Three easy ways you can make your resume stand out

A great deal of the Canadian economy has slowed down right now, but that situation is temporary. Once the pandemic is over, companies are going to want to make up for lost time and productivity.

Plus, as we noted, many sectors are still hiring right now – some with even increased demand for workers. Here are ten industries looking for workers.

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Whether you are applying for jobs right now, or you want to hit the ground running when the lockdown is over, almost nobody gets hired without first submitting a resume. You’re going to need one sooner or later.

The job market may be flooded with applicants at the outset, so here are three essential ways you can make sure your resume stands out from the pack.

Make a powerful opening statement (not a generic objective)

Traditionally resumes opened with an ‘objective statement’ about what the candidate was looking for in potential jobs. “I am an XXX professional, seeking a position in XXX that offers opportunities for XXX.”

This is no longer considered a strategic way to open a resume. Because the purpose of your resume is to grab the employer’s attention and create interest in your candidacy, it isn’t a good choice to waste valuable real-estate right off the top with a lengthy statement about what you are looking for.

It is far more effective to open with what you have to offer, what you can do. Tailor this statement as specifically as possible to the needs of any job you apply for. The first thing an employer reads about you should highlight your top credentials that are relevant to the job. It’s about their needs, not yours.

Write the resume for your next job (not your last one)

A common way to write a resume is to list your work experience in reverse chronological order, with brief descriptions of what you did at each job. While that layout can still frame your document, you shouldn’t focus on your past work.

Rather, describe your work history in the context of the job you want. How has your past experience prepared you for this role? How have your accomplishments on the job demonstrated that you will excel at it?

This is why you must update your resume for each job that you apply for. This doesn’t mean simply adding your latest job on top of the previous one. It is important to read through every word and make sure that the skills and accomplishments you have highlighted for past work are described in a way that makes them relevant to the targeted job.

Highlight what has set you apart (not your job description)

Speaking of accomplishments, these are what will stand out to potential employers. How you have stood out on the job, how you went above and beyond, and what you managed to accomplish that another person in that role might not have.

Hiring managers generally know what job descriptions match with your old job titles. So, rehashing your duties is a waste of valuable real estate. The much more interesting information to convey is what you alone achieved in that role.

Again, all of this information should be selected and described so as to be as relevant as possible to the job you are targeting. Your resume isn’t the history statement of your past work – it’s the marketing document to get you to your next work.

Pro tip: Double proofread your contact information carefully right off the top. Many people have missed out on job opportunities because of an outdated phone number or a typo in an email address. (Neither of which will be picked up by spell check.)

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