Each week, thousands of resumes cross the desks of the busiest recruiters.
In a matter of 6 seconds or less, a recruiter will decide if you, as a candidate, is worth another look or if your resume will end up in the ‘G-file’.
This can be the most challenging for some professionals — especially for those who are accustomed to succeeding.
Obviously, it’s critical to get into the pile of those candidates who will be considered for the job, but do you know the secret to success?
There’s only one thing you need to ensuring your resume produces top results: THE RESUME EDGE FACTOR.
Sally Greene learned about the need for a quick first impression when started pursuing employment with Google in 2015. A huge challenge of getting a job with Google is quite possibly getting your resume noticed in the first place.
After several months, Sally learned that her self-written resume just wasn’t cutting it. So, she pursued my resume writing help to help her “see” what she was not.
I continuously tell my clients this: You see your resume one way. Employers likely see it differently.
This can be the hardest “pill” for managers and executives to swallow because they don’t want to admit to themselves that they’ve made a few resume mistakes and therefore wasted valuable time job searching with a subpar resume.
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Though she spent several additional months contacting Google recruiters and vying for one of the coveted slots, she finally landed an interview.
Does your resume make ‘em say wow?
Recruiters just like you and I, and therefore, are subject to the same psychological methods that the best salespeople and marketing gurus are famous for. You too can tap into these edge-worthy tactics to make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves.
Here are five so-easy-you-will-slap-yourself ways to give your resume edge.
Edge #1 – Save your resume in a simple and 100% scannable format.
If you choose one thing to give your resume edge, make sure you save your resume as an applicant tracking system-friendly (ATS) format. Editorial Note: Here’s part 1 of a our jobseeker’s guide to applicant tracking (ATS) systems to ensure your resume is ATS compliant.
Do NOT save your resume as a PDF because most systems cannot scan this type of resume and our information will not appear to the hiring manager on the other end. Use a simple Word format, left-aligned, and with all the 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: If you do want to stand out when the recruiter starts checking the directory of applicants, try filling out your name in all capital letters, or include some additional details in the note section.
Edge #2 – Always include a strong cover letter.
Experts do speculate that when candidates include a brief, well-written cover letter with their resumes, the resume gets read approx. 20% more frequently. The good news is that you don’t have to write like Shakespeare to send in an outstanding cover letter. You really have two choices here.
First, you can try to go it yourself and include a brief, but powerful, resume introduction. OR, you can hire an executive-level resume writer to draft a professional cover letter that grabs the hiring manager’s attention. You are a pro, so go with a resume writer to help you stand out!
Extra tip: Send the cover 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.
Edge #3 – 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 to the top of your resume with a link to your portfolio.
Edge #4 – 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 executive resume 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 #5 – 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.
[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?