Is Your Resume Holding You Back?

The job market is overcrowded with applicants all wanting to be the one who gets picked out of the crowd and lands the job. However, there are two areas where you have a chance to outshine your competition and embark on your new career.

Everyone knows that their resume has to be top notch, but that’s not what makes the first impression – your cover letter does.

Here we will discuss how to make each one stand out and have you be the one who gets all the attention in the sea of applicants:

Focus on what matters:

You will stand out head and shoulders above your competition, when you adjust each resume you send to focus on the relevant needs of the business you’re applying to. However, we are interested in getting your resume to the top of the short list. Here are a few simple steps you can take to make it fast and easy:

  1. Research: Go to their company website and read their mission statement and ‘about us’ pages. Look to see if they have any stated goals or forecasts that you can use.
  2. Outline the goal: On your cover letter say how their goal of achieving XYZ within a certain time frame really caught your eye and how much you would really like to help them attain it. The reason you do this right on the cover letter, is that in many cases that’s all they ever look at. If your cover letter says “just another schmuck” in not so many words, then your resume won’t ever be seen by anything more than the delete button.
  3. Edit: Finally, edit relevant parts of your resume to coincide with their mission statement and any other goals they may have.

When they see you’ve taken the time to study their company and are already in line with what they want to accomplish, the impression you want will be made and you’ll have a top level shot at it. Of course you have to be qualified for the position too.

READ MORE: 10 Rules to Writing Compelling Cover Letters

Lead with value:

Instead of leading with a regular old run of the mill objective statement, start with a professional profile that tells them the value you bring to the table. Employers are no different than anyone else – everyone wants to know what’s in it for them.

When they can clearly see how hiring you benefits them and will make them money or stand out as being a good department head, foreman or manager, they will instantly be interested. When you show them how having you on their team will make them look good, you’re half way home!

Socialize with them:

Adding your best social profiles can help connect them to you and also impress their socks off if done right.

Getting them to see you as a person really helps single you out as a top candidate. If you have a reasonably well-aged LinkedIn account or a very well done fan page, you should include those links. They will see that you’re active in your industry and that you’re engaged with others in the business.

This makes you real to the person looking at 200 resumes attempting to find one person worth hiring. When they see you in this light, you move up several notches in their eyes.

Be sure to look well groomed – you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Yell from the top of the mountain:

List your accomplishments, awards and any recognition you’ve ever received. People want to be around a winner and will naturally want to move you to the top of the resume pile because that’s where you belong in their minds.

Employers are just people and most people feel that success breeds success, so they naturally want to have a successful highly awarded person on their team. To them it adds a form of proof, much like testimonials do, that you are a winner and it justifies their desire to hire you.

If you don’t toot your own horn in your resume, then no one is going to do it for you. Stand out there with a megaphone and yell from the highest mountain. As the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Be sure to get creative, as creativity catches people’s attention and sparks their imaginations of what you will be able to do for them once they bring you on board.

Show them you’re self-upgrading:

Be sure to make any and all of your post college continuing education stand out. Highlight any certificates, degree upgrades and any furthering of your education, either within your primary field or outside of it.

Employers want to see that you’re investing in yourself and continuing to gain educational advantages. This shows you’re not lazy and that you have a real interest in your field.

Don’t be afraid to show how great you really are in your resume and cover letter. If you’ve achieved something make sure they know about it. If you don’t tell them then how are they supposed to know? Leaving out accomplishments because you don’t want to sound like you’re bragging could cost you your dream job. This is your time to shine, so show them what you’ve got so they know you are the one they need.

Author: Edd Rennolls loves his career in HR finding the talent that small businesses need to succeed. Rennolls recruits for top companies like who lead the marketplace in successful jobs placement.

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