by Charlotte Gurney
Only around 25% of resumes ever make it through the algorithm to an HR professional. Therefore it is important to stand out.
You may be a good fit for the potential jobs to which you are applying, but you may not be successful with your resume. Having an effective resume will help you get the job and stand out from the competition.
How to write a competitive resume
Write an ATS-compatible resume. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will usually compare your resume against a job description in order to determine how well you meet the criteria for certain positions.
ATS is a software often used by hiring managers to streamline the screening process of candidates. According to Forbes, 90% of companies are using ATS software in their hiring process. The ATS will scan your resume for relevant information, especially keywords, and determine whether or not to advance your application to the next phase, therefore choose keywords relevant to the job you are applying for.
Don't put everything on there. Research shows the ideal word length to be 470-600. Resumes over 600 words are 43% less hirable. Think of your resume not as a long list of your career history, but as a marketing document selling you as the perfect person for the job. For each resume you send out, you’ll want to highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job. As a rule, you should only show the most recent 10-15 years of your career history and only include the experience relevant to the positions to which you are applying.
Structure and format. Simple formatting and headers such as 'experience' and 'skills' will help to ensure that your resume is processed correctly. Make sure your best experiences and accomplishments are visible on the top third of your resume. This top section is what the hiring manager is going to see first. So focus on putting your best, most relevant experiences first.
Use a basic but modern font, like Helvetica, Arial, or Century Gothic. Use a font size between 10 and 12. You can use a different font or typeface for your name, your resume headers, and the companies for which you’ve worked, but keep it simple and consistent. No matter what resume format you choose, your main focus here should be on readability for the hiring manager.
Contact information should be clear. You only need to include a phone number, email address (not a work one) and LinkedIn profile page or Twitter handle if you have one - keep those social media profiles suitable for prospective employers. Place contact details at the top of the page under your name.
Online resources to help you. There are plenty of online tools to help you write your resume. themuse provides advice and tricks to craft a winning resume.
ResyMatch is a free service and uses technology very similar to an ATS system that would represent the first step of your resume’s journey to the eyes of a hiring manager. From there, ResyMatch will generate a score based on how closely your resume matches up to the job description. You also get a breakdown of areas that you could improve your resume to better align with the job description.
JobSeer is a tool to help compare your resume in real time as you are going about your job search. JobSeer will conduct a scan of job listings and provide a customized search based on your individual metrics. JobSeer will provide you with a score based on how well your resume matches a certain job listing, including a breakdown of which skills you have listed on your resume are relevant for a certain job, and which skills are missing.