Sometimes, just getting your foot in the door can be the hardest part of the hiring process. There are always some people who—even though they aren’t any more qualified—seem to get tons of interview offers where others are having a hard time just getting that first call. 

So, what’s the difference?  

There is an art and science to putting together a resume. Two people with the very same background can put together a resume that will either have a hiring manager falling asleep, or reaching for the phone. Follow the below tips to help capture HR’s attention and have them excited to hear more.  

Use Action Words

This is a small change that can make a world of difference. Using words like “increased” or “developed” subtly tells the person reading your resume that you were able to make an impact and accomplish goals during your role—and that you’ll do the same for them. Without coming across as being vain or bragging, this shows that you can add value to a company.  

Highlight Your Personal Accomplishments 

This tip might sound obvious, but you would be surprised just how many people focus on their team or company’s initiatives and accomplishments, without focusing on their own personal role or achievements. Sure, the big picture is important. But hiring managers care what YOU actually contributed. When describing the project, use the first sentence to provide some larger context, but quickly go into your particular role and responsibilities.  

Include Examples and References 

Be specific. Don’t just say that you are good at “time management” or “training staff.” Instead, use examples that can bring these skills and qualifications to life. Not only is this more interesting for hiring managers to read, but it also helps to prove some of the points that you are making in your resume. Where possible, include a reference who can speak to each of the major skillsets you are including in your resume. 

Show that You’re Self-Motivated 

Hiring managers are looking for people who care about their own career trajectory and are personally invested in improving their skills. Include any additional certifications, training, or education that you sought out to help prepare or qualify you for a particular role. Even if it wasn’t through a formal program, you are just looking to prove that you have initiative and will take charge.  

Customize Your Resume to the Job 

This is another tip that many applicants overlook, which can be the difference between your resume making it to the top of the pile or ending up at the bottom of the bin. If you see a job that you are particularly interested in, before sending in your application, make some customizations to your resume. Look at the required skills and qualifications and make sure that your resume speaks to each one. Following these tips will help improve your chances of landing an interview—and, ultimately, the job. 


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