Star Command 2022—this is Mission Control. We’ve been trying to reach you regarding a secret mission.
The mission is employment. Your spacecraft to get there is your resume. And the moon shot is your dream job.
But, with thousands looking for work daily, how do you accomplish a meteoric rise above the rest so that recruiters will call you first?
Here are a few mission tips to turn you into a shooting star and get you to your destination first.
Ready for take-off? Buckle up, Star Command!
When you read an article or book, if you are not hooked after two or three sentences, you will move onto something else.
Guess what? Your resume is the same for a recruiter.
Blast off with power! The best way to do that is to choose a good headline that will highlight your value and bypass ATS systems, so that your resume will move forward.
Aerospace missions are no joke. You want to make sure your headline is unique, provides a clear description of your value, uses interesting adjectives and emotional power words.
Throughout your mission you want to tell a story about who you are, what kind of work you do, how you are valuable to your employers, and what makes you unique.
Star Command—Don’t undersell this point. Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes a week. Believe me when I say that they all start to look the same and use the same wording. However, if you take the time to really make your resume stand out, you will leap light years ahead of your competition.
Messaging: Your resume should have a consistent message and branding throughout. The words you use and the work you describe should be consistent throughout, and mirror what you have on your LinkedIn profile.
Branding will help you stand out amongst your competitors. Understanding your value proposition will help you develop your brand messaging. Don’t forget to brand your other social media profiles, too.
Rock Star Problem Solver: What problem can you solve for the employer? Repaired heat shields so that entry back to earth was safe? Stellar! Make sure that you clearly state this on your resume.
Just as in space flight, you must go back to the basics before you can blast off. Keywords will get you there.
Use keywords that are as closely related to the specific job as possible. Resume-scanning software (ATS) systems will align your resume to the job you want if you use the right keywords.
Which keywords? Keywords are the skills, abilities, credentials and qualifies that a hiring manager looks for in candidates. The closer the match, the better your chances are of being selected for an interview.
Companies can program ATS software to search for resumes with keywords related to specific job requirements, rank resumes in order of their keyword frequency, place a higher value on more important keywords, and uncover the use of keyword spamming. So, ensure that you are using keywords effectively and intelligently.
We want to know where you are blasting off from, so always make sure you include your city and state in your resume so that recruiters know you are in the right location for the role.
Do you want to outmaneuver your competition and blast into hyper speed? Add numbers to your resume!
How do you quantify your accomplishments? Have you been on 10 space missions and five of them have been successful? Using numbers in your resume shows you have verifiable accomplishments. They help recruiters understand the impact you’ve made in previous roles.
Other numbers you might want to include are cost savings, quotas met, number of cases closed, complaints resolved, response time, sales revenues, new clients acquired, and more.
With numbers on your resume, your resume will break time-space barriers.
Finally, just as you wouldn’t pack snowshoes for space, there are a few things that you should leave off a resume.
The first is the skills section. Instead, use skill words actively in your job description sections. You are adept at engineering rockets? Great! How did you use that skill at your company? How did that skill benefit your employer?
Secondly, consider leaving hobbies off your resume. Moonwalking is awesome, but most recruiters are so busy scanning resumes quickly to find the right job skills needed for the role, they don’t even get to the hobbies section.
There are exceptions, of course:
- If the company specifically asks you to include interests and hobbies
- The job listings and requirements align with your hobbies and interests
- You have little or no education or actual work experience
Be careful about listing some hobbies. For example, if you are doing a side job to make extra money, such as selling real estate, some employers may see that as something that would detract you from your main job. Think about whether it makes sense to add your hobbies to your resume.
Finally, take your photo off the resume. Most people have a photo on their LinkedIn profile, so adding it to the resume just takes up space and can seem excessive. You want your resume to be streamlined with an easy-to-read layout and adding in these extras can detract.
One final word of warning Space Command. Alien forces are everywhere and one little asteroid can throw your whole mission off its path.
Buckle up, it’s T-minus 10 seconds to blast off!
Rebecca Corvese @racorvese
Rebecca was in marketing most of her career, but during the pandemic switched to talent acquisition to help those who were out of work. She now works for Trellix, a $2B cybersecurity company.