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Your resume is the first impression you make with employers. If it doesn't grab the employer's attention, you'll never get the chance to make your case to them in an interview.
CNN reports that, on average, human resource managers receive more than 75 resumes for each open position. How can you stand out from the crowd?
Consider these five techniques to elevate your resume:
1. Link to Your LinkedIn Profile.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as an extension of your resume. It has all your work experience, education, skills, and most importantly, connections and endorsements. If you have a lot of great recommendations from your connections on your profile, you'll want your potential employers to see this.
Consider adding a link to your LinkedIn profile to your resume. And if you're emailing your resume, make sure to make the hyperlink live.
2. Relevant Foreign Language Skills.
Is having a foreign language skill is relevant to the position you want? Did the employer specifically require a foreign language skill in the job position?
If the answer is yes and you are fluent, then add it to your resume. However, if you can kind of understand Spanish but not really, it's probably best to just leave it off completely. Save the space for another attractive skill you actually are good at.
3. Smart Use of Keywords.
According to a CNN survey, 51 percent of human resource managers use some sort of an electronic tracking system to screen out unqualified resumes.
Don't let your resume be weeded out. Incorporate keywords from the job posting into your resume. Not only will this improve your chances of your resume actually reaching the HR manager, but it will also show that you care about the position enough to read the whole job posting. (You'll be surprised by how many people don't.)
4. Include Quantifiable Data.
Look through the bullet points in your resume. Are there phrases like "Wrote complaints," and "Won personal injury judgment"? Boring.
Spice up your achievements and quantify your successes. Give the employer hard, concrete numbers that they can be impressed with. Instead of "Wrote complaints," use "Wrote five complaints regarding Palimony, Breach of Warranty, and Negligence." Instead of "Won personal injury judgment," use "Won a $50,000 personal injury judgment."
Lots of people write complaints and win judgments. Quantifying your achievements and showing results differentiates you from all the other resumes out there.
5. Choose Action Verbs Over Adjectives.
Superman wasn't just "a good jumper." He "leapt tall buildings at a single bound!" Isn't that more exciting?
Describing yourself as a hard worker, quick learner, and a go-getter can come off as passive, boring, and cliche. They don't really tell the employer anything about your abilities. Instead, use action verbs to draw the employer's attention to your accomplishments. Words like improved, achieved, created, and resolved explain not only that you work hard, but also how you go about doing it.