Finding a job is difficult for most candidates — recent graduates, career changers, and even superheroes. Candidates like Batman, Black Widow, and Deadpool run into various job seeking challenges.
If you were to break down and review each superhero resume, you would likely find similar mistakes to the typical, civilian job resume. Here are some solutions to their common mistakes that you can use to take your resume to the next level:
Tailor Work Experience to Specific Industries
Spiderman struggles with writing about his work experience. He notes that he “utilizes web slinging techniques to capture criminals.” Although that sounds incredible, this could be worded more specific to the workplace. It’s better to say that he is resourceful, effectively resolves conflict, and excels in problem solving. These types of soft skills are highly desirable, and they will really stand out to recruiters.
If you can’t tailor specific work experiences to the job or industry you are pursuing, it’s important to cut them out. Irrelevant employment information wastes space. Peter Parker’s amateur photography skills probably won’t translate to a job in sales management, so he should omit it from that particular application.
Another great practice is printing out the job description and highlighting all the important points. Once you have a clear idea of what is wanted, you can proceed with rewriting and catering your resume specifically to the job posting.
Finally, ask a Mary Jane or Aunt May to read over your resume to see if you clearly express why you’re applying to the position and how you can contribute to the company. If they can’t identify your message, it isn’t concise enough. Fine-tune the resume to be direct and clear.
Use Keywords That Employers Are Looking For
Captain America is still listing outdated skills on his resume. His work experience from the 1940s won’t translate well in the job market today. Especially, considering how the volume of applicant resumes are reviewed.
Glassdoor released a study that found that an average corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes and only four to six candidates will be interviewed. A candidate’s chances of being pulled out of the applicant tracking system (ATS) are unlikely, so using keywords relevant to what the recruiter is looking for can make or break those chances.
Hiring managers notice names of processes, companies, software, and education backgrounds before anything else. For example, if you list a reputable employer like Stark Industries, it will probably be noticed by more employers than an internship at a local startup.
Candidates should review LinkedIn profiles of professionals who hold similar job titles and create a master list of keywords. This list can help you increase the number of relevant keywords and boost your chances of climbing out of the black hole of applications in the ATS.
Pay close attention to news that regards skills gaps and see if you have the skills that are most valued. A recent report from Burning Glass found that communication skills are in high demand because they present one of the biggest skills gaps. Fortunately, candidates like Deadpool can market their communication skills and note their influential nature to potential employers.
Include Key Information If You’re New to the Job Market
Since Batman has never held a job, he feels lost when it comes to explaining his job experience (or lack thereof) on his resume. If the job experience is not relevant, it should be omitted. However, this creates the problem of a resume filled with blank space.
Instead of listing limited work experience, candidates should instead group their experience into subheadings that identify certain skills. These subheads could include research skills, time management, and the like. School, internships, and volunteer experiences may inform these skills.
In Batman’s case, his volunteer work involves crime fighting. He uses decision-making and time management skills, which he can market to employers.
Finally, candidates can also impress employers by writing an enthusiastic cover letter. It should tell your story. So if you trained with the KGB from a young age and made a career change to enter S.H.I.E.L.D., use that anecdote to illustrate your ability to adapt and your commitment to career development. Recruiters love to hear when candidates like Black Widow encounter a problem, develop a process, and effectively find a solution. These stories stick out and may earn you an interview.
How do you plan on making your resume super?