As an applicant in the digital era, it’s never been harder to stand out. Recruitment has moved online, meaning hundreds of people (on average, 250 per post) can apply for the same one job on multiple websites. Overwhelmed with candidates, recruiters use software to screen resumes and narrow down their recruiting pool and glancing over the handful of CVs that make it past the first round.
Some of the time-honored rules of resume-writing still apply today, but to keep up with the pace of contemporary job search, you need to learn to move in the digital sphere.
Nowadays, AI resume screening is the norm rather than the exception. To progress, you have to know how to hack this process.
The main things to focus on in the early stages of this process are keyword optimization, tweaking your CV for relevance and getting the formatting right. If these things sound confusing and difficult, it’s worth looking at some of the best resume writing services out there. Using their own software to analyze your CV, companies like ZipJob can make sure you’re beating the bots and not selling yourself short in the process.
It’s also worth leveraging the opportunities presented by the new status quo. 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to fill positions. Think of this your very own digital CV just waiting for recruiters to uncover.
There is any number of other jobs platforms where you can create a profile and advertise a tailor-made resume for potential employers to find. It’s worth paying particular attention to any industry job sites that fall within your specific niche.
The old ways die hard
While it’s important to adapt your technique in line with new technologies, the truth is most of the eternal verities still apply. When your employer receives your resume (as a PDF or a Microsoft Word Document) and opens it up, they’ll still be hoping to see a well-formatted page of information that screams “hire me!”.
Beyond resume-writing basics – including your education, employment, contact details, hobbies, and a brief statement of intent – there are some hard and fast rules that still stand.
Keep it concise
The average recruiter spends 6 seconds looking at your resume. With this in mind, the ideal resume is a single page briefly covering your relevant experience. At most, your resume shouldn’t exceed two A4 pages.
Communicate a personal value proposition
Your personal statement comes underneath your contact details. This needs to tell your employers what you bring to the table that is unique. What’s your niche? Why should they hire you? What can you offer that nobody else can?
There’s a danger in cramming too much information in small illegible font. You don’t want to give recruiters eye ache. Make sure you leave plenty of space around the writing as well and think about your color scheme. Recruiters will mainly look at the top third of your page, so focus on this in particular.
Proof, proof, and proof again
You’ve written your resume, formatted it exquisitely and come up with the perfect statement of intent to head it up. You press send. You immediately notice a glaring typo at the top of the page. It’s an all-too-familiar situation, even in the age of spellcheck. When you’re making lots of small changes to your resume, it’s absolutely vital to look over the finished product before you send it off.
Challenges or opportunities?
The digital era brings new challenges, but it also offers new opportunities, not to mention new ways to help you get the basics right. If you can act on some of the advice in this post, you should end up getting the interviews you’ve been missing out on in no time.