Is Your Resume Getting it Done? Tips on Differentiating Yourself

In a competitive job market, you need any advantage you can get over the competition.  Constructing a professional resume that differentiates you from the competition is a great way to get that edge over the other applicants and land yourself an interview.  Recruiters see dozens of resumes for each job opening, so it’s essential to make sure yours stands out.  While there is no magic formula for doing so, here are a few tips to differentiate yourself from the other candidates.

Put your contact info at the top of the page.
If the reader has to go looking for your contact info, you won’t get a call.  Your contact info needs to be the initial focus of your resume.  Make sure to include your email address and the best number to reach you at.  Be sure the email address you list is professional.  While sportykid1234 may have been cool when you got an email account in junior high, it won’t get a recruiter to take you seriously.  Stick to a variation of firstname.lastname instead. 

Follow with a summary of qualifications.
The purpose of your resume is to help the recruiter answer, “Why should I hire you for this position?”  Having a generic resume gives the reader the impression that you sent out your resume to multiple companies hoping to get a job, not necessarily their job.  To avoid this assumption, start your resume with a small summary about yourself and the skills you possess for this particular job.  Use these two to three sentences to make a compelling argument as to why you’re the best fit for the position. 

List only relevant experience.
Many job candidates make the mistake of using their resume to give the recruiter a reverse chronological list of every job they’ve ever had.  To make your resume really stand out, ditch the fluff and only list experience and projects relevant to the type of job you’re applying for.  When you include everything you’ve ever done just to avoid having whitespace, it actually clutters the page and buries your relevant experience.  Compare your previous jobs against the skills and qualifications listed in the job description.  If you can’t make a case for how a job applies to one of those requirements, remove it from your resume. 

Highlight accomplishments.
You want your resume to show the reader how what you’ve achieved in your previous roles has prepared you for the potential position.  Therefore, your resume should not be a laundry list of all the duties you were required to perform at your last job.  Hiring managers care more about how you doing the tasks affected the company.  Did you improve process cycle time?  Did you cut down company costs?  Did you weed out inefficiencies?  An organization is looking to hire someone who can produce results.

Be concise.
Hiring managers spend an average of 4-7 seconds scanning each resume in their initial read through.  They won’t take time to read a novel.  Brevity is appreciated, and resumes over two pages are often ignored.  Your resume should have clear formatting, short sentences and bullet points.  If the recruiter needs you to elaborate, they’ll ask you to do so in an interview.

Ready to put your resume to the test and find an exciting new job opportunity?   The recruiters at BOS Staffing are here to help.  We go out of our way to match our candidates with jobs that really suit them. Contact us today to work with the staffing firm that’s helped hundreds of qualified candidates like you.

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