Let's face it, no matter how grammatically correct your resume is or how plump it is with your past career accomplishments or educational credentials, human resource managers and employers are sent dozens of resumes and CVs on their desk on a daily basis. There is a good chance your application is getting tossed right into the trash bin as fast as you're sending them out. With a job, your livelihood, and your ability to pay rent all on the line, you cannot afford to send out another mediocre resume that blends in with the crowd. To help get your resume out there and right in front of the eyes of hiring managers, here are five tips that can give your resume a "stand out" factor from the rest. By following these tips, you improve your chances of landing the job or at least getting considered for the position.
1. Customize Your Resume
The fact is, sending out an email blast of your generic resume isn't going to catch any employer's attention. In fact, in some cases, this arrogant move can get you blacklisted by hiring managers. What employers are really hoping to receive is a resume that has been cut specifically to fit the job position being offered. If you are applying for a tech-related job, such as for a software engineer or a security analyst, it's moot to try and send out a resume that highlights your skill set and training as a nurse or hemodialysis technician. While it does sound incredibly arduous to have to change your resume to fit varied job postings, sending out quality resumes that are tailored specifically to match it will yield a higher success rate of getting at least a phone interview compared to sending out generic resumes.
2. Include Achievements Instead of Responsibilities
If you're applying for a job as a pizza delivery person, it's pointless to outline the fact that you delivered pizzas in your previous work. Employers are already expecting this information without you having to say it. Instead of outlining your job responsibilities, include achievements you've been able to produce for your previous employers. This could be that you reached your sales quota a week earlier for each month that you worked for a company or that you successfully spearheaded the launch of a new product line at your company.
3. Quantify Your Achievements
When including your achievements, it's not enough to just pepper it with flattering words, such as "stylish" or "user-friendly". Nobody knows how to quantify these terms, and hiring managers won't take the time to try and understand what it was that you actually accomplished. Give them the cold hard numbers. For example, how much product were you able to send out while you were under the company's employ? What were the size of the accounts that you managed? How many employees did you train or manage? How much money were you able to save your company from your cost-reducing suggestions? Quantifying your achievements on paper makes it easier for employers to determine your potential value in the context of what their business currently needs.
4. Trim the Fat
Employers want people who can contribute in the workforce. Excess fat on your resume simply tells an opposite story. It could mean that you are padding your technically-weak and lackluster resume with as much information as you can, even though the said information is irrelevant. Limit information to relevant details, like previous work experiences that are somehow connected to the current job posting you are applying for or links to side projects that you've launched or facilitated in the past. Keep in mind that a short one-page resume doesn't necessarily convey weakness. It simply means you have the courage, honesty, and self-awareness to write a resume.
5. Give Some Thought to Designing Your Resume
A modern, professional format is key to attracting readers and getting the favorable response you are looking for. Format your resume so that it is visually appealing, and not just a big chunk of paragraph or a never-ending list of bullet points. Include lines to clearly divide categories in your resume. Use a different color to distinguish key details, such as contact information or project links. Choose a smooth, seamless design that just has enough flair to pop out. That being said, avoid overdoing it with a fancy, informal font or various colors for different categories. Remember to make it about the information rather than the template.