Tip #3: Create a Stand-Out Resume

In today’s job market, you need every advantage you can get – and your resume is an important part of that equation. In most cases, this is your first opportunity to make a good impression on prospective employers so, in order to get an interview, you really need a resume that will stand out from the pool of applicants applying for the same positions.

Here’s my advice for creating stand-out resumes:

1.  Customize your resume and cover letter to each job advertisement you respond to. Emphasize the skills and past accomplishments that best match the skills and experience asked for in the job description: devote more space in your resume to these areas, and spell them out in greater detail.

2.  Make sure your resume is both well written and visually appealing. If writing is not your strong suit, consider hiring a professional to help. For design assistance, Microsoft provides several resume templates built in to Word, and there are more on the Microsoft.com web site. In addition, RockportInstitute.com offers a great set of web pages on writing a masterpiece of a resume.

3.  Consider posting your resume online. There are several ways to do this. You can use a site like VisualCV.com, share your resume via Google docs, or add it to your blog. You don’t have a blog? Blogger.com and WordPress.org provide free, easy systems for creating a new blog in minutes.

4.  If you work in technology or new media, a video resume may be a great alternative for you. For examples, check out the many video resumes posted on YouTube.

5.  If you work in a field that values creativity, consider creating a resume that shows off your skills in innovation. One jobseeker, Ed Hamilton, achieved near-celebrity status for creating his resume in Google Maps. And animator Shea Richardson posted an animated YouTube video to serve as his cover letter.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you in creating your own stand-out resume. And I wish you all the best in finding that next great job!