Why do some resumes seem irresistible to employers, even when they lack a few of the “required qualifications” listed in the job post? What makes these resumes attract so much positive attention? And why do the job seekers behind these resumes seem to schedule multiple interviews per week while candidates with stronger qualifications are left waiting by the phone? Here are a few of the traits these magnetic resumes seem to have in common.
1. Their power isn’t generated by the candidate—it’s generated by someone else.
Name dropping may not seem like the most appealing way to get ahead in this world, but during the job search, you shouldn’t think of it as “name dropping.” It’s called networking. And it can be the most powerful item in your job search tool kit. A manager who reviews a cover letter and resume will be more likely to call the candidate in for an interview if this gesture can be considered a favor for a friend.
2. They’re sleek, polished, and a pleasure to look at.
Glossy, professional advertisements get more attention than cheap ones that seem thrown together. The same rule applies to resumes. Both customers and employers will pay more attention to a pitch that demonstrates confidence, time investment, and attention to the principles of design.
3. They offer one thing—just one—that no other resume can.
Staffing is not an exact science, and sometimes filling a position is like buying a house. You may not find a candidate who has everything, but you often find yourself facing several contenders who each offer a little bit of what you want. The one who wins the interview will be the one that offers the most important quality. A maybe affordable, B may be experienced, and C may offer a vital skill set. The final decision will depend on which quality carries the most weight.
4. They break the rules—knowingly.
Very few candidates have the confidence to reject resume “rules” when these rules aren’t helping them, and fewer still have the knowledge to substitute a rejected rule with a clever and original alternative. If you feel like a standard one-page format doesn’t meet your needs, let it go. But if you plan to fill five pages, find a way to make this unconventional decision work for you.
5. They demonstrate research.
Ordinary resumes are packed with information about the candidate. They list one talent and credential after another and then they end. Irresistible resumes, on the other hand, show how these talents can help a specific employer solve a specific set of challenges. If you describe your skills while also explaining how these skills can bring success to your target company, your resume will be impossible to put down.
6. They’re part of a complete and brilliant package.
Ordinary resumes just show up in a reviewer’s inbox accompanied by a mediocre cover letter or none at all. Irresistible resumes are just one part of a complete experience. They come with compelling, original cover letters and detailed supporting materials like work samples, references, and links to personal websites and online profiles.
Make Your Resume Stand Out
Visit LiveCareer and use an award-winning resume builder to set yourself apart and land an interview invitation—even if you don’t have every single credential your employers are looking for. Once you’ve scored a face-to-face meeting, your true qualifications and winning personality will help you close the deal.