The nature of getting hired is not only who you know and what you know, but also what you have done and what you will do for the company once they hire you. Those who do the hiring process want to meet you on paper first. And that takes getting your resume in front of someone in human resources to recognize that your education, experience and talents are worth the effort to get you in front of the person who is doing the actual hiring.
Keep in mind that there are hundreds of people out there who have the same skills and the same purpose to land a job at the same company. Your immediate goal is to get an interview and your resume will do that if you submit one that stands out from the rest. A resume says a great deal about you. Not only does it tell something of your background and knowledge of the business, but it also reveals your ability to organize, communicate on paper and decide what is relevant.
One of the best ways to get your resume to stand out is to use keywords. That means, you need to find out what words to use in order to draw attention to your resume. You can find the keywords to use by reading the job description. If the company says they are looking for an energetic leader who can speak Spanish fluently. Then, you put that in your resume, but it has to be true. Don’t say you can do something or have done something when you haven’t.
At minimum include your skills, expertise, abilities, accomplishments, past responsibilities, certifications, and licenses required of the successful candidate. Descriptive words grab attention, so use those which indicate that you took action such as arranged, established, formulated, guided, handled, programmed , developed, implemented and resolved. Words alone will not get your resume past the human resources department. It is more important to illustrate how you are different that the other 99 applicants. Highlight your accomplishments to indicate what you will bring to the company when they hire you and how you will help your potential employer. Listing titles with dates alone gives no indication of your contribution to the success of your team, department or corporation. How many times have you been lead by an ineffective chairperson? Make your contributions clear so that the reviewer knows exactly how you can help make the department or team you may potential work with, better.
In a competitive work environment showing that you were a star at the last company you work for, or currently work for, is crucial. You must be able to demonstrate consistent success and accomplishment. At least one every quarter either how you contributed to corporate or department goals whether internally or externally, your rewards and what you have done in the way of professional development.
Although the basics of good presentation is a must, such as sending a clean, crisp, 24 pound white or buff linen textured, laser-printed resume. And heading the advice that you want to stand out but not because of typographical errors so have your resume proof read. It is more important that you show how you are unique, what you have done that no one else has and that you could do the same for your potential employer.
Don’t let someone advise you that you should not use two pages if you are a super star. There are not many mid-level or upper-level managers who can get all of their relevant successes on one page. It is impossible and unheard of for an executive to submit a one page resume.
The most important take away is that you must illustrate how you are uniquely suitable for the position and that you can add value. There are no two people who are exactly alike and you must help your potential employer see that you are a superstar and that you are most suitable for the position.