While searching for a job, you may be wondering how your resume can stand out in a pool of hundreds of qualified candidates. These 6 tips will help you create an exceptional resume to increases your chances of getting your dream job.
Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sort through resumes that are sent to them. These softwares often look for key words that were included in the job description. Before starting your job search, you should look through 4-5 job descriptions for similar careers and make a note of the most commonly used key words. However, make sure not to include too many key words. Alternatively, you can tweak your resume to accommodate the key words used in the description for each job you are applying. Including these key words in your resume will help you stand out among other candidates, and it will increase the likelihood an ATS software deeming you qualified for the position.
It can be overwhelming to modify your resume every time you apply for a job. However, doing this will heighten your chances of hearing back from prospective employers. You can easily tackle this daunting task by creating one, long resume explaining all the work and volunteer experience you have. Then, every time you apply for a job, you can choose which of those experiences align best with the job you are applying for.
Your resume might not tell your prospective employer everything you want them to know about you. A cover letter will add a level of personality to your application that your resume cannot. Including a cover letter with your resume will allow hiring managers to get a better glimpse at who you are as a person, why you are qualified to fulfill a certain job, what you hope to gain from this job, and why you believe you are the best fit for the available position.
Rather than highlighting your responsibilities at your previous job, you should focus on what you accomplished while you were working there. When writing about these accomplishments, you should use power verbs such as “developed,” “initiated,” or “oversaw” (just to name a few). You should then quantify your accomplishments to help them further stand out to your prospective employers. For example, if you worked with 35 clients per day, increased social media engagement by 50%, or trained 8 new hires, you should state those numbers on your resume.
Since your prospective employers will likely be sifting through many, many resumes, it is important for yours to be organized, crisp, and legible. You should format your resume in a way that makes it easy to find specific information, like prior work experience or qualifications, by putting each heading in bold. You should also make sure your resume has an emboldened header that includes your name, location, and contact information.
Although the general rule of thumb is that your resume should be only one page, that is not necessarily true. Your resume should optimally explain your previous work experiences. Therefore, someone who has been in the same field of work for many years might have a longer resume than someone seeking an entry-level position.