3 Tips To Keep Your Resume Relevant to the Position

3 Tips To Keep Your Resume Relevant to the Position

When you're looking for work, your resume is one of the first things a prospective employer sees. If you want to make it past the first stage of the hiring process, you need a stellar resume. And that means keeping the details on your resume relevant. An employer only spends about 15 seconds scanning your resume, so you need a document that's concise, clean, and unique. If your resume isn't relevant, you don't stand a chance against other job applicants.

1. Avoid Extraneous Information

You might include extra information on your resume and assume it will make you stand out. But in reality, the extraneous details could do more harm than good. It distracts a hiring manager from the relevant experience and makes them think you're less qualified than you actually are.

All of the following details don't belong on your resume:

Church Involvement

Only include church Involvement if it specifically relates to your desired position. For instance, you could be applying for a job in marketing. Only have church involvement on your resume if your volunteer duties included marketing.

College Activities

It's rare for college activities, like a fraternity membership, to add to your resume. Generally, you only want to include this on your resume if you have no relevant work experience.

Sports Teams

Other than cooperation, the qualities you developed while on a sports team won't help you much in the workplace. At least, an employer won't see it that way.

Marital Status

A hiring manager doesn't need to know whether or not you're married and how many children you have. If you include these details on your resume, a hiring manager will gloss over the pertinent information.

You shouldn't ever bring your political beliefs into the workplace. Even if you had experience volunteering for a political organization, avoid the temptation to include it on your resume.

Jobs from Decades Past

If you're over the age of 30, you probably have a long job history. Despite being proud of your past, you shouldn't include every job on your resume. Even if you worked the same position for all those years, things have changed. Advances in technology have completely altered the way certain jobs are done.

Because of this, a hiring manager won't put much weight in a position from 20 years ago. They would rather see a job from five years ago, or even sooner. As you're creating your resume, consider leaving off jobs from more than ten years ago.

The only exception to this is for people who have thin resumes. If you quit your job to stay home for ten years, you won't have any recent experience to include on your resume. This is when you can pull from your past and include former positions.

2. Know When to Make an Exception for Extracurriculars

As with every rule, there are some exceptions to keeping extraneous information out of your resume. If you're straight out of college, you might not have much relevant experience to include on your resume. In this case, your best option may be to include other unrelated details on your resume.

For example, your college coursework could fill up your resume. The same is true of volunteer activities and internships. However, you can leave these experiences off your resume if you have over five years of experience working. Your membership in a fraternity or sorority won't impress a hiring manager.

Another exception is for someone who switches careers. If you decide to move from finance to sales, you might not have any relevant work experience. In this case, you might need to dig deep to find relevant experiences. You can find connections from past volunteer positions or from college.

3. Evaluate Your Resume with a Critical Eye

As you write or edit your resume, look at every entry with a critical eye. Is it relevant to the position? Look at the job listing as you work on your resume. Does every job, skill, and activity on your resume relate to the listing? If something doesn't add value to your resume, remove it.

When a hiring manager looks at your resume, they should be able to see that you're qualified for the position. Unless you make it clear that you're qualified, they will immediately dismiss you as a candidate. Adjust your experience and skills to highlight your assets for this particular position. It helps to have a few different resumes tailored to several unique job titles.

Use Keywords

Resume bots, also known as Applicant Tracking Systems, sometimes look at resumes before hiring managers. They search for specific words in a resume and choose to pass resumes through based on the presence of those words. If you don't include the right keywords in your resume, a human won't look at your resume.

As you craft your resume, think about what keywords an employer might want to see. Include those keywords, and you can improve your chances of making it past the resume bots.

Analyze Your Skills

People often make the mistake of overlooking the importance of their skills. While many people only include hard or soft skills on their resumes, it's important to have a combination of both. Once again, consider the job listing as you edit your skillset. If the employer repeated specific skills in the listing, be sure to add them to your resume if you can honestly do so.

Think About Your Value

Before you get started, you need to think about what you have to offer. What's your value as an employee? What do you have to offer in this specific role?

Think about specific examples that demonstrate your value. Then, include those examples on your resume. Telling a prospective employer you have leadership skills is great, but it's even better to tell them about a time you successfully ran a team project.

Keep Your Goal in Mind

As you go through your resume, remind yourself of your resume's purpose. The document is intended to show a hiring manager why you deserve to have a chance at an interview. Everything you include in your resume should help you accomplish that goal.

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