Most companies receive thousands of resumes weekly. Sifting through them is a time-consuming task, so hiring directors need to be skilled at weeding out the “no ways” and flagging the “must calls.” Here are a few tips for making sure yours lands in the right pile.
1. Include a cover letter
Most companies simply do not look at resumes that are not accompanied by a well-written cover letter that explains why you are the right fit for the available position. If you are not willing to take the time to do that, you do not want it bad enough. Make sure that your letter is not too generic. I understand you have got to systemize your job hunt and are likely working from a standard letter that you customize as needed, but if your letter is so general that it hardly applies to a specific job posting, it is going in the trash bin.
2. Mirror the job description
If you have relevant experience, customizing your CV should be like taking a test with the answers right in front of you. You know what the industry is looking for. Show them that you have the desired skillset and do not be afraid to use the same keywords that you found in the job post.
3. Define your personal brand
Spend some time identifying what makes you different from other applicants. What are the three key words or phrases that sum up your marketability? Is it your work ethic? Your problem solving skills? Your creativity? Do not be afraid to ask others for input, including past managers and colleagues. Now reread your resume. Does every bullet point reconfirm your distinguishing factors?
4. Consider adding links
If you are submitting your application via e-mail, don’t be afraid to link to useful information such as your portfolio, Linkedin profile, or previous employer’s website. You will save the hiring manager a handful of very precious time.
5. Stick to one page
If you are in the early stages of your career, your work experience should fit on one page, links and all. Do what it takes to make that happen.