It’s (job) hunting season.
Chances are you’ve been combing the job boards at least once a week, and every so often you’ll see a job that catches your eye. Maybe they have great hours, or the perks are worth a longer commute. Or maybe it’s in an industry you’ve wanted to get into for a while, and the pandemic has been a great chance to reassess your resume and jump into something new. Problem is, after you go through all the hassle of applying for that job and submitting your resume, you don’t hear anything back for a week. Then two. Then four. After a while you realize you’ve been ghosted and nobody will be getting back to you. As you’re evaluating what you could’ve done better, you keep coming back to your resume. What could you have done to make it stand out? Here are 3 things we’ve seen that really help your resume get noticed by recruiters.
- 2 PAGES AT THE MOST
- NUMBERS NUMBERS NUMBERS
- ADD SOME COLOR
2 PAGES AT THE MOST
Especially if you’ve been in business for a while, it can be easy to fill pages and pages with your accomplishments. After all, you want whoever’s reading your resume to get a holistic picture of who you are as a candidate. But let’s be real – most recruiters don’t have the time or patience to wade through even two or three pages, let alone five or six. So when you’re evaluating your resume, stick to a few bullet points for each job that highlight your most impactful accomplishments, and save the details for the interview. If the recruiter sees alignment between your high-level overview and the job description they’re working with, they’re much more likely to call you in for that first interview or phone screen. For example, rather than filling a half page detailing how you led an 6-month task force to research the effectiveness of company-issued smartphones, just have a bullet point summarizing the results and proving you know how to get the job done. This leads into our second tip – it’s all about the numbers.
NUMBERS NUMBERS NUMBERS
When a recruiter’s analyzing a resume, they are looking for results, and the easiest way to show results is with numbers. Back to our example above, if you can condense those 6 months of work into “Increased field sales efficiency by 15% by overhauling company technology policy” it will be much easier to read, and also be a great springboard for the recruiter to ask you during the interview, “so, tell me about how you increased efficiency by 15%…”. This is also helpful if you are considering switching industries. Rather than focusing on the details of how you did what you did, highlight the overarching results and organizational impact of what you did and why it was so effective. After all, recruiters are (generally) looking for someone who can achieve results. Those industry specifics can always be addressed in new-hire or on-the-job training.
ADD SOME COLOR
Finally, and this may seem superfluous at first, it is really important to add some color to your resume and make it visually interesting. We’re not saying it has to be chock-full of different colors and fonts. All we’re saying is it can really make your resume stand out from the rest if you have a little color here and there. Maybe you have a logo, or a wordmark, or even just your initials in a colorful circle that you can add to the header or cover letter. You could also consider changing the color of your section headers, or even changing the page background and body text. In the old days it was recommended to keep your resume black-and-white, as recruiters would print them out and keep them in a physical file, and any color you added would be lost when printed out. These days, with many options to view piles of files, it’s much more likely that your recruiter will be looking at the PDF or WORD document you send over, giving you much more freedom and flexibility to add some color and make your resume more interesting than a 12-point Times New Roman college research paper.
So there you have it – our top 3 tips for how to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Let us know in the comments if these tips are helpful, or if there are other things you’ve seen that have helped your resume get noticed!
And as always, be sure to check out www.findajobpa.com for the latest job postings, as well as https://www.blacknwhitebizsolutions.com/ for all your HR needs.
Until next time,