Depending upon the size, type and hiring practices of the companies you’re applying to, your resume must accomplish several things to help you be successful in your application.
Parsing software friendly:
For companies using applicant tracking systems (ATS), resume content must be formatted correctly for parsing software algorithms to “see” all of it and place it into the correct spots within the ATS file.
Not all companies use keyword counting software, but for those that do, resume content must also be keyword optimized. In this scenario, a set of keywords is run against the applicant database (candidate content from all the ATS files for that job), and resumes are given a score based on how many keywords they contain.
Clear qualifications and interest:
Recruiters aren’t always experts at sales analysis, programming, product design, accounting or purchasing, etc., but they know what they’ve been told to look for. They need to feel confident that you’ve got the skills, experience and interest for the job, so those elements must be crystal clear on your resume, or they’ll move on to the next one.
The hiring team is most interested in knowing if you’re any good at what you do/have done, so accomplishments are crucial. This is, by far, the area where job seekers have the most trouble. I will put your successes into words such that anyone, industry expert or not, will understand how you helped your past employers and, therefore, how you’re likely to help your new employer.
I’m not a “fluffy” writer, so I won’t be writing about how fabulous you are. However, if you fixed a broken process that saved the company X dollars each time on a task done five times a day, I’ll quantify that time and talk about how much time and money your new processes save annually. If you won an award, got mentioned in the company newsletter, or got a compliment for creating the new method, I’ll include that too.