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How to Get Your Resume Noticed While Job Hunting
One way to increase your income is to find a new job. There is nothing wrong with searching for new opportunities if you feel that you’ve reached your limits at your current employer.
Of course it may not always be higher income you’re after. It could be better hours, better working environment, or company mission.
Regardless of the reason you are job searching, you want to get noticed. After all, you’re competing with others applying for the same job.
As someone who has owned businesses for over two decades and employed hundreds of people, I’ve seen a number of things that stand out on a person’s resume.
These are a few things you can do to help increase your chances of getting noticed during the hiring process.
Spice Up the Design
Most people use plain resumes that are basically bland documents. They end up all looking the same.
So how can you stand out from the rest? Great design makes a difference.
Your resume can get noticed by looking unique and aesthetically pleasing. Use colors, interesting layouts, and well-crafted formatting to increase the visual appeal of your resume.
I get it, we’re not all designers. Luckily there are many ways to easily spice up your resume using Canva’s Resume Templates. There are also plenty of other free templates available if you want to explore.
Include Your Photo
I’m a big fan of including a professional photo on your resume. When a hiring manager is sifting through resumes that all look the same, they begin to feel like nothing more than documents to shuffle, rather than actual people.
By including a photo on your resume, you stand out and remind the hiring manager that you are a real person. This can strengthen the connection and help reduce the chances that your resume gets overlooked.
Many of the Canva templates referenced above include space for a photo.
Make sure the photo is high-quality and current. If you don’t have one, it may be worth paying a professional to take one or at least have a friend with a modern phone and good photo skills take one for you.
List Actionable Results
Many people talk about their previous work experience in terms of the jobs they have done and the roles they have held. But this is fairly boring.
What’s really interesting is the results you can point to.
Instead of saying things like “Supervised a team of…” and “Analyzed the data for…”, try being more action-oriented and state specific results.
For example: “Launched a new product line which increased revenue by 10% over 3 quarters” or “Increased profitability of home services division by implementing more efficient delivery processes”.
You’ve accomplished specific, valuable things at your current and previous jobs. Dig in and make a list of the great things you’ve done and include them in your resume. This is appealing and interesting to employers.
Pick Up the Phone
I know, I know! The phone! So weird.
Using the phone seems strange these days. But since no one else does it, you have a chance to stand out.
After you’ve sent in your resume and it’s been a few days or so, try calling the company and see if you can reach the person in charge of hiring. If it’s a bigger company you may have to ask questions and probe a little to get to the right person.
You’ll probably get voice mail (yes, people still do use voice mail in business) so leave a short message that goes something like “Hi, [NAME]! This is [YOUR NAME] and I’ve recently applied for the position of [POSITION] at [BUSINESS NAME]. My resume should be in your inbox but I wanted to follow up and offer to answer any questions you may have about my experience and qualifications. If you get a moment, feel free to give me a call at [YOUR NUMBER]. Thank you and have a great day.”
You probably won’t get a call back, but that’s not the point. The point is, you’ve drawn attention to your resume.
Include Unique Personal Facts and Experience
Resumes are usually pretty dry. They contain the basic stuff about someone’s professional life and most people leave it at that.
However, if you include some personal or “fun” information, this can help you be more memorable.
Have you volunteered somewhere? Served with a non-profit? Traveled to China? Given a presentation on the Klingon language at a Star Trek convention? Include these kinds of things. They are interesting and will help hiring managers see you as an interesting person.
Some of you may be thinking: “What’s all this resume stuff? Resumes are dead. Use LinkedIn!”
And I tend to agree. For me, LinkedIn is better than a resume. But many companies (especially larger ones) still rely on resumes as the default application process.
Because you can’t be sure what method hiring managers are using and what they are looking at, you’ll also want to polish up your LinkedIn profile.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches your resume. Make sure you use the same photo on both. Make sure you have filled in all the information available, including skills.
Your LinkedIn profile should be a reflection of your resume and vice-versa.
Conclusion: Be Unique
As you search for jobs, the key is to be unique. Anything you can do to stand out helps your chances of getting an interview.
Don’t be afraid to let your humanity show. Employers are looking for people who are interesting, willing to take action, and who can point to tangible results.
Focusing on these things can make all the difference as you seek out new opportunities.