The labor market is highly competitive in many industries. Despite the fact that the unemployment rate has declined in many areas of the country, many employers continue to receive a large number of resumes from highly qualified candidates. If you are searching for a new job, this decreases the chance of you landing a job that you may be well-qualified for. There are a few things that you can do to stand out from other job applicants and potentially land the job that you want if you are willing to put forth the extra effort.
Customize Your Cover Letter
Some job applicants do not write a cover letter, and many hiring managers place these resumes at the bottom of the stack simply because they indicate the lack the additional time and professionalism that other job applicants have shown by writing a cover letter for their resume. However, it is not enough to simply draft a cover letter. Many cover letters are rather bland. They use the same recycled wording and are not customized in any way. Customizing your cover letter to specifically address your unique skills and qualities that make you a good fit for the company and position is beneficial. More than that, if you create a pain letter, your resume may gain further recognition. A pain letter explores the specific challenges that the company faces currently. It shows that you have done your research about the company, and it also highlights the strengths that you bring to the table that may prove helpful for the current situation.
Incorporate SEO Into Your Resume
You may not realize it, but many hiring managers use special software to analyze resumes. These programs scan resumes for specific keywords and phrases that may appear in your resume, such as basic virtual bookkeeping, specific programming languages and more. Ensure that you incorporate relevant words and phrases into your resume based on the wording in the job posting. You may also incorporate some of these keywords into your cover letter to potentially better position your resume. This is an important step to take to get your resume placed in the short stack. The short stack includes resumes that are actually read by a live person.
Use Your Own Voice
If you have read a few sample resumes online, you may be well-aware that resumes typically use the same descriptive phrases to describe an applicant. These may be phrases such as detail oriented, team player, ethical and more. The voice may also be rather stale and professional. While you do not want to lose the professional aspect of the resume, you can incorporate your own voice into your resume to stand out. Hiring managers who have read through dozens of dry resumes earlier in the day may find that your unique resume is a breath of fresh air. Essentially, if you would not use specific phrasing when speaking to a hiring manager in an interview, do not use that wording in your resume or cover letter.
Focus on Relevant Skills and Experiences
While your resume and cover letter should be customized in these unique ways, remember that it will be read by a live hiring manager at some point. Because of this, you need to customize the resume so that it specifically addresses the criteria that has been outlined in the job posting. This means that each resume that you send out should be unique in some way.
Some job applicants simply blast out their resume to as many hiring managers as they can find. It may seem like the numbers would work in your favor if you did this. However, you can see that you may actually have an edge if you spend time customizing your resume and cover letter in each of these ways. You may send your resume out to fewer job openings, but ultimately, you may have an advantage for each job that you apply for.
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