Stand Out

2 simple tips to make your resume stand out

03/03/2014BY: Tracey Mesken

Sell yourself..improve your marketability...stand out from the crowd.  You may have heard similar advice at some point during your job search, but this is often easier said than done, especially when it comes to your resume.

If you can learn how to better sell yourself by promoting desirable skills, highlighting your achievements and backing it up with demonstrable evidence - all in a succinct document - you may well find it delivers you greater cut through and make your job search a little easier.

Here are two simple tips to help you rethink the way you sell your abilities to a potential employer.

Tip #1: Remember it's more than a just list of where you have been.

A resume is more than a timeline of previous workplaces and roles.  Employers or hiring managers not only want to see what you did, but what you did well and how the company benefited.  This can be as simple as introducing a new system that improved productivity or completing tasks ahead of schedule.  Consider:

  • What did you do really well in your previous roles?

  • What did you have to do to accomplish it?

  • How did the organisation benefit from the result (ie measurable results)?

If you are struggling to come up with past achievements, take a broader look at your daily activities. You may see training a new employee on your team as a simple favour or even a regular task, but you could list this as an achievement by saying you "served as a mentor to bring a new employee up to speed in less than three months".

Again, it's all about demonstrating value delivered to a past employer through measurable results and specific examples.

Tip # 2: Be more specific with your skills

Many job applicants still take a broad brush approach to outlining their skill set without considering whether they are aligned to the position description/job advertisement.

The skills you list should tell a company that you have the experience and wherewithal to handle the exact tasks outlined, whether it's for an engineering role, business administration or even a trades or operator role in mining or construction.

For example, rather than simply listing "time management skills", you may want to expand and include further context around the statement, such as "ability to prioritise tasks and meet agreed deadlines" or "experienced in producing high volume, quality output within tight timeframes".  Your achievements can help act as evidence to support this.

Remember one size resume does not fit all job advertisements.

In today's competitive market, job seekers simply can't afford to take a mass market approach to the job search and apply process.  Always ensure you tweak your resume in response to what an employer is looking for.

Your resume is the true first impression a company has of you and often your only chance to get noticed.  By learning how to concisely and effectively list your achievements and skills, you will significantly improve your chances of making the first cut and getting that highly desired interview.

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