Four Resume Tips to Stand Out From the Competition

At the time of this writing, the United States is in economic distress due to the COVID-19 crisis. Millions of people have lost their jobs and are looking for a new one. This means that demand for jobs is much greater than the supply of jobs. Now more than ever it is important to stand out from the crowd so that you can get that first interview, so today I want to share some tips on how to do just that.

1. Use a custom resume template…

In today’s competitive job market, it pays to stand out from the crowd. One excellent way to do this is to format your resume in a very unique way. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Microsoft Word or Google Docs grandmaster to do this. There is actually a big market that supplies custom resume templates. They’re inexpensive, beautiful, unique, and easy to make your own.

2. Numbers are more important than adjectives…

Once you have found that perfect template (resume format), now it’s time to put in your information (resume content). Don’t fool yourself and think that lots of fancy adjectives are going to land you a job, or even an interview. Anybody can put loads of adjectives in their resume, and most people do. They are “motivated”, “dedicated”, “skilled”, “dependable”, “professional”, “detail-oriented”, etc. But since everybody is using the same adjectives, they don’t help you stand out.

So, focus instead on putting in numbers that showcase your job performance. How many accounts did you manage? How many employees did you manage? How big was the budget that you oversaw? How much revenue did you bring in? What percentage growth did you help the company achieve? How much savings did you create by eliminating unnecessary expenses? The point is, stats show that you are goal-oriented and that you have achieved, in a way that adjectives can’t.

3. Customize your resume for the job…

These days, employers are often using software to digitally screen hundreds of applications for a single job opening. In these instances, the human eyes only see the applications that make it through the digital gatekeeper. In order to give your application the best shot of making it through, get to know the employer and the job posting. Look for keywords they use to describe the business and the position and then use some of these keywords in your resume and cover letter. It might make the difference in getting through the initial screen.

4. Don’t skip the cover letter…

While a cover letter isn’t the same thing as a resume, they are similar in that they are submitted together and they both tell the employer about you. Loosely speaking, a resume tells where you’ve been and what you have done, and a cover letter tells where you’re determined to go. It also gives some insight into your personality, your writing skills, what is important to you, and why you feel the job in question is perfect for you.

When you’re applying to a lot of jobs it can feel like a big burden to craft a custom cover letter for each one. It is no doubt time-consuming. But you never know, it could make the difference in landing the job. I actually once hired someone based on their cover letter, so don’t underestimate its value!

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As you can see, it’s really all about standing out from the crowd. Your resume (and cover letter) help you get a foot in the door. After that, it’s up to you to wow the employer during the interview process!




Forbes Top 25 Networking Expert. Ex-finance exec., CSP, CEO, Speaker and Author of 4 books including, The 11 Laws of Likability and The Connectors Advantage.

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Michelle Tillis Lederman

Michelle Tillis Lederman

Forbes Top 25 Networking Expert. Ex-finance exec., CSP, CEO, Speaker and Author of 4 books including, The 11 Laws of Likability and The Connectors Advantage.

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