With over 100 applications for every job opening, standing above the competition – those after the same job you are– has become increasingly difficult. And your first opportunity to really impress potential employers? Submission of a competitive resume.
So we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) this question:
In today’s job market, what is the best way to stand out in a pile of resumes?
Here’s their actionable advice…
1. Use Action Verbs
Using action verbs gives your resume movement and makes a stronger impression. Instead of saying “I’m the Marketing Manager for XYZ Company”, create an image of action by lisingt bullet points that begin with “Provide”, “Target”, “Construct”, etc. After all, you want a prospective employer to know you’re an active go-getter who will bring that zeal to their company.
2. Record a Video
To stand out to a specific company, record a customized video that verbalizes your resume. Include the link in your written resume (use shortened URLs) which they’ll likely take the time to look up. You’ve instantly shown a higher level of effort than your competitors. To speed this up, record a custom intro for each company; the remaining video be the same for each application.
3. Offer KPIs/Measurables
Instead of listing information qualitatively, a sense of scale and/or grade will turn heads. For example, in a managerial position: “Construction Manager, responsible for a $25M two-year construction project in downtown San Francisco; completed one week ahead of schedule and within 2 percent of budget due to client change orders.”
4. Use Keywords
Match words on your resume with keywords you find on job descriptions for the positions you’re applying to. Job descriptions are often created by the hiring manager and, if your past experience truly matches the job requirements, you should include a lot of the same terms they’ve used. Be sure to also include words used to describe the company’s culture.
5. Send a FedEx Package
Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. They get hammered with applications and their email inbox is stacked full of resumes. To set yourself apart from the crowd, send the CEO a FedEx package with information about you. Include a link to a video that includes your resume. Get them excited about wanting to meet you. An email and resume alone aren’t going to cut it.
6. Highlight Your Accomplishments
While it’s great that you graduated from an elite school with a high GPA, I want to see a gradual progression toward your career goals and what you did to get to this level. Sell yourself with examples that will captivate my attention in order for me to gain a grasp of your accomplishments and how you can contribute to the team.
7. Be Creative and Specific
The vast majority of resumes look the same, read the same, say the same. Be creative in your resume to show why you stand out from the crowd. Creativity and originality are valuable at any job, so be that person who creates a custom video resume, writes original content, or has an artistic resume. Whatever you do, make sure you are different from the others.
8. Tailor Your Resume to the Job
The best way to ensure your resume stands out to an HR representative reviewing dozens of resumes is to tailor your resume for the specific position you’re applying for. When HR screens your resume, they will see you are a perfect fit and set aside your resume for further review. Whatever you do, don’t send a generic resume.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.