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What to Change on your Resume to Qualify for a Bigger Paycheck

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The bigger paycheck is one of the most important reasons for changing jobs and getting a job abroad. But how can you put it up before the job interview? We made a list of recommendations for your resume.

1. Resume is not a ticket to the interview, but a banknote

There is an opinion that a resume is a ticket to an interview. Its primary purpose – is to get a call. This belief is very mistaken that has ruined a large number of professionals.

The resume’s primary purpose is to show your actual value as a professional. If you didn’t offer your true worth immediately, it would be harder to do so at the interview.

2. Think about how to sell your resume

Your resume should be something that the recruiter wants to “buy.” Why the recruiter? Because 90% of the time, the recruiter will get it first. For the recruiter, the resume is one of the main tools of his job, which they can compare to the interface of a program. If he doesn’t like the interface of your resume, the recruiter’s desire to work with your resume is lower.

3. Score maximum points with the recruiter

A recruiter receives between 100 and 300 resumes a day. It only takes him 5 to 10 seconds to look at each resume. During this time, the recruiter’s eyes fly through the significant sections of the resume.

Each resume is internally scored (scored) by the recruiter. If the resume gets the correct number of points, the recruiter begins to work with him: calls an invite to an interview, sends it to the customer, and further down the chain. Each section of the resume can both add new points and take away the points previously earned.

4. Customize resumes for your profession

There are no universal resumes for all professions. Different types of resumes are essential for each job. The goal of each resume type is to show what is most important to the career.

5. Show the recruiter your success

A resume is not a set of separate blocks about work, education, and training. A million-dollar resume is a resume that is built into a success story. What is a success story? It’s when it’s clear how your education, career path, all sorts of training and certifications, personality traits, and the position you’re looking for are connected.

6. Take an example from the landing pages

You’ve probably seen some excellent website landing pages on the internet. Your resume should be just as good. A good resume is fun to read. You want to read to the end. Every phrase in the resume reinforces the desire to buy it. It’s straightforward to navigate (sections). In addition, the resume should comply with generally accepted norms. So if you’re not a designer or a creative professional, place no background pictures on your resume.

7. Use only colloquial business language

We always pay a lot of attention to resume language. However, be especially careful when writing a resume in a foreign language.

8. Follow the perfect structure

I have seen so many resume structures and sequences of information. In my opinion, the ideal series of information in a resume is as follows:

  • Surname and first name (middle name is not necessary, it is a relic of the past).
  • Photo.
  • Contacts (only phone and city, do not specify a home address, the recruiter will not go home to check who lives there).
  • The goal is the position you are applying for. And there’s no need for the formulaic “find a company where I can realize my potential with maximum benefit to both the company and myself. No one takes this nonsense seriously anymore anyway.
  • Core competencies are the part for experienced professionals. The recruiter may not want to read the entire resume, but he will look at the key competencies. Here you need to specify professional knowledge and achievements, as well as specify a few personal qualities.
  • Education.
  • Training.
  • Work experience (the most recent job at the top, previous jobs below).
  • Additional information (languages, knowledge of programs, license).

9. Formatting

Use font Calibri or Arial, type size 10 or 12, no tables, single indent between the lines. It’s all straightforward here:

  • Any resume should have a font that everyone is familiar with. For example, Microsoft Word used to offer a default serif font, Times New Roman. But then the fashion changed, and sans serif fonts like Calibri and Arial became popular. So I recommend that you do your resume in these fonts.
  • All resumes should have the same font. As an exception, it is allowed to make sections (“Education,” “Training,” and so on) increased by 2 points in the font.
  • No tables in the resume. Often, resumes go through different recruiting programs that recognize elements of the resume and save them in their format. In such cases, the tables move out. As a result, the resume looks exceptionally unrepresentative.
  • Make lists of responsibilities and other lists in bullet points (like this article section).
  • If your resume has links to portfolios, use a short link service (e.g., goo.gl).

10. Combine many jobs into one

It’s considered normal if a person has been with a company for 2-3 years. If he changes jobs more often, he may be called a job hopper. Of course, everyone has the right to make mistakes, and a good resume can be a few places where the candidate has worked for 1-1.5 years. But if that’s what the entire resume looks like, its value is deficient.

Wherever possible, we recommend you design several places of employment with the same title and expected dates of employment. And within that block, you can unobtrusively show job changes, but visually, when you look at the resume, it doesn’t feel like frequent job changes. This is a win-win option for those who do project work or move from company to company within a holding structure.

11. Maintain the ideal resume size

The ideal resume size is strictly two pages. One page is acceptable for a beginner, and it’s not so evident with three, four, and so on. The recruiter will only look at two pages 80% of the time. So whatever you write on the third and subsequent pages may go unheeded.

12. Share your accomplishments

Let it be about accomplishments if you only remember one sentence from an article. This immediately adds 50% value to your resume. A recruiter can’t interview everyone who sends in a resume. That’s why the person who listed their accomplishments and was able to get the recruiter interested will always win.

Achievements are your measurable successes expressed in numbers, deadlines, or significant qualitative changes in the company.

13. Talk about your personality traits

More and more attention is now being paid to the employee’s personal qualities when selecting candidates. If you analyze what exactly will be evaluated at the interview, it is likely to be as follows:

  • 40% – professional knowledge;
  • 40% – personal qualities;
  • 20% – motivation (desire to do this job in this company).

Personal qualities, mainly if they correspond to those required in the job, are essential. And if before it was enough to list them, now you need to confirm their presence.

14. Throw job responsibilities out of the job description in the trash can!

I always recommend writing exactly the duties, not the areas of responsibility, and describing them in terms of the actions you performed. Again, it’s about accomplishments, but here you don’t have to have numbers, the duties may not be that impressive, and of course, they’re not past actions.

15. Sell the job title and the company

Job titles and company listings are essentially precisely what the recruiter is looking for on a resume in the first place. It’s like a customer sliding their eyes across a store shelf looking for brands they are familiar with. By these lines, the recruiter forms the initial value of the resume in his head and only then starts looking for details.

16. Remove boilerplate phrases from the “Purpose” section

Immediately after your contact information on your resume is a section called “Purpose. This section is usually filled with boilerplate phrases like “Maximize my potential…”. Here it would be best if you listed the positions you are interested in.

17. Always check your spelling

Usually, about 5% of all resumes contain errors:

  • Elementary grammatical errors (no spell check);
  • Spelling mistakes in foreign words
  • mistakes in punctuation marks: a space before the comma, a comma between words without spaces;
  • in lists, there are different punctuation marks at the end of the sentence (ideally, there should be no punctuation marks; a dot is put after the last item in the list).

18. Save your resume in DOCX format and nothing else

Not PDF – many recruiters put their edits or notes (salary expectations, impressions of the candidate, information they received during the interview) into the resume before sending it to the client. They can’t put them into PDF. ODT – may not open correctly on several computers.

DOC – a sign that resumes are from the past (before Office 2007).

RTF – usually weighs more than alternatives.

Use a resume file name that is comfortable for the recruiter

A resume file name should contain at least the last name and preferably the position. This makes it more convenient for the recruiter to look up the resume on their drive, forward it, and so on. A minor concern for the recruiter will undoubtedly be noted. Again, this makes the resume a little more expensive in the recruiter’s eyes.

20. Show your usefulness in your cover letter

There are different opinions about cover letters. I always say this: a good cover letter can add value to a resume 20 percent of the time if it’s written correctly. But it’s not always necessary.

Pay attention to these details to impress the recruiter before the job interview.

Edward Nick

Edward Nick is the founder of DisplayBenchmark. He is a PC enthusiast as well as engineer with a keen interest in PC hardware and all stuff related to tech and games.

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