How many times have you had friends/relatives suggest changes to your resume?
While you may politely reply, “Thanks for the suggestion.”
Inside, you’re probably screaming,
“I just changed the format based on another recommendation!!!”
Yes, it’s frustrating. Keep in mind everyone has an opinion. And most people have good intentions of helping out. So don’t let their suggestions derail your efforts.
Bottom-line, your resume needs to stand out by being easy to read.
Most recruiters have stacks of resumes to review. Usually, they are looking for specific skill sets. If they can’t find it easily on your resume, they move on to the next one. Remember, they are paid by the employer so they don’t owe you anything – even an explanation as to why you didn’t get picked for the job.
So how do you make your resume stand out?
Here are 6 suggestions:
1- Add a professional photo to the top left-hand corner of your resume.
Notice how LinkedIn requests a photo – similar to most social media sites. A photo adds a human connection. For a professional photo, go to a local photographer or to a department store such as Sears or JC Penney. Make sure to purchase your photo in digital format in order to upload to LinkedIn.
2- Replace your address with your customized LinkedIn URL.
Historically, an address was important to send correspondence (i.e., your rejection letter). But in today’s world, we have email and LinkedIn. Most recruiters use LinkedIn to learn more about you.
To customize your LinkedIn URL go to “settings.” Scroll down and select “edit your public profile.” At the bottom right, you’ll see a link to customize your URL. Change it from numbers to your name. If you have a name that is easily misspelled, consider abbreviating your name for your URL. Your goal is to make it easy for recruiters to type in your URL to find your LinkedIn profile.
3- Keep your font and effects easy to read.
Some fonts have “feet” which make it difficult to read online. When a recruiter receives your resume they will review it online. If you have the skill sets they are looking for then they will print your resume to review in detail.
Font effects are tempting to use but again may be difficult to read online. Too many font effects on your resume can be distracting when looking at your resume online. It is best to stick to bold or font size changes.
4- PDF your resume.
Most programs allow you to save as a PDF (“Portable Document Format”). Sending your resume in this format will allow recruiters to easily open your file. They won’t waste time figuring out compatibility with the version or program you used to create your resume. Again, they have stacks of resumes to review. If they can’t easily open your information, then they move on to the next resume.
5- Remove the summary at the top of your resume.
With stacks of resumes to review, recruiters will skim through your resume to see if you fit the job they are trying to fill. To better use their time, they will go immediately to your work experience. Your summary takes up valuable space. Delete it and add more substantial work experience. Recruiters are skilled at reading resumes. They do it for a living. They don’t need you to summarize your experience. They can easily do this task when they review your work experience. Consider using your summary statement in your LinkedIn profile.
6- Separate your job responsibilities from your accomplishments.
Your job responsibility is fairly generic. However, your accomplishments will make you stand out. In baseball, we know the responsibility of the batter – to hit the ball. How does a batter stand out? His accomplishments – his RBI (his hitting statistics for enabling a runner to score)
Your bullets in your resume need to highlight your accomplishments. Add statistics where possible.
Finding a job takes time. Remember to stay “PEF” (positive | enthused | focused)!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Her firm bridges the gap between financial planning and coaching. As a Transition Consultant, she offers sage advice in all aspects of life – financial, personal and professional. Niv does not manage money and does not sell financial products. Her services include spending plan development, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”