Include words that match the position you are applying for and emphasize your soft skills.
The process of selecting the ideal candidate for a job opening can be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack, due to the enormous challenge of processing hundreds of applications. That’s why we’ve asked our experts to tell you how to make an impressive résumé.
Ricardo Triana, Managing Director Latin America of the Project Management Institute (PMI), a company dedicated to project management and improving professional careers, shares tips that can help you make an impact with your job application and show an organization that you are the missing piece they need.
75% of résumés are rejected before being seen by human resources specialists, says Triana.
This happens when the selection process is saturated by so many applicants that there is no time to read most of the documents.
The project manager says that some companies often use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter applications.
This program helps to process all the résumés sent by applicants and usually searches for a match using some words that the recruiter is looking for.
“If I’m looking for business analysis, I search for a person with those characteristics, so that I can filter the applications, which reduces the chances of moving quickly to the next stage,” he says.
The key to beating these selection systems is in what you put on your résumé.
That’s why the expert recommends checking that the skills you have match the position you are applying for. He suggests adding words related to that position so that the ATS filter will rate you higher.
“Make sure that what you’re trying to express on the résumé really stands out and relates to the position. In other words, if I’m looking for business analysis and I search for a person with those characteristics, the system will show me that type of applicant,” he explains.
He says that one of the problems is that people are so concerned with selling themselves when creating a résumé that they forget what the organization is looking for in a given project, which reduces their chances of moving forward to the next stage.
“Obviously, looking for work is a job in itself, so it’s a good idea to customize your résumé to each position you are applying for,” he says.
The Project Management Institute manager recommends not being too specific in the writing. He points out that people go into too much detail, and recruiters are not really interested in knowing how much you know, but what you did with that experience and what you contributed for a project or business to get it going.
If you are going to match your résumé to what the company is looking for, you should make sure to express how what you did contributed to the organization and what areas it benefited. As the expert says, companies are also looking at what you did with that technical knowledge you have.
“Don’t make the mistake of just highlighting the technical part, such as saying that you know programming languages and that you’ve taken a certain number of programming courses. That doesn’t matter as much if you don’t explain how you integrated those skills in other areas. The key is that you don’t just say ‘I know about this and I know about that,’ but you must also say how you applied it,” the expert says.
Ricardo Triana says that the talent triangle developed by the Project Management Institute is the set of skills that every person must have within an organization. This triangle is made up of:
The specialist adds that having this triangle of skills gives professionals an advantage and helps them to pass the filters in job selection processes.
“A person must have those characteristics. For example, if you’re in marketing, we know that you can move and understand what’s happening in other areas of the company and on the other side of the business, and you can interact with people,” he says.
Reskilling and upskilling are trends that provide employees with new knowledge to meet business needs.
This is another important element to capture in your résumé, taking into account that organizations are innovating more and more.
Ricardo Triana explains that reskilling is someone’s ability to move or adapt to a new position in the company.
Upskilling is when a worker moves their performance upwards, i.e. they optimize it.
“Skills and knowledge are always required for any job. Especially in times of economic crisis or layoffs, it’s easier to replace someone who is very good technically, but not someone who knows the business and knows how to move things around. I don’t want to lose that one,” he says.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) manager prefers the term “power skills”, rather than the better-known “soft skills”, for those skills that have to do with how to communicate, how to solve problems, and the capacity for leadership.
He says that these skills are even the ones that can be the most decisive when it comes to a job interview, since organizations prefer specialized and versatile professionals.