It’s a new year and you’ve finally decided the time is right to search for a new job. Obviously, you want to put your best foot forward so hiring managers and recruiters notice you, but where do you start?
It starts with your resume.
A well-crafted and up-to-date resume should be your first priority. Recruiters receive a lot of resumes, so you’ll need to make yours stand out. You’ll want to start by making sure that your resume is tailored to the opportunity you are applying for. Use the job description as your guide. If the description is well-written, it’s chock full of keywords that you can use to highlight your relevant experience. FYI – many companies and their recruiters use keyword scanning software, so if your resume does not mirror the job listing, it may be overlooked.
Don’t forget the details.
In the resume, focus on your accomplishments, not just your responsibilities. Instead of just listing job duties, highlight how you contributed to the success of the company or added value. For example, instead of saying “Works with leadership by creating weekly reports” say “Collaborates with HRIS Director and HR Director by creating and executing 10-20 metric-based reports in Workday on a weekly basis”. According to Scott Pullen, AVP of Staffing Services at Sherpa, in a recent LinkedIn post, “The first piece of resume advice I always give is simple: whether your content is in bullets or paragraph form, you need to make sure it is measurable. It helps give the reader more detail. Content and quantifiable detail is what truly helps you stand out.”
Style it right.
If content is king, consider format its equally formidable queen. Your resume should be visually appealing and easy to read. In general, stick to a clean, simple layout and make sure there is plenty of white space. Make the document easily scannable by using bullet points and headings. Do not forget to proofread! Rejection piles greet resumes with typos, grammatical errors or that look too complicated to evaluate. One additional point, according to Brittany Nelson, Division Director for Sherpa’s HR & Executive Support division, “Consistency in tenses, margins and style is also critical. For example, don’t use ‘March 2020 to January 2023’ in one section and switch to ‘Jul 08 – Apr 12’ in another. There is nothing worse than listing ‘attention to detail’ as a skill, then making such a simple oversight in the document.”
Manage your online persona.
Besides your resume, if you’re hunting for a new job, you will also want to make sure you have a positive online presence. Having a professional email address (for example, email@example.com versus firstname.lastname@example.org), a LinkedIn profile, and a portfolio (if relevant) can all help recruiters find you and evaluate your work. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and includes a headshot, summary, work experience and relevant accomplishments.
Network, network, network.
Finally, consider networking. Forging relationships with people in your industry can be a fantastic way to learn about open jobs and get your resume in the hands of the right people. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and reach out to people you admire on LinkedIn.
In conclusion, a well-tailored and accomplishment-focused resume, with a visually appealing design, complemented by a professional online presence, and networking are the best ways to get noticed by recruiters. Here’s to landing that new job soon – and we suggest starting with our Career Portal!