How to Get Your Resume Noticed in this Hot Job Market

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The Market Research job landscape is the most competitive we’ve seen in years. How do you make sure to get your resume noticed by a recruiter or hiring manager?

The harsh reality is that you could be one of 500 candidates that applied for a job that might have had only100 applications at this same time last year. This makes things difficult for both recruiters as well as applicants. What can you do differently to get your resume noticed and easily responded to?

Craft Your Resume to a Specific Job

  • Sending an overgeneralized resume just makes your background hard to figure out. The talent acquisition specialist or hiring manager reviewing resumes wants to know within 30 seconds if you’re worth the time to screen for the role. (Some studies say you only have 8 seconds to get your resume noticed.)
  • Have key words associated with the job description within the body of your resume, or even bulleted at the top.
  • Make sure to have both responsibilities as well as accomplishments listed under each job.

Be Concise!

  • Two pages is the maximum recommended length. Condense your previous experience and emphasize the recent/relevant. If need be expand the margins and leave off any experience beyond 15 years ago.
  • Do not use paragraphs. Make sure to have bulleted comments that are quick and easy to read and understand.
  • Harvard Business Review confirms keywords are great! Having bulleted words close to the top of your resume that are relevant to the job description will certainly get you a response.

Make Sure the Job is a Match

  • Recruiters notice when you apply to multiple positions that aren’t a great fit. Wait for the one that makes the most sense. Don’t just apply randomly and look too desperate.
  • Pay attention to the requirements. Perhaps they are looking for a minimum of five years and you have twenty. Take out “20+ years’ experience” from the first line of your resume. This potentially makes you overqualified for the level you’re applying for. Are they looking for a certain industry expertise or method expertise? If you don’t have it, you probably aren’t a great fit.


  • Confident this role is something suitable for you and that you’re just lost in a filter? Do some LinkedIn digging and reach out to someone on the team to make them aware you applied and are interested.

Use a Recruiter

  • Recruiters like Lindsey and Daniel are submitting resumes directly to the hiring teams. Utilize these relationships and listen to their guidance & direction.

Make the Resume Attractive

  • Spend some time on your resume, making sure the indents are appropriately aligned, the fonts are consistent and large enough to be easily readable. Use spell check and name your saved resume using your first and last name and the word resume. Make sure your name “pops” off the page.
  • Make sure your contact information and location are listed. If you are open to relocation, include this as well.
  • TheMuse.com says don’t put flowers on it or make the font purple. You just never know what a hiring team’s perception of unusual creativity could be and the risk of being perceived as unprofessional is too great.

Interested in more advice on getting your resume noticed or on your hiring needs? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research Executive Recruiter, Lindsey Bartlett at lbartlett@smithhanley.com.

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