Employers spend hours rifling through stacks of resumes trying to find the perfect candidate. So how can you set yourself apart from the others? There is no one answer, it is a complex issue.
Conciseness is an obvious must when writing a resume. Employers have too much work and too little time to read every resume they get in detail. Most people who have hiring power expect resumes to be one page and groan or dismiss those that exceed that length. Whatever skills, experience or abilities that you want to highlight should be written in a direct and concise manner. Weed out any unnecessary information and stick to the substantial data. This can be tricky, so don’t be afraid to ask someone to take a look at what you have and offer suggestions. Second and third opinions can be very helpful, just make sure whoever looks over your resume understands what position you are applying for.
Whenever you write something you should always be asking yourself, “Who am I writing this for?” This question is an absolute must when drawing up a resume. For each job that you pursue, rearrange or completely rewrite your resume and tailor it in a way that looks good to the hiring manager. It sounds like a lot of work, but it is essential in standing out. Highlight the skills, experience and information that is most relevant to the field and most beneficial to the employer. Instead of boasting about your accomplishments, relate those accomplishments to the job you’re going for and present yourself as a potential asset that should be hired.
Interviewing is not always the most fun process. Sometimes you have a dozen interviews before landing the job you want or need. When it comes to resume building, going after many jobs requires a lot of work. You have to craft and rework your resume for each job opportunity, which can take a lot of time. Most people I know have over 20 versions of their resume in a stockpile on their computer. It can get messy. My suggestion is to create a master document that lists every job, volunteer work, school work and any other relevant information about yourself that you can then pick from. Having this master document can help you organize several different resumes based on specific fields that you are interested in. Once you have a handful of varying resumes for varying types of jobs, you can then modify each of those for specific jobs fairly easily. If you upload these documents to Google Drive or comparable software you can edit them from anywhere and make sure that your resume is tailored perfectly for the job you want to land.
The final and most personal aspect of a resume requires you to write a cover letter. These will have to be written for each job you go after. Cover letters allow you to talk directly to whoever is in charge of hiring and give you an opportunity to sell yourself in your own words. These are just as important as the resume itself and are often what cause an employer to even look at a resume. Writing a cover letter is a way to present your best self and just like a resume has to grab the attention and make an impression on potential employers.