CV TIPS - What One Company Learned After Analysing 125,000 Résumés
Recently, Cultivated Culture analyzed over 125,000 résumés to determine whether candidates are following best practices and where there may be opportunities to create a more effective résumé. These five key insights will help you get an edge on the competition.
Add a link to your LinkedIn profile
According to research from ResumeGo, résumés that contain a LinkedIn profile link have a 71% greater chance of getting a job interview. Yet only 48% of résumés in the analysis included one. According to ResumeGo, “job applicants who included a link to a comprehensive LinkedIn profile on their résumés received a callback rate of 13.5%, which is 71% higher than the 7.9% callback rate of job applicants who didn’t have a LinkedIn profile at all.”
Key Takeaway: You can drastically increase your chances of landing an interview if you incorporate a link to your LinkedIn profile on your résumé.
Include relevant skills and keywords on your résumé
The analysis also revealed that candidates only included 51% of important keywords and skills, heavily under-indexing on soft skills.
It is essential to add relevant keywords and skills to your résumé for two reasons:
Applicant tracking systems use specific keywords to filter (and in some cases score or rank) résumés.
When recruiters and hiring managers review résumés, they look for specific skills to evaluate candidates and compare them to the rest of the talent pool.
If you don’t include the right keywords on your résumé, your chance of landing an interview decreases significantly—especially if you use online applications as your primary job search method.
It’s worth noting that while including keywords and skills is important, it's equally necessary to write naturally and focus on illustrating your value. Try to have as many keywords as you can naturally fit into your résumé but do your best not to “stuff” your résumé with keywords.
Key Takeaway: Keywords and skills are a major success factor when applying for jobs online.
Illustrate your value using metrics
Recruiters and employers prefer résumés with measurable metrics and quantifiable results. Why? Because metrics make value easier to understand and quantify. Yet 36% of résumés analyzed had zero metrics, and only 26% of résumés included five or more instances of measurable metrics. It’s your accomplishments and outcomes that employers want to hear about. Start thinking about how you contributed to saving time, saving money, creating best practices or improving work culture. Whenever possible, use numbers, percentages and statistics.
Key Takeaway: If you want to stand out from the crowd, focus on quantifying your results and including metrics in your résumé.
Keep your résumé a reasonable length
A recent TalentWorks study investigated the effects of résumé length on job search success. The results showed that in most cases, the ideal résumé length is between 475 and 600 words. Yet 77% of résumés analyzed fell outside of that range. However, executive-level résumés, federal positions and fields that focus on CVs instead of résumés usually see success at higher word counts.
Key Takeaway: Unless you're a C-Level executive, keeping your résumé in the range of 475 to 600 words should boost your interview chances.
Avoid fluffy buzzwords on your résumé
One of the quickest ways to lose your reader is by including too many irrelevant buzzwords. Buzzwords and cliches are unnecessary and take away from your message, but the vast majority of résumés have them. The analysis showed that 51% of résumés contained fluffy buzzwords, cliches, or incorrect pronouns. Some examples include words like "results-driven," "wheelhouse," and "detail-oriented." Instead, choose action-oriented phrases that show rather than tell why you should be considered.
Key Takeaway: Your writing should always be selling your experience, not summarizing it. The more concise you are, the easier it will be to convey your value.
Set aside time every few months to refresh your résumé. Even if you’re not currently on the hunt for a new job, you’ll be ready if and when the opportunity presents itself.
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