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  • Ann Willets

Writing Your Resume? Keep it Simple



Anyone who is seeking a job knows their resume is one of the first steps in presenting themselves to a recruiter or hiring manager. Many people overestimate how extravagant or eye-catching their resume must be. In the past, perhaps an elaborate and visually appealing resume could have made you stand out best amongst the rest, but that’s hardly the case these days.

Before we proceed any further, I want to tell you: write your own resume. There are resume writing services out there charging $400-$500 to draft a resume. To me, that is simply absurd and entirely unnecessary. Today, bots look for efficient resumes and much of it falls to a keyword search.

Most companies use an ATS, or applicant tracking software, that parses resumes and becomes searchable by names, degrees, colleges, current positions, dates, and more. I can quickly search through countless resumes using specific search criteria.

However, when people submit beautiful and elaborate resumes, the software usually can’t read them. The AI can’t read a pretty pink resume with a fancy cursive font. Most of these tracking systems consume text resumes best. While some resumes look pretty, it’s truly best to keep them straight forward.

When writing your resume, name your verticals. Pharma, financial, fashion, travel and hospitality, and so on. Government, nonprofit, agency. Name the software you used, the skills you adapted. Think about keywords and phrases that someone would plug into a Google search if they were searching for a candidate like you.

Also, specify your accomplishments. Did you manage a team? How many? What type of budgets did you manage? Can you cite some specific KPIs? It’s not just what you did on a daily basis (writing press releases, managing events, etc.), tell me what you accomplished.

Most ATS software packages will pull in your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you’ve fully propagated your profile and add your CONTACT INFO! Many profiles don’t include an email address or phone number so you may miss out on a great opportunity.

On another note, due to the pandemic, you can now put a green circle around your profile picture that says #openforwork… This lets recruiters know you’re looking for work. I highly recommend taking advantage of this feature while it lasts.

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