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Your Resume Is Your First Impression. Don’t Blow It, Craft It

First impressions are like glass, if you're not careful, they break. The employer who's at his desk, looking through piles of resumes is going to give yours not more than 20 seconds to grab him. Ask the best professional resume writing services in Phoenix Arizona and they will tell you, a three-page, wordy resumes with every detail of your life that remotely aligns with the job description will only cause frustrations for the employer.

And this will boomerang back at you. You may have gone through the job opening post with a fine-tooth comb and written about everything they asked for. But you didn't get the call.

So, what did you do wrong?

You probably took resume-writing for granted.

But resume writing is a skill. Most people don't know what employers are looking for in a resume. So they don't know how to approach the writing of it. They either wing it and don't get the call.

Or they do the smart thing and hire a top resume writing service and get it done. They get the interview call, but they never learn the skill that could help craft a good resume for that sharp, snappy first impression. What happens when you look for a change five years down the line?

The takeaway is this: writing your resume to make a great first impression is a skill that takes many years. Writing wordy descriptions is not. It's time to add your own salt to make your resume count.

Your First Challenge: The ATS

Most resumes are read by a machine first. The Application Tracking System is what you've got to get through at the outset. Couple of years ago, CNBC reported that three-quarters of resumes are never read by human eyes! They are passed through software that is programmed to search for what the employer wants or what the online job board thinks employers are looking for.

Whether you like it or not, you should optimize for certain keywords. Now, we know it's not easy knowing what an algorithm wants. But rest assured that the ATS is not Deep Mind. It's just looking for certain keywords. If it's looking for the word 'artificial intelligence and you've only used 'AI' on your resume, it won't find you.

So you've got to be one step ahead of the ATS. Get creative with the text, not with the format. This means no header or footer, tables, text boxes or columns, graphics, etc, that the ATS can't read. Hire a resume writer that is knowledgeable in this field.

Make a list of the job duties and essential tasks that come with your job. You can make things easier for yourself by searching for job listings online that match your experience and background. Then find a way to get the skills mentioned there, into your resume. Look for hard skills, and make sure the job title is clear and specific. Your career objective at the top doesn't have to be descriptive. A job title alone will do.

It's important to cover all the major tasks and not leave anything out. A human reader might be more forgiving if you missed a task on your resume. But if that's the phrase an employer uses to search online for recruits, you've lost a chance.

Now that you've gamed the system by collecting keyword-phrase resources, you can move on to catching the hiring panel's eye.

Highlight And Review

It is very essential to make your opening statement stand out in clear and precise terms. Make sure that there aren't any typos or other errors unless you want to blow your chances.

Even if the rest of your resume appears to be clear, free of typos, and reflective of your competence, that initial bad impression is hard to reverse later. Try using the free Grammarly app to edit your resume.

There's also the fact that common words and phrases will work better on the robotic ATS. It's unlikely to be able to recognize 'what motivates me but it can read 'education' or 'professional summary'.

Think Like The Hiring Manager

Creativity is about putting yourself in others' shoes. What is the hiring manager looking for? They may want to know things like when you can start, do you need to relocate, why are you more interested in this job?

You don't want to write an essay, just a gist or summary of where you are coming from. Customize your resume to the job. This means you may have to write different resumes for different types of jobs.

Think About The Order Of Things

You don't want a chunk of text on your resume, but discrete sections. The hiring manager is likely to scan her/his eyes through your resume, waiting for words to jump at her.

Under each job you've held before, list your accomplishments in descending order of impact.

Older jobs don't have to be too detailed. You can make them brief. If you've been around for a while, you may have work histories from a decade ago. List only your biggest accomplishments on these jobs.

Think About The Impact You Made, Not What You Learned

A list of job titles from your past are well and good. But it doesn't tell an employer who you are as an individual at the workplace. Your impact, in cold, hard facts, driven by results does.

A simple two-line statement that would stand out for an employer is:

Designed a tool that automated stock-taking at the warehouse. Results: Saved over 60 hours.

Make sure your skills are highlighted.

Bonus: Get Crafty With The Network

Do you know someone at the organization you're applying to? Or can you reach out to someone through a friend of a friend? This can help you get your resume across to someone who matters at the company, a person, not a bot.

You can also bypass the bot by finding out who the hiring manager is and writing to them. Ask them who the decision-maker is for the hire. Send your resume to them with a short email on why you think you're a good fit for the position.

The Bottom-line

If your resume is impact-driven but you're still not getting calls, could it be that you've been applying to the same kinds of jobs that you're getting rejected from? Maybe it's a lack of content that's at fault.

Or, have you failed to highlight a special skill the job needs? This kind of analytical thinking will always keep you in a growth mindset. You'll perfect your resume at every turn, and avoid getting downtrodden.

Eventually, you'll make that right first impression, and get the job you want. You could always learn from a professional resume writing service in Phoenix Arizona how it's done. Or join a resume writing class to get better at crafting your own resume down the line, every time.

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