Random Thoughts

Writing A Resume That Can Pass HR Algorithms

After graduating from university I struggled for some time how to write the perfect resume, I even relied on some techniques like highlighting sentences with many eye-catchy colors (would not do that today though), I also used to wonder whether I should put my photo or not, well, it depends, generally I wouldn’t but I found very good ready-made templates with photos so I guess it works. However, these should be the least of our troubles, with companies relying on systems to scan hundreds of resumes to filter them, the eye-catchy wording of mine I now should substitute by choosing the right Keywords so that my resume can stand out when scanned by algorithms run by Human Resources.

Since I work as a freelancer nowadays I tried to find the best way to present my resume and I found these tips online

Tip 1: Create your Resume Style and Identity

You should do this before starting writing your resume. Ask yourself, what is the first thing you want your interviewer to know about you? Be sure that a recruiter makes a quick scan on your resume so you must be ready to convey the most important parts first. You also should ask yourself what makes you unique and stand out in the crowd (and its ok to brag a little bit).

Your resume should try to answer these questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What is your career target and job title?
  3. How do you want to stand out?

Tip 2: Keywords and Job Descriptions

Doing this is very important where ignoring it might cost you not getting your resume seen by a live person if you don’t pass the computer system! When you apply, you are competing with on average 300 other resumes and a computer system is filtering them to get the best resumes.

So, What are the computers, also known as application tracking systems, looking for? Well, the right keywords!

In order to get the right keywords check out job descriptions from websites such as Linkedin and indeed.com, take notes of the common skills, requirements, and education, then make sure to highlight the common keywords on these job descriptions so you would use them in your resume. Another job sites are onetoonline.org and mynextmove.org. These sites will give you a lot of details and the abilities needed for keywords in your resume.

Tip 3: Accomplishments and Results

Your work experience is your number one most important thing in your resume. So make sure you remember those work experience stories as you are going to need them here.

It’s been suggested that your work experience should not be a list of tasks you have done. What you need to do is share positive results from previous employment and education. Perhaps you can apply this when describing your work with your latest employer, then you can do a list of tasks but include accomplishments as well. The way I see it, you have to be careful how to balance your resume as you don’t want to have a narrative like wording nor a rigid list of bullet points. One more thing, pay careful attention to include numbers and percentages.

Some questions you can answer; how you saved money on a project, how you solved a problem while working on a project, how you improved productivity. Give a lot of thought about those results you helped to make happen, no matter how small you might think they might be, you never know they can help you to stand out among other applicants.

Tip 4: Resume Structure and Template

Canva free resume templates

There are many resources that can help you get resume templates, Microsoft Word has many templates but I also found those offered by Canva are awesome, another way to show your experience and work is through online portfolios, you can build one using Wix or WordPress, I found Muffingroup offers pre-build websites including portfolios.

Looking into the content of your resume, you can start by telling your potential employer how you can benefit and help their company. Focus on communicating your benefits as much as possible at a summary section at the top of your resume. Some recommend that you discard the objective section that’s because most companies don’t care about what you want and rather focus you meet their job requirements.

A summary section must be 3-4 lines, I found some recommend up to 6 lines but I am going to suggest that recruiters are too busy to give too much time for a resume and would want to move to the next one that’s why I suggest keeping it as short as possible. What you should also include are the top 5 things you want your potential employer to know about you. This is the section where you are going to highlight your relevant strengths.

When writing the education section, don’t limit it to the university name and date you graduated. Try to list any awards and honors you have earned, courses you took that would be helpful in the job you are applying for, don’t forget to include special projects and internships.

5 new
Canva.com Free Resume Template

How long should a resume be?

Some suggest it should be 2 pages, if you are very experienced your resume can be longer but your education section can get shorter.

Now, what are the types of resumes you can use?

  1. Functional resume: this resume focuses on your skills and experience rather than your chronological work history. It’s mostly used by people who are changing career or who have gaps in their employment history.
  2. Chronological resume: this one begins with your work history, starting with the most recent position listed first. Employers prefer this type of resume because they can easily see the jobs you have held.
  3. Combination resume: this one contains both of the two types I mentioned earlier. You can highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job you are applying for and also provide chronological work history which employers prefer.
  4. Artistic resume: this one includes photos, graphics and logos. It can be web-based or an online portfolio, although I would suggest that you use a web-based portfolio with the other resume types as well. An artistic type resume is perfect for non-traditional roles where the job description requires creativity. It works well if you want to stand out and the company you are applying for is nontraditional.

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