Do you NEED a bit of resume edge?
Sometimes, our resumes can make us madder than spit on a griddle. This aggravation is compounded when we have career blemishes to contend with.
Writing a resume causes anxiety.
What should we include?
What’s better excluded?
When things like … thousands of resumes cross the desks of the busiest recruiters … gets thrown around … well, that doesn’t help matters either.
In just 6 seconds or less, recruiters decide whether you (your resume) are worth another look.
Or, if your resume will end up in a bad place.
This can be the most challenging for some professionals.
Taking Off Your Blinders
The one thing you need to ensure your resume produces top results: THE RESUME EDGE FACTOR.
Later in this article, I’ll outline the 5 factors you need for writing a better resume.
Sally G. learned about this when pursuing employment with Google in 2015.
A major obstacle to getting a job with Google was getting her resume noticed.
After several months, Sally learned that her self-written resume just wasn’t doing its job.
So, she pursued my resume writing help to “see” what she was not.
I provided to give her resume edge. This meant that I included more achievements and a nice visual appeal.
I also realigned a few resume action verbs and wrote content a new resume summary that was keyword rich.
I tell clients this all the time:
You see your resume one way. Employers likely see your resume through different lenses.
This can be a hard “pill” for managers and executives to swallow.
They don’t want to admit to themselves that they’ve made a few resume mistakes. And so, wasted valuable time job searching with a sub-par resume.
Don’t write a novel of a resume.
As writers, we see this happen too often.
Jobseekers sometimes go too far and include too much content in their resumes.
Better Writing Technique to Give Your Resume Edge
Jessica Hernandez, a resume writer with GreatResumesFast.com, advises jobseekers to “sell versus tell.”
She advises a writing technique that looks like the below before/after example:
Tell: Added an edging service to the landscape business.
Sell: Added edging services to customers throughout Springfield, Dayton, and Columbus. Raised new sales from all business locations by estimated 23.8% (total $238,000) from existing clients.
You too can tap into several creative edge-worthy tactics to make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves. Here’s a few to get you started:
Here are 5 ways to writing a resume that gives you an edge
Edge #1 – Save using the right resume format.
A biggie to giving your resumeedge is ensuring your resume is saved using an ATS format.
Editorial Note: For more on ATS compliance, here’s a jobseeker’s guide to ATS systems.
Do NOT save your resume as a PDF. Most ATS systems cannot scan this file type. Therefore, critical career information may not be transmitted to the hiring manager on the other end.
Use a simple Word format with content that’s left-aligned and contains all pertinent section headings.
Need a quick review of what these should be?
Review the ATS to see what information is being required before you submit the resume.
Here’s a bonus tip: To help your resume stand out more, use capital letters for your name. Or, include additional details or relevant skills in the note section provided when submitting your resume.
[Related: 3 DIY Resume Tips — When You Can’t Hire a Professional Resume Writer]
Edge #2 – Boost your font size and increase white space.
By the end of each day, after reading through dozens of resumes, a recruiter can easily go cross-eyed.
Why not give your resume edge by increasing the readability of your resume in subtle ways?
This little trick has been used by marketers for years to get their advertisements noticed.
Choose a resume format that is simple and includes plenty of white space to pull this off well.
Then increase the font size for things you want to stand out, such as your name, your top skills, and your job titles.
This will often get noticed by recruiters who will appreciate the fact you are saving their sore eyes.
Another tip: Clip a copy of your business card to your mailed resume to help it stand out in a pile of resumes. Or add a QR code or portfolio link to the top of your resume.
Edge #3 – Use a digital interactive resume.
A resume is absolutely necessary at this stage in your career. But, if you have the option of including a link to your portfolio or another online resource that further demonstrates your credentials, by all means, use this to your advantage.
Create an edgy resume that’s digital and interactive.
This can be easily done by using WordPress or another website building platform.
Then, uploading a brief, but powerful video introduction links to your career history and education, samples of your best work, and testimonials from past employers.
Here are some really cool examples of creative digital resumes and websites from The Muse to give you some ideas.
Expert tip: Make sure you work closely with your writer to streamline your resume information and your online version. You want to use real examples of your competency as a professional in your field!
Edge #4 – Connect with your LinkedIn profile brand.
This is where a lot of professionals get stumped, so I want to clarify a few things here.
A LinkedIn profile is NOT another version of your resume.
It’s not a place to list a bunch of jobs you’ve had or add random people to your list of contacts.
Instead, you can use this platform to stand out as the thought-leader, using strong content strategies for writing a killer Linked profile – and resume too!
First, the headshot. Make your photo as attractive and professional looking as possible – do this right and you will attract many people to you!
Secondly, your title and description need to be edgy and attention-grabbing.
Make it known what you do and why you are the best.
Third, get connected with the right people who are influencers in your industry and the business world.
Think of people you love to follow on other publications and those who have something worth listening too.
Hint from the pro: Your LinkedIn brand MUST speak consistently to the brand you are using on your resume, cover letter, and other self-marketing items.
Edge #5 – Always include a strong cover letter.
You’re probably thinking, what the heck?
Aren’t letters dead?
Nope. Not just yet …
Experts speculate that when candidates include a brief, well-written letter with their resumes, the resume gets read approx. 20% more frequently.
Of course, we don’t know of data authenticity behind this statistic.
So, you really have two choices here.
Choice #1: you can go it yourself and include a brief, but powerful, resume introduction.
Choice #2: hire a professional to write a quality resume and letter that grabs the hiring manager’s attention.
A resume writer’s experience can help you stand out and give you that much-needed resume edge.
Extra tip: Send the letter as a separate document, with the same branded look and contact information included. In your note, include that you were referred by a colleague.
[Related: Find Out Here If You’re Wondering, Should Your LinkedIn Summary Be The Same As Your Resume Summary?]
Look at this objectively and ask yourself if you are giving the same powerful impression on all fronts?