The raging pandemic has heightened the industrial competition in ways that our generation didn’t experience before. With the shrinking economy, organisations across the world have cumulatively laid off millions of workers. It has made it immensely hard for anyone to land a good job.
For our fast-paced generation, staying more than a year at an entry-level job seems like an eternity, and jumping companies has become the norm. On the other hand, employers are also trying to fish out the best talent available. To find the best candidate for a vacant spot, interviewers are looking for much more than just “I’m a team player” on your resume.
Interviewers today are looking for a well-constructed resume that would tell them quickly whether a candidate is an excellent choice for their company or not. Companies are looking for employees who can help them grow and maintain their quality standards by handling problems with the proper tools and skills. Here are some excellent stats on how your resume affects your job chances:
A simple resume isn’t enough to impress the hiring managers because of the thousands of applications they have to go through every day.
Need some resume tips? Let’s help you build a strong resume for interviews. Here is a list of 8 things that the interviewers usually look for on a resume:
1. Woo Them From The Very Start
Catch the employer off guard by starting your resume with something they don’t expect.
For example, begin with how they will profit from having you as an employee. Or give a short description of your stellar achievements at your current or last company. And how your company recognised you for the same.
As the competition is exceptionally high, capturing your hiring manager’s attention is an excellent strategy to stand out from the beginning.
Bland and generic summation of your talents like being a team player or hard worker makes hiring managers lose interest quickly. Here's a good tip by Kajal Bansal on how to start your resume by mentioning the value you can add to the company (instead of your objective):
A CareerBuilder survey in 2014 showed that hiring managers generally spend thirty seconds or less reviewing a resume. It is, therefore, essential that your resume sets you apart from the get-go.
2. Don’t just list things
Highlighting your skills and talents is essential for the employer to identify you as a good candidate for the job.
But don’t list all the similar things that everyone else is also going to write about.
Instead, write the unique things that define you the best and give HR a better understanding of how good you are. Be detailed on your resume.
Tell them precisely what you know and how you have used your skills to solve the problems of your current or past company. Here is a good tweet by Shay highlighting this point:
Understand the role and tailor your resume to highlight your skills that match the requirements.
Employers should not only know about you but also believe strongly that you are the best for the job offer.
Use the proper keywords and terms to explain you are ready to take up the expected responsibilities.
3. Don’t exaggerate things
It is often common for hiring managers to come across embellishments on a resume. Exaggerating on your resume to make you look like a better candidate will not help you in the long run.
Companies hate it when they find out that a new employee had lied about their skillset or given incorrect information regarding their qualifications just to land the job. Here's a good quote to motivate you to not underestimate yourself and try to exaggerate things in your resume.
Hiring managers are always on the lookout to identify falsified information on a resume.
The whole process of finding out a new candidate is often hectic, and hiring managers act as the initial screening process for the companies. If you exaggerate things, you are more likely than not to get caught at some point and damage your career irreparably for the future.
4. Showcase Your Progress
Tell the employees about your journey and how you have gained so much experience in the process, making you their best bet for the newly opened position in their company.
If your resume documents your current trajectory and experiences, the hiring managers can quickly understand why you want to make the switch. Tracing out your journey will raise you in their estimation.
Employers are looking for resumes that tell how the candidate can tackle everyday problems using their experiences and existing skill set. Don’t just let them know that you’re a team player, instead tell them how you used a previously developed skill to handle a sticky situation at work. Here is another excellent tip from career coach, Kajal Bansal on how to frame your work experience section:
Highlight your responsibilities and associated keywords that tell them you are up to the mark and can be relied upon for their operations.
5. Differentiate each role
Most job seekers usually put all their efforts into one resume that they send along with every application. It is a common mistake that can be avoided to improve the chances of your resume clearing the cut-off.
Every job role is different. Each organisation has a different set of values, characteristics, or nature of operations, goals, etc.
Companies describe their requirements and job role in a very detailed manner when they put out the vacancy. Tailor your resume to suit the company’s needs and specifications by using specific keywords.
You must understand that no two similar job roles and their descriptions are the same. When you apply for them, you must fine-tune your resume to match up with the expected criteria. It makes your application more fit for your desired job and boosts your chances tremendously.
Here's a great tip from Emily Durham, a senior recruiter at Intuit about how having different resumes targetted for each role helps you to get noticed and shortlisted for interviews:
6. Get Your Best Projects Highlighted
Gaining attention from your recruiters is tough. But if you can properly highlight your experience and the projects you have worked on previously, then you just may have that edge over the other applicants.
List all the projects, including solo projects, as well as the team projects that you have worked on and clearly state your inputs in the projects, so they know you have the know-how that they’re looking for. Not only do your projects & skills help for getting an interview, but also during resume interview round to showcase your quality.
This doesn't mean you fill up your resume with random projects just as a filler. Many candidates simply put unrelated projects just to fill up empty space which later haunts them.
Each project & skill that you mention will decide your fate. So plan your projects beforehand if you have to do so. And most importantly, showcase them effectively and precisely.
7. Showcase freelance gigs
It is not uncommon for employees to have side hustles besides maintaining a full-time job. Freelance opportunities are on the rise, with the number of projects and industry demands skyrocketing upwards.
Highlighting the freelance gigs you have successfully completed is a great way to show the hiring managers that you can take responsibilities and execute them without the supervision of managers. It solidly places you as an independent player.
The fact that you managed to solve the problems on your own would explain how you maintain excellent communication skills and understand the requirements and deliver projects. It might not necessarily be freelance projects. It can also be hobby projects that you did on your own. Here is a good tweet on adding your profile links in your resume:
8. Be up to date
Hiring managers always try to find the most updated resume from the hundreds of applications they receive.
Despite the pandemic raging on, every field generates a plethora of information daily. It also affects the industries considerably and makes it paramount for a candidate to display their knowledge through their resume.
All current employers are almost always in a state of flux. They have to adopt and implement new technology every single day. You need to highlight your vast subject knowledge and inform them that you possess the most updated skills to solve everyday problems.
It is also a great idea to keep your online presence strong and have a very well-curated Linkedin profile. Many recruiters go beyond a simple resume and have also reported having employed candidates based on their social media pages. Here's another excellent tip from Emily Durham, a senior recruiter at Intuit about having all your skills updated in your Linkedin profile:
Wrapping your head around it
With so many things to look out for, it is possible to feel lost and lose your focus. Remember to tell your hiring managers how qualified you are to get the job done.
Remember, don’t meander around and keep things straight. Talk about your strengths and use short examples to highlight your skills and talents.
Preplaced Can Help With Your Resume
We know that creating an appealing resume is a tough task. This is just the beginning. Getting it noticed by an interviewer and eventually clearing the resume round is even tougher. You definitely don't want a piece of paper define your dream job chances.
To solve this problem, we have a come up a with a unique session for you. Why not get your resume reviewed directly with an interviewer from your target companies?
Yes, you heard it right. Preplaced Consulting Session is exactly what you need. Using this 30 minute session, you can get a genuine & detailed feedback from real-life interviewers. You can understand key areas that interviewers look for in a resume and what you need to improve to match the standard of your target company.
Clearing the resume screening round is not enough. You and your resume needs to clear one more phase - resume interview round.
It seems surprising that candidates fail to clear an interview round on their own resume. But it is true.
Stats say that every year thousands of candidates get rejected because they were not able to answer questions related to projects mentioned in their resume. This trend becomes even higher with experienced candidates as the number and complexity of projects increase.
To solve this, it is important that you practice interviews specifically for resume round.
This is the reason why, we at Preplaced provide resume round mock interviews for everyone, whether it is a fresher who has just completed college and is looking to start their career or a veteran with years of experience trying to leap ahead in their career.
You can take a resume round mock interview to understand common questions on your projects and how to answer them effectively. Moreover, you can even understand common techniques to frame your answers directly from interviewers.