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Help Wanted: Tips to make your digital resume stand out

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Help Wanted: Tips to make your digital resume stand out
Posted at 6:57 AM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 06:57:40-05

As part of our commitment to helping you rebound from this pandemic, each week, Fox 4 is bringing you a tip to landing a new job.

Before this pandemic, if you were on the hunt for work, you were meeting with employers face-to-face, and handing them a copy of your resume. But with the hiring process moving online, resumes are going digital. Gloria Wrenn, Director of Human Resources for Hodges University, is helping us break down what should be on your digital resume.

Lisa Greenberg, Fox 4 Morning News Anchor: " My first question is, is there any differences between a digital resume and an in-person paper resume that you think are really key, that people need to be aware of?"

Gloria Wrenn, Director of Human Resources at Hodges University: "Basically, a digital resume is just a resume that's online. For example, you're posting it on a social media site, such as LinkedIn. And you do want to be a little more careful with your formatting when you're posting it online, especially if you're applying for a position, a lot of companies use what's called applicant tracking systems. And those systems may have some trouble downloading your resume completely if you have certain things on it that may confuse the system, if you will."

Lisa Greenberg: "That makes sense. My next question is, should you be linking external sources on your resume?"

Gloria Wrenn: "I would say yes, absolutely. You do want to keep your resume brief. Technically, it's one to two pages -- you don't really want to go over one to two pages. And links are an excellent way for you to provide more information to the employer. For example, examples of your work, or more information about you. This really comes in handy when you're applying, for example, for a marketing position. When we interview someone for marketing, we ask them to come back for a second interview, and to actually provide examples of their work to the hiring committee. So this is a good way to get a heads up on that, and just provide the link the employer can click on, and get more information. And I think it really gives you a heads up over other applicants."

Lisa Greenberg: "Another question that I had, too, is with these digital resumes, employers have the ability to search for specific words. How important do you think that is for an applicant to keep in mind?"

Gloria Wrenn: "I think it's very important because they can actually get you an interview. We're using what's called applicant tracking systems now. And those systems, we can actually set them up to search keywords in a resume for specific positions that we're looking for. So I say definitely yes, put some keywords in. I wouldn't overdo it. But I think it needs to be specific to the position that you're applying for. And you want to make sure that your keywords that you're using go along with your experience. What you can do is, I found you can search for professional resumes. For example, let's use human resources. Let's just say you're putting together your resume, you're in the Human Resources field, and you just want to update your resume. So you can go online and search for some resumes. There's some really good examples out there. And it will also give you some guidance as to some specific keywords that you'll want to use, that would stand out for that particular position."

Lisa Greenberg: "Another thing that a lot of people are wondering is, now that we're able to kind of pivot to online with this, what are your thoughts on visual aids and things like that on digital resumes?"

Gloria Wrenn: "I think it depends on the position that you're applying for, and the industry that you're applying in. You see colors a lot more frequently now than you used to in the past. It's more acceptable, if you will. I would caution if you're going to use some color on your resume, don't make it a really bold color, like a red, for example, or you know, something to that nature. Colors are associated with certain feelings, and so forth. So you want to keep that in mind when you're looking at putting color on your resume. And the main reason to do that, I think, is to draw attention to specific areas of your resume. For example, education, certifications, experience, things like that. You also want to be cautious if you're using a white background, which most of us do on a resume. If you put a color that is too light, it's downloaded somewhere, and it may have some issues as far as how it looks once it gets to the employer. So you do want to be aware of that, as well. Again, some industries like technology and marketing, I think that they definitely like to see some more color or creativity, if you will, in a resume. Whereas other industries, maybe like legal or finance, they're a little more conservative. So I think you want to keep that in mind when you're applying for a position: who your audience is. I think that's very important when you're creating a resume. And as far as a photo, I see them more and more. As the HR Director here, on the resumes that we get, and I'm seeing more and more photos. Just make sure if you're going to add one, that it's a professional headshot."

Lisa Greenberg: "Is there anything else you want to add?"

Gloria Wrenn: "You hear a lot more about creating a resume specific to the position that you're applying for. And back in the day, you know, 5-10 years ago, all of us just had one resume. That's what we sent when we were applying for a job. My advice would be to make your resume specific to the position you're applying for. And it's really easier than it sounds. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's not. You would just create like a master resume. And then you would make a copy of that resume, and you would change your professional summary. You would look at the job description that you're applying for, and you would compare your resume to that, and identify areas that you have the experience in, and create that resume just for that position."

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