First impressions are critical in the world of job searching, and nothing helps you make a good one more than a carefully crafted and well though-out resume. It’s the first thing a potential employer will see from you, and you want your resume to open the door to you landing an interview.
While your current resume has almost certainly helped you in the past, it’s important to update it accordingly before you begin a new job search. Even if it still highlights how impressive of a candidate you are, a truly great resume won’t help you if it doesn’t grab a hiring manager’s attention.
In order to make your resume truly stand out, consider the following updates:
Highlight areas in line with the job you’re applying to
When you compose your resume, you want to write to your future and not your past. As a result, you do want to make the effort to tailor your resume to the job, emphasizing how your past experiences and skills make you a fit for this role. For example, if you’ll be using Excel regularly, emphasize past use of the program in relevant sections on your resume. This strategy is especially important if you are applying to many jobs online. To help organize and sort through incoming resumes, most employers utilize applicant tracking systems to identify qualified candidates. To ensure your resume comes up in these searches, you’ll want to incorporate a few keywords from the job description in your resume. This will make you stand out if the hiring manager is honing in on specific traits among candidates!
Be sure to get your personal brand across
It’s a best practice to give a hiring manager multiple ways to contact you, but it’s equally as important to ensure this information stands out. If your contact information isn’t already at the top of your resume, you’ll want to ensure it is among the first (and easiest) things for them to find. Additionally, adding links to your professional website, portfolio, or LinkedIn profile is a great way to highlight your online brand. Doing this can quickly help them learn more about who you are and what you may bring to the company!
Don’t shy away from being creative!
While you are encouraged to take some creative liberties with your cover letter, you should also consider doing so with your resume. Of course, you want your resume to be clear and easy to read, but it also helps you and your chances if a hiring manager sees a resume that isn’t just a piece of paper with outlined responsibilities on it. If you’re looking to make creative changes to your resume, don’t be afraid to toy around with areas such as the font, color, boxes, and shading. While it is important to adhere to your specific industry’s standards regarding design, a resume that incorporates some creative elements is bound to stand out from the rest!