Want to Move Your Resume to the Top of the Pile? Use These Tips!

Want to Move Your Resume to the Top of the Pile


It’s been estimated that for each and every job posting advertised that recruiters can receive as many as 300 – 500 resumes from eager candidates. That’s a lot of reading and screening! Unfortunately, most recruiters have very little time to spend on each resume, so they skim through them looking for specific things, make a pile out of about 1/10th of the original resumes, and start calling people in for interviews. In other cases, the applicant tracking system may scan resumes first and only kick out those that meet the job descriptions.

Sadly, your resume could end up at the bottom of the pile, or worse yet, in the bottom of a garbage can – that is, if you don’t know the secrets of success (that we are about to share with you now). If you want to move your resume to the top of the pile, read on.

Use a standard resume template

Any recruiter will tell you that they cannot stand it when people try to ‘reinvent the wheel’ with their resumes. They don’t want to see a resume that’s super creative (unless they are hiring for a creative role), with fancy colors and head photos of the candidate. Instead, stick to the rules and use a simple format with defined headings for Skills, Education, Career History, etc. These will have a better chance of being read properly by the ATS, and by the recruiters.

Try a nicer paper

If you plan to mail your resume in (who uses snail mail anymore?) be sure to invest in high-quality paper that has a nice texture and is slightly off-white. Your local office supply store can help you pick out the best paper and matching envelopes for this purpose. Have your resume professionally printed out. Don’t turn your resume in on brightly colored paper or poorly printed from an at-home machine.

Call the recruiter

It may seem simple, but taking the extra step to call the recruitment office 48 hours after sending in your resume can alert the hiring team that you are an interested candidate. Provide the recruiter with your full name spelled out, the job title you are applying for, and your contact phone number where they can reach you. Don’t ask them to interview you on the spot or take up too much of their time. Just say thanks and that you hope to hear back at their convenience.

Get recommended

Another way to ensure that your resume makes it to the top of the hiring pile is to ask for a direct employee referral from a colleague who works there. If you can, send this person a copy of your resume and ask them to walk a copy down to the HR office in person. If you don’t know anyone who works there, you can also reach out to the staffing agency you are registered with and ask if they are recruiting for the job, then get them to send the employer your resume. This can be a very effective way to get called in for a job interview sooner.


The last secret to success in a job search is to partner with a staffing agency like Advance Staffing Solutions. We have staffing experts on hand in Michigan and Ohio to help you land whatever career you’re aiming for!








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