This might be hard to digest but you’re not special…until you rev up your résumé that is! The truth of the matter is hiring managers have to positions to fill and precious little time to do so. When they see a mile-high stack of applications to review, they’re just as frustrated as the applicants on those pages. Factor in just how many résumés are in that stack and you can understand why most of them just get glossed over quickly and sometimes, even ignored.
Another item for consideration is the fact that résumés have all but gone digital. Where candidates filled out cookie-cutter forms before, now more and more companies expect job-seekers to submit electronic résumés they craft on their own. Then onus is on you to make your credentials, experience and personality stand apart from the hundreds of other hopefuls in the pile. Here are five ways to turn your résumé from drab to fab:
Nude is rude:
A résumé without a cover letter is just poor form. In this day and age, when social networking is booming uncontrollably, it’s imperative that you leverage your social and professional networks. We’re not talking about obnoxious name-dropping – that won’t get you anywhere fast – but moreso reference people who you’ve worked with directly, who know you personally and who don’t mind being asked, even casually, if you’ve got what it takes.
Viva La Value:
Read and absorb the job specifications thoroughly. Make sure you understand what the potential job entails and know what criteria the employers are looking for. Only then, will you be able to craft a resume that fully and aptly showcases your value. If you’re trying to land an advertising executive position, the fact that you worked in a coffee shop for 3 years isn’t anything that helps your employer choose you. What makes you valuable? What about you and your experience make you a must-have?
Your résumé is going to sell you and how you word it, is Marketing 101. The words you use can convince, dissuade or even disinterest the reader and based on these feelings your chances can go way up or way down. Words that summon a sense of action, command & organization will give the reader a sense of how proactive you are – managed, directed, initiated, spearheaded and led are some useful examples.
Your hobby, your business:
You want to project yourself as a well-rounded individual, someone who has skills and is interested in things that contribute to you being a stellar employee. List hobbies or interests that are useful in a professional capacity – the languages you’re fluent in and any software experience you have are excellent additions. Your love of golf and shopping? Well, you can go ahead and keep those gems to yourself.
You’re Making a List – Better Check It Twice:
Nothing kills your shot at the job of your dreams like typos, poor grammar and spelling errors. If you’re not sure how to spell it – grab a dictionary. If you think its fine as is – let someone else read it before you send it. A fresh pair of eyes will pick up errors that you missed. Being meticulous isn’t a flaw but being sloppy, is and if you put your stamp of approval on something that doesn’t read well or looks like English isn’t your first language…all your other efforts are in vain.