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5 Resume Truths in Today’s Job Search

January 2018- By Erica Woods, Manager of Contractor and Community Relations and Cate Murray, CAPM, Practice Director – PM/BA

5 Resume Truths

We constantly hear “I haven’t been in the job market in years and it seems like things have changed drastically” and “I keep applying to positions but I’m not hearing anything back.” When seeking new job keep these five things in mind:

Truth #1 – Your resume will need to pass a system test before being seen (in most cases) Most job applicants understand what an ATS (applicant tracking system) is, but few are in the mindset and habit of making adjustments to their resume to ensure it’s optimized and will therefore get prioritized (ranked highly) by an ATS.

To optimize your resume organically, try adding the following:

  • Key job titles
  • Technologies
  • Certifications
  • Cores responsibilities/requirements
  • Industries

Additionally, try using a resume optimization tool/service to ensure your resume is a match for specific job descriptions/postings when applying.

Truth #2 – The first person who reviews your resume will likely be a Recruiter/Talent Acquisition Specialist or other non-technical person.
The second step of the application process is a review by an actual person (usually a recruiter or member of the talent acquisition team). Resumes should be in a language that’s easy for a non-technical person to understand and digest.

Conduct a resume “litmus test by showing a non-technical person in your network your resume and ask “can you understand what I was able to achieve and the value I brought to each position based on my resume?

Truth #3 – On average, your resume will get six seconds of attention before your “interview fate” is decided.
The average length of time someone spent reviewing a resume has dropped form 8.25 seconds to a mere 6 seconds in recent years.

Be strategic about communicating your core qualifications, relevant successes and other differentiators quickly. Pay close attention to layout, formatting, and design so key details are apparent and not lost in long paragraphs.

Truth #4 – Your resume is no longer your only important “professional marketing material”
If your resume triggers interest, most hiring managers immediately look you up on LinkedIn or GitHub. According to our Sr. Application Practice Director, the first question out of most Software Development Managers mouths or emails is “what is the link to their GitHub profile?” to review code.

Make sure all your professional profiles are up to date, easily found, and ready for review by potential hiring managers.

Truth #5 – Communicating the impact of your contributions is vital.
Hiring Managers express the importance of seeing the direct impact an individual has made via resume. While it is important to express what the project accomplished, ensure your impact is evident and what the ROI (return on investment) of your role was/is.

For example, if you’re a Project Manager, how much time/money did you help save the organization on your most recent project?


Are you in the job market? Apex Systems has over 2,000 job opportunities in locations nationwide. Click here to view them and submit your resume today.

Looking to add top IT talent to your team? Connect with an Apex Systems Account Manager in your area to get started.