When you submit your resume for an open position, you could be up against dozens of other applicants. With all that competition, it’s important to make your appeal stand out as much as possible.
You may think your skills, education and experience are more than enough to make you stand out from the pack. However, there are a lot of qualified candidates out there, and with many hiring decisions not based on credentials alone – leaning heavily on your resume could be a mistake.
Fortunately, technology has given the job seeker more power than ever.
First things first: Social media
When a recruiter Googles your name, there’s a good chance they’ll find your social media profiles, and you need to consider what’s on them. Partying pictures, crass jokes and polarizing political views can all be red flags for hiring personnel.
So you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons, set your privacy settings to keep your posts private, allowing “you to be you” on these sites. However, that may cause a dilemma when someone from a potential employer puts in a friend or follow request. The safest bet is to delete anything off your profile that might be seen as red flags. You could go a step further and make some tweaks to present yourself as the perfect candidate to potential employers.
Tweaking your resume
A 2012 study by TheLadders.com revealed recruiters spend a little over six seconds looking at any one resume before moving on to the next one. After looking at the candidate’s name, education and recent employment history, recruiters then visually scanned the rest of the resume for keywords related to the open position; according to researchers from TheLadders using eye-tracking software.
The takeaway from this study is how important it is to have a clean resume that conveys your top selling points as quickly as possible and includes essential keywords and phrases.
Research has indicated the video resume is a very effective tool for standing out from other applicants. One study found 89 percent of hiring managers said they would view a video resume, but just 17 percent said they have ever seen one. This means, on average, you have an 83 percent chance of being the first video resume your potential employer has seen.
A word of warning: Video resumes aren’t for everyone. They are a difficult tool to master and can easily backfire. The last thing you want is to become a viral video sensation for posting a laughably bad video resume.
Make sure a trusted friend lets you know if your “on-screen” personality is good enough to put together video resume.
With a wide range of hosting services out there, a personal website is easier than ever to put together, and it’s a great way to convey more information than a resume ever could. It also can impress a hiring manager by showing you’re willing to invest time and resources into your career.
At Career Concepts, we’re always working with job seekers to help them stand out from the crowd in their own unique way. If you’d like some assistance in finding your next job, please contact our experts today.