12 Ways to Ensure That Your Resume Gets Read

  • Published on March 5

The average job opening attracts 130 resumes, according to the employment experts. With that kind of volume, it’s little wonder that most resumes get looked at for 7 seconds or less. 

If you’re looking for a new position, how can you increase the odds that a hiring manager or HR manager twill pay attention to your application long enough to appreciate what you have to offer?

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make sure your resume gets read. Study these suggestions before you reply to another job listing.

Tips for Editing Your Resume

You can make your resume stand out from the crowd. Review it carefully before you start your job search and update it at least twice a year or after any major achievement.

Use these strategies:

1. Use keywords. As you probably know, many companies use artificial intelligence to screen applicants. Clear the first hurdle by including keywords those robots are looking for. You can often figure that out by copying the language in the job advertisement.

2. Strengthen your summary. Hiring managers are often pressed for time, so your summary may determine whether your resume lands in the reject pile or receives further consideration. Write a brief and compelling description of your background and what makes you an outstanding candidate.

3. Quantify your accomplishments. Numbers sound persuasive. Create bullet points that communicate your achievements with percentages and other statistics.

4. Simplify formatting. A little structure can make your resume easier to scan but avoid going overboard. Stick to a professional font, adequate white space, and helpful headings.

5. Ask for feedback. You may be so familiar with your resume that you overlook obvious typos. Ask a friend or family member to look it over and tell you what they think. Read it out loud to see how well it flows.

6. Deliver it directly. Now that you’ve polished your resume, guide it to someone who wants to see it. Use LinkedIn and other sources to find the name and position of an appropriate contact, if it’s not given in the job listing.

Other Tips for Making Sure Your Resume Gets Read

Keep in mind that your resume is just one ingredient in a successful job search. You need to maximize the rest of your strategy too.

Try these techniques:

1. Assess your qualifications. Are you seeking positions that match your background and make sense in the context of your career path? You probably need to provide some explanation if you’re overqualified, underqualified, or trying to change fields.

2. Customize your cover letter. This is where you can address such concerns and make the case for hiring you. Research the company, so you can discuss their specific needs and how you can help.

3. Add work samples. Give employers a preview of the impressive qualifications that won’t fit in your resume. Link your application to your personal website or your LinkedIn profile.

4. Obey instructions. Make a positive first impression by reading the application guidelines and following them. Show them that you’re considerate and easy to work with.

5. Follow up. Unless the ad says no calls, try to discuss the position further. Be prepared with substantive questions if someone has the time to speak with you. Be gracious and express your enthusiasm if they ask you to wait while they complete their process.

6. Leverage your network. One of the most effective ways to get an employer’s attention is to find a contact you have in common. Maybe you know someone willing to make a call or send a recommendation.

Even if you're a star performer, you may have to work on your resume to be sure it gets read. Making it easier for employers to recognize your value will help you to land more interviews and job offers.