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Resume tips from a HR professional

Often, job seekers forget to realize that when they submit an application for an opening at XYZ, their application is one of many, and only those that address the position requirements have a better chance of getting a phone call.

Simply sending your resume will not guarantee you an interview and overlooking little things like spelling mistakes just won cut it. Recruiters  have little time to carefully dig through each individual resume to see if a candidate has the ‘special something’ the employer is looking for.  Here are simple steps to take before sending your application to improve your chances of getting a call.

You may say, but  I am perfect for the role because I have similar experiences, and fair enogh if you do, but what if there is someone else who has the same experiences as you, how will you differentiate yourself from him/her. Take a HR Assistant positin for example.

Micheal and Julie both have 2 years HR admin experience, both completed a HR degree and both are available to start immedidetaly, bur Julie took excel courses on Udemy or Skillshare so she is able to create dashboards that will make the HR manager’s life so much easier because Julie can quicky build him or her an employee dashbard with start dates, salary, birthdays etc. She is also great at creating flyers and brochures on Adobe or Canva. Who do you think wll get a call to come in for an interview?.  A recruiter will see Julie as not just perfect for the role but someone with many talents that can move around different parts of the organiation if say 5 years later she decides on a different career path ie Graphc Designer, data analysts etc.

On the other hand, David is good but just not Julie level good and his resume will go into the maybe file, and I don’t know about you but if I am looking for a job, I certainly don’t want to be in the ‘maybe’ file.  Recruierters often spend about 15 secnds on each application/resume and you want to give them something to pause and have a think about and highlighting the differences between you and David is a great way to differentiate yourself from him and the rest of the candidates.

You also need to remember,  your resume needs to to be results-oriented and concise, and quickly summarize your qualifications for the target position.   Go straight to the point, and you do that by reading the prosiiton requirements and addressing it in your resume/cover letter. You would be surpised how many people don’t bother to read the position description, send in a generic resume/cover letter sometimes with the wrong company name because they did not bother to read through before sending it in.

Correctly addressing the recrtuiter is also a great way to stand out. But the job ad does not have the recruiters name, you say? Guess what, often a simple search on the company website under our people, or even going through the company’s linkedin page will give you a name and title. They will see this as you having done your research and preparation so start googling and while you are there learn as much as you can about the company, what they do, why, and how and include that in your cover letter.

Finally, it may come down to the little things so pay close attention to :

  • Spelling errors
  • Poor grammar / Failure to use proper language
  • Missing or inaccurate contact details
  • confusing dates of employment
  • Poor or distracting formatting

Proofread your application, or get a friend, family memenr to double check if you like, and finally, please don’t attach your picture to the resume, there just isn’t  a need for this and I cringe everytime I see someone has done this.

I would love to hear your thoughts so if you agree/disagree with this post, please leave a comment below.

Thank You and good luck.