Effectively Use Your Resume to Stand Out
“The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn’t simply tell a story about what you want to be, but it’s a story about who you want to be.” –Oprah Winfrey
Resumes are an essential tool for job seekers. As our ERP clients know, resumes provide potential employers with a snapshot of a candidate’s professional experience and qualifications. However, simply having a resume is not enough. It’s important to construct your resume effectively to stand out from other applicants. The ERP space is full of Sage, Acumatica or Netsuite candidates; but sometimes having the relevant experience isn’t enough. Being seen is the first step, then, it’s standing out that really matters. As recruiters, we can tell you that standing out matters more than you would think. In this month’s blog we’re going to highlight some important ways you can effectively use your resume to stand out from the crowd.
Customize Your Resume
Our first tip may seem simple, but a lot of people fail to take the time to do it. Customize your resume to each job you apply for. Study the job description and highlight the skills and experience that match your background. What shouldn’t you do? Don’t copy and paste the job description directly into your resume. This comes off as unprofessional and can be extremely obvious to hiring managers. We’ve talked to enough VAR’s or Acumatica hiring managers to know this is not what they are looking for.
People have actually taken this a step further now. From an article at Entrepreneur.com, they share that people are copying and pasting job descriptions on their resume but in a way that can’t be seen. This TikTok ‘hack’ suggests that people camouflage this information so it’s hidden but still comes up in searches. Want to be sure you DON’T get the job? This is how to make that happen. It’s easier to get caught doing this than you may think and it is not recommended.
Take the time to customize your resume and use keywords from the job posting to show that you are a good fit for the position.This customization helps you stand out and shows that you took the time to read and understand the job requirements. For example, if a job description requirement is “3 years of accounting experience in Sage Intacct data transfer from Quickbooks”, your resume should have more than just bullet points that say:
- Accounting Experience
- Data Transfer
- ERP Experience
See the difference?
Keep It Concise and Clear
While we’re talking about customizing your resume it only makes sense to talk about making it look good too. Recruiters and hiring managers receive a massive number of resumes for each job posting, so it’s crucial to keep your resume concise and easy to read. According to an article on Indeed.com, employers typically look at a resume for a total of six to seven seconds. Yes, that’s it! And that’s if a pair of human eyes actually sees it. If you followed the first step, you have a better chance of getting through that algorithm firewall.
As recruiters here at DyNexus, we do our best to look at as many details as possible on a resume. While we probably spend more time analyzing resumes and trying to “read between the lines”, we don’t have time to read every single thing, definitely not a 6 page resume. Remember, you want to effectively use your resume to stand out.
What should you do?
Limit your resume to one or two pages and use bullet points to organize your achievements and responsibilities. As an example, for ERP professionals summarizing your total experience with ERP systems, which systems you’ve used and which industries you’ve worked in are key pieces of information to highlight.
We also suggest using a clear font and to avoid using excessive formatting. If you go overboard with formatting it can make your resume hard to read and get lost in the mix. It also may get rejected by ATS (Applicant Tracking System) software used by many companies and then nobody will see it. Also, using a bunch of fancy boxes and columns and more-than-basic formatting on your resume often makes it hard to translate to a functional profile for a recruiter.
Think you might need a helping hand with your resume? Luckily there are several online resources that provide resume services. A couple of examples we found include:
Include Relevant Experience
Include experience and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’re a recent graduate, highlight your coursework and internships. If you’re changing careers, highlight transferable skills that can be applied to the new role. Be selective in what and how much experience you include that doesn’t immediately translate to your application.
Along with your relevant experience it’s also important to include your soft skills. Things such as communication, teamwork and problem-solving. We typically don’t include these things in our job postings because every hiring manager wants these. But you should have them in your resume. Highlight your soft skills in your resume and provide examples of how you have demonstrated them in previous roles. There is a great in depth article on resume.io that talks about what soft skills to include and how. Soft skills are becoming increasingly important in the modern workplace, so make sure to showcase them in your resume.
Before we wrap up, I have one last thing to remind you of. Review your resume multiple times and have someone else review it as well. Make sure your resume is error-free and presents a professional image of yourself. Don’t overlook the small details. Even simple misspellings can make you stand out for the wrong reasons. And we want you to effectively use your resume to stand out for the right reasons.
A well-crafted resume is essential to getting noticed by employers and securing an interview. Customize your resume, keep it concise, highlight your achievements and relevant experience, showcase your soft skills, and proofread it multiple times. By following these tips, you’ll significantly increase your chances of landing your dream job.
If your resume is ready to go and you’re on the job hunt, remember that DyNexus is here for you. Have a look at our full-time job listings and our opportunities for contractors as well. We’d love to help you on your journey to finding a new job.