Writing a Resume that Gets Results
12/02/2020 | Juliet Fornari
Military Transition Resources
The job search process is filled with a multitude of difficulties that are unknown to the average applicant. For instance, what actually goes into the making of a good resume? The amount of contradicting information out there is astounding, and it can often make success seem unattainable – especially for someone in the middle of a major career transition. However, the answer is quite simple: all you need are the right keywords, the proper formatting, and a focus on what you bring to the table for your next employer.
Where Most People Go Wrong
Many services push for the use of free resume templates. And it would make sense to go along with that advice – after all, everyone else does it that way and it has been widely accepted for years. Plus, their templates are user friendly, include the typical sections of a resume, and are easily accessible to anyone with a computer or mobile device. But what their users fail to consider is the damage that comes with the text blocks, unconventional colors, icons, and even hyperlinks present in those same templates.
Why is that a problem? Well, a significant amount of the companies that take online applications use a type of software called Applicant Tracking Systems – more commonly referred to as ATS – to scan resumes, rank applications, and follow the candidates’ progression through the application process. If it is ever wondered why some candidates never hear back from recruiters, it is safe to say that ATS is a probable culprit.
The Two-Pronged Approach
Here is why: recruiters program their ATS to search for specific verbiage within the resume’s body of text. If your resume is not up to par or if it simply lacks the keywords that they are looking for, the system will assign your resume a poor ranking. On the other hand, if the software has issues reading the resume you provided due to formatting, you will find yourself at the bottom of the list 100% of the time, even if you have the right keywords.
On top of having to conquer ATS with the right keywords and formatting, you still have to knock the recruiters’ socks off. This is where you really need to highlight your expertise and hit on some transferable skills that will facilitate your transition into the civilian world. Remember, a recruiter only knows as much as you tell them – it is your job to know what they want and give it to them exactly how they want it. They are going to be looking for metrics, accomplishments, and a strong list of both soft and technical skills. Have that information readily available to them, and their job instantly becomes ten times easier. Remember, your resume is a marketing tool. Use it as such.
Why it Works
These tactics have been used to move countless professionals from entry level positions to senior staff status over the course of just a few years. Fact is, when you know the true rules of the game, it is much easier to play to win rather than try to cheat the system from a different angle – even when networking comes into play. Because when you disregard the rules, there is always another candidate who is following them to a T.
At the end of the day, getting interviews is a simple process; not easy, but simple. When it comes time to transition, focus on keywords, stay away from free templates, and do not shy away from a quick humble-brag. And if you are unsure whether your resume will make the cut, you can always find a trustworthy professional to look at it for you.
Your competition is stiffer than ever — stop wasting time with a resume that only takes you down dead ends.
Juliet Fornari writes resumes for professionals of all statuses, on all levels of expertise, and in all industries. Her two-pronged approach has a one hundred percent success rate with her clients and has been lauded by numerous recruiters and hiring managers. With extensive research of the job search process, she consistently helps job seekers land interviews for their dream roles and sets them up for career success.
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