Wednesday, August 31, 2016

5 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out

It can be discouraging when you're on a job search web site and see that 95 people have already applied to a job you're interested in. And then you hear about the creative, and sometimes, wacky things people do to get their resume noticed, such as sending it in the shape and style of a pizza, or in the form of an elaborate and beautifully-designed infographic.

But the truth is you don't have to be a creative graphic designer or come up with some mind-blowing new resume style to grab attention. Sometimes, more careful attention to the basics can get the job done.

Here are 5 tips to get your resume back to the basics so it stands out.

1. Apply for a specific position. Be very clear about how your strengths and skills make you an ideal candidate for a specific position that you name in your cover letter (and perhaps in an objective, if you still use one). The company should be able to determine very quickly what job you are applying for to make a determination if you're a good fit.

2. Tailor your resume to that specific position. Do not submit a generic resume for every job you apply to. That is a sure way to end up in the circular file or the recycle bin. Your resume should be unique and distinct for each position you apply for.

3. Know the company. One way to make your resume distinct is to know the company you are applying to. Your resume should speak to the needs of the company, demonstrating an understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and competitors. Highlight different aspects of your experience and skills as it relates to these company challenges.

4. Be specific about your accomplishments and relate them to the position. It's not enough to note that you managed a team of ten employees while applying for a supervisory role. Nearly everyone who applies for the job will have management experience. Detail how you excelled as a manager and what made you distinct. Perhaps your entire team exceeded their sales goals, or three employees you mentored moved on to become managers, too. Highlight your specific strengths and apply them to the specific position you're interested in.

5. Be positive. Demonstrate an enthusiastic and positive attitude about the job and the company in your cover letter and ensure that any language you use in your communication with the company, including on your resume, reflects accurately, clearly, and passionately about what you can bring to the job.

Apply these tips to your resume and you'll be on your way to standing out.  

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