Did you know that, in big companies, the majority of resumes are never looked at by a human being? Firms that do a lot of hiring now often run resumes through a scanner and then deploy AI to winnow out submissions the machine deems unworthy.
Furthermore, when a resume gets past an AI bot, it gets an average 7-second scan by the person doing the hiring.
What this means is that your resume requires language and elements that jump out at a prospective employer. One of the primary elements that doom most resumes are hackneyed phrases and overused language they represent little more than dead weight on the page.
For example, consider these tired phrases:
“Was responsible for …”
“Duties included …”
“I managed five people …”
“Worked as a …”
One or two of these is not a deal-breaker, but a resume that is encumbered with several tired usages alerts an AI bot to “eliminate!” It also causes a real person’s eyes to glaze over.
It’s better to use active and punchy action words. For example, instead of “completed” and “assisted” use “improved,” “spearheaded,” “led” or “accomplished.”
Another common mistake is putting a photograph on a resume. That’s a bad idea for a host of reasons. First, it’s an open invitation to be discriminated against based on merely your looks, gender, orientation or racial type. Second, a photo takes up the precious space you need to list your qualifications. Third, a photo distracts the viewer from the key information you have listed.
That’s just for starters –- so just don’t include a photo. An AI bot may also automatically filter your resume if it detects a photo.
One of the biggest resume killers is vagueness in terms of describing what you accomplished in your previous jobs. Make it specific and quantified if you can, as in: “Led team that increased profit margins by 23%,” or “Integrated platform enhancements that bolstered SEO by 86%.”
Finally, craft an attention-grabbing headline for your resume. In the advertising world, they say a headline is like the “ad for the ad.” That is, it captures the attention of viewers and pulls them in to read the rest of the ad copy.
The effect is the same for a resume header. Make it attention-grabbing, irresistible and conducive to making the readers want to learn more about you.