Hiring mangers receive hundreds of resumes. Often, they only have a few minutes to glance at each resume and decide whether they want to consider the candidate. So how do you make your resume stand out and get noticed?  

Resume structure and formatting is important as it affects the impression you make on potential employers. A good resume structure helps HR professionals find relevant information quickly, plus an attractive and informative resume indicates your organization abilities.  

Organize your resume into sections with related information grouped under separate headings. Well-define resume headers makes it easier for potential employers to quickly find what they need to know about you.  

When writing your resume, try to keep it to 350 words or fewer. It should be less than one page but could be up to two pages depending on if you have a large amount of recent and relevant experience.  

By having a concise resume, you are more selective with your words, and which experience you choose, that it increases the quality of your resume.  

In today’s competitive job market, most job hunting is done online – most of the time your resume will not even be reviewed by a human at all, but by job search sites or a software program known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).  

Job search sites and ATS’ leverage powerful algorithms to sort through all the resume applications coming in every day. This system will take the information from your resume and assign a score based on how closely it matches the job position being filled. The higher the score, the better chances of getting an interview. 

Not all search engines are created equal, so it is just as important to tailor your resume to meet the particular needs of each job that you apply for.  

You can improve your chances of landing a job by optimizing your resume for job search engines. 

There are simple yet powerful tips to boost the visibility of your resume and help you stand out in a sea of applicants.  

  1. Optimize with keywords and phrases 

Job search sites leverage search queries to find a match. Review the job posting and apply similar language and common phrases to catch the attention of the algorithm and recruiters. Keywords include anything from repeated words in job descriptions to skills, education requirements, and experience. Note: only use keywords when relevant and if applicable – do not force it.  

  1. Simplify the formatting 

As nice as it is to have a unique resume, keep in mind easy to read formats with standard web-safe fonts such as Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman, as well as a font size between 10 to 12 points. These fonts create more professional resumes and increase your chances of being hired. Apart from bullets, avoid any special characters (such as arrows or emoticons) that can prevent the ATS from correctly parsing your information.  

  1. Utilize an active voice   

Using an active voice in your resume provides the impression that you are actionable and direct, making you a desirable candidate. When addressing your achievements, emphasize and quantify the results to demonstrate your value to recruiters. Be specific as possible and measure success to illustrate how you have impacted previous roles and how you may perform in your next position.  

Job search sites and Applicant Tracking Systems can be excellent tools for presenting the right opportunities to advance your career. With a bit of personalization and these optimization tips, you can ensure your resume does not get overlooked for the next job positing.