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How To Make A Resume Stand Out -- Smart Strategies To Beat The Competition
By Nigel Patterson

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When you're applying for a job and competing against hundreds of other candidates, it can sometimes seem impossible to get noticed, however well suited you are for the position. That's when a powerful resume and cover letter come into their own, raising your profile to make your application stand out from the rest. Here are six strategies to help you present your talents with panache:

  1. Understand and promote your 'personal brand'. Can you identify what it is that makes you a uniquely valuable asset in your work? Which of your professional attributes are you most proud of -- and, more importantly, how would an employer benefit from them? Develop a statement of your most powerful selling points as a self-marketing tool.
  2. Have you targeted your resume? You may be describing your skills and attributes, but it's important that you speak to the needs of the hiring company. Don't get so bound up in talking about yourself that you forget to highlight the features of your skill-set that are most likely to appeal to your prospective employer. Sure, it takes a little more time to personalize your resume for each application you make -- but you'll avoid giving a bland and generalized impression.
  3. Show, don't tell. Aspiring writers are taught to show their characters in action rather than just describe what they're like -- so use this technique to validate the summary statement of your skills. Don't let unsubstantiated claims raise doubts in a recruiter's mind. Give quantifiable evidence of your achievements where appropriate -- dollar amounts, percentages or other measurements -- to convince and impress an employer.
  4. Make keywords work for you. Did you know that more and more employers are turning to digital solutions to help them screen candidates for vacancies that attract large numbers of applications? Including industry-specific keywords in your resume raises the likelihood of scoring a relevant match when your resume is scanned. Look at the job description or advertisement to research terms that ought to be used. These might include:
    • names of widely known companies
    • job titles, such as consultant, administrative assistant, customer service, bookkeeping
    • competency statements, such as change management, staff development, team leadership
    • professional certifications
    • IT skills, for example database management, CAD or knowledge of particular software programs
    • other terminology or acronyms familiar to professionals in your industry
  5. Organize the information in your resume to focus on your strongest features. Do you want to illustrate your career progression over time, or would it be more effective to highlight clusters of skills you've acquired through a variety of roles? Many recruiters prefer the reverse chronological format -- but it may not suit a candidate who has changed careers or whose last position is not what qualifies them best for the job they want now. Try drafting a chronological and a functional version of your resume and compare them side by side to see which structure gives the better picture.
  6. Make it a good-looking document. If your resume is your professional calling card, it's not unreasonable to expect an impeccable standard of presentation. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar are pet peeves for many recruiters and can consign your entire application to the waste paper basket. Proofread your resume and cover letter carefully -- and don't be too proud to ask a trusted friend for help if you need it!
Nigel Patterson is a business writer and publisher of http://1stClassResume.com.

Visit his website for free resume examples, tips on writing an effective cover letter and preparing for a job interview.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nigel_Patterson

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