These Simple Tools Can Help You Stand Out
It’s likely you’ve spent hours crafting the perfect resume. In a perfect world, a recruiter would be sitting quietly at a desk combing through your accomplishments, lengthy skills, attention to detail and education and immediately placing you on the short list of candidates for an open job opportunity.
That’s not how it works.
Recruiters are inundated with resumes every day. Their goal is to scan through the digital pile as quickly as possible to identify the skills, experience and certifications their clients desire.
That means your resume gets viewed for just seconds.
We asked our seasoned team at Delphi-US what they look for in a resume to help candidates get noticed, improve their chances of landing screening interviews and, ultimately, a job. Here’s what our group had to say:
You’ll have a leg up on the competition if you have relevant industry experience. Awareness of industry regulations, customer insights and knowledge of the competition provides a great foundation to build from when joining a new organization. However, industry experience is not always required. The specific position, and industry, will drive how important industry experience is for an open job.
Our clients value functional experience when considering applicants for project-based roles. Functional experience clearly and succinctly states what you bring to the table. When combined with examples and statistics you’ll make an excellent case for yourself. Delphi-US looks for functional experience from a leadership perspective. Help yourself by focusing on projects you led or were deeply involved in, rather than fringe involvement.
Increased usage of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) has led to a massive overuse of keywords, especially when listing skills. This is a problem when we need to identify someone with specific skill expertise and instead see a paragraph of terms. The solution? Tell us what you’re great at. Expect a recruiter, and eventually the employer, to ask specific questions about your skill knowledge, so don’t fudge it. Doing so is a fast-track to the “not-selected” pile. Bonus tip: the same advice goes for software knowledge.
Many of our clients require active certifications for a given position. Delphi-US recruiters will ask you to confirm your active certifications. Employers will ask, too. Make sure your certifications are up-to-date. If not, let us know what steps you are taking to get recertified so we can notify the employer. If it’s determined that you have misled us regarding your active certifications it will be very difficult for our recruiting team to recommend you in the future.
There are different views on the cover letter but speaking specifically for recruiters, skip it. Why? Because we don’t have time. We’ll scan your resume for the items outlined in this article and then uncover additional details during a phone screen. Spend the time you would have invested in the cover letter and prepare answers for employment gaps, software and skill expertise, projects, strengths and weaknesses, and other items outlined in this article.
Are you fresh out of school? One page is just fine. Do you have work experience? Two to four pages is ideal. We’re not interested in every project you’ve worked on. We are interested in the projects that are linked to your skill expertise and in which you’ve played a major role. Focus on your specialization and you’ll separate yourself from the Jack of All Trades competition. For the record, the longest resume we ever received was 14 pages.
Simple works best with an exception for creative positions where style is acceptable and often encouraged. Delphi-US recommends a Microsoft Word resume in Calibri or Times New Roman black font, type size 11, with half to one-inch margins. This format allows us to quickly find the information we need. Beyond that, our recruiters generally re-format the resume to fit the employer’s preferences.
During re-formatting the Objectives section, if you use it, is quickly deleted. It’s wasted space. Often, the Summary is removed as well. However, our recruiters write their own summary centered around your skills and the job requirements when submitting to the client for review. Delphi-US recommends you share specific details with us on the screening call. We’ll take diligent notes and may incorporate them into our summary.
The most important takeaway from this article is that the experienced team at Delphi-US is here to help you land your next opportunity. Let’s connect and start talking about your goals, skills and experience. Our extensive client list means we have a consistent stream of new job opportunities. Our candidates appreciate our screenings, brand and resume advice, and interview prep and onboarding. It’s all part of our #DelphiDifference.