There is an art to writing a good resume that won’t slip through the cracks. You want yours to stand out to the hiring team, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with your numerous accolades! And how do you even start highlighting what a great fit you would be for the job?
Here is the deal. No matter which role you’re applying for (unless it’s so obscure that there are only a handful of candidates), your resume is probably only going to be reviewed for 10-30 seconds. And on top of that, the person screening your resume isn’t usually the person who is the expert in the role you’re hoping to fill.
Your job as the resume writer, is to make it easy to know if you’re a good fit.
Make your resume easy to scan for important information
This is a template that you can use to organize your information in an easy to scan format. Don’t limit the left column with solely technical skills. If you have people management experience, you can include it using language like:
-Up to 4 direct reports
-Team of 20 people
-Delivered performance evaluations
-Ran weekly one-on-ones
It’s absolutely okay to repeat information in multiple sections of your resume, because it increases the likelihood that the important information is actually seen by the resume screener. Any other management experience should also be included under the companies at which you worked as a manager.
Match the requirements with your skills
Most of the time the person screening your resume isn’t an expert in the position you’re hoping to fill. This means that, whenever possible, the words on your resume need to match the words on the job description.
It’s pretty common knowledge in the industry that if you are proficient in Typescript, you will very likely also be able to program using node.js. Sadly, this isn’t common knowledge to non-software developers.
There is a very large lack of understanding among non-technical people, with respect to transferable technical skills. This isn’t isolated to the software community. It’s a pervasive issue across multiple different industries!
Often, many of the required technical skills are screened by matching the job posting requirements word-for-word with your resume. So make sure that whenever possible, you use the same wording and language as the job description!
Quantify–and thereby qualify–your experiences with numbers as frequently as possible.
You managed a budget, fantastic! But what size of budget? A $100,000 budget is very different from $1,000,000 budget.
You led a team, awesome! What size of team? How many direct reports? For how long?
When you quantify your resume, you are not only adding context to your experience but you’re demonstrating that you are data-oriented and can report important information using numbers and key values.
Make your resume sound like you are a real person
You want your personality and quirks to shine through your resume. It makes you memorable to people who are screening. It also gives you an opportunity to connect with the hiring team.
One of the ways to accomplish this is to add your hobbies at the end of your resume. You might already be doing this, but you really have to do it strategically. You should be focusing on adding hobbies that reflect skills related to the job.
A great example is mentioning that you’re a marathon runner. That will mean so many great things to the person reading your resume. As a marathon runner, you can set personal goals in order to self-direct your training. You’re someone that will likely persevere, push through and hit your targets.
So should you go out and start training for marathons if you don’t already? Sure, go for it! But any hobbies that can be used to showcase that you’re a team player, you like to learn, and that you can set goals will really set your resume apart.
In summary, you really want to make sure that you make your resume is as easy to understand as possible, for the non-technical people reading it. Make sure to do this by also highlighting your skills and experiences in a way that really does match the language of the job requirements. Use numbers to quantify and qualify your experiences whenever possible. And please don’t forget to make yourself sound like a real person, because at the end of the day, that’s who you want on your team!
If you find these tips useful and want more insight into the next steps of the hiring process, stay tuned because the next article is going to be about interviewing; specifically about how to effectively handle phone interviews.