We all know that, when it comes to your resume these days, it’s very important to be up to date on the rapidly changing tech and be familiar with the necessary skills you need to stay ahead of the crowd. But then we throw in AI, which is now being used to both write and read resumes, and the resume game has changed drastically. It’s enough to make us all throw our hands up in frustration. Rage applying is a futile gesture, no matter how it might quell some of that anger you have toward the whole hiring process. Instead, if you want to make your resume stand out, follow a few simple tips in order to beat the bots and your competition.
1. Keep it Short and Clean
Organize the content of your resume in a nice, neat way, choosing an easily readable (over 9 point) and familiar font. Place the most important and recent skills first, followed by your experience. Don’t place anything in the header or margins (like your contact information) as many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) won’t be able to scan those parts, leaving room for your resume to be thrown in the virtual trash. Keep your resume scannable and avoid using too many colors or images. Remember that resumes are simply meant to get you in the door—it’s during your interview that your personality will be able to shine.
2. Optimize Your Text
This is a big one. We’ve said it before: you need to tailor your resume to the job description. But the job description is now what ATS is using to weed out the strong applicants. Put on your SEO hat. Pack your resume with keywords you find within the job description and update your resume for every application you make. Use a word processor like Microsoft Word instead of Adobe Photoshop or Acrobat. You want to ensure that all bots and humans can read it, whereas some older automated systems won’t be able to scan resumes written in anything other than a Word document.
3. Report More than Your Job Duties
Once you’ve already pulled in strong keywords from the job description, go beyond those skills and add results-driven language like statistics from past projects and improvement rates that you helped former companies achieve. This is your opportunity to brag about yourself and the great work you've done. Get specific with statistics and projects that you want to do again. For example, if you're a UX Designer who handles web redesigns, include something like "Improved web performance by X%" and "Redesigned entire website including X landing pages." The more you can add about the high value you bring to all you touch, the more interested the hiring company will be. Finally... add important soft skills that you already know are required for the job.
4. Apply Interpersonal Research to your Resume
The one human trait you have that beats AI every time is the ability to talk directly with the people behind the bots. You are already tailoring your resume to the job description, but go the extra mile to talk with someone at the company who knows what’s required for the position. It’s very easy to find the hiring manager on social media or have an acquaintance introduce you to someone who works there. Lastly, try to get feedback from a real person on your resume. If this is truly a job you want, networking and getting feedback is the step that takes a bit of effort—but is so worth it to get you to the interview phase!
5. Make your Personal Statement Hit Hard
Your personal statement is another scannable section that will immediately tell the hiring manager all they need to know about you. Intimidated? Don’t be! Think about this as a combination of your history, interests, and strengths—three things that make you unique and a natural best fit for this job. Stay true to yourself while leaning on those skill keywords we discussed above and you’re good as gold.
If you’re looking for a job and are getting stuck on how to revamp your resume, we can help! Our recruiters at Artisan have their finger on the pulse of the creative industry—and we know what it takes to help you stand out.