You are one in a million! So why are you still searching for a job? One reason could be precisely that you are one in a million — one in a stack of a million resumes sitting in the hiring manager’s inbox.
Ensuring that your resume grabs attention is easy – once you know how…and who knows better than advertising and marketing pros? Every day they employ strategies designed specifically to promote products in a field overflowing with options. So can you. Apply the same strategies to make your resume stand out from the rest – a decisive factor in today’s labor market. What are those insider strategies? Here are three of the best:
1. If it’s not working, it’s broke…if it’s broke, fix it.
The #1, most critical fact to accept is that, if it hasn’t worked so far, your resume is not making an impact — so DO NOT continue sending it out as is. If it’s not appealing to recruiters and hiring managers, it’s time to make a change. Accept that fact and you’re on your way to getting noticed. What to change? Read on!
2. Make sure you LIVE in the most important “real estate” on the page.
Internet marketers and website designers call it “above the fold” and they make strategic use of it to sell. So can you. On your resume, that’s everything that appears from the top to the middle of the first page (where you would “fold” an actual page in half.) Use it to come alive! Here’s how:
- Use a large font size for your name and a smaller size for your contact information.
- Include job titles or industry specialties that suggest what you do as a heading above your profile.
- Include a profile or branding statement that tells in narrative form the story of you that will be proven true by the facts and figures below.
- Include a listing of special skills, certifications, sample clients, awards and technical proficiencies — but only if they are noteworthy, not routinely expected of someone at your level.
- Be certain that the first job title, company name and bullet points are impressive because that may be as far as your reader gets. On a positive note, done well, that very well may be ALL your reader needs to see!
3- The Ahhhhs Have it!
How many pages should your resume be? Until you land a job, you can’t know what’s right for you. But if you haven’t, you do know what is NOT working. So do a quick check: are your margins less than an inch? Is your font size 9 or smaller? Is every line single-spaced? Have you single-spaced between sections or individual jobs? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you’ve squeezed too much onto a page, causing hiring managers to think, “With so many resumes, why should I ruin my eyes reading this one?” Instead, encourage them to say, “Ahhhh…now THIS ONE looks intriguing.” Here’s how:
- Edit your text to make it clearer, tighter, shorter, more concise. Decide to reduce the length by a certain percentage and you WILL find redundancies, irrelevancies, unnecessary details! For example, replace job responsibilities with achievements and eliminate both altogether if they are generally associated with that job title.
- Reformat your layout so that it appears easy to read, skim and understand. With less text, you can now expand side margins and add spaces between jobs and sections.
- Enlist the help of an experienced colleague or a professional.
These 3 insider secrets will improve your resume’s visibility immediately! Try them, then send out your new version; if you don’t get a response, strengthen it further. Keep going until you present yourself as a one in a million candidate any employer would be fortunate to hire!
Sandra Podesta is a marketing and advertising writer, author of 201 Killer Cover Letters, Founder and Host of Resume Room live online resume workshops and interview prep.