As a job seeker exploring new opportunities, the one thing that may be standing between you and your dream position is your resume. It’s the first impression your potential employer has of you. Luckily, it is entirely in your control to optimize it for success.
Having a great resume proves that you are the right fit for the job. However, if you have not updated your resume in a while or never prepared one yourself, it might be challenging knowing where to start. Thus, it’s time to make sure you follow these recruiter verified resume tricks to stand out amongst the competition.
It’s important to note that hiring managers have a limited amount of time to spend looking through resumes before choosing a candidate. Experts say the average time it takes is typically around 6 seconds to sort candidates into a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile. Therefore, keeping the recruiter hooked with a compelling resume is crucial.
Here are ten tips to make your resume stand out from the competition:
1. INCLUDE A COMPELLING COVER LETTER
It’s always good practice to add a cover letter alongside your resume in every application. The cover letter is a formal written note containing your relevant experience, a little information about yourself, and why you want the position.
It should be compelling enough to convince him or her that you are a strong candidate and they should, therefore, take a look at your resume.
2. CURATE YOUR RESUME FOR RELEVANCY
While your resume should note your work experiences, strengths, and skills, it should not be overwhelming. Think of your resume as a document marketing your knowledge and your abilities. It should not include the nitty-gritty of your work experience.
Instead, highlight your most relevant skills and experience to the job you are applying. Use quantitative proof to back up your accomplishments. Ensure that your resume is a viable fit for the position and organization you are applying for to prevent it from being overlooked. Make sure essential contact details, like your address and phone number, are easy to locate.
3. KEEP A MASTER LIST
Re-working your entire resume to match every job you apply to can be cumbersome and time-consuming. To make this process easier, keep a master list curating all the information you have ever put on a resume.
This list should contain relevant information about all of your old positions, special projects, and accomplishments. Then pick and choose from this list as you tailor your resume to match specific roles.
4. USE KEYWORDS APPROPRIATELY
To narrow down a huge job application pool, recruiters often use keyword-scanning software. Using specific keywords, they can quickly find applicants whose resumes match their job descriptions. Knowing what these keywords are and including them in your application can increase your chances of securing an interview.
A great place to look for keywords is in the job description. However, be careful with this resume trick. Make sure not to overuse keywords, as seasoned recruiters can spot ‘keyword stuffing’ very quickly.
5. LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media platforms, like LinkedIn, have become increasingly popular for recruiters to scout for talent and run background checks on job applicants. You should use this to your advantage.
Optimize your profile to be professional and presentable. Always include a link to your professional social media accounts and make connections with the companies you intend to work for. Regularly engaging their content is a great idea as well!
6. USE A PROFESSIONAL EMAIL
As a job seeker, maintaining professionalism in every application should be a top priority. Applying for roles with the email address of your current job comes off as unprofessional, and a recruiter may quickly disregard your application, even if you’re a great applicant. Thus, a professional email address with your names and/or initials is the way to go.
7. CHOOSE YOUR FONT WISELY
Exercise caution while choosing a font. You can opt to play it safe by using more traditional fonts or use a modern font for some more creativity. Bear in mind that the aim is for the resume to be legible and aesthetically pleasing.
8. USE A CHRONOLOGICAL LAYOUT
The way you structure information on your resume can leave a positive or negative impression of your application. To make it easy to follow, you may want to present every piece of information in your resume chronologically.
The easiest way to do this is by using reverse chronology – highlighting your work experience from most recent to least recent. In this way, a recruiter looking at your resume should see a clear progression between roles.
Also, make sure to explain any gaps in employment. If you took time off for further education, maternity leave, or other personal matters, provide some insight around this.
9. NAME DROP STRATEGICALLY
If you have impressive connections in your industry or have worked for renowned organizations, a well-done name drop can leave an impact, but do so strategically. Adding notable organizations and institutions to your resume is guaranteed to catch the attention of any recruiter.
10. HIGHLIGHT YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
One section of your resume that can help you stand out of the competition is ‘Accomplishments.’ This section informs a recruiter about a tangible impact you have made in a previous job and how it added value to the organization.
It’s a great idea to strategically include relevant achievements in your resume to match the job for which you are applying. Remember to back these claims up with numbers, metrics, and data.
Some of the achievements you could include are:
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS WITH THESE RESUME TRICKS
Finding a job often takes time, but tailoring your resume to match the job you’re applying for can put you ahead of the pack. A compelling resume keeps a recruiter hooked on your application long enough to add you to the ‘yes’ pile, moving your candidacy over to the next phase of the recruitment process.
GO BEYOND RECRUITING WITH THE PLANET GROUP
At The Planet Group, we specialize in matching organizations with top talent while providing strategic insight. Our keen understanding of the global job market, coupled with ten years of industry staffing expertise allows us to create enduring and valuable relationships between companies we work for and the talent we recruit for them.