On the job hunt, one of the most common pieces of advice is to tailor your resume to the job for which you are applying. That means using key words, revamping the layout, etc. When filling out a job application, the one thing you can count on every time is needing a resume. The challenge becomes standing out from the crowd based on a piece of paper.

As mentioned in the past, we have one shot to make a digital impression and that usually comes from your resume. If you have various mistakes on yours, then you are likely eliminated from consideration before even having the chance to speak with someone at the company.

According to our friends over at TopResume, studies have shown that a recruiter typically only spends six seconds before deciding one way or another on a resume. Not only does this show the importance of having a strong resume, but also how quickly people can make a first impression – digitally or in person.

While this short amount of time seems alarming, TopResume offers up five essential things to always include on your resume so it does not get “tossed right into the ‘no’ pile.”

Job Description Keywords

As technology has advanced, so has the job application process. Instead of filling out a paper application and having to print your resume, companies now handle the entire process online. More often than not, a company’s career portal will have an applicant tracking system (ATS) that scans and ranks your resume before anyone even sees it.

By using keywords that you find in the job description, the ATS can pick them up and help your chances of getting pushed through to the next part of the process.

Professional title

When you incorporate the use of a professional title, your career goals are explicitly stated. TopResume says, “you might put ‘Senior Accounting Professional’ or ‘Marketing & Sales Associate’ right beneath your contact information.” This shows the hiring manager what type of position you are seeking.

Certifications and credentials

If the job to which you are applying prefers candidates to have an advanced degree, such as a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) then putting it after your name could be beneficial. If this is the case, the ATS the company is using might pick it up quicker than it would by not including the acronym. That said, you should still include this in the education section on your resume as well.

Relevant websites

Anything that contributes to your personal brand can be included on your resume with your contact information. Common links are: LinkedIn, social media sites, a personal blog or online portfolio.

While it is encouraged to share these links, especially to further enhance your personal brand, it is important to keep in mind the type of job to which you are applying. If applying to a graphic design position, you should absolutely include a link to your online portfolio that shows examples of your work. As they say when it comes to writing, “show, don’t tell,” so by having physical evidence of graphics you have created in school or previous positions the hiring manager can see the type of experience you have. If you are applying to a job in social media, definitely include links to various platforms that show you are active and capable of managing an account.

Stats on your resume

Along the lines of “show, don’t tell,” by having certain metrics on your resume the hiring manager has tangible results to back up your claim that you have experience in a certain area. By including “Grew social media following by 35% up to 5,000 followers on Twitter through use of certain hashtags” instead of “Grew social media following on Twitter” the company can see how successful you were.

Wrap Up

In the age of digital job applications, a company’s first impression is usually based on your resume. With the use of applicant tracking systems, this can be done in about six seconds. Given how competitive the job hunt can be, especially now that you can apply to a job with just a few clicks of a mouse, standing out among the sometimes hundreds of other applicants is crucial. By including the aforementioned five things on your resume (remember to tailor it to each job!) you will have a better chance to move forward in the application process. If you need some additional help on revamping your resume, TopResume offers a free resume review.

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