How many resumes have you received in response to a job posting?
There are many.
It all depends on the position, industry, and demand. What little research I did show that an average of 75 was required for each position in 2009, and as high as 250 for each position for 2013.
There is much competition for top positions, it’s obvious. Many companies resort to software to eliminate large numbers of applicants and make it easier to select a few to be reviewed.
You aren’t like everyone else, so why would you want your resume to match the rest?
Most people would agree that it wouldn’t. The problem is how to make your resume stand out enough to attract the attention you desire.
These are seven suggestions and tips to help you make your resume stand out from the rest.
1. Know what you are selling
Your resume is your sales pitch. You must be able to explain the benefits and features of any product in order to sell it. What are you bringing to the table? How can you add value? What makes you more skilled than your competitors?
2. The proof is in the pudding
It doesn’t suffice to say that you have x years of experience in a particular field. Longevity does not necessarily mean quality or value. Have you ever worked with someone who is still employed at a company after being there for a long time but has no idea what they are doing? Exactly.
Demonstrating your skills, expertise and value is crucial. Instead of telling them that you prepare reports (no value statement), show them the value of the task. Perhaps you could say, “compile and submit monthly x reports identifying potential avenues and growth opportunities”? What is your value to what you do?
3. Duties vs. Valuable
Let’s be honest: No one cares about what you were hired for, they care about what you did. Your resume should not include job duties in bullet points. This only tells the reader about what you were hired for, and does not show value.
These are the questions that will help you determine value:
With whom do you work?
What can you do to work with them?
What are you doing?
Who is the beneficiary?
How much value do you get from doing what you are good at?
You can then create a bullet point that is value-oriented for each task by integrating the answers from these questions into your bullet points.
4. Templates are a great way to get started
You have many options for templates to use when creating your resume. These templates are great for starting, but they don’t allow you to customize your resume. Templates can help you get started if you are stuck. After filling in the blanks, personalize it.
5. It is You, it should sound like you
Each person has their own style, and it is impossible to capture that in a template. You can be very energetic and want words to reflect that. Contrary to what you might think, if you are more of a behind-the scenes type, dynamic words can be a challenge.
This is how it works: When you read a book, you form an image of the character based upon the words. This allows your brain to create an image of the character. This is what happens when someone reads through your resume. They form an image of yourself based on what words you choose.
Keywords are the king. Keywords are the king.
You can also search for similar resumes on Google to find out what keywords or phrases are being used. You don’t have to copy the entire resume. Just use these as a template and then make your own.
You can also search for similar resumes by clicking on the “Images tab” of Google. This will allow you to view them visually. Do not read the resumes at this stage. Instead, let your eyes wander over the numerous resumes and find what you like. This design can be adapted into your own style.
7. Are You a Hireable Person?
It can be difficult and frustrating to write a resume. Sometimes, we get too caught up in saying the right things that we end up saying nothing. You can take a look at your resume as if you were a hiring manager. Ask yourself: “Would this person be a good fit for my company?”
You can prove your worth by taking on the next job. Make sure that you have a strong sales presentation to support that assertion.
Relax and don’t try to create the perfect resume for every situation. Each position will require a different resume. You will need to adapt your resume as the job changes.
Although your first resume may not be the best or worst, you can improve it over time and make the best of it to get the attention of the right manager for the job.
Lisa K McDonald, Brand Strategist and Professional Resume Writer, is a Career Coach who helps people to identify and plan a path to reach their professional goals using the V Formula: Your Voice + Your Value = Visibility
Visibility gives you the ability to grow your business, expand your territory or strengthen your team.