If your job search seems stuck, it may be time to give your resume an overhaul. In a competitive job market, sending a strong, compelling message to hiring managers is vital. How do you accomplish that? Consider the following tips to take your resume from standard to standout.
Make It Interactive
Email is the most popular way to send your resume, so don't be afraid to give it a digital makeover. Add hyperlinks to your social media profiles, website, LinkedIn page or online portfolio to give the hiring manager another layer to explore, beyond the sheet of text on the screen. It's a good idea to send your resume to yourself first and see if the links appear on the page and work correctly.
Optimize Its Format
Recruiters sort through dozens of resumes in a short time, and sometimes it can make the eyes tired. To help guide them to the most important information on the page, use enhancers like bold or italicized text, underlining and different font sizes. This helps break the page into sections that the eyes can quickly scan and digest. To ensure your resume scans easily and there's enough white space on the page, replace long sentences and paragraphs with bullet points and short, concise phrases.
Focus on Relevant Content
Your resume should be tailored to the specific company and job you're applying for. Since you only have a few seconds to capture a reader's attention, try not to waste it by including vague or irrelevant information that doesn't pertain to the company's needs. Peruse the job description for clues on the types of skills and phrases that the hiring manager is likely to look for when reviewing your application, and include those throughout your resume. In addition to making your resume more eye-catching, these contextual keywords and key phrases can also help your resume make it through applicant tracking software.
Be Specific About Your Accomplishments
Your past achievements make up some of the strongest content in your resume, so now is not the time to mince words. Instead of listing mundane daily responsibilities like "answering the phone" or "ordering office supplies," focus on special projects you've spearheaded, problems you've solved or money you've saved. Take this a step further by including numerical data wherever you can. Instead of saying, "I saved Company ABC money throughout my tenure," state, "I implemented a new accounting system that eliminated unnecessary spending, saving Company ABC $20,000 over 2 fiscal quarters." Quantifiable data is stronger and more impressive.
To really make a lasting impression, your resume should be relevant to the company's needs, optimized for scanning, pleasing to the eye and specific about your strongest qualifications. This is the winning combo to craft a resume that gets results.
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