Make your resume stand out!
You write your resume with the sole purpose of impressing your hiring managers and getting selected for an interview, right? This is why you need to do everything possible to ensure that it stands out from the crowd.
Keep reading to find out the top five ways of making your resume stand out:
Step 1: Tailor the Resume to the Job
Hiring managers have clear ideas in mind regarding what skills and experiences they require of potential candidates. Your resume should be tailored to reflect the description that the hiring managers have including in the job listing or ad. You want it to match all of the requirements, including the technical skills, experience, degrees, and certifications.
Be careful of your summary or objective statement, though. This occupies the spot that has the most focal value – front and center. Do away with generic details and descriptors, and instead use the statement section to provide details of achievements that are relevant to the job description.
Step 2: Have the Right Format
You want to ensure that you have chosen the best format for the position you are applying for, and one that can easily showcase that you fit the job description. In illustration, a chronological format works well for positions all within the same field, but a skills format would best demonstrate a wide variety of work that you are able to do. A hybrid of the two is always going to be the safest bet, as well as the most effective.
Remember to keep it to one to two pages, but no more than that. While you may initially feel that including as much information as possible is the way to go, this approach often backfires. Hiring managers look for this, and a lot of mindless details signify that you have padded a weak resume, most likely as a result of you lacking the proper qualifications.
Having a lot of verbal noise cluttering your resume tells your potential manager that you do not understand what it is they are looking for, so you just threw in everything. This forces your manager to sift through a bunch of irrelevant facts in order to find what is the most important – and this is something your manager is not going to do.
Step 3: Sell, Don’t Tell
It is not enough to say that you rang up customers, because that is exactly what you are supposed to do. Managers want to know if you were good at what you did, or if you rushed through the lines and tossed their items into the bags.
Rather than just parroting back your previous job description, focus on the accomplishments and impact you made while you lived up to your previous employer’s expectations. Sell yourself by showing you excelled in your position, and that you took the initiative to go above and beyond your basic job description.
Step 4: Back Up Your Claims
It’s all well and good to list skills and accomplishments, but you want to quantify them in a manner that would make your manager care. Several – maybe even hundreds – of people are applying for this same position, and likely have a similar skillset. What makes your resume stand out from the rest?
One of the best ways to do this is to quantify them with numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts. There is no better way to describe your qualifications than to use cold, hard numbers and facts. Explain that you sold X number of products each month. Let them know you managed X number of people, and that your work efforts saved the company X amount of money. Putting a number to what you have done ensures your managers can picture how you would fit into their company. It gives a better depiction of your abilities, and definitely makes you and your resume stand out.
Step 5: Bullets Make Things Easier to Read
Finally, you want to ensure your hiring manager is able to easily read and peruse your resume without having to stop and concentrate. Using 1 or 2 liners creates white space on your resume, which makes it easier to read and more aesthetically pleasing.
Big blocks of text take time, and look overwhelming. Your manager’s time is valuable, and you will make your resume stand out if reflects that you understand that.
Now that you have a list of the top five ways to make your resume stand out, update yours and send it in! Remember to follow up each interview you get with a “thank you” note within the first 24-hours. Proper interview etiquette is just as crucial as proper resume etiquette – but that’s for another article.