The journey towards landing your next job begins with a resume that will get you noticed enough to make it past the initial screening process. Therefore, if you intend on standing out, we recommend creating a resume that flows with clarity and readability, but that also markets your attributes in a strategic and creative manner. For example, there are certain resume tactics you can utilize to highlight the professional image you want to convey to prospective employers, thus increasing your chances of getting a call for an interview.
Here are 4 strategies you can use on your resume that may help prospective employers connect with you:
Include a professional summary
Most hiring managers want to know “what sets you apart from competitors,” and your resume is the first attempt you might have to make a strong first impression. As a result, think of your resume as a marketing brochure, which displays the benefits your services can bring to the position. Try to customize your professional summary for your prospective employer by highlighting certain accomplishments that would help in your new role. Keep in mind, this should be as succinct as possible.
Use keywords effectively
In today’s tech-driven world, hiring managers often use application tracking systems to find candidates with resumes that meet the job’s requirements. To do this, they search the system for resumes that contain the most keywords to the skills they’re seeking. Therefore, to make it easier for hiring managers to find your resume and increase your chances of being invited for an interview, you’ll want to strategically use appropriate keywords.
To improve the keyword optimization of your resume, we recommend highlighting the specific skills and programs that are listed throughout the job description on your resume. Remember that anything in excess is never a good thing, so as a best practice try not to overuse certain keywords as this may dilute your accomplishments.
Decide between chronological and functional resume formats
There are two types of formats that most job seekers often utilize to create their resumes: Chronological and Functional.
The chronological resume lists your work experience and responsibilities starting with your most recent position and traces back throughout your employment history. It also highlights the overall progression you’ve made through the positions you’ve held and the companies you’ve worked with.
On the other hand, the functional resume emphasizes the skills you’ve acquired through your career accomplishments. This format helps to highlight specialized knowledge and transferable skills (i.e., project management, listening skills, communication, etc.) that could be applicable to the position you are applying to. For recent grads with less work experience, this format can be especially helpful as it focuses on your skills rather than on your experience.
Share professional social media profiles and websites
An increasing number of job seekers are beginning to include links to their social media profiles to help separate their resume from their competitors. Therefore, if you intend on sharing links to some of your professional profiles or personal websites on your resume, make sure they reflect the same level of professionalism that your resume does. For example, if you provide links to your personal blog, make sure you highlight certain posts that are relevant to the job you are applying to. In addition, if you participate in conferences, regularly contribute to a blog, or associate with certain groups and organizations, listing these on your resume could also help make you stand out.