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The Resume Hacks Your Resume Needs Before Your Job Search

Here are some ways to get your resume in front of a human.

When applying for jobs, you want the odds to be in your favor. The rise of resume-screening services has made this even more challenging but we humans are always good at adapting. To land that dream job faster, here are some resume hacks that you should try!

1. Avoid Fancy Formatting

HR employees are very busy people. They go through hundreds of applications each day; they certainly don’t have the time to decipher your skills from an overly designed resume. Keep it simple by using basic font like Times New Roman, Calibri, etc. Avoid colors, tables, and other artifacts. Be direct to the point about your skills and accomplishments, and keep formatting consistent.

2. Trick the Bots

Because looking through resumes can be a tedious job, human resources have turned to technology to make the process easier. There’s at tool called Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) and the wrong word in your resume can make all the difference in you getting that interview or not.

However, you can take advantage of this by using the right keywords that get you pre-qualified. Here’s how to do it: Go back to the job post again and look for keywords pertaining to the skills they require. You don’t want to copy it word for word though. Instead, sprinkle it throughout your resume. Be realistic and don’t lie about a skill for the sake of adding the keyword. Doing this prevents bots from weeding you out and will most likely land you that interview.

3. Fill the Gaps

So you realize there are some gaps in your resume that might get you eliminated from the jobs you want. If time allows, go ahead and get those skills by taking a class or a certification. This can be very helpful especially if you notice a common theme in the company positions you want to apply for. 

4. Keep It Simple

When you’re trying to please a machine, it’s easy to get wordy in your resume. You don’t want to make this mistake. Once you’ve passed the bots, a human will be reading your resume so you want to make sure it’s not cluttered. Get down to your most important skills and avoid being too wordy. You can have a friend look through your resume and give you an objective view. You may need to cut out a lot but this will work your benefit.

There are resume services that can help you optimize your application so you have a higher chance of getting accepted. These people are very knowledgeable about resume-screening bots and HR practices, and they can fix your resume so that it passes both tests.

5. Add in Experience that Matters

Sure, you made a killing selling magazines in high school but will that matter at the job you’re applying for? It can be tempting to add every work experience you’ve had but this will only make your resume look lengthy. Besides, it’s prehistoric data that’s probably not relevant to the company you’re applying for.

Review the job post again and only add in work experience that the employer will care about. If you really want to list that work experience you had 20 years ago, do so but in a concise way.

6. Customize, Customize, Customize

Most of the tips here require that you to tailor your job resume. That’s exactly what you should be doing! Yes, it takes more time but it also increases your chances. Would you rather send out 50 applications in a day and get only a few lackluster responses or send 10 quality applications that will have hiring managers clamoring for an interview? No one appreciates a canned resume so tailor as much as you can!

Which of these resume hacks are already in your existing resume? Which ones did you find helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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