When you send your resume out into the virtual world to be looked over by a potential employer, you face a lot of competition. In fact, according to ERE, an average of 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening. Should you choose to submit your resume using a job site like Monster.com, you may be facing about 427,000 other resumes. Now that’s overwhelming. With this many people fighting for the same job, it’s important that you do everything you can to make your resume stand out. Aside from having the necessary skills and responsibilities required for the job, there are other ways that you can bolster your resume.
Use similar vocabulary
Go through the job description and jot down some of the most commonly used words and phrases. Use those same key terms and phrases that appear in the job description on your resume. This way, when you submit it, the computer will recognize the keywords in your resume, and your document will jump ahead in the pile of other applicants. However, you have to be careful not to just copy and paste the same sentences that are written on the job posting. Craft sentences on your resume in your own words.
Do you have connections?
Do you know anyone who works at the company to which you’re applying? Or someone that has worked there in the past? You can use networking sites like LinkedIn to search for the company and see if anyone you know has connections there. Once you find someone, you can ask that person to deliver your resume directly to the hiring manager. This takes your resume out of the huge pile of applicants and improves your chances of actually being considered for the position. If you do have a reference, make sure to mention that person in your cover letter. Here’s an example:
Dear hiring manager [put in the name of the hiring manager if you have it],
I’m interested in applying for the Assistant Editor position at Forbes. I was referred to your company by John Smith, who recommended that I contact you regarding this opportunity.
Eliminate unnecessary information
For each job that you apply for, it’s crucial that you tailor your resume to that specific position. Some information that you include for one job may not necessarily be relevant for another. Cut back on any areas that have no real value for the position to which you’re applying. Employers don’t want to read through any unnecessary info – they want to see right away whether or not you fit the job description.
Attach a cover letter
A cover letter is a representative of your personality. This, along with your resume, is all that potential employers have to go off of, so it should be an accurate depiction of what you can do. Therefore, you should never just submit a “one size fits all” cover letter. Just like your resume, every sentence should be applicable to the job position – this boosts your chances of getting recognized by the recruiter.
If you choose to mail your resume and cover letter in addition to submitting an online version, use a custom embosser to put a personalized mark on your documents or envelope. Doing so will help differentiate you from the competition and show the recruiter that your’e willing to go the extra mile.