Get noticed – Developing a resume that stands out from the crowd

I had a conversation recently with someone who shared his struggle with finding a new job. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. THIS guy is having a hard time finding a job?!? He went to the right college. He took all the right jobs to develop an awesome career path. He moved around the country to learn and grow professionally and show his commitment to his employers. He’s a born leader. Why is he having such a hard time?

Then, he shared his resume … Ah ha! That’s the issue.

My friend’s resume is what I would call a “working document”. It was a data dump of all the things he’s ever done that might appeal to the widest possible audience of potential employers. It didn’t show who he is. It didn’t explain what he is best at doing. He didn’t match up to any specific job posting he may be applying for. It was the peanut butter he was planning on spreading over all recruiting opportunities. And as a result, he wasn’t getting noticed.

First thing’s first. Who are you? 

Before you find another job, you need to define who you are. [tweetthis]Before you find another job, you need to know who you are. #rockstarcandidate[/tweetthis]You need to have a conversation with yourself (out loud or quietly in your head – I won’t judge you either way) about what is important to you; what are you good at doing; and what do you want to do professionally. Write those things down, embed it in your mind, post it next to the mirror in your bathroom – I don’t care how you remember it but do that first! Once you figure that out, write your resume. I’ve written some other blogs about preparing for and writing a resume. Check out the blogs for some more details!

Getting noticed

Gone are the days when stopping by the key employers of interest would get you noticed. Keywords are the way that companies find you in the Internet age. [tweetthis]#Keywords are the way companies find you in the Internet age. #rockstarcandidate[/tweetthis] When you have a resume prepared you need to tailor it for each job you apply. Loading the resume with key words is the best way to get noticed. Where do you find the keywords? Well, guess what – all the key words are in the job posting! Your future employer is giving you all the information you need to get noticed. (DING DING DING – Insert EASY button here!) The recruiter who wrote and posted the job online is likely going to use the same keywords to do a targeted search.  Your potential employer is giving you the recipe for success!

Getting noticed for the right reasons

You want to make sure that the format of your resume is not only targeted to the job for which you’re applying. But you also want to make sure it’s in a readable format. You need to put all of the work you’ve accomplished into a document as part of your resume prep. You should not publish that document. It can be a resource you go back to as you tailor the resume you submit to each potential employer. There are some great websites that give you examples of easy to read, clearly descriptive resume templates. (Google “resume templates” or check out these sites: LiveCareer.com About.com; Monster.com)

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