6 Secrets to Getting Your Resume in the Short Stack

Written by Beth Carpenter-Yates, a member of Goodwill’s Employer Engagement Team

Have you ever thought that employers have a secret resume formula that they are keeping from the all the job seekers in the world? Trust me, I know that feeling as well. I have been in your shoes! 

Now I have the great opportunity as an Employer Engagement Specialist with Goodwill to engage with some of the top employers in our local community. It is one of my career goals to get inside information from employers on what exactly they are looking for in an applicant’s resume to help demystify this process for all the job seekers out there. 

I asked hiring managers at a major healthcare company and The Timken Company to share top tips applicants could use to improve their resumes. It turns out, what they want is fairly simple! Here are six easy changes that could make a big difference in your job search! 

  1. Be accurate – especially when it comes to spelling your name, email address and phone number, and following directions on the application. This sounds silly, but some people rush, make mistakes, and this could be the difference between them and another candidate! 
  2. List at least 10 years of work history, even if it is unrelated to the job for which you are applying. It may be more relevant than you realize!  
  3. Use a simple, professional email address. If you have a really fun email address, it may be time to create a new professional account. Options include:  
    • First name.last name@email.com (John.Smith@email.com)  
    • Lastname.profession@email.com (Smith.Doctor@email.com)  
    • First name.middle initial.lastname@email.com (John.D.Smith@email.com)  
  4. Quantify as much information as you can (using numbers, dollar signs, percentages) to make your case. Your resume should show what you accomplished, not what’s on your job description. For example, a bullet point that reads “Grew traffic 35% year-over-year” is more impressive—and informative—than one that simply reads “Improved traffic.”  
  5. Name drop! When you are listing equipment you have used, be sure to be specific. A bullet point that reads “operated and maintained a CASE 584D forklift” stands out versus “operated and maintained forklift,” especially if you’re using the same equipment as the employer! That will save them time and money on training! 
  6. Adding a cover letter is not necessary, but it can give an employer a closer look into matching you to the position to which you are applying. If you add your hobbies (ex: working on cars) in your cover letter and the position requires troubleshooting machinery, the employer can visualize that you can utilize your skills working on cars to repair machinery.  

The number one thing to know is you don’t have to do this alone! Me and my colleagues at Goodwill are here to help you in your job search with resume tips, career coaching, skills training and connections to local hiring employers. We can help you get started in person or virtually by appointment, with offices and specialists working in Charlotte, Gastonia and Concord! Click here to get in touch and find a partner in your job search today! 


Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *