The average job recruiter receives hundreds of resumes—and according to recent research, they’ll likely only look at yours for an average of six seconds before deciding whether to call you in for an interview. Make sure your CV doesn’t get lost in the shuffle by adding the following details to your litany of accomplishments:
According to a recent survey of nearly 2000 workers, 89 percent of them had volunteer experience, but only 45 percent of them had included it on their resume. According to hiring managers, this is a mistake. Volunteer work sets you apart from other candidates by demonstrating commitment and passion. It can also help you showcase a skillset—for example, event planning or fundraising—that you don’t typically utilize at your 9-to-5. Plus, for job hunters with employment gaps, volunteering shows potential employers that you’ve been productive with your time while you’ve been unemployed.
Still wondering whether to mention your volunteer work? When in doubt, leave potentially controversial political or religious groups off your CV, and stick to experiences that are transferable to an office setting.
2. AN ONLINE PORTFOLIO
Even though we live in a digital-first era, a 2013 survey revealed that only 7 percent of job seekers have created an online portfolio. A professional website or social media profile showcases the breadth and quality of your achievements, and it also demonstrates to employers that you’re digitally savvy. Plus, it makes you look good in online search results. (According to one survey, 77 percent of recruiters use search engines to look up background info on applicants.)
3. KEYWORDS FROM A JOB POSTING
Many companies use applicant-tracking systems to sift through the hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes they receive every day. Ensure that yours falls into human hands by including some keywords and phrases from the job posting. That way, the computerized system will recognize that you’re a good fit for the position and you’ll make the cut for an in-person interview.
4. QUANTIFIABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Have you grown your company’s social media channels into must-follow accounts? Have you increased productivity in the office, or been promoted to a more prestigious position? List these accomplishments, and make sure to have numbers (dollars saved, hours conserved, percent increases in subscriptions or traffic, etc.) that back up your achievements.
5. PART-TIME WORK OR PROJECTS
Don’t refrain from listing side projects, freelance work, or internships on your resume. While a part-time babysitting gig at a local daycare may not be a stable 9-to-5, it still shows a stable work history. It can also demonstrate transferable skills (depending on the job you’re applying for) and looks better on a resume than stretches of unemployment.
If you’re new to the job market, use these positions to flesh out your resume. If you aren’t, list them underneath an “Additional Experience” section to boost your main credentials.
6. BULLET POINTS
No matter how accomplished you are, stick to a one-to-two page resume and summarize your accomplishments and experiences in short fragments. This way, hiring managers will notice the relevant parts of your work experience instead of getting bogged down by big blocks of text. To do this, you’ll need bullet points—and lots of them.
7. A PROFILE SECTION
Profile sections have replaced objectives sections on today’s modern resume. At the top of the page, write a short yet detailed synopsis of your career path and skill set. If you’re a seasoned professional, highlight your years of experience. If you’re new to the workforce, mention your education and any extracurricular or volunteer experience that’s applicable to the position you want.