40% of hiring managers spend less than a minute looking at a resume. Meanwhile, 25% of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds.
When every second counts, you need a resume that stands out from the rest.
Otherwise, all the hard work you put into your resume won’t get you far. Instead, you’ll end up in the reject pile.
Wondering “how can I fix my resume to get an interview?” Keep reading for the eight steps you need to succeed. With these tips, you can make sure your resume never meets the rejection pile.
Better get your interview outfit ready!
1. Focus on the Very Top
If hiring managers only spend 60 seconds—if that!—looking at a resume, you need to focus your attention at the top. What’s the first thing you want to see when someone glances at your resume?
Fold your resume into thirds and look at the top portion. That’s where you need to place the strongest details. Make sure the top of the page is wow-worthy and a hiring manager will think you’re worthy, too.
In some cases, you’ll need to move portions of your resume around.
Consider some of the tips we’ll mention below, such as highlighting your accomplishments or making design updates. As you read through these tips, picture the top portion of your resume. Think about the information you don’t want a hiring manager to miss.
Then, reorganize your resume.
Make sure the top third of the page really shines!
2. Consider Keywords
When hiring managers skim through a resume, they’re looking for specific keywords that indicate a qualified applicant. Using the same resume for every job you apply to could mean you’re missing out.
Every corporate job opening attracts 250 applicants. With so many applicants, companies need a way to trim down the list.
Sometimes, it’s not even a human who reviews your resume. Instead, an electronic applicant tracking system will scan your text. These systems search for keywords to narrow down resumes.
“So how do I fix my resume with the right keywords?”
First, take a look at the job listing. Grab keywords from some of the qualifications the company is searching for. You can also check the company’s “About Us” section, their LinkedIn, or social media accounts.
Make sure the language is current, too. If you haven’t updated your resume in 10 years, make sure the lingo matches how people currently speak in your field.
Adding these keywords can help resume stand out to humans and tracking systems.
3. Add Stats
Next, add some numbers. If you want your accomplishments to stand out, numbers and percentages can help them pop off the page. Adding stats also gives you tangible credibility.
Instead of claiming you helped your company raise profits, specify. How much of a revenue increase did the company experience within a year?
Percentages will help a hiring manager gain a better understanding of your accomplishments and your capabilities.
However, it’s important you don’t overdo it.
Instead, focus on adding numbers where it supports an important claim. For example, you want to highlight an increase in sales. Choose areas that make you look good.
4. Sprinkle Accomplishments Throughout
While it’s important to focus your brightest accomplishments near the top of the page, you can’t neglect the rest of your resume.
Instead of spending all of your time describing job responsibilities, consider your accomplishments. Condense your day-to-day tasks into a single sentence description. This will give you more space to highlight what you accomplished in that role.
Adding accomplishments throughout your resume will show hiring managers you excelled at the job—instead of simply worked at it.
5. Keep It Clean
Your resume’s style can say a lot about your professionalism. Instead of a jumbled mess, keep it organized. Make sure the font is consistent throughout the page.
Keep the body text consistent, too. Anything smaller than a 10 point font is difficult to read.
A clean, organized resume will tell hiring managers you’re organized, too.
6. Remove References
If your resume reads “references available upon request” or lists references, cut it out. Hiring managers will already assume you have references they can call. If they need the information, they’ll ask during the interview.
Instead, use that space to list another accomplishment.
You can read more here for additional resume advice.
7. Make it Skimmable
Remember, you only have a few seconds to wow a hiring manager. Instead of a wordy, exhaustingly long resume, trim it down. Focus on the important material (like your accomplishments).
“How do I fix my resume to make it skimmable?”
First, try to add white space where you can. White space gives the eyes a break between blocks of text.
Look for giant blocks of text or lengthy paragraphs. Remember to focus on your accomplishments instead of unnecessary details.
If you have a lot to say, break it down into bullet points.
Bullets make it easier for people to skim. You can also use headings and subheadings to break information apart.
By adding breathing room through white space and making your resume easier to skim, you can make the most of those 60 seconds.
8. Design It Right
Don’t go overboard designing your resume. Instead, use certain design elements sparingly. For example, you can use charts and tables to illustrate your accomplishments. You can also use color and shading to separate certain blocks of information.
Make sure your design reflects your industry. If you’re a graphic designer, you’re going to want to add more flare than an analyst would.
A creative but clean design can help you stand out from the stack!
Fix My Resume!: The 8 Steps You Need to Succeed
One final tip before the words “Help fix my resume!” pop into your head again. Make sure to proofread! After all, you don’t want a tiny typo to end up the difference between getting an interview or getting a rejection email.
With these tips, you can improve your resume and give yourself a head start towards the job of your dreams.
Explore the Resume Services section of the blog for more helpful resume resources!