formatting elegant, but simple. In instances where you have to copy and paste the text of your resume, have a plain text format ready, to make it more easily searchable.
Next, look at the job description again. Are there key words that are being used repeatedly, or seem like they may be higher priority? Consider adding or updating bullets to include those key words. For example, if you see “social media” a several times in the job description, you likely will want to add your experience with social media on your resume.
Finally, consider having 2-5 baseline versions of your resume ready if you are looking for different types of opportunities. For example, if you are going to apply to both marketing analyst and marketing training roles, write one resume that highlights your marketing analyst experience and another version that highlights both your marketing and training experience. As an alternative, you can create a long base version of your resume, and then remove bullets based on what is least applicable to the role.
Make sure you can pass the software test by preparing your resume with recruiting software in mind.