Searching for a new job can be an intimidating process, especially when striving for a competitive position. Think of your resumé as a billboard on the side of the freeway, your employer drives past hundreds of billboards a day, however, its your job to catch their eye and land an interview. For competitive positions, generally, an employer on average will look at a resumé for no more than 6 seconds. That’s not a lot of time to prove you should have the job. Your resumé needs to be short and catchy and get to the point. Here are a few tips to help your resumé stand out among the rest.
A Resumé is Not
In order to understand what a resumé is, it’s always helpful to understand what a resumé is not. Despite common rumors, you never want to exhaust your reader with mundane achievements and a personal history. A resumé is not designed to be read, a resumé is designed to be scanned. Long paragraphs requiring extra effort are often skipped and forgotten. Keep it short and simple and let your employer know only your most important skills. You must adjust your resumé for every job you consider in order to meet their specific needs. Don’t hesitate to leave some of your skills off your resumé that have nothing to do with the position. And most important above all, a resumé is not a place for common grammar mistakes. This can severely affect your image when applying for any job. Always read your resumé out loud several times and let others review it before you send it. Grammar mistakes happen more often than you think.
A Resumé Is
When reviewing a resumé, an employer essentially wants to find out if you have two factors when considering you for the job: 1) sufficient skills for the position, and 2) evidence you love the job.
Skills & Results
An obvious factor when considering a new employee is deciding whether the candidate has the necessary skills to fulfill the position. Before you apply for a job, thoroughly brainstorm what skills you believe are necessary for the job and consider if you have them. However, an important side factor that many fail to consider when listing their skills on a resumé is evidence you have utilized those skills well. Any measurable statistics due to previous work is a definite eye-opener for future employers. Employers want results, and it is your job to define any previous results on your resumé. For example, rather than write that you have the ability to code and design a website, include how many visitors to the website were received a day, the conversion rate of each customer to a sale from the website, and any other relevant statistics to your web design. Employers love to predict what results you can bring to the company.
Will You Love Your Job?
It is common sense and also a proven fact that those who love their jobs produce better results. Passion is a rare gem that most employers are dying to have in their company. If spacing permits, include a small section of hobbies and interests on your resumé to prove you have a passion for your work outside of the workplace. This is where a cover letter can serve an effective purpose. A cover letter is the perfect opportunity to express who you are, why you want the job, and show how efficient your communication skills are. Feel free to include your personal interests relevant to the position you are seeking. More than anything, your employer will love to hear you have a passion for developing your work skills in your own free time.
A resumé can be the deciding factor to land you the interview for the job of your dreams. Don’t be afraid to get creative and get noticed, however, it is important to still remain professional. When reviewing your resumé ask yourself these four helpful questions:
- Is it brief?
- Does it prove you are adept?
- Does it show results?
- Does it prove your passion?
Ensuring your resumé has all 4 factors will help prove your worth to the company and help you earn the job you need.