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3 tips to make your resume stand out to recruitersStijn Schutyser
6 seconds. That’s how long the average recruitment specialist takes to decide whether you are suited for a vacancy. In those 6 seconds, that recruitment specialist is only able to look at your resume and briefly scan it. So in order to grab their attention, your resume should be as scannable as possible. With these 3 tips, you are sure to increase your chances to get the job you apply for!
1. Try a functionally written resume
Most resumes are written chronologically, which is easy for recruiters and feels familiar to them. A disadvantage, however, is that your cv (curriculum vitae) might look a bit poor if you don’t have all that much work experience. The same goes for your academic past. It’ll stand out rather negatively in a chronologically written cv if you’ve started a few different majors or tried a few fields of study, but never actually completed most of those.
If this is the case, you might want to choose for a functionally written resume. A functionally written resume does not start with a chronological list of years, but with your skills and know-how. The best way to write this type of resume, is to first analyze the vacancy you’re applying for. Then sort your cv in such a way that the skills your potential employer is asking for are clearly visible at the top. Don’t forget to mention any education, experience or interest per skill. Bonus: a functionally written resume is less common and stands out more than a chronologically written one.
If you do decide to use a chronologically written resume, try to make it as scannable as possible. The most important and relevant information should be visible first. Mention your highest degree of education and your most recent work experience therefore first.
2. Add a picture
Most recruiters will tell you it doesn’t matter whether or not there’s a picture on someone’s resume. There are even recruiters that say that a picture distracts from relevant information on the resume. However, research proves that solicitors with an attractive Facebook profile picture are almost 40% more likely to be invited for an interview. And yes, recruiters do check your Facebook profile.
So why not make it easier for them and include a professional picture of yourself on your cv? If you do, eye tracking research shows they spend a whopping 19 percent of the time spent on your resume looking at it (see page 5 of this report). However, the research doesn’t show exactly how much more time recruiters spend on resumes with a picture.
3. Include links to social media profiles
93% of recruiters checks potential candidates online. So why not get ahead of them and list your most used social media channels yourself? Linking to your social media can show a recruiter that you use those to share information about your field, that you are confident about your online profile and possess enough digital skills. Make sure the data of your LinkedIn or Twitter profile matches the data on your cv. However, it goes without saying that if you only tweet funny links or post comments about a tv show you’re watching, you’re better off not sharing your social media profiles.
Bonus tip: avoid these 3 mistakes
- Don’t include references or personal goals in your resume. If an employer is interested, they’ll ask for it.
- Avoid cliché words! In 2014, these were the 10 most used words to describe yourself in a resume: creative, strategic, enthusiastic, driven, ambitious, motivated, proactive, passionated, exceptional and inventive. Weirdly, ‘responsible’ wasn’t one of them.
- Don’t mention your political or religious preferences, bizarre hobbies or the reason why you quit your previous employer.