Before we continue, let’s make a few things clear. Of course, you should adjust your shortlisted resume for the specific job you want. However, not every occupation will be okay with using a Pinterest portfolio or Vimeo video in place of a cover letter. With that being said, there are still several ways to make yourself look like the best candidate no matter what industry you’re in.
We interviewed several career experts from across the nation and compiled a list of tips that are sure to make an impression.
We’re not talking about the arrogant name-drop, “Ah, yes, my father the inventor of Toaster Strudel,” here. We’re talking about mentioning large organizations you may have worked with before–even if indirectly. Showing that well-respected companies can vouch for you adds credibility to your character.
Cofounder of job-search startup Rolltroll Adam Grealish states, “Go big. If you worked for a small subsidiary of a big company don’t forget to mention the big and often more notable parent. For better or worse, people like name recognition. It gives a sense of validation or social proof that can help you land that first interview.”
Toot Your Own Horn
C’mon, we have all seen your Instagram selfies. You are not going to try to fake modesty in an interview by saying that you’re not somebody important.
Be confident in your abilities, and don’t underestimate yourself. If you don’t sell your skills to potential employers, then who will?
Karin Hurt of Let’s Grow Leaders understands that it can be uncomfortable to write about yourself since we’re “naturally humble and don’t want to inflate ourselves. But hiring managers want to know about all the cool features of the product they’re investing in (you!). Let them know exactly how great you are.”
Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn has been constantly reminding you to fill out the sections of your profile that are incomplete, so do it! Although completing your profile is essential, there are other ways to make yourself known on this powerful networking site. This includes joining relevant groups, participating in discussions, and getting your resume shortlisted by optimizing your profile for the positions you are targeting.
“LinkedIn is still the first place most recruiters go, Hurt says. “You can now upload video, podcasts, images and other examples of your work. I’ve taken advantage of a lot of this as a free member.”
No more excuses. You have everything you need to show your greatness, and it won’t cost you a dime.
[Related: 6 Secrets That Will Make You a LinkedIn Pro]
Tell a Story
Hiring managers want to see a career that has progressed steadily, with stories of trials and triumphs along the way – much like the plot of a bestseller.
To make the perfect sales pitch, try to entrance your potential employer with interesting details that will help them see what great things you’ve done and how much value you can bring to their company. Uncertain where to start?
Susan Hay, a renowned career expert, recommends the following: “under each job, have accomplishment stories–as specific as you can be in less than two lines. These are the stories you want someone to ask you about in an interview, so make them interesting.” This strategy can significantly increase the chances of getting your resume shortlisted by highlighting your specific achievements and making your profile stand out to potential employers.
Add/Omit Your GPA
Should you include your GPA on your resume? This is a common question that induces anxiety. According to Hay, here’s the general test you can use to make this decision.
“If your GPA is above a 3.0, put it on your resume, but unless it’s above a 3.5 take it off after you’re five years into your career. If it’s above 3.5 you can leave it on for up to ten years. After ten years, no matter how good your GPA is, it looks foolish on your resume. “
Check for an Echo
After having someone else write your resume, make sure to read it out loud yourself to ensure it captures your voice.
Mark Anthony Dyson of The Voice of Job Seekers warns against using words you don’t usually use, as it makes you seem unprofessional and unsure.
“Employers can see right through the way you sound on paper and a phone interview if the vocab doesn’t match.”
Not to mention, it’s quite embarrassing.
Clean Out Your Work History
If your resume is multiple pages long and details every job you’ve ever had, it’s time for an update.
If you want to make your resume stand out, Career Stylist Kelly Studer recommends leaving off experiences that were unenjoyable or mediocre. “Don’t sell it,” she urges. “Just because you’ve done it, doesn’t mean it belongs on your resume. You don’t want to be hired for something you hate or never want to do again.” This advice can help in resume shortlisting by focusing on showcasing your most relevant and enjoyable experiences, aligning your profile with positions you genuinely find fulfilling.
In conclusion, the onus is on you to make it known that you are fit for the job by implementing these techniques into your application. Do not expect the hiring manager to put two and two together with all of the shrouded messages and obscured references in your resume- be direct. Also, don’t forget that personalizing your resume makes you (and it) more unforgettable. This personalized approach significantly increases the chances of getting your resume shortlisted and remembered by hiring managers.
Lastly, Studer offers this suggestion: “You want to give a flavor of who you are. I’m a big fan of putting personal information at the bottom of a resume, but quirky! Not like, ‘I like golf, yoga, and scuba diving.’ It could be more like, ‘I make a mean chicken cordon bleu. I’ve watched Bourne Identity more than 100 times, and I’m an aspiring accordion player.’ I would never forget that resume.”
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