Engineering graduate navigating life after university.

5 Things Your Resume Should have

You know what sucks? The job market. It is so competitive and getting your foot in the door is equally as painful as running a mile on a treadmill. It shouldn’t be like this, right? I mean our education standards globally have increased dramatically since the last decade. How is it that people keep getting smarter and smarter and the technology keeps getting superior and superior but the employment rate stays the same?

When I was starting out in university, I had zero work experience and knew that there was no way I could get a summer job or an internship. Heck, I didn’t even have any solid connections to where I wanted to work at. I didn’t even know how to approach recruiters at careers fairs at school. And when I did have the guts to approach a recruiter and ask, “hey here’s my resume……hire me, please?” The recruiter’s response would be: “thanks but please apply online.” Ok but then why are you here? After going two to three times and being constantly told that I should apply online, I decided to approach the entire topic differently. My new approach finally helped me make connections in the industries I wanted to work at. And that story I will cover in a future post. This post is equally interesting (I hope) and is about what your resume needs in order to catch a recruiter’s eye.

How do I know this information? Because one of my best friend’s works as an HR rep at a leading bank in the world and has agreed to tell me her secrets so I can share it with you guys. All right here we go. The 5 things you need in your resume:

1. Hard Skills

We are in an era where just having a diploma or a degree doesn’t really cut it. Everyone has one of those now. How do you set yourself apart from the competition? You write down your hard skills.  In this category include programming languages (HTML, CSS, Java, python and etc), designing softwares (photoshop, adobe and etc), special machines you are familiar with and can operators (ex. mainframe, windows and etc) and other technical skills you have. A recruiter reading this part of your resume can tell within 10 seconds if you are fit for the role or not.

2. Certifications

Certifications are soooo important. I have a green and yellow belt in Lean Six Sigma (LSS) which has gotten me my first summer job and helped me break into so many fields. As an Industrial Engineer, we live and breathe the principles of LSS and so these certifications were a good asset to have. I planned ahead, got my two belts while studying in university and was able to land my first internship. Even when I graduated Uni, all the callbacks I received have told me that because of this LSS certification we picked you out for an interview. Certifications set you apart from your competition.

These certifications show the recruiter that you are interested in a that field and that you are an eager learner. So search up certifications that you can get to sharpen your resume. Maybe it’s a video gaming design course/diploma, or a photoshop course. Whatever it may be, do it and write it on your resume. Companies want to hire you and your drive not just your past work history.

3. Numbers, number and more numbers

You know what’s so attractive in the corporate world? Numbers. If you have worked in the past and done something to grow sales make sure you include % of growth. If you have worked in a project and developed something to increase efficiencies, write something like, “Developed code for XYZ project eliminating 30% inefficiencies using LSS methodologies and increased ad sales 10% to $8000.” Sounds so much better than, “Developed code for XYZ project eliminating inefficiencies.” Whatever you did in your projects, teams or work translate that into numbers! It will take you far.

4. Key words

Do you think a recruiter reads each and every resume that is sent via the job portal link? The answer is no. What actually happens is that these resumes go through a software that picks up keywords on your resume and matches it with the job description. Those resumes that have the most keywords get through to the recruiter’s desk. So the case is clear, to get your resume to the recruiter’s desk make sure it has as many identical keywords to the job posting. I know this is tedious but if you really want the job you have to do this. It will pay off.

5. No mistakes

My recruiter friend also listed her biggest pet peeve when viewing resumes: typos and mistakes. She says that many recruiters like her dispose the resume after seeing too many of these mistakes. In fact, a 2013 career builder survey said that 58% of resumes have typos. I myself find it really hard to believe that there could be that many typos. But the stats are there and this happens so often! Make sure you proof read your resume and then get someone else to proof it for you. A fresh pair of eyes does the trick in creating a lean resume.

Hope these tips were helpful. Let me know what you think are some of the resume must have’s. I also wrote an article listing the 6 things your resume should NOT have. The tips listed in that article are also suggested by the same recruiter. Check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments.


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