how to make your resume more effective

It can seem like your resume goes into a black hole when you apply for a job, but the easiest way how to make your resume more effective is to include information that directly correlates with the job you’re applying to. The more customized your resume is to the exact position you’re applying to, the more effective it will be and the more it will get you noticed by hiring managers and recruiters.

Making sure that your resume is searchable and includes key words and phrases increases your visibility when hiring managers and recruiters search for candidates, and it makes you more accessible for contact.

Research Potential Jobs

According to a 2015 study done by the National Federation of Independent Business, 48% of small businesses report there are few or no qualified applicants for the positions they are trying to fill. While it’s possible that this is the case, it’s also possible that potential candidates are not including the right information on their resume.

Do some research on what businesses are actually looking for in a candidate and pay attention to trends of required skills or experience in your industry.

  • Is there software that you continually see as a job requirement?
  • When you browse potential job opportunities, are there any specific skills required?
  • How about certifications? Is there any specialized training that could benefit you when it comes to your job search?

The more research you can do, the better. You want to get a better understanding of what potential employers and recruiters are looking for in candidates within your field so you can highlight these requirements on your resume.

A great way to do this research is to browse through potential job opportunities. Think about what you want your next career move to be and do a search on LinkedIn,,, or any other job site you find effective. Look through opportunities that interest you and make note of the requirements.

Learn the Required Skill(s)

Now that you’ve found the necessary skills and knowledge you need to get ahead, take a class so you can put that information on your resume! With options like Khan Academy,, Skillshare, and even YouTube, you can learn practically anything online with minimal to no cost!

I had a client tell me that taking a class was not an option because of time and money. If you feel this way, you’re probably focusing on a more traditional class structure at a college or university. There are endless options to further your education without going broke or giving up your social life. You don’t need to go to an accredited university, you just need to further develop your knowledge on a subject. As long as you can prove that you have a skill or are knowledgeable on something, it doesn’t matter where you learned it.

As long as you can prove that you have a skill or are knowledgeable on something, it doesn’t matter where you learned it. – Click to tweet this

Do you notice that a lot of jobs require QuickBooks or another specific software? Take an online tutorial or course so you learn about the program and can put it in the skills matrix of your resume. You don’t need to become an expert on it, but if you can take a course to familiarize yourself with the subject or program, you’ll be able to include that information on your resume.

At the very least, watching YouTube tutorials will give you a better understanding of how the software works. This way you can include “Familiar with [software]” on your resume. Including this phrase will help your resume become more searchable, and will bring you up when a hiring manager or recruiter searches for candidates with that software knowledge.

Why Is This Important?

Ultimately, if someone can’t look at your resume and see how you align with the position you’re applying for, you’re not going to be able to land the job. If you are passionate about something and are trying to change career paths, it’s important to use resources out there like online courses to create tangible information to include on your resume.

Ultimately, if someone can’t look at your resume and see how you align with the position you’re applying for, you’re not going to be able to land the job. – Click to tweet this

Think about it this way: you may be interested in design, but if you have zero related experience or education, you’re going to struggle with getting a design job. However if you take some courses and volunteer in relating fields, you’re creating information to put on your resume to help others recognize that you would be a good candidate for the position.

Similarly, with such a high volume of applicants per position, employers often use keyword searches to weed out unqualified applicants. A lot of people use the “spray and pray” tactic when applying for jobs, meaning that they apply for a lot of jobs that they might not even qualify for, just for the sake of applying.

This creates an influx of underqualified candidates, and employers/recruiters need a simple way to figure out who is and who is not qualified. Thus, keyword searches come up. For instance, if an employer is looking to hire an inside sales rep with experience generating leads, working a pipeline, and prospecting new markets, they will search those key words and phrases within each resume that comes in. If someone has those phrases in their document, they will be put into the qualified pile, and if not, the resume will be tossed aside. It sounds harsh, but with so many candidates, there has to be a way to sort everything.


Wondering how to make your resume more effective to get you noticed? The first step is to research the market and learn what qualifications you need to have to land the job of your dreams. It sounds overwhelming, but it is totally possible to create a more effective resume based on your unique skills and experience.

If you want even more tools for how to make your resume more effective and achieve your goals, check out my online course where I explain exactly how to create your perfect resume in five easy steps!

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