This is the final post in a mini-series dedicated to addressing your questions. Today’s post is about how your resume is typically reviewed once you apply for a job. As always, chat with us here if you have any questions!
What is the purpose of a resume?
A resume is a marketing document that is intended to help you land an interview. As a result, it is the most important piece of your job application. Your resume should clearly demonstrate and concisely explain why you are a strong applicant and a solid fit for the position you are applying for. Use it to convince recruiters that they want to interview you because of the skills and accomplishments you have to offer.
How do recruiters process resumes?
Resume review happens in two steps for most recruiters. First, when you submit your resume online, it will pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS) software along with all the resumes of other applicants. Recruiters then use the ATS to filter out unqualified applicants. Many resumes are excluded from consideration at this step. The remaining resumes are reviewed by human recruiters, and the most promising candidates are contacted for interviews. This is typically the case for larger companies.
In smaller companies, depending on the size, a person may be assigned to review all resumes, but may go through only a small number of resume, before shortlisting and finalizing a candidate. Make sure to submit your application soon after the job opening becomes public! Always remember, recruiters usually give higher value to referrals and review those resumes first.
Who is the audience for my resume?
Because of the two-step review process, your resume actually has two audiences: An applicant tracking system (ATS) first and a human recruiter second. Your resume needs to be in a format that an ATS can process and understand. It also needs to contain content that appeals to a recruiter.
How do I make my resume different/interesting/innovative?
This may be counterintuitive: Format matters, but content matters more. Keep in mind that recruiters often review dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes per day. Your resume being in an unconventional format is not going to impress them so much that they instantly give you an interview.
Instead, keep your formatting simple, and aim to impress with the content of your resume. Use clear, concise wording. Describe your impact and accomplishments. Give recruiters interesting topics to bring up in an interview, such as outside-of-work skills, interests, and hobbies. Keep it simple and professional, and you will be surprised at how successful your resume turns out to be!