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What does your resume say about you?

Resume writing has changed quite a bit over the past decade. The innovation of artificial intelligence (AI) in human resources (HR) has changed the game and the field upon which it is played. Gone are the days where you walk a resume in to a business and it is considered alongside the pile of paper resumes that the hiring managers are reviewing. The opportunity to send a creatively formatted, brightly colored resume to catch the eye of a recruiter, is passed.

So, what do we do with our resume now? Now you have to think of your resume from two perspectives. First, and most importantly, consider if you will be able to get through the applicant tracking system (ATS). ATSs are the AI applied to resumes to filter out poorly fit applicants and filter in the applicants who fit best. There are several programs and strategies to do get past this AI gatekeeper, including the following:

  • Use keywords from the job posting and address all required skills from the job description. Don't cut and paste, but mirror the way that the language is used.

  • Keep formatting simple. Oftentimes, columns and creative formatting are not parsed correctly by ATSs and your resume will get lost.

  • Don't include your picture. If you applying for a position in the government, they will ask you not to include one, but as a standard, pictures can bias the person receiving your application based on your appearance, rather than your qualifications. You want them focused on picking the best applicant.

  • Consider using a resume writer, business consultant who specializes in HR, or a computerized application to help you tailor your resume to the job you want.

After you make it through the ATS, you will need to also make sure you catch the attention of the human who will review your resume. Here are a few tips to catch their eye:

  • The first third of your top page should include a powerful summary paragraph. Include key phrases and leave out information that is redundant. This describes you and how you are a great fit for the job.

  • Highlight key skills after your summary so that the hiring manager doesn't have to read the entire resume to find them.

  • Put your best foot forward. If you are leaning on your education to get you the job, that should be your first section. Have tons of experience, but not a lot of formal education? Put your professional experience after your key skills.

  • More is not always better. Include your previous 10 years of work history with no more than 3-5 bullets per employer stating what you accomplished (tangible, quantifiable results wherever possible). Be succinct in your wording and descriptions. You don't have to fill every corner of the page and brevity makes it easier to read.

I hope this helps you get ready for your next position or update your resume. For more specific feedback, contact us to review your resume and suggest edits. We have rates that are scaled for reading documents and can help you get your next position much faster than the average applicant.

Be well!

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