If you have just one resolution on your list this year (find a job!), you’re not alone. In the year ahead, most economists and job market analysts predict a general decrease in unemployment and a rise in opportunity for job seekers across a wide range of industries. But the marketplace will still be competitive, and you’ll have to create a powerful profile if you hope to set yourself apart. Here are a few of the resumes moves that can help you stand out in 2014, regardless of your field, your geographic area, or the level of your targeted position.
1. Master Resume Submission Apps
While most resumes will still be requested in the form of Word documents attached sent by email, a growing number of companies are now developing their own submission procedures. These sometimes involve multipage forms available through the company website, and sometimes they require proprietary apps that allow candidates to submit by phone. If a specific submission app is especially popular in your industry, download and master it now so you can work out the kinks as your search moves forward.
2. Have an Online Resumes
No matter how beautiful your formal resume looks and how concisely it’s written, it’s a good idea to create a second version that can be accessed and reviewed online. Post your online resume to your blog or website, and insert a link to this page in your cover letter and contact information. Use your online resume to showcase additional details like your sales record or your portfolio of previous work.
3. Use Social Media as a Supplement
Despite early levels of excitement, it’s becoming clear that your Facebook page, Twitter feed, and LinkedIn profile won’t get you hired on the spot. No matter how brilliant and witty your tweets may be, they can only supplement your application, not replace it. But since employers will certainly be reviewing any publically available material on your social profiles, think of this material as an opportunity, not a threat, and use it to help you shine.
4. Take Creative Control Over Job Apps
Since the job market in most fields will still be flooded in the year ahead, candidates will be looking for ways to sidestep convention and take ownership of the application process. Don’t be afraid to stand out and strategically break the “rules” associated with resumes and cover letters. It can be risky to make moves other candidates won’t, but these risks can pay off highly for brave applicants who are willing to color outside the lines.
5. Use Your Personal Contacts
As communication technology improves and screens edge out real life in the battle for our attention, a growing number of candidates will navigate their entire job search through computers and mobile devices. Which means those who can put their screens down and actually initiate real conversations will come off as bold, socially savvy, ambitious, and driven. Put yourself in this category by calling and meeting with those who can help you.
No matter where shifting conventions and evolving technology take us in the future, a strong resume will still be every job seeker’s most important tool. Visit LiveCareer for an award-winning resume builder that can help you stay in line with convention while also getting the employer attention you need.