5 Resume Tips to Stand Out

5 Resume Tips to Stand Out

zyra blog

2020 is certainly an unforgettable year for many with COVID-19’s presence taking center stage. The ripple effects from COVID-19 have impacted several businesses which has unfortunately resulted in the displacement of several employees. With the influx of unemployed individuals, the market has switched from being a “candidate driven market” to a “client driven market” and the pressure to stand out amongst the crowd is increasing. Your first step is ensuring that your resume stands out. Below are some tips that I hope you will find useful.

  1. Your Resume = Your 1st Impression:
    • Remember that your resume, not your interview, is your first impression to the company. As we rely more and more on technology, some companies are using software tools or applicant tracking systems for their screening process. These are software tools that use an automated screening process that goes through applicant resumes to select the more “qualified” resumes. Because these tools are typically the initial screening process, there is a risk that your resume may never be seen by the hiring manager(s). As a candidate, it can be incredibly frustrating because it often feels like your application is being sent into a “black hole.” Regardless of whether your resume is being screened through a software tool or HR, how you create your resume and what you put in your resume must be strategic. I.e., Be intentional about the time you spend towards an application and the type of resume you send that best correlates to the position you are applying for.
  2. Your Resume Should Mirror the Job Description:
    • Customized Resumes: Although this might be tedious, to increase your chances of getting an interview I would highly recommend that you keep your resume up to date, detailed, and concise. I have spoken to a few candidates that have 2 or 3 different versions of their resume that emphasize certain experiences or skillsets. For example, if you have had experience with both Industrial Engineering and Quality Engineering (and you are interested in being considered for either Engineering roles) it is beneficial for you to have 2 different resumes that specifically focus on your skillsets in Industrial Engineering and another resume that emphasizes your experience in Quality Engineering.
    • Buzz Words: One of the more important things you can do for yourself is reading through the job description thoroughly. Regardless of whether your resume is screened by a software tool or human eyes, buzz words are key. Do yourself a favor and take the time to look through the job description in its entirety and ensure that you have a few buzz words in your resume as well. For example, if you are applying for a QE position and the job description has terminologies such as Six Sigma, RCCA, or PPAP then your resume should have these terms as well.
  3. Avoid “Fluff” Words:
    • In keeping with ensuring your resume is concise, avoid adding “fluff” to your resume. On average, resumes should be 1-2 pages. As a recent college graduate, do not be afraid of the spaces you have in your resume. In other words, avoid adding fluff such as GPA, hobbies, volunteering, etc. Remember that it is about quality and not quantity. Further details of your contribution in each role/experience are going to be far more important. So, if you must choose between including college projects or internships that are relevant to the role you are applying for vs your hobbies, I can tell you that Hiring Managers will prefer reading about your relevant work experience.
  4. Numbers > Vague Words:
    • Another factor that is important to consider is being able to provide concrete, measurable data. When you are providing details, ensure that you can back up accomplishments with numbers rather than a general statement. It not only makes your accomplishments measurable but valid. For example:
      • General: Able to propose a process that led to an increase in operator productivity
      • Specific: Led improvement of operator productivity by 7.5% resulting in overtime reduction, production increase, and bottleneck reduction 4 months after project inheritance
  5. LinkedIn Profile
    • Once you have perfected your resume, if you have LinkedIn, be sure to have your resume uploaded on your LinkedIn Profile as well! Trust me when I say that if a hiring manager comes across your resume and likes what he or she sees, the second thing that individual will do will check to see if you have a LinkedIn Profile so make sure that your LinkedIn Profile is up to date.

As you have probably surmised, how you write and present your resume is the first step to getting your foot in the door, not just how well you interview. It can be daunting to think someone’s opinion of you is based on what they see on a screen but don’t we do that already with our Social Media profiles?

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