In a competitive job market, hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes for each position. Because they don’t have the time or resources to thoroughly read them all, many don’t even get a second look. In fact, the average time most recruiters spend looking at a resume is 4-6 seconds, so it’s essential to catch their eye in that miniscule window of time. Constructing a resume that differentiates you from the competition is the only way to get an edge over the other applicants and land yourself an interview. While there is no magic formula for doing so, here are a few ways to make your resume stand out.
Use a Clean, Professional Format.
If your resume looks messy, you won’t get a call. Format your resume so that it’s visually pleasing. Don’t use fonts that are hard to read and don’t incorporate more than one color other than black. Your visuals should not overshadow your content. Place your name and contact info at the top of your resume so it’s easy to find.
Incorporate a Short Professional Summary.
Your resume should help the recruiter answer, “Why should I hire you for this position?” Having a generic objective statement gives the reader the impression that you sent out your resume to multiple companies hoping to get a job, not necessarily their job. Instead, 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. This summary should be very similar to your elevator pitch.
Tailor Your Resume for the Job.
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 differentiate your resume, ditch the fluff and only list experience and projects relevant to the position you’re applying for. When you include everything you’ve ever done just to avoid having whitespace, it’s too overwhelming for the hiring manager to read. Compare your experience against the skills and qualifications in the job description. If you can’t make a case for how a job applies to one of those requirements, there’s no need to put it on your resume.
In business, ROI is the most important metric. Highlighting important metrics that quantify your work and explain how it benefited your employers will show the recruiter how hiring you will increase their bottom line. For example, saying that you increased revenue is nowhere near as effective as saying you increased revenue by X percent. Show the hiring manager how much value you’ll bring to the company.
It’s important to remember that hiring managers won’t take time to read a novel. Brevity is appreciated, and resumes over two pages are often ignored. 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 candidates like you.