A resume is not just a document; it is a tool for marketing yourself. It creates the first impression to a prospective employer. By reading the first few lines of your resume, an employer can decide whether to hire you or not.
We are in the era of online resume submission. It is effortless for job seekers to submit online job applications. As a result, employers receive many resumes for job openings. How can you make your resume stand out from the competition? What will make an employer select your resume over another? It's challenging to catch the attention of an employer who is wading through numerous resumes.
Here are several ways to make your resume stand out:
Keep Updating your Resume
The format of your resume goes a long way in determining your chances of getting a job. New resume formats keep emerging. What may have been an ideal format years ago may not be suitable in the current era. You can access updated resume examples online. You can choose from various templates and re-design your resume. Always ensure that your resume is factually correct. Update it with the proper dates of employment and accurate figures for your achievements.
Tailor your Resume to Suit the Job Description
When advertising for open positions, hiring managers seek specific skills and experiences. It is always advisable to study the job advertisement and identify the essential requirements keenly. In a multitude of applicants, the most outstanding resume is the one that seems relevant to the job opening. Emphasize your strengths, accomplishments, and skills that are in line with the job at hand. Outline the keywords in the job advert and include them in your resume.
State your Accomplishments not just your duties
In your resume, don’t just state your job description. Instead, say the things that make you stand out in your career. Outline your accomplishments, recognition, and awards. It is advisable to quantify your accomplishments. For instance, if you are a salesperson, state the sales figure you can achieve every month. Indicate how you have been able to perform above and beyond your regular duties at work. Quantifying your achievements gives the hiring agent a clear view of what you are capable of.
Bring out your personality
Besides your professional skills, hiring managers are also interested in your character and personality. Your resume should bring out your unique traits. Your leadership skills and your ability to fit in and work as a team should be well brought out in your resume. Employers greatly value team spirit and leadership. Give some candid examples of your guidance as well as your ability to work in a team.
Leave out Irrelevant information
Your resume should be brief and precise. Including irrelevant information may give the hiring manager the wrong impression. The hiring manager will not have time to read through the resume. An average hiring manager takes around 10 seconds to screen a job application. Ensure that your strong points stand out clearly. Leave out anything that does not relate to the job at hand.
Use a professional format
Nothing screams unprofessional like a CV format that is all over the place. Use a professional font, justify the content and use the correct spacing. Avoid grammatical errors at all costs. Even if you have no experience writing CV’s, there are thousands of free templates you can use online.
Forget about a ‘pretty’ resume
Your CV is not an art canvas. Leave the swirls, bright colors, fancy fonts for the creative arts class. While there is nothing wrong with a little color, do not overdo it. Yes, your CV will stand out, but, for the wrong reasons.
Add the numbers
A potential employer will want to know how you will add to their bottom-line. Use of measurable metrics will do the trick. If you can, show how due to your marketing strategy, you increased sales by 25% within the first two months. If you are applying for a procurement job, you could highlight how you managed to save the company a certain amount of money due to your cost-cutting measures.
Forget about describing your job; instead, focus on how our contribution made a difference.
Do your research
Your CV should respond to the industry requirements with regards to the position you are applying for. Do not have a generic CV that you send out for every job. While two companies could be looking for a Communications manager, one could be focusing on someone who can build their social media strategy, while the other may want a media specialist. If you have a standard CV, you are not likely to get the job because you did not tailor it to their specific needs.
It is not hard to get that job you have always dreamt of. The first step to getting your dream job is drafting an outstanding resume that will differentiate you from the other applicants. While you are at it, remember to write a cover letter as well. A recruiter would want to know about you at a glance without having to go through the whole CV first. A cover letter will also make you look more professional.
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