10 Ways To Make Your Resume A Memorable One
Looking for a job can be daunting and challenging. You go into the whole ordeal ready to knock someone’s socks off, but then you look around and then you realize everyone else is just as capable of doing that as you are. What’s more – you’ll need to get noticed among the crowd first. There’s no point in having all those smarts but no one to value them!
This need to get noticed and stand out has turned resume writing into a booming business, with multiple people who are trained in making you look like the ideal candidate for a job running things. Whether you take the help of such experts or not, here are some tips to make your resume stand out that you should know.
#1. Your Resume is Not Set in Stone
Treat your resume like it’s a living, breathing thing that can change according to what the situation requires. We’re not asking you to lie on your resume – that would be fraud – but the fact of the matter is that resumes are just one or two sheets of paper, and they’re not enough to fit the entirety of even two years of work experience.
You may have things in your resume that the employer is not really looking for, and you might have ignored mentioning certain skills that would be useful to them in it. If this is the case, you need to change your resume to make it fit around the current job requirements before you send it in.
Keep it relevant and honest, but also make sure you’re not sending everyone the exact same thing. Targeted ads get better results than marketing strategies aimed at no one, and your resume is like your advertisement to prospective employers.
#2. Get Help From the Experts
If you feel like you won’t be able to write the best resume you can, get help from an expert who does it for a living. There are multiple agencies and organizations that can help you with this, and you can hire Resume Pilots for professional writing services of all kinds – including resumes, of course.
Like we said before, your resume is a living, breathing thing but once you have it written down you can keep changing it or making new copies and editing them to send to future employers. Getting your resume done by a professional will help you get started at first.
#3. Write a Cover Letter
If you really want your resume standing out, write a cover letter to accompany it. Take care not to make the cover letter too long, since anyone sorting through or reviewing job applications will be tempted to ignore yours if they see a big block of text.
Make the cover letter 3 to 5 lines, or two similar paragraphs if you have a bit too much to say. Anything longer than this will put employers off, but if you use these words wisely you can really make a good impression.
Don’t waste your cover letter on summarizing your resume, but tell them things about yourself that might help improve your chances and aren’t already in your resume.
#4. Focus on What You Can Give Them
If you’re applying for a job, make sure you focus on what you can offer them as an employee, and what you can offer them as someone who works for their organization.
Instead of talking about all the things you have done, talk about how your experience equips you to be a better employee for them. Here’s an example of how your skills section should actually look like:
“I have a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing,” which sounds okay, we guess, compared to “my Bachelor’s degree in marketing gives me a better understanding of different marketing tactics to help meet internal and external marketing goals”. We’re not letting the employers sit there and figure out why our marketing degree is awesome. We’re telling them ourselves.
#5. Don’t Put Down Other Applicants
Nothing makes you look worse than putting down other applicants in a bid to make yourself look good. Truth is, it actually does the opposite.
Anyone who can’t treat their competition with respect and dignity is sure as heck not going to be a great person to work with, and every employer knows how important maintaining a good work atmosphere is. This is one of those fatal mistakes you’ll make in your resume that doom you for failure.
#6. Include a Professional Headshot
In a lot of cases, adding a professional headshot to your resume can give it the human element you need to set yourself apart from the rest, which is why it might be time to take some good photos of yourself and have them developed professionally.
Make sure the headshot is professional though, and gives off the right impression. Smiling in your headshot goes a long way, and so does some light makeup or the right outfit.
#7. Optimize it With Keywords
A lot of HR departments in various industries, not to mention recruitment agencies, are starting to use all kinds of automated software to look through your resumes, which is why it’s important to add all the right and relevant keywords in there that will help an AI software notice you.
On this note, you still need to be careful not to make the mistake of adding too many keywords in there – a human will still take a look at it at some point and it needs to have all the things a regular resume will have in it.
Doing this will only leave a bad impression on your prospective employers, not to mention how it’s generally considered a lazy thing to do. It’ll also make you lose focus on what you should actually be using your resume to do, which is to make sure everyone knows how and why you’re the perfect candidate for a particular position.
#8. Don’t Count on Just the Resume
Today’s employment landscape is just too competitive for you to depend on just your resume to land you a job. This is why professional networks and having friends in the right places can pay off sometimes. Here are some examples of how you can go above and beyond in securing a coveted job position.
If you’re applying to a job where it doesn’t mention who will be reading your application, it might be a good idea to spend some time looking into it so you can find this out.
Then once you know the name of the person, you can write a cover letter addressing them by their name or highlighting skills in your resume that you now know they’re looking for in particular. This works more for certain positions than for others, and of course all of this advice needs to be applied after considering industry norms.
#9. Make the Resume Visually Appealing
No one now has time for plain resumes, especially when most applications are not shared electronically. In theory, you can make a PDF document as colorful as you want. This isn’t to say that you should, but maybe a splash of color in your resume won’t hurt.
Most online platforms like Canva have countless resume templates – both paid and free – that are aesthetically pleasing and will help put you apart from the rest of the crowd.
Some people like their resumes more colorful than others, but for most jobs, a simple theme with black, white, and then any other color for highlighting important information is more than adequate.
You can use white for the background, black for the text, and then go in with any color from brown to pink to green for highlighting certain parts of your application.
#10. Keep Your Resume Organized
A lot of times there are many sections to add to your resume, and it’s a challenge fitting everything in there. As a general rule, your resume shouldn’t be more than a page long, or two pages at most.
This becomes a challenge when you realize that you also have to make it visually appealing, and that you can’t just squeeze a lot of text onto the page with reckless abandon. No one’s going to read that.
But what you can do, however, is to divide all your information into columns, using bullet points, and letting the headings use up too much space on the resume. This is easier said than done though, and you might end up having to be very selective about what information you do and don’t put there.
At the end of the day, your resume is supposed to not only showcase your best skills and help you stand out, but also be appealing enough for hiring managers to want to read through the whole thing.
A lot of times, people are dealing with countless job applications and hiring managers might end up just scanning through the applications, only reading the ones that they find attractive or eye catching. It might sound like a lot to juggle, but with a little time and carefulness, you’ll be able to make an amazing one.