Job hunting can seem like a daunting and arduous task, so it’s important to make sure you’re fully equipped and prepared for the journey. Your resume is the first step, so starting off with a strong one that stands out from the crowd is vital and puts you several steps ahead of the game.
Think about how to format and structure your resume first. Nowadays, it can often take more than a bachelor’s degree to impress some employers. Hiring managers also want to know if you have the skills and experience necessary for the job. Structure your resume to highlight previous professional positions relevant to the job you are applying for, any related projects you might have worked on, and even voluntary experience if it fits the bill. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and underqualified, consider leaving your educational details until the end and wowing your audience first with strong sections on your professional skills and relevant work experience.
Watch Your Language
This may sound like a high school English lesson but using a variety of relevant and resume-appropriate action verbs is vital in creating an eye-catching profile. In today’s competitive job market, it’s important that you see your resume as more than just a list of your achievements and qualifications: you need to make it glow, and using strong, resume-appropriate action verbs are a crucial way of doing so. “Initiated”, “streamlined”, “coordinated” and “developed” are all great examples of action verbs you should be using to show off your talents.
Another easy way to stand out is to use keywords from the job description in your resume. Your resume should always be tailored towards the job you are applying for, and you can make sure this happens by reading the description well and reflecting some of its key points. Another reason for doing this is to pass the ‘ATS’ or, Applicant Tracking Software, which are programs frequently used by hiring companies to scan resumes for relevance to the job in question. The easiest way to pass this gatekeeper is to make sure your experience and skills match the job description, and the easiest way to do that is to make sure you’re using industry-specific keywords to promote yourself.
Quantify Your Achievements
You’ve got your action verbs. Now you have to prove that they’re true, or at least true of your experience. What you’re doing here is quantifying your achievements. Think of any concrete examples from your work history or projects and say what you did that made something better, using numerical data if possible. Did a project you managed generate extra revenue? If so, how much? Did you increase product sales at your last job? If so, how and by how much? List these as bullet points beneath job titles and descriptions so that potential employers can see how valuable you are, and what positive changes you can bring to their company.
Applying for work can feel like a long and fruitless task. If you put work into your resume, you can attract employers faster, improving your chances of finding work. Following the tips above can help your resume stand apart from the competition.