by Corey Hubbard - DreamHighr - Man About Town
When employers in the tech industries and other fields need new talent, they have access to millions of resumes. Between recruiters, online career sites, and individual databases, most hiring managers can be overwhelmed by how many candidates they have access to. For successful candidates, standing out among the millions in the crowd is essential to landing the right job. A well-written resume that looks good on paper may not be the right resume for applicant tracking systems used by many employers. The ATS looks for discoverable keywords that indicate a potential candidate has the skills and experience for a specific job. This means that a resume must be written for a specific job and not just as a general highlight of the candidate.
One of the best ways to be noticed, first by the ATS and then by the hiring manager, is with the first paragraph of an old-fashioned resume: the Objective Statement.
The Old Objectives with New Twists The problem that many employers have with the objective statement is that it focuses on the candidate. Not many hiring managers care about what a prospective employee wants. They are more concerned that the people have the skills and relevant job experience that the company wants. For hiring managers that have to sort through thousands of resumes over the course of a recruitment, the only thing they have time to focus on is the specific skill set to the job.
Most HR staffers will skip over the first part of a resume that begins with “Objectives.” Since the headline on a resume draws attention quickly, try inviting readers with a more targeted title. Some examples that bring results include:
● Performance Summary
● Skills Review
● Career Summary
Each of these headlines tells the reader what you can do, or what you have done, instead of what you want. They create interest with a compelling heading.
Once you have a heading that will appeal to a hiring manager, getting your resume in front of a human reader is the true challenge. Most of the time, companies will rely on the ATS to weed out thousands of irrelevant resumes. It does not matter how compelling a headline is if the keywords that trigger the ATS are not in the subsequent paragraph.
Creating the perfect resume requires research and brainstorming. Go beyond the hiring manager and try to determine what the company’s customers are looking for. Focus on the skills that the job requires to reach a new audience – the people the company is trying to serve.
In addition to digging deeper into the job itself, consider the language of the company. It’s okay to rely on specific jargon and acronyms that an ATS may be searching for. Identify the right keywords for the job and then adjust the summary paragraph to include relevant terms.
Break Out Information
In addition to highlighting skills, using job-specific language helps demonstrate familiarity with the industry. However, don’t make the mistake of trying to overload the paragraph that headlines a resume.
Speaking in a prospective employer’s language to describe capabilities and skills can be effectively accomplished throughout a resume. Use bullet points to break out specific skills and use keywords to focus attention that will generate ATS hits and be easy for a human reader to notice.