One of the major obstacles when applying for a job is that Human Resource departments and management are inundated with so many resumes.
The result is a culling process to quickly eliminate the most resumes as possible to focus on a specific set of resumes and applications.
Even a mere glance that catches the slightest glitch results in the resume being tossed in the NO pile.
This is why it is important to learn ways to make your resume stand out.
Hit the keywords correctly within your cover letter and the rest of the resume. With the cover letter, you are selling yourself. This is where you are literally marketing you, not just qualifications.
However, using certain words and phrases like “team player” or “development”, or “managed”, “achieved”, and similar marketing buzzwords for keywords will only work if they fit smoothly into your writing. These are words to use to make your resume stand out using a subtle tactic. Otherwise this method, if over-stuffed with any keywords, will be noticed and the resume will be discarded.
Be sure to keep your content relevant to the job position, and position your keywords strategically in this manner. You want to paint a picture of yourself as the ideal fit for the job.
Here is a big tip: Learn everything you can about the job before writing or adapting a resume for it. Always use professional formatting. Visuals and graphics, if included, should be minimal. It is about the content. This is not about selling pictures.
It is easy to comprehend why clear communication skills are required. All information must be concise but not apparently compressed. The resume has to flow. Like any other work of good writing, you want to lead the reader to the conclusion.
Generally, you will use what is referred to as a “Header” and that is a paragraph which introduces the aspects of you that are strictly relevant to the position for which you are applying.
Keeping it concise and on topic is the best bet. Adding just a touch of personality can be helpful. This is a statement about you and it has to have a powerful impact to hit the reader straight into attention. This is the goal. Think of a powerful single image advertisement. That is what the Header should be. It is a blatant and precise statement with impact. It says, “This is me, my service and why I am here”.
At the same time it states how you can be helpful and productive. Do not state this literally, just incorporate it into the message of the Header.
The Header comes at the top of the first page, which is the most important page and this is relevant to what makes a resume stand out. The cutting, advanced, sharp image breakdown of your real experience leads from the tone set in the header, but turn down the intensity just enough to allow for a flowing read.
Truly, the most important aspect of formatting is to have perfect grammar and keep the readability flowing so reader attention will follow to what comes next. Be sure, over and over again, that everything is free from errors, right down to wording and style.
Think of every sentence and statement logically and keep relevance to the position in mind. The Header is already taken care of and now the game is all about content and that is a bit more than simply wording.
This is not about visual format. Yes, you want it to be visually appealing and this is obvious. You are being professional, so avoid inclusion of any negative regarding previous employment experiences or employers. Keep a neutral and informative tone with a hint of optimism.
By keeping your format oriented toward content which is relevant to your achievements as they relate to a particular job, a professional and appealing tone is maintained. Much judgement will be passed on actions and achievements from the past.
Since the concept is to convey information, using different fonts or colors for emphasis is not productive at all. It is distracting and unnecessary, so simply avoid using them. Instead, you could include metrics which demonstrate past achievements.
Of course you can also format your resume like an infographic for that extra effect 🙂
The bottom line is always money and that means getting the job. Getting the job is money for you and for the employer, so they have to recognize an applicant as an asset before they will hire. This is why the resume is so important.
Look at some stand out resume examples and draw comparisons. Better still, why not hire a professional service to help get the resume exactly on target to win the position. Sometimes we cannot achieve perfection on our own, but we can achieve it with experienced and dedicated assistance.
As a last tip, here’s a great article filled with tips on resumes and careers.