Do you want to give your resume edge, so you spend more time interviewing and less time job searching?
Each week, thousands of resumes cross the desks of the busiest recruiters.
In just 6 seconds or less, recruiters decide whether you are 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 accustomed to succeeding.
The one thing you need to ensuring your resume produces top results: THE RESUME EDGE FACTOR.
Sally Greene learned about this when pursuing employment with Google in 2015. A major obstacle for getting a job with Google is getting a 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. For example, I wrote a resume that included more achievements and had 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.
Ferris PRSSA offers this recommendation: don’t write a novel of a resume. As resume writers, we see this happen too often. Jobseekers sometimes go too far and include too much content in their resumes.
Jessica Hernandez, a resume writer with GreatResumesFast.com, advises jobseekers to “sell versus tell.”
She provides this before and after example to show the difference:
Tell: Developed a new personal training program.
Sell: Spearheaded the development of a new personal training program that ultimately led to a 30% increase in member participation and a 10% increase in new memberships for each quarter for 2009.
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 five “so-easy-you’ll-slap-yourself” ways to write a creative resume that gives you much needed 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.
Edge #2 – Always include a strong cover letter.
You’re probably thinking, what the heck?
Aren’t cover letters dead?
Nope. Not just yet …
Experts speculate that when candidates include a brief, well-written cover letter with their resumes, the resume gets read approx. 20% more frequently. Of course, we don’t know of data authenticity behind this statistic.
The good news is that you don’t have to write like Shakespeare to write a professional cover letter. You really have two choices here.
Choice #1: you can try to go it yourself and include a brief, but powerful, resume introduction. Choice #2: hire an executive-level resume writer to draft a professional resume and cover letter that grabs the hiring manager’s attention. You are a pro … and a resume writer’s experience can 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?