Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Breaking the Mould: 5 Tips for Spicing up Your Resume

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Job searches are highly competitive. Even though unemployment rates across the United States are currently low, a whopping 118 people apply for the average job opening in the US. Considering that only 20 percent of those applicants actually get called in for an interview, you should strive to spice up your resume however possible to increase your chances of getting noticed.

Here are five insightful ways of breaking the traditional mold of plain-Jane resumes – try out these tips and you’ll be more likely to get called in for an interview at your desired employer of choice.


Use numbers as frequently as possible to demonstrate your past accomplishments

On many resumes, job applicants are interested in telling their potential employers about what great things they’ve done for previous employers. For example, an applicant might identify that they had created and maintained a company budget for administrative resources.

Simply claiming that they managed such a budget is unlikely to impress most screeners. Instead, applicants should report that they created and maintained a $15,000 budget – for example – for a Fortune 500 company’s administrative resources.

The second example registers as having far more Scoville units on its heat-o-meter than its former counterpart.

Being unconventional - without sacrificing being professional - can increase your chances of getting an interview.

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Be unconventional

Although it might not make much sense, consider including your personal hobbies on resumes you send out. Remember – you’re trying to stand out from the other 120-odd applicants that apply for the average job opening here in the United States. Being unconventional – without sacrificing being professional – can increase your chances of getting an interview.


Solicit a company employee for feedback on your resume

Reaching out to an employee at the employer you’re looking to get hired by can demonstrate an interest in working for them. Further, asking for feedback can show that you really do care about how well you’re perceived by human resources departments. If an employee remembers that you reached out to them, they’re also more likely to throw in a good word about you to hiring managers.

Use an established, tried-and-true guide

Companies scrutinize resumes to determine how they’ll be represented by job applicants that they will potentially hire. Resumes that aren’t checked for details will leave those applicants left out of the “call for interview” stack.

Rather than assuming you know everything that there is to know about resumes, try looking online for a resume guide – it might be a good place to start, for example.

“There is no single list of job interview questions that you can study that will allow you to be flawless. In the end, you are likely to be surprised by the “tough question” in an interview sooner or later. Your best bet is to be prepared for the standard questions, and then tailor your preparation to the company” – 4 Ways to Ace Your Job Interview

If possible, humbly boast about your work with big companies

Fortune 500 companies’ brands hold far more value than the brands of companies that aren’t known very well. Because they’re more reputable, being able to make claims that you’ve worked with them in the past can help increase your chances of standing out.

If you have closely worked with or for big companies in the past, make sure to identify them by name in your resume.

Job searches are unarguably competitive. Most people – as talked about above – don’t get called in for interviews to places that they apply, even if they’re strong candidates. Using these five tips can help improve your chances of getting an interview, and maybe even landing the job of your dreams.


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