Online job applications have made it much easier for job seekers to apply for jobs than it may have been in the past. However, it’s also made it somewhat more challenging to differentiate your resume from the stack.
If you’re trying to land a new role, here are our top 5 tips to catch the eye of recruiters and help your resume stand out from the competition!
Tailor your resume for each employer
First things first, you won’t have just one resume. That’s right, effectively and concisely summarizing your skills, experience, and accomplishments in an impactful document is just the start!
This isn’t to intimidate you but to serve as a reminder to tailor your resume to each job you’re applying for. The changes don’t need to be dramatic, and you don’t need to re-write your whole resume. You do, however, need to take some time to highlight the skills and experience each employer is looking for.
Focus on your skills, experiences, and accomplishments most relevant to the specific job posting. Showcase your past successes that align closest with what the employer is looking for, versus highlighting everything you’ve done in the past.
Include relevant keywords
Another way you can set your resume apart from the rest is by including relevant keywords. As we’ve discussed on our site before, many employers use automated filtering programs to scan resumes and identify qualified candidates. These applicant tracking systems (ATS) do this by looking for the inclusion of relevant keywords.
We recommend thoroughly reading the job posting and noting any repeated and relevant keywords or phrases. This will increase your likelihood of being screened in by the ATS and appeal to the real-life recruiter. Subsequently, cross-reference your resume to ensure these words are reflected.
Highlight your skills
Another way of incorporating these keywords is to add a “Skills” or “Core Competencies” section on your resume. Here, you can include a bulleted list of the skills that most closely align with what the employer is looking for and reflect the keywords seen in the job description.
Tell a story of accomplishments
We encourage you to think about how you can upgrade your resume to be a story – specifically about your accomplishments. Your resume should not only summarize your skills, experience, and knowledge. It should show how you’ve advanced or grown throughout the years, and demonstrate what you can bring to the table in the new role.
Accomplishments are what set great resumes apart from good ones and can win over a hiring manager. We recommend focusing on the last 10-15 years and providing quantifiable achievements in dollars, sales, percentages, or other numbers.
To help identify your best work-related accomplishments, here are 5 questions to ask yourself:
1- What is your biggest professional achievement in the past 12 months?
2- Have you been recognized as the first person to something in your role?
3- Have you won any awards in your role? What was the award and what was the criteria?
4- What project have you accomplished recently that helped the company or organization make more money or achieve another goal?
5- How have you helped your employer expand their business?
No red flags
After working so hard on one document, you don’t want to have your resume stand out for the wrong reason. The final thing you need to do before submitting your resume is making sure there are no red flags.
Errors on a resume can often result in your application being rejected by the ATS or the recruiter. This means it’s important to proofread your resume for any typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors. You’ll also want to ensure you haven’t missed any dates or written a past job description in the present tense.
It can be difficult to catch your own mistakes, especially when you’ve read through it yourself multiple times. We suggest having a friend or colleague read through to catch anything you might have missed.
To conclude, these 5 adjustments can make all the difference in making your resume stand out from the others and get you one step closer to landing a new job!
If you need professional support in writing your resume. Book a free consultation with a Certified Resume Strategist at WeApply Canada today.