On average, recruiters spend around 7 seconds reviewing each resume. Thus, your resume should make an irresistible first impression in seconds, otherwise, it gets tossed. However, to attract the attention of employers, listing your previous jobs and degrees is not enough.
To create a strong resume, leverage a data-driven approach and analytical thinking. You need to analyze your career history, identify your strengths, and clarify the employer’s requirements to tailor the resume accordingly. This article will explain how to use critical thinking and data to craft a competitive, interview-winning resume.
The simplest way to streamline your job search is to work with a resume expert. Choose a consultant who specializes in your industry and can share important insights, or even craft the document for you. For example, construction resume writers can be found at this professional construction resume writing service online. A dedicated expert will work one-on-one with you to craft a compelling resume that emphasizes the right skills, achievements, and experiences for your target role.
Data-driven strategies to craft a compelling resume
Consider resume and job search statistics
Before you start applying for jobs, review statistical data on the job search, resumes, and the application process. Here are some important insights you should consider:
- On average, the job search process lasts 3-6 months, and you should submit 10-20 resumes to get one interview;
- 75% of resumes are tossed by applicant tracking systems, and only one quarter of all incoming resumes are seen by a human hiring manager;
- 49% of hiring managers are convinced that sending a cover letter is a tactic that all job applicants should use;
- 59% of recruiters will turn down a resume because of poor grammar or spelling issues.
You can find more job search insights online to understand what matters most for employers. By reviewing the stats, you will familiarize yourself with major hiring trends, and expectations of your target employer, and set realistic expectations for your job search. Plus, you’ll be able to adjust your resume and cover letter to make them more appealing to employers.
Understand the employer’s expectations
To write a resume that catches the hiring manager’s attention, you need to understand the expectations of your target company precisely. Thus, you will be able to focus on the right skills and achievements in your resume, making it more targeted. Here’s how you can understand what the employer is looking for:
- Read the job posting carefully, highlighting skills, competencies, and personal attributes mentioned multiple times. Make sure your resume reflects those competencies.
- Review the company’s LinkedIn profile, social media sites, and corporate website to learn about its culture and values. Also, review the LinkedIn pages of their current employees to understand what they value in candidates.
- Check reviews of their current and past employees. It will provide you with some valuable insights, and you will understand if this employer is a good fit for you.
Use data and figures to quantify your impact
Resumes without figures look blank and uninteresting to recruiters. Today, businesses make decisions based on a variety of data. Numbers and percentages in your resume prove your competencies, helping the employer understand that you can bring value if hired. So, strengthen your bulleted statements with figures when possible.
Not sure what metrics to include? Saving or earning money for the company, saving time, training employees, improving the efficiency of software or processes, and bringing or retaining customers are good examples of accomplishments you can quantify. If you cannot give precise numbers, use percentages. Examples:
- Authored and implemented a training program for customer service representatives, resulting in 24% reduction in customer complaints and an improved customer experience
- Increased sales by 36% within 6 months after implementing a new marketing strategy, resulting in an additional $58,000 in profit.
Tailor your resume to each position
Most companies use ATS systems to streamline their hiring. These systems reject irrelevant resumes, thus saving time for recruiters. Even if you are qualified for the job but your resume doesn’t have relevant keywords, it might get tossed. So, you should always customize the resume for a target job posting.
Review the job posting carefully, focusing on the skills and competencies that the company is looking for. Pay special attention to requirements that appear multiple times. Include these keywords in your resume naturally as you describe your work history and achievements.
Ideally, you should use keywords in the top third of your resume, as they are more valuable here. Avoid stretching the truth – even if lying on a resume can secure you an interview, you’ll likely lose an opportunity once the truth uncovers.
Follow the best practices in resume writing
In addition to understanding the employer’s demands and adjusting your resume accordingly, follow the best practices in resume preparation. Make sure your resume meets the following criteria:
- Keep it to 1-2 pages. An ideal resume length for someone with 0-5 years of experience is one page. Experienced professionals may use a two-page resume. If your application is longer, it might turn off the hiring managers.
- Add a concise Summary of Qualifications. Although the Summary section isn’t a must, it gives you an opportunity to present a snapshot of your notable strengths and skills to an employer and capture their attention. Write 3-4 sentences, briefly summarizing why you are an excellent fit for the position, and prove your statements with figures.
- List your skills and competencies. Consider adding a dedicated Skills section in your resume. Your skills will work as keywords, moreover, a hiring manager will be able to grasp your competencies at a glance. Use no more than 20 skills in this section, focusing on job-specific over generic ones (such as time management or Microsoft Word).
- Go back no more than 15 years. To make your resume concise, remove jobs you had over 15 years ago. Employers are interested in your most recent positions, and care less about roles you had over a decade ago. Plus, it will help you fit within a two-page length limit.
- Edit and proofread before sending. As you’ve seen in the stats above, many recruiters are turned off by poor grammar and spelling. Proofread your resume and cover letter multiple times to make sure each sentence is complete and there are no writing issues that can get your application tossed. Use an online spell checker to check your documents faster.
Using an analytical approach to writing your resume can bring better results than simply listing your past jobs and projects. By understanding the expectations of the employer, you’ll be able to craft a customized resume that shows why you are the right candidate. And, if you need further guidance with personalizing your resume for a dream job posting, consider a resume writer for the best result. Good luck with your job search!