Make these changes to your resume to get 3x more views

Whether you are ready to hit the apply button or are passively looking for a new job opportunity, this resume guide is going to be a road map to getting you noticed by employers.

  • Sept. 9, 2021

How can you be sure that your resume is showcasing your best attributes? This occurs because each company has its own ways of screening applicants. Hiring managers want to see that their candidates have a general knowledge of the job market; they want candidates who will be willing to learn a new skill or apply technical solutions where appropriate. They also want to see that the candidate can show they have an interest in their career and that this is shown in their resume.

How to improve your resume is a question that many job seekers struggle with. In an ideal world, your resume would showcase all of your successes— positions you have held, growth between roles, articles you've written, volunteer work you've done, educational certifications you have received, etc. But how do you know which ones are truly worthy? From having run retail stores as a store manager to being a recruiter at an agency, all the way to holding senior management roles in corporate finance, merchandising & marketing, here’s a list of tips I've collected over my years of experience. At the end of the 8 tips, you will also find a prototype included to help you get a headstart into applying for your dream job!

One Page and Under

This may sound extremely basic but I cannot stress enough on this how much hiring managers only prefer one-pager resumes. A resume is an instrument used to showcase, in brief, all your relevant professional experiences, accomplishments, capabilities, and skills. It is not a place to write an essay or a story. Please keep your resume focused and extremely succinct. The best advice I can give here is to only include experiences that are relevant to the job you are applying to. This may mean that you have several versions of your resume saved that are meant for different positions. 

LinkedIn Profile URL

LinkedIn has been known to play a big role in finding a job. However, LinkedIn can also serve as your digital resume. Data out there proves that when a hiring manager shows interest in reading a resume, the first thing they will do is find you on LinkedIn to help put a picture to the story presented in the resume. Thus, it is extremely vital to include your LinkedIn profile on the top of your resume and be sure to have your LinkedIn profile up to date.

Technical Skills and Platforms

In every job position, you list on your resume, be sure to list all your technical skills and experience. For example, if you used Tableau (reporting platform) to pull reports from the database, list this. If you were a part of integrating a reporting tool at your company, mention this. Apart from these, make sure to emphasize your Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills. Even if you haven't used these platforms, mention these tools and then go take some courses on them and learn how they work. This principle is similar to Richard Branson's philosophy - If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!

On the other hand, if you used these tools in your prior roles or are currently using them, provide some examples related to them. For example, if you used the "Vlookup" and "Sumifs" function in Excel during the role you held, mention this and the projects related to this.

Lastly, if you are a beginner or well-rounded in SQL, don't forget to emphasize this as well. Every company nowadays prefers candidates who know their way around these tools and platforms regardless of the position you are applying to. This shows your technical capabilities along with your eagerness to learn different tools and systems.

Quantifying Your Achievements

Rather than only listing responsibilities like "Responsible for managing 10 employees" or "Owned the process of running reports every week", it is extremely important to state your achievements and even quantify them in numbers. For example, if you were responsible for managing 10 employees, how many of those did you help get promoted? What did you do to optimize your employee turnover? If you are/were responsible for running marketing campaigns to increase sales of a product, how many of those were successful? How much in sales did your campaigns generate and how did it impact your department's sales goals? Did the customer traffic increase due to your campaigns? Did you beat your goals by X%? It is always good to mention these points in your resume. A few great examples are:

  • Increased the designer T-shirts and accessories business by 22% in Q2 & Q3 by executing strategic assortment actions and comparing Sales vs the total offering along with the total inventory.
  • Decreased $10 million in marketing costs in 3 months by partnering up with Finance and modeling out custom budgets for Google, Facebook, and other ads.
  • Currently leading and mentoring a team of 5 and promoted 1 of them to Sr Manager this year. 

These examples show the What, How, When, and Who. It is extremely important to include these four variables in your sentence to give a high-level overview of your ability to help the business achieve its goals. This proves that you have great leadership (soft) and technical (hard) skills.

Key Performance Indicators

Every company and its departments have certain KPIs they monitor on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis that help them gauge the success of all the work they are doing. Some common and popular metrics include Gross Sales, Number of customers, Traffic, Conversion, Average Order Value (AOV), Average Unit Retail (AUR), Gross & Net Margin, Net Promoter Score, Customer Life Time Value, and Cost of Acquisition. All of these metrics are monitored and compared to prior periods as well to help understand if the business is growing or declining. Keeping this in mind, it is vital to include the KPIs you were responsible for in your role along with emphasizing which ones you helped optimize. For example, did you help drive 10% more traffic to the company website? If so, what were the steps you took to help achieve this goal? If the plan for the company was to decrease costs in the fourth quarter by 20%, how did you help with this?

Also, be sure to only include relevant KPIs that are aligned with what is mentioned in the role you are applying for. If the role you are applying for has a higher focus on acquiring more customers and growing top-line sales, emphasize only those relevant KPIs.

The Number of Roles You Have Held

You may have held several part-time roles when you were in college but if you have had more than ten years of corporate experience post-college, the part-time jobs you held during your college years should be excluded from your resume (unless these roles showcase something that is truly related to the role you are applying to).

On another note, if you held a role for a few months and decided to resign shortly after, it might be best to exclude this from your resume and incase if there is a gap shown on your resume and you are asked about this during your interview, you can speak to this by saying you took up a role based on all what was presented but when you jumped right into the job, you quickly realized that it wasn't for you and you did not want to waste any ones time and decided to part ways. This will show you are truly genuine along with your quality of pivoting quickly.

The Keyword "SEO" Game

This one is huge! Many recruiters and hiring managers search for candidate profiles via a keyword search. The good thing is that these keywords are more or less included in the job description of the role you are interested in applying for. You do not want to go unnoticed due to not having these keywords in your resume. Many times, it has happened wherein the candidate has full capabilities in performing a job but due to not including these keywords on the resume, the candidate profile goes unnoticed and doesn't pop up in a profile search. To avoid this, make sure to read the job description carefully and thoroughly. Be sure to include the important "must-haves" and "preferred skills and responsibilities" right in your resume. Now, this doesn't have to be a separate section in your resume. Depending upon relevance, these keywords and important "buzz-words" can be a part of some or all the roles you have held that are on your resume. 

For example, if you held various Data Analyst roles and are applying for Financial Analyst roles, and if the job description of a Financial Analyst mentions that this candidate should be well versed in analyzing data along with providing financial forecasts and suggesting ROI optimizations - you should include a brief point on this in your roles and emphasize on how you are comfortable with this task. Even if you may not have owned this responsibility fully in the past or your current role, include these buzz words in your resume and research into this to get familiar with this. 

Leadership Principles

Last but not least, make sure the points in your resume relate to some of the most important leadership principles that most fortune 500 companies abide by. These are (but are not limited to) Customer Obsession, Bias for action, Disagree & Commit, Invent & Simplify, Insisting on the Highest Standards, Empathy, Compassion, and Frugality. 

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