You have a killer cover letter. You have a revamped resume. Now all you have to do is snag that ever-elusive job interview. Here are ways to make sure potential employers notice you and invite you in! Hint: It involves gaming some computer systems with your resume. It’s not cheating, it’s strategy!
1. Fill in resume gaps. If you’re dying for a job interview but had to take a year or two off work to attend to a sick parent, spend time with a new baby, or just travel the world, say so in your resume: “2012-2014: Took an extended maternity leave,” or “2013-2015: Cared for ill sibling, matter is now resolved.” If you don’t, hiring managers’ algorithms may pick up on a large gap and scrap your resume before anyone has a change to look at it with human eyes.
2. Sell out to keywords. There are few things I hate more than reading anything that was written to cater specifically to search engine optimization, but, well, that’s what gets clicks. That said, there’s a way to do this on your resume and still sound human. Look at the job listing. What words appear more than once? “Communication?” “Assistance?” “Management?” “Dog walking?” Whatever it is, sprinkle that within your submissions and play up those skills. Don’t worry about sounding repetitive—you can show off your personality and thesaurus skills with your cover letter. For now, you’re simply playing a numbers game.
3. Make a promise on your resume. Once you’ve slayed the CPU, it’s time to woo the actual person who gets your resume when you’re done. Want to really lock down a job interview? Make a promise at the very top of your resume: “Ranked in the top 5 of the industry for three years,” for example, or “Increased sales by $100,000 in six months.” Whatever you tell them, though, make sure that you can back it up. What you basically want to do is take a key line or two from your cover letter and add it here. Keep it brief!
4. Show off your accomplishments, not your duties. “Selling bikinis” doesn’t sound as good as “Increased swimwear sales by 40 percent,” does it?
5. Use your performance appraisals to your advantage. Got an awesome annual review? Incorporate whatever was in it that impressed your current or previous boss to impress your potential new one.