You Don’t Need a Resume Writer, Just This Guide
Finding the right fresh grad job or internship takes some heavy lifting, and you want to make your efforts pay off. To do that, you need to have the right tools — and one of the best tools you can have is a great resume. Once, a resume was a nice addition to a job application, and wasn’t always mandatory. In today's business environment however, having a great resume can make the difference between getting called to an interview and being ignored by employers. It’s vital to have a clear understanding of what recruiters are looking for and the tools they use to analyze the piles of resumes that they receive. If you’re looking for a deeper understanding of what sort of structure, keywords, and marketable skills will land you that interview, keep reading.
Tailor your resume to the job with keywords
This is the most crucial thing to do when trying to get noticed. Recruiters see thousands of generic resumes and can spot them from a mile away. Rather than making you stand out, a cookie cutter resume is more likely to get your application instantly dismissed. Another thing you need to realize is that most recruiters nowadays use software to sift through the resumes they receive and that software grades you by how many relevant keyword and phrase matches there are. If you want the employer to even see your application, here’s what you need to do:
Find similar job postings online and dump the job descriptions into a key word analyzer or word cloud creator. Once you’ve done that, identify the key words and phrases that are most commonly used in the job descriptions. Now build those phrases and terms directly into your resume. If there are any skills that are listed as requirements that you don’t have, try hitting online sites such as Udemy or even just YouTube tutorials. This way you’re able to at least say you’ve had training or exposure to skills such as Excel or HTML.
Put things into a new perspective
Even if you don’t quite have the professional work experience for the position you want to apply to, you definitely should turn your volunteer or extracurricular activities into something relevant and interesting to your potential employer. Of course, you should never outright lie on your resume or during an interview, but you can most definitely highlight certain experiences and skills with a new perspective. Also, putting “exposure to” or “experience with” gives you the ability to write down any skills that you’ve learned on your own. Just make sure you know enough to defend it during your interview. First-time job seekers also have a tendency to be too modest about their skills and achievements. While you don’t want to sound arrogant or boastful, you do want to make sure that you let potential employers know that you’re the best candidate for the job.
Amy Liu is a Digital Marketing Associate at FirstJob and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley. In her free time, she loves exploring San Francisco and trying out tasty new restaurants.