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Keeping Your Resume Relevant to the Position

In a world where the human attention span is infamously compared to a goldfish, how much should you expect from HR professionals who scan hundreds of resumes every day?

According to a 2018 Eye Tracking study, recruiters spend just 7.4 seconds scanning a resume.

7.4 Seconds! That is all the time you have for your resume to make it into the ‘selected’ pile!

So, the question becomes, how do you make the most of those 7.4 seconds? The simple answer is by tailoring your resume to the Position.

Let’s break that down.

Resume Must-Haves & Optionals:

For the Bots: Keywords
It is not surprising that automated software does a lot of the initial sifting through resumes in an HR department. However, to make it past these first gatekeepers, a resume must reflect the exact criteria the employer needs. So, look for critical keywords around educational qualifications, desired work skills, etc., in the job profile, and make sure to include these in your resume.

For the Job: Tailor Your Experience
As you gain more experience, prune your resume, and remove internships or jobs not relevant to your current profile. Follow the ‘one-page rule’ and try to keep your resume short, sweet, and specific. 

An effective tactic here is to highlight skills, certifications, and other capabilities that directly relate to the job you are applying for. Then, make sure you personalize this information for each job profile – weed out the irrelevant items and accentuate your skills that match the profile.

For the Final Human Decision Makers: Other Accomplishments and Hobbies
To stand out amongst hundreds of resumes, extra-curricular activities, accomplishments, and special projects can be helpful. However, you must use them sparingly and smartly. Consider the job profile and only add things that can be perceived as useful in that particular job. For example, Mike, who participates in online bug bounties, should certainly include this information when applying for an IT position. For Jenny, applying for a newspaper editor’s job, mentioning her successful blog and YouTube channel is a definite plus as it shows an interest in content creation. 

Most people also like to flesh out their paper personalities with a carefully curated list of volunteer activities or hobbies. This is usually a good idea and is a great way to demonstrate your passions and stance on important social issues.

So, What are Some of the Absolute Resume No-Nos?

1. Political associations and opinions should be avoided (unless, of course, you are seeking a job in a political organization).

2. Avoid attaching photographs and giving out too many personal or family detailsDO NOT put your home address on your resume. 

3. Jargon rich text is also a big no-no. But, again, remember the 7.4 seconds, which will reduce time quickly when faced with a wall of text.

4. Avoid divulging too much from your past. You don’t need to give details of your high school or first internship unless you are fresh in the job market. Then, as you progress further into your career, pare down your past.

It is now time to look at your old resume with a fresh new perspective. Get an attractive and simple template and rebuild it from scratch with all the tips mentioned above. 

Contact us at ALIGN, and one of our experienced consultants will help you polish your resume and get you one step closer to your dream job!

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