There are resumes that do, resumes that don’t, resumes that are, and resumes that aren’t. Okay, that may sound like a bunch of gobbledygook, but a resume that ‘does’ is the one that gets the candidate interviews.
Firstly, let’s be very clear about this. The art of resume hacking is nothing to do with falsifying information or trying to cheat the system. Far from it.
Resume hacking is about being smart and tailoring a CV / Resume and job cover letter in a way that screams out to the employer “Hire Me”. We do this by using “keyword bait” or "hooks" that are directly relevant to the job description being advertised and will entice the reader into wanting to know more.
Number 1: Analysing a job and identifying key words
Identifying keywords within a job description and highlighting those keywords in your resume is a sure fire strategy to get your resume noticed. For example, if a company is advertising a specific IT package such as “SalesForce, SAP/R3, Business Objects”, then we can presume this needs to be a high ranking point. The same goes for industry types such as FMCG or client types (for example franchisee networks, distribution channels). Where there is similarity, these need to be highlighted.
Both the resume and cover letter need to highlight these specific points. Make sure these pointers aren’t being lost in the ‘noise’ of the content on your CV Resume or cover letter. Think about it. If you are an employer and you have a vacancy requiring a specific skill set, what CVs will jump out at you?
Number 2: Use LinkedIn to find the previous employee!!!
This is a great hack and is so simple. Use the LinkedIn platform to find out who previously worked in the role being advertised. If there’s an employee profile match, then you might also have access to their job description and a whole lot of inside information. You can then use this research and subtly apply to the cover letter and resume.
Number 3: Reduce content to 2 to 3 pages maximum and 80% relevant
Let’s get real here; employers spend very little time reading a resume. They skim read, miss out key information, and dedicate very little time to the recruitment process. Whilst there is no hard and fast rule (despite what you may read), In Australia we tend to stick with two to three pages. But it’s not the length of the CV, it’s the content. At least 80% the content should be an exact match of the post being advertised.
Number 4: Re-order, reprioritise bullet points
When tailoring your resume, you also need to rearrange bullet points based on priority. This is very easy to do, and it’s also worth using this exercise to consider removing unnecessary and irrelevant bullet points to make other points really stand out.
Number 5: Google the company if the name is available
Google is the all-seeing, all-knowing eye. A quick Google search of the company can produce anything from basic returns through to a whole encyclopaedia of information. Find out who the company is trading with, recent company announcements, external vendors, and so much more. These business insights can be used not only for the job application but also for the job interview.