4 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out in a Crowded Online World
Over the last decade, there has been a revolution in the way applicants search for jobs; as well as how employers find good job candidates. The internet has changed the entire process, including various aspects of the all-important resume. Gone are the days of the paper resume, as a digital format is the new standard.
In addition, technology and innovation are constantly improving the online process, by improving tools for the job hunters and employers that streamline the whole process. With profiles and parameters pre-set on websites such as Indeed and Career Builder, an applicant can literally apply for multiple jobs in a matter of seconds. While this is very convenient for the applicant, it also means that employers receive many more resumes than they used to. Thus, making it more challenging for resumes to stand out in the crowd.
Another new challenge is that employers receive resumes in a digital format, which takes away any advantage of a resume standing out physically through paper, a cover, or some other means. As a result, it is more important than ever to create resumes that stand out from the crowd in content, strategy, format and other ways. For the job hunter, here are four ways to make a resume stand out in the crowded digital world:
1. Focus on Accomplishments-
A big mistake most applicants make is they focus on responsibilities rather than accomplishments. Employers want to see indicators that help them to quickly determine if an applicant is likely to excel at the position; as there are many who could do the job adequately. Examples of this may include awards such as Employee of the month.
Your bullet point may also be something quantifiable. For example, an applicant for a sales position might indicate their closing ratio at their previous job. Doing this will definitely set an applicant apart from the many that merely focus on their experience.
2. Add a Cover Letter-
Many applicants make the mistake of not including a cover letter with their resume. This is a big oversight because employers have come to expect them. A good cover letter allows the employer to quickly get a summary of the applicant’s profile and qualifications before reading through the resume. This is very important because resumes at first glance all look the same, and employers tend to just skim through them. However, a well-worded cover letter can entice an employer to take a much closer look at the resume, thus giving the applicant an advantage from the start. In addition, an applicant who does not provide a cover letter may appear lazy and not committed to the process, which is an instant turn-off for an employer.
3. Use an Effective Format-
The three common resume formats are chronological, functional and hybrid. Chronological is the most common, which lists work experience in order, starting with the most recent employment information. Functional resumes focus on accomplishments and qualifications more than job specifics. A hybrid resume is a combination in which skills and accomplishments are listed above work history.
Currently, the hybrid is the most recommended format by job hunting experts, because it stands out from the majority of applicants that use a chronological format. In addition, in the modern employee search world, employers are focusing more on accomplishments and skills than work history. This format allows them to see the most applicable and important points from the very start. Whatever the applicants choice, there are many sites that offer free resume templates.
4. Use Only One Page-
Another common mistake that job applicants make is to try and cram too much information into the resume. Doing so is not beneficial, because employers have a limited amount of time to view the many resumes that they receive.
Minimizing the resume to one page may be difficult, but by doing so, the applicant is forced to only include pertinent information, as well as continue to rewrite the content in most efficient and powerful way possible. In the end, a one-page resume will draw far more attention from the prospective employer, and present the applicant in a far better light.
In addition to these four recommendations, there are many other ways to make a resume stand out from the crowd. For this reason, prior to typing up a resume, it is highly recommended that an applicant research the many tips available on the Internet. This will require an additional investment of time. However, in the end it will be time well spent, as a well written and strategically used resume will vastly increase the applicant’s chances of landing a great career position with an excellent employer.