Spring is here – and job prospects are bright! In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, a spike in hiring is setting the U.S. economy for a strong recovery this spring.
But while great opportunities are available, competition for the best jobs is fierce. If you want to land an interview, use these four tips to make your resume stand out to hiring managers:
4 Things to Include in a Standout Resume
A generic resume makes you look like a generic candidate who is just “going through the motions.” If you want to differentiate yourself, show why you’re ideally suited for the opportunity:
- Customize your summary or objective. Tweak this brief intro section so that it explains exactly why you want the specific job to which you’re applying. Include accomplishments and facts that are relevant to the job posting.
- Review the job posting and thread suitable keywords from it throughout your resume, where it makes sense to do so.
- Incorporate some of the employer’s messaging and language to demonstrate your understanding of the job, the company, and the industry.
2. Action-oriented language.
Passive language is more than boring; it dilutes the value of what you bring to the table. Review your resume and make sure it’s in an active voice (i.e., the subject of each sentence or phrase performs the action) to highlight the work you performed and the results you accomplished.
Start bullet points with strong action verbs that describe exactly what you did in each role. For instance, consider using phrases like “solved problems,” “conducted inventory,” “built processes,” “created manuals,” “organized projects,” or “helped customers.”
Want to really stand out to a hiring manager? Give them data. Numbers, statistics, and other forms of quantifiable results are far more impactful than all-purpose phrases like “provided exceptional customer service” or “delivered great results.”
Remove vague language from your resume and distinguish yourself by including numbers to back up your claims (e.g., “reduced rework by 10%,” “coordinated schedules for 16 – 20 sales associates,” etc.). Whenever possible, quantify the results you delivered or find other concrete ways to describe what you have achieved – beyond merely completing job tasks.
4. A clear reason to hire you.
Your resume is an advertisement for the value you provide – and you only have a few seconds to capture a recruiter’s attention:
- Get to the point quickly and concisely explain the “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me) for the employer. Think: Why should they choose you above other candidates? For more information on how to position yourself as the ideal candidate, check out this post on building your personal brand.
- Take a walk in the employer’s shoes and present evidence that shows you can perform the job’s key responsibilities.
- Consider replacing the “career objective” section of your resume with a “career profile.” A career profile section focuses on what you offer the employer – not the type of job you’re seeking.
Need help refining your resume?
Start by applying with PrideStaff. Our career experts can help you improve your resume – and spring into a great new job. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more, or search for jobs here.