I work on people’s résumés daily and I’m telling you that formatting is only the beginning. I have a couple exceptionally formatted résumés and cover letters but, without keywords and phrases from job description (when applying for a specific position), you won’t make it through the automated screening systems that have been put in place to replace those individuals who used to serve in personnel (human resources) roles. So, if you’re applying for a marketing position, use words/phrases like “marketing,” “social media,” “strategy,” “target market,” “SWOT analysis,” and “communications.” If applying for a development role, words/phrases like “develop,” “cultivate,” “relationship,” and “fundraise” need to find their way into your résumé and cover letter as frequently as you can get them in there. That way, the computer system knows you’re the one it’s looking for. You can have a beautifully formatted résumé but without getting your résumé through the system, you’ll never be able to sell yourself in an interview.
I know these things. I do this for a living.
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