Resume Hacks to Guarantee a Call BackNovember 17, 2017
Anything can be hacked. Servers, life, and even resumes.
When it comes to resume hacks, the “key” is keywords.
As strange as it may sound, many recruiters use automated systems to sift through the hundreds of resumes they’re sent every day. These systems focus in on certain words the recruiter finds important — these are the keywords I spoke of.
With a little research, you can find out which words will stand out to your potential employer.
Look closely at their job ad and see what language they use to describe the position, and which skills are important to them. These are obvious keywords you can use as resume hacks.
For instance, if a recruiter’s ad states that they’re looking for an “SEO Professional,” you can — if applicable — use the exact words “SEO Professional” as one of your previous titles. Or, you can slip it into your previous job’s description (ex: “As the Head Marketer of Company, I worked as an SEO professional…”).
However, keywords are only half the battle.
Keywords will get you through automated systems, but it will still be up to you to “wow” the real person on the other side of the screen who ultimately ends up reading your resume.
In my experience, there are two types of people who need extra resume hacks to succeed: those with too much experience and those without enough. In this next section, I’ll outline what you can do if you fit into either of these types.
1. Resume Hacks for the “Overqualified”
Nothing is more frustrating than really needing a job, only to be told by the recruiter that you’re “overqualified” for the position.
If you’ve held an executive title, be careful about how you advertise your skills if you are no longer seeking a c-suite role and are looking for a senior level position. I’ve seen this all too often. Many times, people who have all the skills are ruled out because no one wants a former executive reporting to a senior manager.
Just because you have the paper, doesn’t mean you need to use all of it. You don’t need to write down every single qualification you have — you only need to write enough to get your point across and get the job.
We’re all proud of our accomplishments in life and our careers; however, they’re not always helpful when it comes to resume hacks.
If you’re continually turned down for being “overqualified,” reexamine your resume and trim it down. Edit out anything “extra” that isn’t necessarily relevant to the job you’re applying for.
While it’s impressive that you’ve won an award for Bio Engineering, you don’t want to mention that if you’re applying for a management position at Denny’s.
You can still come off as a consummate professional without having to resort to bragging. Be aware of your language and keep it on par with the position you’re hoping to receive.
2. Resume Hacks for the “Under-qualified”
Just because your resume is sparse doesn’t mean it can’t be hacked.
The best thing to do is to network in the proper channels with people who are in the business you would also like to be in. Allow people to get to know you, volunteer, or consult. These are ways to create a warm market of people to look to for referrals into your next position.
Keep in mind, your previous industry may be shrinking so also think about what other secondary skills you have that you can build on and then network for a career change.
Match the keywords in the position description to your resume. If the client is looking for a certain number of years for each skill, be sure to associate those skills under each position where you have exercised those skills and make sure the number of years experience and clearly stated.
Make sure to list all tools and resources used under each positions. The more keywords the better.
It’s best to stick to your most recent 10 years of experience. Skills older than this are considered not relevant unless the skills are currently used.
By focusing on relevant skills, rather than past jobs held, you can assert your usefulness to the hiring manager with relative ease.
When it comes to resume hacks, keep these bullet points in mind:
- Research the company you’re applying to beforehand
- Use relevant keywords in your resume
- Watch your use of language and try to match the “tone” of the job you’re applying for
- Edit out bragging, and stick to relevant jobs/skills
- Put extra focus on your relevant secondary skills if your resume is looking sparse
Put these hacks to use when writing up your next resume and I guarantee you’ll get a call back. After that, it’s up to you to nail the interview!