When applying for a job that you really want, it is extremely important to nail the interview. However, the interview is not where you start pulling away from the pack. Setting yourself apart from other candidates starts with your resume. Recruiters will keep or discard job candidates based solely on their resumes. So, it becomes extremely important to know how to make your resume stand out from the pile of resumés being received. Simply meeting the job criteria is not enough. Start with the tips below to clinch that interview.
Include a Cover Letter
Maybe you have an excellent resume. It is filled with amazing qualifications and skills that distinguish your resume. And that is how you submit it, knowing for sure that all they need to do is just look at the first page and they will surely call you up for an interview. That is all well and good, but your resume may be discarded before it even gets looked at. The reason? You did not include a cover letter. Think of it as your college application letter. It is your pitch for why they should consider you for the job. You should highlight why you are applying for the job, why you are a good fit, and what you will bring to the team. Including a cover letter gives you more of a chance to get eyes on your resume.
Professionally Format Your Resume
This one is pretty obvious. Although you may be a whiz with Microsoft Word or Google Docs, it may not be best to format your resume yourself. Personally formatting your resume makes room for including your formatting preferences. Although those may be your preferences, it may come across as unprofessional by the resume reader since beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is better to find a professionally done resume template online. You might not want to choose the first template that shows up, because likely, many other candidates will do the same thing. If you really want your formatting to be professional, consider paying someone who creates resumes for a living.
Send Your Resume Using the Right Format
Maybe you found a wonderful template or paid a professional to format your resume. It looks great and so beautiful! You are so proud of it that you posted a picture of it on Instagram. It is that good! Resumes for the job you are applying to are to be submitted electronically or via email. You type of up an email that is a summary of your cover letter, attach your resume, and hit send. Then you wait and never hear back from them. You email to follow up a few weeks later with no response. Then you call a week later to see why you have not heard back. The response is that the position has been filled, and you did not even get an interview. You wrack your brain to figure out why. You scour through the email to find what was the turn off. Then you click on your resume and cover letter. It opens, and your beautifully formatted resume that you posted on Instagram looks like a four- year-old got ahold of the keyboard. You sent it as a Word Document. Big mistake. Always send documents as PDFs, so that formatting stays intact.
Acquire Skills that Scream Dollar Signs
Whether it is a degree in business or marketing or learning another language, you want your potential boss to look at your resume and see dollar signs. Include info about your side hustle. This showcases your go-getter attitude and innovative creativity. It shows that you are someone who can be self-motivated who does beyond a 9-5 job. Another skill that is likely to catch a future employer's eye is skills in a second language. Second language skills speak to potential money gained and potential money saved. To an employer, more languages means more customers/clients and more dollars coming in. It also means money saved. They will minimize the need to hire interpreters to talk to clients and save time as well.
Pick Up Unique Hobbies
Maybe you currently do not have any hobbies other than binge-watching Netflix and scrolling through social media. Finding a unique hobby will give you something to catch your new boss' interest during the interview. Getting conversation flowing in a natural way will help you connect with your interviewer on a personal level instead of the formal and potentially uncomfortable setting that an interview room can sometimes be. Finding a unique hobby will generate more interest than "reading" or "running." It may even be the reason someone decides to interview you, simply because they want to ask about the hobby you do and how you got into it. So, whether you decide to take up pottery, tree climbing, competitive jump-roping or whatever other unique hobby you can find, put it on your resume and catch your future employer's attention.