Ah the resume. It’s a single sheet of paper that can single-handedly undermine, or land you your dream job. In many cases the resume is all that an employer will know about you prior to the hoped-for interview. When this document whether printed or digital (via Linkedin, indeed.com, Monster.com, etc.) is the only thing your potential future employer has on you, the real and seemingly elusive goal is to stand out. Here are some tricks-of-the-trade gathered by consulting with hiring experts, scouring various forums, and of course a little firsthand experience. How to make your resume a stand out from the competition:
Jobs aren’t all the same:
Examine the job description and highlight anything in your resume that remotely relates. Internships, volunteer opportunities, and prior work history are all applicable experiences in which you gathered relatable skills, even if they aren’t in same the field or position you are pursuing.
Use your resume to show how much money you saved your company, in what ways you improved employee engagement, or which important referral relationship you fostered and exactly how it translated into business. Don’t waste your words describing the job functions of a “team lead” or “account manager”. Your hiring manager can guess about your job description, catch their eye with what made your performance unique. Use bullet points with solid figures and deliverable results. Showcase your achievements, and be as SPECIFIC as possible. Demonstrate an impressive ROI, and show that you know the key to success in the position you’re applying for.
Think Twitter, not Facebook:
On Twitter, you are limited to 140 characters in a tweet. You are forced to make it compelling, but include all the necessary details. On Facebook, you can give the world an entire play-by-play of your day, toothpaste brand, workout routine and all. In the same way, your resume should generally adhere to a recommended length of one page, except in some cases (medicine, law, etc.). Nobody wants three-pages of work history, from babysitting and Jimmy-Johns, to every internship you every had when you were in College. Since the ideal resume is about one page to a page and a half, narrow it down to your most applicable work.
Clean up your social media:
The Internet is a handy resource but it can also be your worst enemy! Your Facebook, Twitter, and blog may have settings that allow the public to view photos, notes, timeline, and they are constantly changing the privacy defaults. We were advised that at some point in the interview process, most hiring manager use the trusty resource, Google, to find any relevant or irrelevant information on a candidate. Do yourself a favor, and check your privacy settings- it can be tricky but here’s a tutorial you can follow for Facebook and Google+. Second, remember you are branding yourself- even if only your friends can see your photos, notes, timeline, etc., would they recommend you for a job? More on that topic here if you are in the habit of posting revealing selfies. Our recommendation: don’t post anything you wouldn’t want grandma to see.
You may also want to check out 8 Steps to Producing an Interview Worthy Resume and What Happens Afterwards.