Your resume is the first time an employer gets to “meet” you. Unfortunately, many hiring managers will throw away two kinds of resumes without even looking at them: the unnecessarily plain, and the unnecessarily decorated. Most resumes fall somewhere in between these two extremes. That 80 percent in the middle is going to be so similar to every other resume that you need to make sure yours stands out. Here are three easy ways to up your resume game.
1. Strengthen Your Summary Statement
A strong summary statement sums up your career goals and describes you as the ideal candidate for the target job, but a boring one paints you into a box. The hiring manager will only have a vague idea of what you do, and they’ll assume thousands of other people can replace you. If your summary sounds forced, generic, or flat-out uninteresting, delete it and start over.
To spice it up a bit, mention the awards you’ve won, how many years of experience you have under your belt, or the difference you’ve made at your company since you started. For some strong summary statement examples, look here.
2. Present Hard Data
It’s easy to say you implemented new data configurations and managed day-to-day affairs of the office as a project manager for your company. But your work experience should be quantified somehow.
Think back over the projects you’ve done for this company over the years. What effect did they have on the company? Did you lower the cost of procurement by 20 percent by finding a more efficient way for procuring supplies? Did you increase profit by renegotiating inefficient contracts? If so, by how much? Did you lead a team that increased sales exponentially within a fiscal year?
Companies don’t want to know what you did on a daily basis—they want to know the ultimate outcome for the company you worked for. Essentially, they want to know in hard terms what you can do for them. Rephrase your resume in terms of results, not daily tasks.
3. Proofread, Then Proofread Again…
And then have someone else proofread it. Misplaced punctuation, spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes are a death sentence for your resume. Even if you manage to get past the computer-based keyword scan of your resume, glaring errors such as using “manger” instead of “manager” won’t escape the notice of an eagle-eyed hiring manager. And she will find the mistakes that auto-correct couldn’t catch.
That’s why your resume needs to be completely fail-safe and error-free. The best way to do this is to read it over and over again to make sure it’s good to go. Then have someone else look at it. Why? You’ve read it so many times that it’s far too easy to ignore the silly spelling typos like using “it’s” when you mean “its” or formatting inconsistencies. Someone else can find these errors in the blink of an eye, because they’re not married to your resume the way you are.
Finding a job in this market can be really tough. You’re going up against dozens, maybe hundreds, of qualified professionals, all of whom want this job as much as you do. The competition is fierce enough. Don’t count yourself out by submitting an inferior resume for your dream job. Your resume should be polished, grammatically perfect, updated, and tailored for the specific job you want, and you can get it there by using LiveCareer’s Resume Builder to create and perfect it.
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