CAREER

5 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Resume

By Mia Ingui
Freelance writer

Update Your ResumeTimes are trying for the job market in the midst of the coronavirus. But opportunities are bound to flourish again, and it is important to ensure your resume is at its best and ready to land you in a great job when the time is right.

These five tips will elevate your resume to best reflect your experiences and accomplishments while ensuring they are noticed by recruiters.

1. Adapt a Resume to Combat ATS Software

Despite the quality design and layout your resume may have, sometimes it is working to your disadvantage. Online applications are most likely going through an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) before they reach any human eye. 98% of Fortune 500 companies and 66% of large businesses today are using some form of ATS. If an application passes the ATS parsing and scanning of keywords applicable to the job, then it will go on to a hiring manager.

To ensure an application is seen by a recruiter, experts recommend having a well-designed resume optimized for print or email and creating another resume to submit on an ATS, like Workday, iCIMS, Jobvite, and Taleo, that is more basic in format and compatible with ATS scanning software. Use a template that is ATS compatible, avoid tables or charts, and ensure your resume is packed with keywords.

2. Tailor Keywords to Fit the Job Description

Read job descriptions mindfully and be sure to reference the keywords in your cover letter and resume. Most likely, the company chose these words for a reason, and they are going to be the words ATS scans for or what recruiters search on LinkedIn. Utilizing keywords will ensure a resume is specific and tailored to the job.

A great tool for understanding what keywords are the standout in a job description is a tool like TagCrowd. Simply copy and paste the job description to get a visualization of what keywords stand out.

3. Utilize Numbers and Statistics

Quantifying your successes is something hiring managers love to see, and a number or percentage really jumps out on the page. If you grew the social following for a company by a certain percentage or managed a team of a numerable size, make sure to highlight that by adding a quantity and setting it in bold.

4. Keep the Design Simple, but Still Standout

Though infographics and pictures could help your resume stand out, its best to keep your formatting simple and easy on a hiring manager’s eyes. Opt for a basic font and add a little color to make the resume pop.

5. Describe Your Accomplishments Along with Your Duties

Don’t sell yourself short. Though it’s important to include the fundamentals of previous job responsibilities, be sure to include highlights of past jobs and standout accomplishments as well. Show how you made a difference in that role and include successes that you initiated. A hiring manager can gather from your title what job responsibilities came with that role, so it’s important to showcase what you accomplished — and provide insight on what you can accomplish for their company.

Mia Ingui
Freelance Writer

Mia Ingui is a journalist and content strategist located in the NYC metropolitan area. A recent graduate from The College of New Jersey's Journalism and Professional Writing program, Mia graduated early in December of 2019. Currently, Mia is a freelance writer and contributor to Her Campus Media, NJ Advance Media and other publications.

Previously, Mia was an editor for The College of New Jersey's award-winning newspaper, The Signal, an editorial intern at Unique Homes Magazine in Princeton, NJ, and acted as Editor-in-Chief and President of TCNJ's chapter of Her Campus Media, the #1 national online magazine for college women. 

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