Whether you’re searching for a new career opportunity as a planner or you’re trying to ascend to new heights as a supplier, the job application process can feel very overwhelming. Should you spend your days trying to find new connections on LinkedIn that will get you one step closer to your dream job? Is it worth it to register for a networking event in the hopes of finding new potential contacts? Would going back to school to earn a graduate degree be able to help you land that leadership role you’ve always wanted?
Of course, there is one question on every job seeker’s mind: how can I make an employer actually look at my résumé?
According to a recent survey of more than 2,000 HR managers conducted by CareerBuilder, the answer is not easy. In fact, the findings show that 70 percent of employers spend less than five minutes reviewing a résumé. Think that’s not enough time? Nearly half of them devote less than two minutes to résumés.
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Making Your Résumé Matter
While the statistics of short review times may depress some job seekers who have spent hours painstakingly revising their résumés, there is some good news: a few extra steps can help push your résumé to the top of the pile.
1) Customize your résumé for the open position.
According to the research, 61 percent of HR managers are more likely to pay attention to résumés that do not follow a one-size-fits-all-job-descriptions approach. As you fine-tune your résumé, make sure it’s tailored to showcase your specific credentials that fit the needs of the open position.
2) Write a cover letter.
Think hiring managers don’t have time to read a few extra personal paragraphs? Think again. Nearly 50 percent of respondents indicate they are more likely to pay attention to a résumé when it’s accompanied by a cover letter.
3) Know who you’re addressing.
This is the most simple step possible: address the résumé to the manager or recruiter by his or her name. Forget “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” Do a bit of searching to find the appropriate contact name.
4) Show off your online personality.
A résumé and a cover letter may not always be enough to win an interview. Twenty-one percent of respondents appreciate links to an applicant’s online portfolio, blog or website. Even if you don’t have a personal website, be sure to share links to published articles you’ve written, videos where you’ve been interviewed or any other material that includes your expertise. It offers a multi-dimensional preview of who you are that one list of bullet points and job titles cannot deliver.
Once your résumé gets a foot in the door, it’s time to start preparing for the in-person meeting. Check out “4 Questions You Should Ask In Your Next Interview.”