When you’re on the job hunt, you want to give yourself the best chances of success. And one thing you can focus on is making sure your resume stands out. Remember, recruiters will be looking at dozens of resumes. And if you want them to consider you for the position, you’ll first have to make a good impression.
1. Tailor Your Resume to the Job
Recruiters want to see that you’re a good fit for their open positions. And the best way to show them you’re a good fit is to make sure your resume is tailored to the job.
A great way to figure out how to tailor your resume to a specific job is to use a job posting to determine what skills, education, and experience they are looking for. Then you can use those requirements to guide you through the resume-writing process.
2. Use Action Verbs to Describe Your Accomplishments
Basically, recruiters want to see how you’ve applied your skills and experience to get real results. Instead of listing tasks and responsibilities, use active verbs that show what you’ve accomplished.
For example, instead of saying, “I supervised 20 employees,” say, “I led a team that successfully completed [insert result].”
This is particularly important for reaching out to recruiters. Recruiters are limited in their ability to dig into your work. So you’ll have to provide most of the context in your resume and cover letter.
A resume is typically the first thing a recruiter will see when they look through all the candidates. And active verbs can help you to stand out from your competition.
3. Don’t Forget to Include Valuable Soft Skills
Hard skills are things you can concretely show on your resume, like software knowledge, certifications, job responsibilities, and the like.
Soft skills are more abstract, like communication skills, problem-solving skills, leadership, and time management. While you can’t always prove these skills on a resume, they do play a major part in your value as a candidate.
Think about it. If you were a recruiter and you had two candidates with similar hard skills and experience, which one would you want to hire? The one with outstanding soft skills.
So, while you can’t always put these skills on your resume, they are just as important to include. For example, in the “Skills” section of your resume, you could say something like:
“Quick learner who is able to adapt quickly to new situations and is comfortable speaking in front of crowds.”
4. Have a Clean and Visually Appealing Layout
Your resume should have a simple layout with a clean and consistent look. A great way to get a good layout is to look at resumes of people that have a great design to see what they’re doing right.
And don’t forget to pay attention to the font type and size on your resume. You want to make sure it’s easily readable.
When you’re done with your resume, you should be able to glance at it and know exactly what it is within a few seconds.
In general, it’s a good idea to keep your resume brief, limited to a two-page maximum. Your cover letter should include some of these things, too. So take time to make it just as good as your resume.
Remember, when it comes to job searching, it’s not all about what you know. It’s also about how you present yourself. It’s important to not only have a great resume and cover letter but also to present them in a way that is visually appealing, professional, and easy to read. These steps will help you to stand out above the competition.
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