Quick Tips to Transform Your Professional Resume

An industry favorite is hiring senior leaders for a newly opened branch in your area. The problem is that everyone and their brother is applying for those few golden spots.

It makes you wonder how anyone is going to know what a great talent you are if your executive resume is thrown in the pile with so many others. Exactly how do you strategize your job search to get a coveted leadership role? How do you get your executive resume into the hands of the decision makers?

The secret is knowing how that prospective employer sorts through all of those professional resumes. Let’s take it from the top. For example, the company announces they are accepting IT Director resumes. They then get a thousand resumes flooding into their Human Resources department.

So to help HR filter through all those resumes, the company has decided to utilize a computerized scanning system also known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).  Computerized scanning systems are all too common today in helping employers screen applicants, maximize their time, and streamline their candidate selection process.

In a nutshell, The ATS scans professional resumes for certain keywords and phrases to identify the applicants with skills that match or are relevant to the job that a particular employer is hiring for.

It then separates the resumes that contain the necessary credentials from those that do not. The majority of the professional resumes that the company will receive eventually end up in the recycle bin.

This does not necessarily mean that the applicant does not possess the leadership skills that are being sought after. It happens because the professional resumes that do not make the cut do not accurately highlight the required skills in a manner that will pass through the applicant tracking system’s filtering process.  

This works great for the HR department. They are not forced to spend unlimited hours sifting through tons of applicants. The problem for you is that your senior leadership resume may slip through the cracks if it is not formatted correctly or does not contain those necessary components that the hiring manager is looking for.

In the event that one aspect of your job search involves uploading your executive resume into a computerized scanning system to ultimately get your IT Director resume into the hands of the hiring manager, below are a few great tips on how to write a current resume format to get past those dreaded computer scanning systems:

Remove Headers and Footers

Avoid placing your contact information in headers and also remove all footers from your executive resume. It seems easy and, in many cases, makes sense if you have a multi-page resume to place your contact information in the header or footer of your Word document.  

The problem is that you run the risk of your resume being automatically dumped into the recycle bin because the modern scanning system for one reason or another may not be programmed to read information placed in a header or footer. So it is worth your while to take the time and add your contact information to the top of each page of your professional resume.

Strategically Insert Keywords

Communicating your fit and alignment with a senior leadership position will entail, among many criteria, the strategic placement of keywords as core competencies and within each role on your executive resume. This enables a prospective employer to a least get a feel for your leadership qualifications.

Upload the Correct Format

In the event, the prospective employer’s application portal requires you to copy and paste your executive resume, convert your Microsoft Word version into a Text format, then copy and paste this version into the application system. This will help you to copy and paste the most effective resume format.

Well, there it is. I cannot guarantee that if you follow these few tips you will get in front of the hiring manager. But I will say that it will help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that have prevented so many qualified, hard working applicants from achieving the chance to compete for that one job they know they are qualified for.

If you need help with writing an executive resume, professional resume, or LinkedIn profile we can help. Contact us at info@resumesbyjoyce.com or toll-free 1-888-607-7793.