7 Resume Hacks to Stand Out in a Crowd
If you’re like most job seekers, you’re probably trying to stand out from the crowd by using any and all methods at your disposal—be it your resume, your cover letter, or the way you dress when you’re going in for an interview.
It makes sense to try every trick in the book to ensure that you land a dream position.
But did you know that there are some unexpected but simple SEO hacks out there that can help optimize your resume and make it easier for recruiters to find it? Here are 7 simple resume hacks you should use as soon as possible!
1) Use keywords from job descriptions
It’s no secret that resumes keywords matter. And yet many people still don’t use them—or use them incorrectly. Job descriptions are written with certain words and phrases already in mind, so they’re an excellent resource for honing your resume to match.
They can also provide inspiration for what skills or experiences you should include on your resume or CV.
You can even reverse-engineer job listings (with permission from hiring managers, of course) by using Google Keyword Planner to see which search terms have a high enough volume that you could rank for them organically and therefore secure more interviews without extra effort on your part.
2) Break up your content into skills and accomplishments
The best way to optimize your resume is to break it up into sections that highlight your skills and accomplishments. These are called resume hacks.
When it comes time for an employer or recruiter to read your resume, they’ll want something quick and easy, so they can scan all of your qualifications quickly. To accomplish that, you need information that’s easily digestible and at-a-glance.
You also want them to quickly see what you’re great at; if they see that right away, you might get through their initial screening process and even land an interview!
3) Remove any personal pronouns
Your resume is not about you—it’s about prospective employers. If your resume’s structure doesn’t highlight your skills and accomplishments, it may fall flat when matched against other applicants’ resumes.
Consider removing pronouns like I, me, and my, so that your resume can focus on what you can do for potential employers rather than what you want them to do for you. Sure, it might feel unprofessional at first but if that gets people reading your resume—that’s probably a good thing.
Once you start applying for jobs, word will get around that you have an awesome CV and recruiters will be knocking down your door before long!
4) Keep it short, sweet, and simple
The quickest way to make sure your resume doesn’t get read is by making it too long and complicated.
You don’t want it any longer than one page (unless you’re applying for a job where two pages are expected). You don’t need fancy fonts or anything over-the-top. Just keep it clean, simple, and honest.
And remember—brevity is key! If you have anything at all that isn’t absolutely essential on your resume, take it off. You can go into more detail on your cover letter.
5) Tailor your resume to each job you apply for
Tailoring your resume to each job you apply for is an SEO hack. There are many reasons why applicants don’t stand out, but one of them has nothing to do with their knowledge or skillset.
It’s simply because they didn’t tailor their resume specifically for that job opening.
Remember, you are marketing yourself and your brand when you write a resume—so make sure it reflects on you positively!
6) Create a personal brand statement
Crafting a personal brand statement is an important first step. While it’s best to write your resume before you create your personal brand statement, doing both at once—and making sure they match up—is also acceptable.
Your personal brand statement should be just as complete and thorough as your resume; craft it with SEO hacks, keywords, phrases, and buzzwords in mind.
It should be able to stand on its own: if someone were viewing only your personal brand statement, could they easily understand what you do for work?
7) Add social proof with testimonials and endorsements
Rather than speaking of yourself, you can get others to do it for you.
Endorsements and testimonials will add social proof and legitimacy to your accomplishments and give hiring managers confidence that your experience aligns with what they are looking for.
The more specific your endorsements are, using language like accomplished X by Y percent increase in revenue, and showing how exactly you achieved those results, provide even more weight for potential employers.
Showing others’ input provides value to potential employers beyond what an unverified resume or cover letter could ever hope to achieve.