Crafting the Perfect Resume: Expert Tips for Standing Out to Hiring Managers
Have you been sending out resumes like crazy, but you're not getting any responses? Does it feel like your resume is lost in a black hole of job applications and you're starting to wonder if you're destined for unemployment forever?
If this sounds familiar, I have some good news for you - the solution might be simpler than you think!
You probably just need to update your resume.
There are simple yet effective ways to make your resume stand out and catch the eye of hiring managers. No more disappearing into the job application abyss…
Let's jump into some of the most frequently asked questions about crafting a standout resume so that you'll have the tools and knowledge you need to make a great impression on potential employers and land that dream job.
CRAFTING THE PERFECT RESUME: Q&A
Although every job application scenario is unique, there are quite a few general tips to help you build a solid foundation when creating your personal resume.
Here are the answers to 5 common questions job seekers have about making a stand-out personalized resume:
Q: How can I personalize my resume to stand out?
A: 4 main tips — Personalize your resume and cover letter for each job, use the right keywords and vocabulary, highlight skills, and thoughtfully answer all of the questions.
Personalize Your Resume For Each Job
In today's job market, it's not enough to simply submit a generic resume and cover letter for every job you apply to. With hundreds of applicants vying for the same position, it's essential to make your application stand out from the rest. One way to achieve this is by tweaking your resume for each job you apply to. By doing so, you demonstrate to the hiring manager that you have taken the time to understand the specific requirements of the position and tailor your application accordingly.
Keywords and Vocabulary
The right keywords and vocabulary to catch the attention of hiring managers and applicant tracking systems will depend on the specific job and industry you're applying to.
One way to figure out the right keywords is to carefully read the job description and take note of the specific skills and requirements they're looking for. Make sure to use these same keywords and phrases in your resume and cover letter, as it will help you stand out and show that you have the necessary qualifications for the job.
Additionally, you can use industry-specific jargon and technical terms to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge. However, it's important to make sure that you're not just randomly inserting keywords into your resume - they should be used in a meaningful and relevant way.
Highlight Skills Over Education
Employers are more interested in seeing concrete evidence of your skills and abilities than just the degrees and schools you attended. So, highlight your skills and experiences that demonstrate your competence and suitability for the job rather than just focusing on education.
Carefully Answer Questions
Many companies ask additional questions as part of the application process. Make sure to answer them in detail, as they can provide additional insights into your skills and experience.
Q: What if I'm not sure how to structure my resume?
A: Follow this checklist or look for people currently doing the job you're applying for.
If you're not sure how to structure your resume or what to include, look for people currently doing the job you're applying for and use their resumes as a template. You can search LinkedIn, company websites, or even competitors' websites to find resumes that can serve as a template.
Follow this checklist in order of how it should be formatted on your resume to make sure you have included all the essential components:
1) Name & Contact Info: Include your professional contact information and relevant social media links.
2) Who You Know: Highlight any connections you may have within the industry or company.
3) What Makes You Unique for the Job: Emphasize how your unique talents and skills can add value to the position. What makes you a good fit?
4) Past Experience: Showcase your relevant work experience that aligns with the job description. Use concrete examples with numbers to demonstrate the kind of results you have achieved. This will help recruiters understand your capabilities and how you can contribute to the company's success.
5) Education: List any relevant certificates or education that demonstrate your expertise in the field.
Q: Should I use a creative format for my resume?
A: Keep it simple.
Generally, a traditional, clean, and professional format will be better received than a quirky resume. Your resume should be easy for a hiring manager to scan and the information should be presented in a clear and organized manner.
Here's how to make your resume easy to read:
Use a legible font: Choose a font that is easy to read, such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Avoid using overly decorative fonts or fonts that are too small.
Keep it to the point: Use bullet points and short sentences to make your resume easy to scan. Avoid large blocks of text that can be overwhelming.
Use clear headings: Make sure your section headings stand out with bold or larger font sizes. This makes it easy for the hiring manager to find the information they are looking for.
Use consistent formatting: Use the same font, size, and style for all headings and bullet points. This creates a cohesive and professional look.
Q: How long should my resume be?
A: ONE PAGE.
Hiring managers spend SECONDS scanning over resumes. So while it may be tempting to include every detail of your work experience, a concise and well-organized resume that highlights your most relevant skills and experience will be more effective in catching their attention. Save all additional details for the interview.
That being said, there may be exceptions depending on your level of experience or the specific job you're applying for. For example, a more senior-level candidate may have a longer resume to showcase their extensive experience.
Focus on quality over quantity and make sure that the information you include in your resume is relevant and impactful.
Q: Should I apply through job boards?
A: Apply directly through the career site.
Job boards are great for showing you open careers that you otherwise would not have seen. However, it's always best to apply directly through the company's career site. This ensures that your resume gets in front of the hiring manager and doesn't get lost in the shuffle.
TO SUM IT UP
In conclusion, by following the tips and strategies discussed in this Q&A, you can create a strong foundation for your resume and make a significant difference in catching the attention of hiring managers.
Your resume is a reflection of you, and it's important to take the time to make it the best it can be.
However…. a resume without a relationship is worthless… click here for a BONUS critical resume tip to learn Why Employee Referrals Are Your Ticket to the Top of the Hiring Manager's Pile
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