SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 24 July 2020Soft Skills: Why They are Harder Than You Think and How You Can Acquire Them
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. With our ever increasingly competitive workforce, in order to compete with others, you’re going to have to stand out! With your resume typically being the first thing recruiters look at, you have to find a way to make your resume be noticed among the hundreds of others they are getting.
According to a study done by The Ladders, recruiters only spend an average of about six seconds to review a resume. So the question remains, how do you make your resume catch their eye in that small amount of time?
Include Specific Skill Sets
Although each job position has different requirements, be sure to research the position you are applying for thoroughly. Does that position you are applying for require a specific degree or certification? You’ll need to tailor your resume to each particular position you are applying for.
Recruiters can tell if you turn in the same generic resume for several job positions. Be sure to include any relevant job titles and responsibilities that came with it onto your resume. For example, if you are applying for a tech position, you most likely won’t need to include your summer job at the waterpark.
Keep your resume consistent. Recruiters are looking for someone whose career path shows a constant stream of progress. You don’t want to list positions that are all over the place. They are looking for someone who has spent their time developing and refining skill sets required for the position you are applying for.
With that in mind, remember to “connect the dots” in your resume to show consistency. Be sure to offer more than just a list of your responsibilities in your resume. You want to include your value to the company regarding any positions you had. By showing the value and contribution you made, it shows recruiters that you can do the same for their company.
Identify Key Words related to the position
With recruiters having limited time to scan numerous resumes, they look for keywords. For example, if you are applying for a tech job where coding is required, be sure to include your skills with Java, Python, etc. If a recruiter scanning your resume doesn’t see any of the required keywords on your resume, they might wonder what you are even doing applying for this particular position.
Keywords are so important that recruiters scanning resumes even use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan for important keywords. Some even use functions as simple as CTRL-F. Your keywords should include any skills, credentials, job requirements, and previous employers.
For example, if you are applying for a leadership position, be sure to include keywords such as; communication, delegating, creativity, etc. The best way to ensure that you are listing the right thing is to thoroughly research the job position to see what they are looking for. Most of the time, there will be a list of qualifications expected.
Be specific! The more specific you are, the more likely you are to show up as a good candidate. Be sure to mix up your keywords and use as many as possible. For example, put your keywords everywhere, and not just in one section of your resume. Be sure to use a variety of different types of keywords like industry buzzwords. And use as many as you can, but of course, do not include any skills that you don’t actually have.
Clean It Up
Make your resume appealing to the eye. You don’t want to turn in a resume that’s messy and boring. A good tip to consider is adding a professional summary at the top of your resume. Be sure to highlight your strengths and skills briefly.
According to Ellen Grealish, a co-founder of FlexProfessionals, resumes that receive the most attention include a professional summary. She goes on to explain that while many people use the traditional objective, using a professional summary is a good opportunity to sell yourself better.
Do remember to proofread your resumes for any inconsistencies. For example, make sure that your resume is in the correct reverse chronological order. In addition, make sure that there are no unexplained gaps in your work history. If any do exist, consider writing a quick explanation as to why there is a gap. Be sure to check for any inconsistencies in any achievements you have included.
A common mistake that many people make is to forget to proofread their resumes for any grammatical mistakes, spelling mistakes, or even simple typos. Make sure that your resume is easy to read, clear, and consistent. Use only one type of font, if you need to highlight something, make it bold. Utilize bullet points to outline your skills and responsibilities. Avoid using long sentences, and be clear and concise about what you are trying to get across.
Lastly, be sure that you are submitting your resume in the right format. No recruiter is going to want to download different software just to view your resume, especially when there are a hundred others waiting for you. Be sure to save your resume in a PDF format, and save your resume with your name. Remember you can spend hours perfecting your resume but one simple mistake can make you stand out in a way that you don’t want to.
I can’t stress it enough, that in order to get the job you want, you have to be able to stand out from the hundreds or even thousands of candidates vying for the same position you are going for. By utilizing these tips and somehow showing the passion you have for the job, your chances of landing your dream job will dramatically increase.
For more information on how to be the ideal candidate, visit us at www.prosky.co/careerbuzz