Job seekers always ask: "What can I do to get my resume noticed?" Beyond the basics (easy-to-read, error-free, keyword-filled, reverse chronological format), there are qualities that catch the eye of recruiters and hiring managers. When that happens, they pause to consider candidates more closely and likely offer them a job interview.
I'd like to share with you 3 simple things you can do to your resume today to strengthen it and get more interviews:
Everyone should highlight your work performance with quantification (numbers).
Quantification means to describe your accomplishments using numbers, dollars, or percentages. For example: "see 20 clients per day," "led 20% improvement in X," or "managed a team of 5 people." Anyone can do this, because everyone's job is tied to some kind of performance metric that justifies the company paying someone (you) to fill that role. Numbers provide evidence that you can do what you say you can do, and that you understand the hiring manager's goals.
If you're in sales, it's vitally important to show that you can ring the cash register, so your numbers are even more important.
Either way, the hiring manager must understand why you'll be a great asset to the team, and numbers help them see that.
2) Write a Well-Crafted Headline or Headline Statement
A great headline or headline statement will capture the reader's attention and lead him or her into reading the rest of your resume. Use your headline to indicate the title of the job you want, and maybe you can use the statement to include key words that indicate your skills or background you know a potential employer would be especially interested in.
Above all, remember that your resume is not about you; it's about the employer. You're using the resume as a marketing document that grabs their attention and highlights why you're the person to help them succeed.
3) Add Something Special
If you're new to the field, complete a job shadowing experience and put it on your resume. It shows that you're serious, and willing to go the extra mile. And it can go a long way to answering the "experience" question for hiring managers.
Also, I've seen resumes with quotations that sum up their attitudes, drive, determination, etc. I've seen others with a list of their recent reading material (although you must be able to talk intelligently about those books). But be careful about listing too much information. For instance, hobbies work only if they're relevant to the job.
Don't let anything on your resume take away from your message: you have something to offer to contribute to an organization's success.
Need help? Check out Career Confidential's Extreme Resume Makeover Kit.