Recruiters and employers can be swamped with hundreds of applications for a single job and are always seeking ways to weed out applicants as fast as possible. With this in mind, it is important to know how to make your resume stand out from the crowd and secure an initial interview.
Tailor your resume to the job
Research keywords within the job posting and company website that are applicable to your experience. By personalising your resume, you are demonstrating to the hiring manager that you understand the responsibilities of the position and have critically thought about how your skills align to the business.
If the employer is looking for “an experienced speech pathologist that is comfortable working online, enjoys working with children and uses evidence based assessments to manage clients” it would be recommended to detail your digital proficiency, willingness to work with a variety of demographics and a brief example of how you use assessment tools on a daily basis.
Important: Note whether the job description requires you to address the Key Selection Criteria in a separate document to your cover letter and resume.
Keep it concise
Highlight the skills that are relevant to the job and avoid rambling about everything you have achieved in your career. You can do this by adding a ‘Key Achievements’ section to your resume and dot points 3-4 professional achievements that are transferable to this application. Remember, include tangible examples to support your achievements and do not list your responsibilities.
“Increased annual sales revenue by 20% after negotiating a new customer retention strategy at [company name].”
It is also recommended to structure your resume to improve readability. If you choose to make your application more visually appealing, be sure to use the same font and a limited colour scheme. Example structure:
- Personal Summary (2 – 3 sentences about yourself and your career goals)
- Professional Experience (including company name, job position, employment timeframe, key responsibilities and achievements)
- Key Skills
- Education History
- Volunteer Experience
The hiring manager will likely know the basic duties of your previous roles based on your job title and cover letter. What future employers really want to know is how you specifically made a difference in your role and how your past achievements can translate to future results for the business.
Example statement: “Secured advertising valued at $52,000 for a national not-for-profit campaign by resourcing media talent. This resulted in a 10% increase in brand recognition over a 4-month period.”
Have your resume reviewed
Share your resume with a trusted friend or previous colleague to review. Often we can get bogged down in the detail of our applications and can overlook the importance of a particular task, grammatical errors or forget to include key examples.Remember that the employer may not know anything about you, so it is important to be clear and concise about your employment history and key achievements.
Include a cover letter
The majority of job applications will request that you include a cover letter with your resume. This is a great opportunity to elaborate on your professional achievements, career goals and key skills that you can bring to your new role. It is rare that hiring managers will review your resume if you included written a cover letter, so be sure to include this personalised document will all your applications.
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