A resume is one of the most important tools used by job seekers to showcase their skills and talents. Well-written resumes help talents to attract the attention of employers and secure interviews. Besides resumes being vital for job seekers, they also help employers to have a quick snapshot of talents applying for the job. Virtually all hiring processes start with employers examining the contents of applicants’ resumes.
While the importance of writing an eye-catching resume cannot be overstated, recent evidence suggests that most people still write resumes with the assumption that they will be read by the traditional human recruiters. These resumes are often characterized by intricate writing styles, unusual formats, decorations, and unconventional structures. Sovren writes that these resumes often do not stand a chance of being recognized by modern recruiters who employ electronic resume processing programs. This article outlines best practices for writing resumes in the modern world.
Always use Microsoft Word format
Screening systems convert resumes into plain word text before processing them. Most of these systems are designed to operate on Microsoft word documents only. Resumes delivered in other formats such as Apple Pages, PDF, HTML, and Open Office have issues in with all modern programs used by most every company world-wide. Hence they are discarded. Sending applications in these non-compatible formats equates to not applying. DO NOT USE TEMPLATES, CONVERT TO PDF, OR ANY OTHER FORMAT!
Simplicity is paramount
While putting information in the header and footer, including infographics, attaching pictures, applying fields, and using templates may enhance resumes’ appearance, make them look more professional and informative to human readers, screening algorithms ignore these elements when processing resumes. This means, any important information attached in these sections is never considered. For example, level of experience presented in a table or attached image is ignored, and the software assumes the candidate may not have any relevant experience.
Use normal fonts and formatting
These systems are sensitive to fonts and formatting. If the text is not formatted correctly, during conversion, it may lose its meaning. Multicolumn texts are transformed with errors. The text should be structured in a single column. It is also recommended small caps are not used for lowercase letters. Expanded fonts should be avoided. Capitalization should also be used in accordance with normal grammar except for headers. Blank lines can be used between paragraphs to enhance readability. To test resume’s readability after conversion, applicants can reduce the font to less than eight and save the file as ‘.txt.’ They can then check the readability by opening the saved ‘.txt’ file.
Always use common header terms
Screening programs use headers to classify the type of content under them. It is a rule of thumb for job seekers to classify their resume content under common header terms such as ‘JOB OBJECTIVE’, ‘WORK HISTORY’, and ‘EDUCATION‘. Only contact info can be listed without necessarily including a header. It is not advisable to include sub-headers under headers.
Never combine sections
It is common to see resumes with sections encompassing unrelated information. For example, some job applicants put professional affiliations, community service, and awards in one section. This makes it challenging for the software to retrieve the right information for each term included in the header. Always split the header with its content. It is also critical for candidates not to omit important information like dates and full company names.
Resumes meant for electronic processing software must be simple and precise. Though these resumes may not be appealing to human recruiters, they usually have higher chances of going through automated systems successfully. To compensate for lost aesthetics, job seekers can have two resumes; a sophisticated one for humans and a simplified one for automated screening.
IF YOU FOLLOW THESE TIPS YOUR RESUME WILL PARSE WELL AND YOU WILL BE NOTICED AND MORE LIKLEY VIEWED!