4 Ways To Get Your Resume Noticed
As any job seeker will attest, it’s competitive out there! The content and design of your resume is critical in differentiating you from the rest of the pack and getting you noticed … and invited for an interview.
Here are a few tips that could give your resume the edge it needs for success.
- Just like the daily newspaper, grab attention with a headline. Instead of using a heading like “Summary of Qualifications,” instead give yourself a label or title, i.e., “Field Sales Director-Consumer Products” or “Account Executive-Consumer Packaged Goods.” This statement can be changed for each position you apply, however, you don’t necessarily want to use the exact job title, just similar. This strategy will immediately allow the reader to understand you are a qualified candidate. Follow your headline with a compelling summary paragraph that substantiates your qualifications.
- Less is more these days. Hiring managers are juggling more balls than ever, so they have limited time to review resumes. They will spend about 7 seconds on the first review of your resume. To maximize your impact, pick the top two accomplishments for each position, make the statements no more than two lines, and start with the impact. For example, “Increased sales and profits by 22% through expanding distribution and implementing merchandising standards.” Instead of listing 5 or 10 statements where none stand out, when you present just two, they will shine. If, during that 7 seconds, the reader understands you’ve made significant contributions in the past, your resume will make it to the “to be considered for an interview” pile.
- Make your resume inviting, not overwhelming! When I look at a page of words in 9 pt. font with 1/2” margins all around and no line spaces between paragraphs, the message sent is, “this is a lot to read!” And, if I’ve got a stack of 50 more resumes, chances are I’ll opt for one that isn’t going to require as much of my time and effort to read. White space makes a resume much more reader friendly!
- Graphic elements will support visual appeal which makes the resume more inviting. Graphic lines (not underlines) differentiate the various sections of your resume. Graphic boxes can be used to highlight quotes or key information. Adding graphs or charts also creates visual interest. If you take some time with the layout and design, your resume you will not only draw the reader’s eye to the information you want him or her to see first, but it will look more interesting on first glance than submissions from your competition.
Remember, your resume is a marketing piece. To get us interested in their product, companies show us a 30-second commercial that highlights the best features and benefits. You want to design your resume the same way – give them the highlights to grab their attention and tell the rest of your story at the interview!
For more than two decades, Kathy Keshemberg, NCRW, CCMC, and her team at A Career Advantage have been providing professionals with world-class resume consultation and writing, career coaching and personal branding services.
- Career Management: 6 Tips for Creating a Resume That Doesn’t Scream, “I’m Over 50!” (cpgjobs.com)
- Job Search Scoop: Updating a Résumé for 2011 (executiveleadershipllc.wordpress.com)