TAP In with Tristan : Keep This In Mind When Writing Your Resume

Our very own Tristan Layfield talks about what you should always keep in mind when writing your resume on this installment of The TAP In. Check the links in the show notes to connect with Tristan!

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Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. This week let’s talk about what you should always keep in mind when writing your resume. The key to writing an effective resume is to keep your audience in mind. There two audiences you’re creating this document for. The first is the applicant tracking system, and the second is recruiters and hiring managers. When it comes to applicant tracking system or ATS, we know that it scans your resume. We often talk about that in the context of having the right keywords, which is incredibly essential, but the first thing you need is a format that can be actually scanned by the ATS. If you use a format that isn’t ATS-optimized, it may kick you out before human eyes can ever see your resume. Here are a few things to keep in mind when formatting your resume for the  ATS. Stick to a one-column format as many of them scan your document from left to right, so two columns can cause a bit of confusion. Ensure your contact information isn’t in the header of the document as some systems have issues scanning that area. Ensure you have defined headers so the system can pick up on them. You want to keep in mind a few other things when developing the document for recruiters and hiring managers. In addition to all of the formatting stuff we just talked about for the ATS, make your contact information easily accessible. Infuse a small pop of color throughout the document to help it stand out, but don’t go overboard. You want to use formatting to help guide the recruiter or hiring manager through your document while scanning, so ensure consistency in your text format. For example, if you bold one job title, you should bold them all. Also, keep your experience in a bullet format rather than a paragraph as it makes the content easier to digest. Beyond the formatting, when it comes to your resume’s content, think about the recruiter or hiring manager that may be reading it, not just what you want to include. When they’re reading your resume, they are trying to identify their potential return on investment in you, and you want to showcase that by focusing on things that are relevant to the role. If you include a summary, make sure it doesn’t sound too generic, like your resume could be coming from anyone who does this work. Try to rewrite some of your bullet points to move from task-based statements to accomplishment or value-based statements; this will help showcase your potential contributions if they brought you on to the team. When we write our resumes, we often write them solely from the perspective of what we want to highlight and how we want it to look. If you take a moment to step outside your perspective and revise your document based on what a recruiter or hiring manager wants to see, you’ll more than likely land more interviews. Thanks for tapping in with me this week. This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.

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