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Deciphering the Science Behind Job Searching: Part III - Present your Proof of Work

The very first chance you have a job seeker to make an impactful impression is with your resume. Forget the fluff and mumbo jumbo stuff and compile a resume document that serves as a ''proof of work'' ensuring recruiters and hiring managers that you are a fit for the role.

Resume quantification is essential to increase the odds of landing an interview for your dream job. Think metrics such as dollar values, time frames, rankings, scores, percentages, volumes and ratings. A smart idea is to sprinkle your profile summary with keywords from the job advertisement (if you are the exception to the rule, weave one or two keywords into your objective statement). Finally use technical terms and buzzwords related to your industry to increase credibility.

Credit goes to Kushal Chakrabarti for unpacking the ins and outs behind resume quantification.

Demonstrate results with numbers. [+40% BOOST]

I’ve personally hired 100+ people over my career and, during that time, I’ve probably personally reviewed 10,000+ resumes. Even if a resume passes your sniff test, the hardest thing is separating what’s real vs. what’s pink, fluffy, sugar-y cotton-candy-coated horsecrap. Quantifying how you made an impact with numbers goes a long way towards helping hiring managers tell them apart fast.

Resume Tip: Every 3 sentences, use at least 1 number to demonstrate your (concrete) impact. Folks who did that saw gain a +40.2% boost over their competition.

Name-Drop Concrete Skills in Your Objective (If You Include One)

Most objectives suck. Why? Here are a few recent ones we’ve seen:

"Focused and hard-working individual looking to develop new skills to serve the greater good."

"To acquire and maintain employment. To utilize the training and skills I’ve received in the past 5 years."

As a hiring manager, I don’t really care if you want to “maintain employment.” (This is a bit like saying your hamburger is 100% beef. If that’s the best compliment you can give yourself, you have a bigger problem.)

If you absolutely have to include an objective, focus on your concrete skills help differentiate you from others. Here are a few examples for applicants who were 30-50% more hireable than their competition:

"Seeking a customer service position where I can utilize my multi-tasking abilities and attention to detail to assist in a fast-paced environment. Skills: real-world clerical experience, organizational skills, interpersonal skills."

"Summa cum laude graduate with BS in communications studies, graduated May 2015. Proficient in Spanish."

Exception: Don’t add an objective unless you really need to.

Include 15-20 Industry and Posting Buzzwords [+59% BOOST]

You should add 15-20 skills, buzzwords & acronyms to your resume. This is associated with a +58.8% boost in hireability on average.

It’s actually quite hard to do this without sounding awkward. In practice, we suggest including a Key Skills section where you can include common buzzwords from the job posting.

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