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Essential Steps for Building a Perfect Resume

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Are you tired of using a sub-standard resume when searching for jobs? Even if you’re still in between high school and college or are an adult who’s thinking about returning to school for a degree, it’s imperative to have a top-notch resume in the competitive, digital job market. There are a couple of reasons for the urgency. First, the vast majority of corporations and smaller companies use something called ATS, or an applicant tracking system. ATS software relieves hiring managers of having to actually read resumes. Instead, the app scans for keywords that tell managers whether applicants meet bare-minimum criteria.

If your document is not optimized for ATS scanners, you could lose the employment race before you start. Second, competition for better entry-level jobs in today’s economy is fierce. Not only do applicants need to deal with ATS, but they also have to avoid using too much personal information, know how to leverage the power of scholarships, and not list long-ago minimum wage or part-time jobs. Getting into the interview room is a tough nut to crack in 2022. Here are some of the ways you can maximize your chances by creating a picture-perfect resume.

Know How ATS Software Works

Even if you use a professional writer to help you create a modern and simple resume, it’s helpful to understand the basics of ATS. The programs are designed to identify keywords chosen by hiring managers. The goal is to screen candidates quickly and efficiently. An accounting firm might set the ATS keyword screening to prioritize applicants whose resumes include terms like CPA exam, 5 years of experience, tax law, and similar phrasing. These picky selection processes are one of the main reasons to hire a writer who knows the quirks and latest trends in tracking system software.

Scholarships

Apply for Scholarships

On your all-important document, be certain to highlight the word scholarship to let prospective employers know that some or all of your college expenses were paid for by an agency or organization award. Don’t worry whether the amount was large or small, or covered all the tuition or just textbooks. The fact that you applied for and won a scholarship of any kind is the key point. Getting a degree and paying for it are two giant hurdles in anyone’s life. Fortunately, if you’re headed to or back to college, use an online search service to hunt for scholarship cash that can not only ease your financial burden but can also make your application documents sparkle. The beauty of free money for school is that there are opportunities that no one ever claims or applies for. Don’t miss out. Make sure to scour all available resources before beginning coursework.

If your document is not optimized for ATS scanners, you could lose the employment race before you start. Second, competition for better entry-level jobs in today's economy is fierce.Click To Tweet

Be Careful with Personal Info

Be careful not to list personal data that reveals political or religious leanings. Most companies steer clear of candidates who are too up-front about their politics or faith. It’s considered an amateur mistake to reveal personal affiliations, but there are ways around the dilemma for people who have done volunteer work for churches or political parties. Simply call them volunteer jobs without disclosing who hired you to do the work.

Don’t Go Too Far Back in Time

Unless you’re a high-level mid-career worker who’s changing jobs, don’t go back more than five years in time for prior employment listings unless your prior position lasted longer than that. Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. They’re interested in what you’ve done recently and don’t particularly care about your life history.

Don’t Include References

A common job applicant mistake is to list references on a resume. Don’t do it unless the company asks you back for an interview. Save the details until you need them and only indicate references available upon request or during the interview in a single line item at the bottom of the document. Human resources people won’t care about references and won’t check them unless you’re close to being hired. Better to save valuable space on your document for other information, like special training courses or academic awards.

Omit Objectives and Use Plain English

For decades, applicants have listed objectives at the top of every application document. Today, the practice is considered outmoded and can subtract from an otherwise professional impression. If necessary, include the title of the job you’re applying for, and leave it at that. Keep language simple and clear. Avoid flowery words, awkward grammatical constructions, passive voice, and the word presently. If you’re lucky enough to land an interview, a poorly-written document will hurt your cause. Hiring a certified writer is the easiest way to beat the ATS software at its own game and get the language just right.


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