Record-breaking statistics for unemployment mean that competition in today's job market is fierce. Employers are receiving more resumes for open positions than ever before and your resume has just 1-2 minutes before the eyes of a potential employer before it is placed in either the "interview" pile or the trash.
How can your resume quickly and impressively show that you are the best person for the job? Here are five tips that will help your resume (and you!) get noticed.
How to Make Your Resume Stand Out: Five Simple Tips
A few basic choices such as a summary statement, relevant keywords, small amounts of color, an
individually-tailored experience section, and a touch of personality will help make sure your resume stands apart from all the others on a hiring manager’s desk.
- Include a "career summary." With so little time to make an impression you've got to make sure employers get the most important information about you right away. Put a summary of your career, skills and accomplishments right at the top of your resume so employers don't have to search for the information that shows you are perfect for the job.
- Incorporate keywords. Depressing as it may be, there is a chance that your resume may never be looked at by a human being at all. More and more companies are using screening software to do a preliminary check on resumes. Because of this it is of utmost importance that you use keywords from the job posting in your resume. Getting past the computer could be the first step.
- Use color. Human beings are attracted to color and a small amount of color among a sea of black and white could mean that the resume-sifter will spend just a few extra seconds looking at yours. Use a strong, energetic color (like red, orange or navy blue) for underlining or in small graphics. Don't compromise legibility, though. Keep your text black.
- Include the most relevant experience. Whether you are a mid-level executive, a homemaker returning to the work force or a student fresh out of college, be thoughtful about describing your experience. Tailoring this information for each individual job you apply for will show that you know about the position and what it will require. Your summer of babysitting, delivering pizza or lifeguarding at the beach may very well show that you are a responsible employable person but if it doesn't show that you have the skills for the job, leave it off.
- Make a personal statement. Remind the employer that there is an actual person behind that piece of paper. In your statement mention something distinctive about yourself and address it to the employer or company by name. With so many resumes to consider employers can forget that what they are doing is looking to hire an actual person, not just a list of accomplishments. Connecting with employers on a human level will make them feel good and make you stand out.
Making a resume that will stand out for each individual job you apply for takes some extra work but the result could be the job of your dreams.