If done right, a strong resume can be a differentiator in the hiring process and help you get your foot in the door to an awesome career opportunity. But, you may ask yourself, “How do I set myself apart from the hundreds of other resumes stacked on the hiring manager’s desk?” It may not be as hard as you think. Follow the 8 straightforward tips below and learn what candidate experts at Carex have deemed successful.
- Cater your professional experience to the role you are applying for – Applying for a customer service-oriented role? Great! Then highlight bullet points on your resume stating where you used customer service skills in past roles to delight key stakeholders and get the job done. Catering your experience to the specific job you are applying for is important. It helps show hiring managers why you are a good fit and entice them to set up time for an interview.
- Quantify your successes – It is important to quantify your accomplishments to show the specific impact you have made, especially on your resume. This helps show the level of responsibility you have had in past roles. Led a two-million-dollar project with 10 direct reports? Awesome! Make sure you add that to your resume to show how amazing you are! Important details like revenue generation, number of customers impacted, duration of project you led, etc. will go a long way on your resume.
- Connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn – Networking is a HUGE component in landing a job and setting yourself apart in the hiring process. It never hurts to send a LinkedIn request to the hiring manager to introduce yourself, mention you applied for the role, and provide your contact information. This will not only set you apart and impress him or her, it will also allow you to grow your network!
- Keep it short and sweet – Long resumes can scare hiring managers off. If a hiring manager has a large stack of resumes, his or her time to review your resume may be lessened. Keep in mind length when writing your resume. If you are very experienced, it is okay to have a resume up to 4 pages in length, but shy away from longer resumes if possible. If you need to cut it down, focus on more recent experience from the past 10-15 years.
- Leave graduation dates off your resume – Although it is important to add where you went to college and what degrees you have obtained, there is no reason you need to add a graduation date. Having dates like that on your resume may help a manager guess how old you are, which doesn’t show your capability of getting the job done. Our recommendation is to just leave it off. If a manager needs the information later, you can provide it to him or her at that time.
- Add applicable certifications – If you have applicable certifications for the role you are applying for, make sure you showcase that on your resume. This shows you are a lifelong learner and are passionate about your craft. Best ways to do this are in a “Key Highlights” section or summary paragraph at the top of your resume. This will catch the hiring manager’s eye right away.
- Use buzz words – If you are applying to a specific role, it is always a good strategy to highlight applicable buzz words on your resume. For example, if you are a project manager and have agile and waterfall project management methodology experience, list it! This will help hiring managers sort through your resume quickly to see that you have the skills needed to succeed.
- Add a professional summary paragraph: Instead of writing an objective, add a professional summary paragraph to the top of your resume. This is a great place to summarize your skill set, highlight your strengths, and help the reader understand what types of roles and company culture you are targeting in your career search. This should be written in third person and should be short and sweet. Try to keep this around 3-5 sentences in length. For more experienced candidates, a little longer (no more than 2 paragraphs) is okay if all information is relevant to the position you are applying to.
Want more resume advice? Looking for a career change and don’t know where to start? Reach out to Carex, and we will help point you in the right direction! firstname.lastname@example.org