Adeline Ashley March 17, 2021 Resume
Nearly all initial resume screenings are done using a checklist of items that must appear in order to advance to the next level, regardless of whether it is screened by computer or staff. If you don’t have the correct ratio of keywords on your resume for the position, you don’t make the cut. So why do so many experienced candidates for computer programmer jobs not make sure that the correct keywords are on their resume for each individual position for which they apply? It’s usually a combination of attention to detail and desire to respond quickly.
Keep it Relevant – In second grade, I played the role of a singing tree in my school play. As important an event as that was to me in my life, it is completely irrelevant to our discussion here about resume writing tips. You should follow the same advice on your resume. If it is not relevant or you can’t reword it so that it is relevant to the job or employer, leave it off. Focus your resume on the items that qualify you for the position you are seeking. In other words, get rid of the fluff. For example, I once received a resume from a programmer, however the only thing I remember from it was that they attended clown college and competed in national juggling competitions. Yes, that was interesting, but it completely trumped their qualifications for the programming position which I don’t even remember. Basically, limit items on your resume to those relevant to the position for which you are applying. Do not include irrelevant items to that position on the resume. If you haven’t figured this out yet, this means you will have multiple, fine-tuned versions of your resume for each type of position for which you apply.
Finally, make sure each job history write-up in your experience history (your job summaries) includes these details as well. When I get into a detailed resume review, one of the first things I do is map the summary to the details. I try to determine where and when you had the required experience for the computer programmer job. If I can’t find it called out in the details, I will assume you don’t have that experience, regardless of what your summary says. It is very important that you to pay attention to these details because, as a reviewer, I most certainly do. The job summaries are the key to getting past the initial resume screening. Take time to make sure the details line up with what you said in your experience summary and technical skills list.
As I mentioned earlier, do not assume that a resume reviewer will be familiar with various terms and concepts that could substitute for the ones in the position announcement. That may or may not be true. Best advice is to use the potential employer’s terminology from the job posting since that is most likely what reviewers will be looking for. Again, do not assume that the initial reviewers are familiar with the technology involved with the position. They may not be. Be very clear that you meet all of their requirements by ensuring that your technical skills summary, experience summary, and experience details all generously use the correct keywords for the position you are seeking.
Avoid Flowery Language That Diminishes Your Achievements – You could have a comedy show with some of the statements people make on their resumes. You don’t want your resume to stand out for the wrong reasons. Avoid creative writing. Avoid big words and uncommon vocabulary. Avoid over the top statements that make you sound like you saved the universe. They immediately call your credibility immediately into question. Resume writer Don Goodman shares one of his favorite claims as ”Rocketed performance to stellar heights.” Says Goodman, ”People don’t speak like that; I have never heard an executive tell the HR person that they needed someone who could rocket performance to stellar heights. Remember, people hire people they like, so don’t make your resume read like an amateur poet wrote it.”
If you don’t have certifications, why not begin training for the one most applicable to you? These can ease a career transition proving your knowledge in new areas where you may not have as much work experience. There are many great online or in-person training programs to prepare you for the certification exams.
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