How can I make my Resume stand out?

“How can I make my resume stand out?”- The Million Dollar Question
I get asked this very question time and time again. However, there is not one simple, straightforward answer. Every recruiter/hiring manager is different and each has their own triggers when searching for the right candidates to fill their open positions. While this isn’t the answer that candidates want to hear, I can offer some help. Below are several tips on how to improve your chances of getting noticed:
1) Your resume needs to be written in a simple format with clear content that is directed toward the position you WANT to be hired for. Recruiters do not want to read through a four page resume filled with large paragraphs of fluff. I have to remind candidates that when recruiters are screening through hundreds of applicants, they tend to only look at the first part of the resume because they simply don’t have the time to do much more than that. So, if you decide to put an objective on your resume (which I find unnecessary) then you need to make sure the objective is written generically. Often, I get resumes with objectives that were clearly intended for another position and not the one the person applied to. A mistake like that is a red-flag to recruiters because it indicates a lack of attention to detail.
2) Do your research prior to sending your resume. If you can determine the name of the manager or recruiter hiring for the role, then send your resume directly to that person versus the generic email address on the job posting. I personally always look at those resumes. I appreciate the fact that someone has taken the initiative to make a personal introduction.
3) Ask everyone you know who they know. A personal referral is the BEST way to land a job. Make sure to ask everyone in your network if they have any contacts at XYZ Company to introduce you to. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
4) Follow-up with a phone call. If you have sent in your resume directly to someone, follow-up with a phone call. You may not get the answer you want. However, if you are gently persistent, you may get the recruiters attention enough to pull resume out of the abyss to review.
My last tip is…When in doubt ask for help! There are plenty of recruiters out there that will give you free advice on how to best position yourself in the marketplace.

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