The most important item in your job hunting tool kit is your resume. When a potential employer is hiring, they may receive hundreds of resumes a week, so you want yours to be memorable for the right reasons. Here are some tips on how to make your resume stand out from the crowd.
Keep it simple
To the above point – if an employer is reading a lot of resumes in close succession, they don’t want to be wading through waffle! Keep your resume simple, concise and most importantly, relevant to the job you are applying for. A good resume will be no more than three to four pages long and should use bullet points where appropriate to keep it snappy.
Use industry keywords
Some big companies use computer systems to scan resumes for certain words or phrases before they review them manually. So, it is a good idea to use industry keywords to help ensure you’re on the radar. Even if employers are reading your resume the traditional way, a few buzzwords will help you stand out (when they are used naturally and in the right context, of course!).
A good place to start is the position description where the job was advertised. Pick out some of the key skills or attributes and highlight them as much as possible in your own experiences.
Tell your story
Showcase who you are as a person in your resume, not just where you have worked. You may even want to add a short video that is embedded into your resume, so employers can “meet you”, before they ask you to come in for an interview. Although do keep in mind the tone and style you use will vary depending on the role and industry you are working in.
Include a cover letter
If you are worried about showing too much personality in a resume, including a cover letter can be a great way to show who you are, without taking away from the professional work experience in your resume. It is also nice to address some of the reasons why you think you would be great for the job and why you want to work with the person or company in question. But, like your resume, keep it short, sharp and to the point!
It sounds obvious but nothing will get your resume thrown into a shredder quicker than a spelling or grammar mistake. Get a friend or family member to double and triple check your work before you send it to anyone to avoid any embarrassing errors.