Applying for jobs is difficult, and submitting your resume is one of the most stressful parts, but taking the proper actions will ensure that you submit your best document possible. Follow these three steps before you submit your resume to ensure that you are meeting all of the requirements and your document is best meeting your needs.
Check your resume against the job description
On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. Of these candidates, four to six will be called for an interview and only one will be offered the job. With the number of applicants increasing, many hiring managers and recruiters default to either using an applicant tracking system, or doing keyword searches to determine if candidates are qualified. Keyword searches are an easy way to determine it’s worth taking the time to look at a resume or not.
The best way to ensure that you come up on keyword searches is to go through the job descriptions that you’re interested in applying to and integrate those key words and phrases throughout your document. Do your desired job descriptions utilize key words or phrases which you can use in your resume? Does a job description have a more eloquent way of wording one of your job duties? If you’re not using current job postings to help you write your resume, you’re doing yourself a disservice. See how industry professionals talk about jobs and utilize that in your document. Using industry jargon will also help you appear more professional and knowledgeable about what you do.
Print it out and read it over
Looking at your document in print format instead of on your computer screen will let you see the formatting more clearly and will help give you a different perspective. Incorrect spelling, grammar, and typos could cost you the job because it suggests that you didn’t thoroughly go over your resume, and that you may lack attention to detail.
When you spend so much time working on and crafting a document, it’s easy to glaze over and miss errors. The best way to check for errors is to give yourself some time away from the document and look at it in a new light. If you’ve been working endlessly on your resume, give yourself some time away from it. Either sleep on it or give yourself an hour away if you’re in a time crunch. Fresh eyes will always catch something new.
Additionally, look at your resume in a different way. My two best suggestions for this are to print out your document and go over it on paper instead of on a screen, and then read it from the bottom up. By switching up the order you read the document in, you’ll be able to catch more errors because your eyes will see the text differently. This is something I learned in my exam to become a certified professional resume writer, so trust me when I tell you this tactic works!
Save it in PDF
One of the most important factors that makes a great resume is formatting. A clear, concise, and reader friendly format will greatly benefit you, however it’s important to ensure that all readers are in fact viewing the document in the same way. Save your resume in PDF version before submitting your resume to ensure that everyone is looking at the same thing. Formatting often gets disrupted when viewing the Word document in an email browser or on a phone, and can even get compromised if the document is opened up on a different operating system (Mac vs. PC). To ensure consistency, save your document in PDF format and submit it that way unless other instructions are given. This way you can be sure that you are looking at the exact same document the prospective employer or recruiter is.
When it comes to submitting your resume, consistency matters. Follow these three steps before you submit your resume. Compare your resume to the job description at hand, print it out, and save it in PDF. Once you ensure that your document is free from errors and that everyone will see the same formatting, you can send off your application with some piece of mind.