If you are planning to apply for a job opening you found in the papers or a job search site, you can be assured there are thousands of other applicants looking at the same position. Everyone knows what it takes to land a well-paying job today, and it’s no walk in the park. Learning how to make a resume stand out is absolutely critical to your job search.
So how do you show your potential employer that you are worth considering for the position they are looking to fill? It’s simple; you have to stand out on paper. In other words, you have to write a power-packed resume that will be singled out in a glance.
Hiring managers don’t have the time and patience to go through every applicant’s resume thoroughly, and so they single out only the most impressive ones. If you are looking to catch your potential employer’s interest with your resume, here are four things you can do to make your resume stand out.
1. Tailor it to the Industry
The mistaken belief that most people have about a resume is that one resume fits all industries; it’s not true. When you are applying for a position in, say a sales and marketing, highlighting that web design course you just finished, might not be the best way to go.
Often job seekers feel they have to put every bit of experience in their resume to make it look sophisticated. While that’s not always a bad thing, you do want to make sure you are focusing on the most important experiences for that job.
Make sure you tailor the resume for the specific job you’re applying to so that relevant experiences are at the top of the page.
2. Show Them the Numbers
You may not think much about it, but the raw number are one of the best ways to make a resume stand out. To achieve this, take your past experiences and show employers what you were able to achieve using bottom impacts to previous employers. For example, if you worked in a sales position and were able to grow overall sales by a significant number, or increased the number of clients. Make these statements at the very beginning of any job experience you list to help it stand out.
If you are in an operational part of the business, it might be more appropriate to show how much money you saved the company with certain initiatives.
Whatever your function within a job role, try to quantify your success using numbers. This shows actual achievements and gives new employers a better idea of what you may do for their organization.
3. Talk About Leadership and Team Building
This is probably one of the most sought-after attributes that hiring managers look for in potential employees. If you can show how you were able to use these skills within roles at your previous job, your resume will stand out. Consider using strong words like “collaborated,” “mentored,” “led” etc. when talking about your leadership and teamwork responsibilities. You can use a resume builder to help come up with potential words and phrases that are known to help in partiuclar industries.
It doesn’t necessarily need to come from a job experience either. Being a strong leader and team player in sports and other activities is an indicator you can carry that over to an employer. That’s why some employers love to see things like people who participated in college athletics. It shows not only a team or leadership capability but also a level of commitment not all people have.
4. Utilize Your Contact Info
This one might sound a little confusing, but make sure you use your contact info to its maximum advantage.
Who said you have to wait until the middle or the end section of your resume before you hint your potential employer about your certifications? While others are looking to impress hiring managers with their list of experiences and certifications in the middle of their resumes, you can catch your potential employer’s attention from the very beginning – with your contact info.
How? Include acronyms of your relevant certifications or licenses at the end of your name. For instance, if you have a CPA and you are looking to land a public accounting position, your contact info should look like this – “John Doe, CPA.” List certifications like Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified ScrumMaster, and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).
Your resume is the first critical milestone of getting hired. If you don’t catch the eye of the hiring manager, your resume can end up in the trash in seconds. By focusing on some key areas, you can greatly increase the odds of at least getting a call for an interview.
Some things are more common sense, like the benefits of being a leader. Make sure you highlight these things in your resume, so they quickly catch people’s eye.
Other things like tailoring your resume for a specific position are done far less frequently and can make you stand out from the crowd. It takes a little extra effort, but when you’re talking about a job that might last you years, or even a lifetime, it’s well worth the work.