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5 Tips For Getting Your Resume Noticed by Employers

resume writing tipsOn average, every corporate job opening in America draws about 250 resumes. Of those, only 5 or so will get a call. And, of course, only 1 “lucky” applicant gets the job.

How in the world do you set yourself apart? How do you keep your resume out of the virtual wastebasket? Does it ultimately boil down to sheer luck?

Not even a little bit. With these 5 tips for a more attractive resume, you’ll be able to catapult your resume to the top of the pile:

1. Include Your Title

This may seem simple, but it’s crucial.

If a hiring manager has to weed their way through 250 resumes, they need a few brain dead hacks for filtering the pile. One of those is a simple title search. So, if your title doesn’t exist or doesn’t match the gig, you’re going right into the trash.

Be sure to include a title keyed to the position you want, not the position you’ve had. Your experience as a product developer may make you perfect for XYZ’s product manager position, but if HR doesn’t see those words, you’re not going to make it.

2. Make Your Bullet Points Quantifiable

For each relevant job on your resume, you’ll want to include 3 to 5 bullet points. These shouldn’t be bland descriptions of your past responsibilities. Instead, they need to point to concrete, quantifiable demonstrations of your ability to perform.

What do those look like?

Account Representative, XYZ Inc (2016-2018)

  • Closed 32 new accounts for a total of $4 million in new production.
  • Led a team of 6 representatives to secure a $8 million contract with a key industry player.
  • Developed in-house sales competency training that led to a 36% reduction in churn.

If your previous experience doesn’t allow for calculated bullet points like these, get creative. Find ways to attach tangible outcomes to the work you’ve accomplished. Did you train some people? Quantify how many.

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3. Strategically Place your Education

Job seekers often ask me where they should put their education on their resume. Like every other line item, I tell them, you have to think about education strategically.

Did you graduate from a top-tier institution? Have you earned a Ph.D.? If you’ve got something to brag about, then lead with it.

If, on the other hand, you graduated from a lower tier institution or you’re not proud of your academic performance, then lead with your work history. Let that make a case for why you deserve a call.

A quick word about GPA: If you’ve only been out of school for a few years and you graduated with honors, then go ahead and include your GPA. Otherwise, employers aren’t going to be too concerned with how well you did in college.

4. Keep it to One Page

250 resumes @ 3 pages a piece = 750 pages of reading… per position!

With that kind of paper mountain to climb, an employer’s only going to give you 6 seconds to make an impression. Miss your shot and you’re going into the wastebasket.

You can try your luck with 2-3 pages of prose, or you can set yourself apart with a single page of tight, persuasive copy. In my experience, the latter almost always wins.

How do you do that? For one thing, let the past be the past. If you sorted envelopes back in 1997, you only need a single line to describe that job. Save your descriptive energy (and space!) for relevant experience from the past 3-5 years.

5. Skip the Objective

Everybody knows your objective: to find a great job, contribute to a fantastic company, yadda, yadda, yadda. So, skip it. You’ll free up the valuable real estate for information that actually stands a chance of persuading someone to call you for an interview.

Conclusion

250 is a scary number. Having to compete with 249 other job seekers is enough to make you want to sink back into your couch and cue up the next episode of Westworld.

Don’t give up!

These tips might seem too simple to matter, but the vast majority of job seekers just aren’t doing them. So, sit down with your resume and get to work. My advice might not get you every call back, but it’ll get you a whole lot closer to the job of your dreams.

Here's 5 fresh resume tips to get noticed - from my perspective as an Amazon employee.

Author Bio: John Marty is passionate about technology, and its ability to solve problems. One of his biggest strengths is the development and communication of big ideas that drive at the heart of consumer pain points. The communication of these ideas requires delicately crafted, and data driven narratives that consider all stakeholders. The author’s understanding of the intricacies of software development as well as my entrepreneurial, and educational background provide a strong foundation to articulate these ideas, gain buy-in, and drive initiatives forward.