Your resume needs to catch the attention of busy hiring managers FASTER than ever before. As employers continue to hunt for the perfect candidate and job seekers hit the market, your qualifications could be missed along with stiff competition unless you’ve built a solid resume. While metrics-driven achievements have always been important, you are competing against millions of determined job seekers. Your resume must capture the attention of the reader.
The best way to show readiness for a position is to demonstrate how you’ve outpaced expectations with your current employer. Gather performance reviews, recommendations, and other project details. Assess where you exceeded planned ROI on different initiatives, what industry averages you and your team surpassed on recent projects, and what shows your ability to deliver faster results when you are hired.
Don’t forget about what you’ve accomplished that shows speed or longevity like retaining employees during a hiring spike or delivering a milestone faster than anticipated. Gather these facts in context and then cut sentences into fragments that you can use in a summary. It’s the numbers that make up your success stories. For example:
- 20% faster hiring processes in 3 departments
- $3M+ potential new business development opportunities identified in three new markets
- 4 days saved in monthly accounting cycles (reducing $24K off payroll costs)
Consider an extended summary and some graphic elements on your resume, rather than the usual list of bullets. Blend unusual colors, include tables of high-level positions, and add an Extraordinary Results section. These types of custom designs won’t be mistaken for that of any other candidate.
If you feel like you are not ready to use a bold format, then you can use blue-gray tones that frame up accomplishments without them taking center stage.
To test out what an employer Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will see, convert your resume to a text file and review the contents. Text boxes and charts won’t be visible, but you should still see work history and other important details.
Powerful headlines that shout out your value proposition are important. Remember that most hiring managers only skim your resume for relevant details. Include summary statements or marketing headlines that will appear prominently in your document. Writing key accomplishments as short statements of value and moving them to the top of your resume is the most important thing. When condensed for quick reading into single headlines, your resume will look well-planned and crafted.
The sky is the limit when using color. Incorporating blue conveys leadership and knowledge. Slightly varied shades of blue can be used as an accent to help employer names, job titles, and keywords stand out. Apply color sparingly and zoom out to see the overall look and feel after designing your format.
Your resume should look like a classic, yet compelling story of your skills and acumen when you use color as a backdrop for specific achievements worth emphasizing. The idea is to make your career achievements pop.
Add your philosophy or mission statement that you may have used to inspire others or motivate professional colleagues. A powerful, single quote can sum up your commitment to excellence. Look through past performance reviews and recommendations you may have accumulated on LinkedIn to identify your mission statement quote.
A carefully crafted site of achievements, framed up with eye-catching elements should put your success stories front and center.