If you are looking to dramatically improve your life, one of the best steps you can take is to land a job that is personally and financially fulfilling. But hoping for your dream job isn’t enough: you need to take proactive steps to get in front of the decision makers at the companies where you want to pursue your ambitions.
Sending out resumes can be an exercise in disappointment if you do not tailor your CV towards your potential employer. Many job candidates fail to realize what employers look for in a resume, and then wonder why they aren’t getting any interviews. Make sure you understand what they are seeking so that you can maximize your chances of getting your foot in the door.
Here are five things that most employers are looking for in the resumes they receive.
1. Appearances Matter
The pet peeve of many human resource staffers is a CV riddled with typos and misspellings. How much diligence and care will this person give the job if they cannot be professional enough to proofread their resume?
Invest in a professional resume writer to help you craft and design a resume that looks good. If the job receives dozens of applicants, you want your submission to stand out because it looks like you put some effort into it- not because you rushed off a sloppy attempt without checking it.
2. What Are You Looking For?
Be clear about what you are seeking. Many resumes include a Goal or Mission statement at the top, clarifying what the applicant is looking for.
For example, if you want to telecommute, it’s best to make that clear right off the bat. Employers don’t want to waste their time with applicants who do not want what they are offering.
If you have specific salary or geographic requirements, make that clear as well. There’s no sense in going through the process if the opportunity is not something you might accept.
3. Live Links and Key Words
Gone are the days of mailing off fancy resumes and cover letters on expensive stationery. Now most employers use online platforms to accept applications, so your resume must be digitally friendly.
Include keywords specific to your chosen field and talents so that your resume will come up in relevant searches by recruiters.
You should also include live links to projects or publications you may have produced. If you want to list former colleagues who may serve as references, link to their contact information (like this link to the staff at United Card Solutions, for example).
Rather than listing all of your stellar qualities, employers like to see the results you have achieved.
If you exceeded sales goals for the year, include that. If you received “Employee of the Month” commendations at your previous position, include that as well.
Many of us have gaps in our employment history. Employers like to see some continuity of work, but if there is a lapse, you can explain what you were doing during that time.
If you were raising children, you can refer to that. If you were unemployed, you can list your volunteer activities. As long as you are honest, most prospective employers understand that life is sometimes complicated.
What Employers Look For in a Resume
Once you realize what employers look for in a resume, you can revise yours to attract their attention. Pay attention to detail, including your job requirements, and be honest with prospective employers and yourself about what you can do and what you want.
For more helpful tips on improving your career and your life, check out our blogs.