We all know there is a large talent pool ‘out there’ in this market. In light of this, one of the most difficult tasks job seekers face is differentiating themselves from everyone else. This can be a real challenge, given the fact that recruiters are likely inundated with candidates. Not only that, but many recruiting/HR departments have been downsized over the last several months…so they’re having to do more with less people and time – UGH!! How will they know – in just one quick scan – that they should spend more time considering you, versus your competition?
What I tend to see repeated over and over again is the resume that is simply the history of your career. It’s a flat re-telling of “I’ve worked here for this long and my responsibilities included these five bullet points.” BLAGH!! Who cares?!! Your experience is only one small part of why you will get hired…and it likely won’t be the biggest reason (remember that most business skills can be taught…which means that a less-expensive go-getter may be a better choice than you!)
Here are some tips to help write a resume that will get you noticed:
Articulate Your Unique Value.
Don’t just start your resume by stating the objective of what YOU want. Combine that with your value proposition! What will a company GAIN by hiring you, specifically? How can you help their business or increase their value? (This is really why a company will hire you, after all…)
Lead With Your Strengths.
What makes you a great leader? (Hint: it’s not just your title!!) How have you motivated others, led with passion, made a difference to your employer, employees or clients? What do others appreciate most about you and why?
Demonstrate Your Cultural Fit.
Again, keep in mind that skills can be taught…but personalities are MUCH harder to change. Let your resume show what values are important to you. That cultural fit within an organization will be one of the most important factors that fulfill your career experience there. You want to be in alignment with their corporate values, so you might as well communicate that fit up front!
Exemplify YOUR Benefit Package.
Yes, we all want to get great benefits from our employers, but guess what? They want the same thing from each one of their employees! Speak to them in their terms – what BENEFIT will they get from hiring YOU? How have others benefitted from your involvement? Don’t make it task-oriented. Instead, focus on the benefits!
Of course, I should also mention the obvious…
- Be sure that spelling and grammar are consistent and correct.
- Format in a simple, easy-to-read style. DO NOT USE ALL CAPS or all lowercase!!
- Have a few people that know you well proofread your resume. Ask if they think it accurately “captures” your uniqueness and value.
- Give yourself 6 seconds to scan the resume. Where are your eyes drawn? Is that what you want to have highlighted?
Companies have the luxury right now of being quite picky and choosy. Be sure to incorporate the concepts above, and you will help them understand why they need to choose YOU!!