It’s like a tale as old as time. After applying for that dream job, you anxiously wait for that precious phone call or email confirming that they’ve chosen you for the job. Now, all that’s left is to show up for the interview, although it’s actually nothing more but a meet and greet with your soon-to-be colleagues! Your days of waiting then turn into weeks, but you don’t hear a peep. Summoning all courage, you make the dreaded phone call to inquire about your application status, only to find out that they rejected your resume at the preliminary stage. Disappointment washes over you like waves, and you wonder what went wrong. You placed all of your best into it, and yet, it still fell short.
Tricks of the Trade
How many times have you been turned down for a job? While almost all of us have experienced rejection at some point, it shouldn’t happen on a regular basis. When this pattern repeats itself time and again, your career might take the worst possible blow by saying hello to wide gaps of unemployment. Meanwhile, hunting for jobs while still employed can also be a problem, as such rejections might hinder one’s growth. What many applicants don’t realize is that by following a few simple, yet smart tactics, they can elevate their resumes to extraordinary shining beacons of information hiring managers are searching for! That is exactly what we are here to share with you right now so that your mundane, run-of-the-mill, snooze-inducing excuse of a resume will get a sparkling new face!
1. Emphasize on Accomplishments
Majority of applicants tend to focus on responsibilities, instead of their professional achievements, while writing resumes. Many might wonder why this is an issue. After all, it seems to be an important matter anyway. But what’s interesting is that most hiring managers are already aware of the duties associated with a particular position. What they want to know, instead, is what the applicant has attained in the past in their previous position, and what they can bring to the table. For instance, Karen Jones is applying for the post of a marketing manager and has to:
- Analyze, study and promote market trends to predict and implement new strategies to enhance brand image.
- Oversee a marketing team.
- Be responsible for the performance of the entire marketing team.
- Manage and determine marketing budget.
These are just some of the responsibilities pertaining to a marketing manager’s position. When an applicant puts these points in their resume, it’ll immediately put off a recruiter who already has their eyes peeled for someone more interesting and exciting with far more fascinating things to talk about. When they rejected Jones’ resume several times, in spite of having great credentials, she decided enough was enough. She revamped her resume, and this time, talked about her successes by using ideas from a professional resume writer:
- Predicted market trends correctly for 6 consecutive quarters by keenly analyzing reports, data, and relevant information.
- Developed and implemented various brilliant strategies and policies that enhanced brand image by 30%, and bolstered client roster by 22%.
- Motivated and trained marketing team for 4 quarters that boosted team morale and performance by 45%.
- Effective management and rebudgeting led to 65% cost cuts and efficient use of resources.
Following such changes, she applied for a couple of other posts and since then, her phone was blowing up. Her inbox was flooded with emails asking for an interview!
2. Customize Your Resume
It should be common sense, but surprisingly, most applicants tend to use the same resume for different positions. Possibly the greatest oversight here is using one resume to apply for all jobs, hoping to kill ten birds with one stone! Using the same resume for multiple jobs with different descriptions will lead to definite rejection. Additionally, your resume might not even pass the ATS, which is an applicant tracking system software used by most hiring companies these days. It helps sort through hundreds of applications they receive on a daily basis.
Altering one’s resume for each position will definitely add an edge to an application. However, when we say customize your resume, we don’t mean change everything in your resume. That’s not possible since you can’t change your educational background. Tweaking your resume summary, highlighting your relevant work experiences, certifications, and licenses, will do just fine.
As an example, if you’re applying for the position of a sales manager with job requirements such as:
- Hire and motivate sales team towards high performance.
- Excellent communication skills and customer service.
- Meet revenue forecasts.
Meeting all other criterion for the job, the best way to apply would be to highlight how your past experiences will fare for this new post. One way of gaining an edge among other applicants is to focus on your relevant experience in sales, as well as keeping a stellar track record of motivating team members. You also need to inspire a positive attitude in the workplace, have impressive customer handling skills, and attain revenue goals.
3. Say It with Numbers!
Like it isn’t nerve-wracking enough, you must back things up with data as well to prove your credibility! Just listing one’s achievements and relevant work experiences might give an impression that it may have been copied from an obscure source. On the other hand, using concrete data will seal the deal in the best possible way!
While it may be hard to quantify all achievements, using a semblance of facts and figures will do, too. In fact, there is a simple formula to do this, and it goes as such:
Achieved by (a) as calculated by (b) by doing (c)
We can further break it down by quantifying it in terms of a certain individual accomplishing a task as measured by a particular marker. For instance, instead of just writing “Karen Jones managed marketing budget in her previous post which reduced costs greatly” we suggest “Oversaw marketing budget for 4 quarters, consecutively reducing costs effectively by 65%.”
This style of writing presents not only the applicant’s achievements, but also highlights the exact percentage of its contribution. It also shows the amount of efficiency or profit it has generated for the firm. A few simple tweaks, using action words, and changing the phrasing style makes a huge difference on the overall resume feel. Thus, it appears even more informative, reflecting on the applicant’s abilities, and the values he or she will bring to the company.