How To Make A Resume Stand Out From The Crowd

Finding a job – especially a good job or your dream job – is no easy task. The job marketplace is so crowded that even the most qualified and experienced candidates can sometimes have a difficult time standing out from the masses. What can you possibly do to earn a second sniff and make a resume stand out?

The internet is ripe with “look at me” suggestions for how to make a resume stand out. There are myriad stories of the viral video that earned it’s creator a job at Google, Apple, Disney, etc. (pick your dream company and there’s a story to match) – not to mention marketers who purchased Google ads that would be seen when top creative directors Googled their name – but these are not reliable strategies for landing a job.

Use #Blrt to make your #resume stand out and land your #DreamJob Click To Tweet

The best ways to make a resume stand out are attention-grabbing but calculated. They stand out from the crowd in a way that is consistent with the company’s culture and highlights your qualifications and achievements. Put it this way: if your aim is to get the hiring manager’s attention, what if you succeed? You better have something worthwhile to say.

How to make a resume stand out

Be specific and relevant

If you’re going to make a resume stand out, begin with attention to detail. Take the time to fine tune your resume for every individual job that you’re applying for. The most valuable applications are really a value proposition for you, the applicant.

Read between the lines of a job advertisement to not just get to the bottom of what kind of candidate that company wants to hire but – more critically – what problem that company has that they’re hoping the right hire will solve for them. Your value lies in your ability to solve that problem.

Getting the #job relies on your ability to solve a problem for the company Click To Tweet

Now that you know how to sell yourself, don’t stray from that message. Lose irrelevant bits of experience (you groomed dogs as a summer job during your studies? How does that qualify you as a copywriter?) and skills that everybody has (You know how to use the internet? In 2016? Tell us more!) and focus on the job at hand. Moreover, don’t just list your responsibilities at your past jobs, list your accomplishments. Companies want you to kick goals, so it’s not really good enough to merely point out that you were on the team.

Let’s say you’re interested in a job ad seeking “a copywriter who specializes in creating engaging content.” Obviously this company feels their content could be more engaging, but what led them to this conclusion? By reading between the lines you can make the educated guess that their bounce rate might be quite high.

Now that you’ve identified the problem they likely have, show them you can fix it and put a number on that fact. Which of these two applicants would be more interesting to a hiring manager with a readership crisis?

At BlogCo I was responsible for writing three long-form blog posts a week.

or…

At BlogCo I decreased the bounce rate by 35% over a three month period.

The second applicant has shown that they understand the problem (further underscoring their expertise in the field) and – more importantly – that they can fix that problem.

Which applicant would you call in for an interview?

Highlight your accomplishments on your #resume, not your responsibilities Click To Tweet

Get creative to be seen

Now that your message is refined, quantified, and properly relays your value, how do you get it heard?

To make a resume stand out, consider tailoring your message (and medium) to the culture of the company to which you’re applying. Lifehacker suggests scoping out your prospective employer on their social channels (particularly Twitter). By doing this you can examine their identity claims (facets of personality that they reveal about themselves) and craft your message appropriately.

What is your message? Your value story as you’ve crafted it to this point.

Any great storyteller will advise you to do two key things:

1. Consider your audience

To make a resume stand out, speak to the company in their own dialect.

What speaks to a very professional and to-the-point firm won’t play well to a smaller firm that live tweeted their company Oscars party, and vice-versa. Beyond allowing you to imbue your message with the proper aspects of your personality, it’s also a great way to figure out if you even want to work there in the first place.

2. Show, don’t tell

This is the number one rule of storytelling. Don’t just say “these two characters fell in love” – show them falling in love with the awkward flirting and the nervous kissing. Imagery sticks.

The same rule applies to make a resume stand out: show that company what you’re working with. There’s no better way to do that than by enhancing your resume with Blrt.

When it comes to your #resume: show, don't tell. Click To Tweet

Blrt your way into the job

Being different is a great way to make a resume stand out from the crowd but you have to be strategic about doing so, otherwise you’re just loud (and unwelcome) background noise.

Making a Blrt that specifically addresses an individual job is a great way to tell your story in a way that will be meaningful to your audience and shows what you can do rather than telling.

Check out this example:

Keeping things short is key. Harvard Business Review suggest that a great elevator pitch is no longer than 15 seconds but considering you’re speaking over visual elements and addressing specifics about the job, we recommend 30-45 seconds for a Blrt.

A hiring manager can view your Blrt on mobile or desktop, meaning your message can get through to them anytime, anyplace. Once they’re watching, the hiring manager can pause at any time and page between the images and documents you’ve shared (you can include your entire resume) and they can even zoom in or out if they’re using the mobile app.

Make your own job-getting Blrt now:

Keep your story up to date

Whether you’re stuck into your current position or neck-deep in a job hunt, it pays to keep your resume updated. After all, opportunity doesn’t always knock when you’re expecting.

Keep an ongoing record of your work accomplishments, whether that be in a paper journal, updates on your LinkedIn page (bulk revamps signal to your employer that you’re looking for a new opportunity – consistent updates only indicate that you take pride in your work) or our favorite: a ‘timeline’ notebook in Evernote.

Keeping a notebook in Evernote allows you to attach related files (including slides from any presentations you’ve done or examples of your work) and automatically stamps each note with the date and time created, so your ducks are always in a row. If you keep this notebook neat and organized, you can even take the extra step of making it public and sharing it as a kind of digital portfolio when applying for jobs.

However you decide to stay on top of your many accomplishments (you go-getter, you), make the updating of your professional profile (your resume, LinkedIn page, professional website, etc.) a regular and recurring task, no matter what phase of your career you’re in.

Maintaining a robust online presence is a great way to build your network, opening up not just employment opportunities but also career-development avenues such as speaking gigs and mentor/mentoree relationships.

Nail the interview and follow up!

Once you’ve landed (and nailed) the interview, don’t forget to follow up. If you want to make a resume stand out, it’s important to take advantage of as many points of communication as you possibly can. The ‘thank you’ note remains a classy touch (even if the medium has moved from parchment to email) and allows one last point of contact.

After the interview: follow up with a thank you note and digital contact card! Click To Tweet

Send the hiring manager and everybody who was involved in your interview (you got their business cards, right?) a quick email to thank them for their time and reinforce some key points from the interview that hindsight has shown to be of critical importance. Provide links to your LinkedIn page, website, etc. and remove one last barrier between you and getting the job by including your contact information in a digital contact card that they can import directly into their device. In doing so you’ve made their lives that much easier and also shown that you’re the savvy asset their team is missing.

However, should you be unsuccessful (sometimes having all the talent and good looks isn’t as valuable as being the CEO’s nephew), remember that a career is a process and not a destination. If the hiring manager is courteous enough to call you upon an unsuccessful application, don’t be afraid to politely ask for feedback and always remember to thank them for their time and consideration.

Today’s job landscape is very fluid, so every contact made is valuable. That hiring manager might have really liked certain qualities that you had that weren’t suited for that particular role but might be aligned with another vacancy if and when they shift departments or companies. Staying true to your process will keep you relevant and connected and, when opportunity finally knocks at the right time, will land you that dream job.

About Blrt

Blrt is a tool every savvy collaborator wants in their arsenal and can help make a resume stand out.

Blrt helps you get your point across quickly by allowing you to talk, point and draw over images, documents and websites. The resulting video-like recording is called a Blrt.

Your Blrts require much less bandwidth than video and can be shared with anyone on mobile or desktop. This makes Blrt ideal for both collaboration and the creation and sharing of dynamic content, as public Blrts can be embedded into any webpage.

Once recorded, Blrts are stored in the cloud and are exchanged with others in a conversation-like fashion. A record is kept of the exchange, and new parties and media can be added at any time.

Blrt shifts time and place, allowing users in a conversation to participate in their own time. In an era where activity-based working and distributed teams are commonplace, Blrt is revolutionising the way people interact to get things done.

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