8 tips to make your resume different from hundreds of others
Being an HR agent for many years I can give you a few insights to make your resume and cover letter different from others. This can be crucial for your success if you compete for a job place with hundreds of other candidates.
So, here is a list of 8 tips that most applicants do not know, but you should know and use to make your resume and CL stand out.
Collect all possible information about the company and vacancy
Start your preparation by collecting all possible information about your future employer:
- Research the company’s website to see what types of activities (products, services) it does, what mission and development strategy follows. Learn the history and the latest news from the media about the company.
- Find out the range of goods and pricing policy;
- Test some services or products of this company if you can, read reviews about them;
- Read about the company’s competitors and analyze their strengths and weaknesses in comparison with your future employer;
- Read about the company’s primary sales channels (offline stores, website, mobile applications, Instagram);
- Find and ready any data in the media about the company: articles, interviews with its personnel and top managers.
“As an HR agent I am always pleased with applicants who come to the interview prepared. Who know almost everything about our company. Usually I can see this already from their cover letters. I understand that they made a homework in order to be able to coordinate their qualities and experience which can be useful to us. By doing this, they show me and our company their involvement and interest. And the contrary, if I see a candidate who knows nothing about our company and projects, I usually cannot resist to dislike him or her.”
Change your resume and cover letter for a specific job
Adapting the text of your standard resume and CL for a specific position and company is really necessary.
The resume should contain up-to-date information about your personal qualities and professional experience that may be relevant for this particular position. You are to emphasize your competencies in your resume that may interest your future employer.
Add a good quality photo of yours to your resume, preferably in a style of dress that is welcomed by your future employer.
“A poorly written resume turns me off as soon as I open the file. I have to strain and force myself to at least overlook it once. And I close it as soon as possible with relief.
Many candidates seem not to realize that a resume written for a government service or large company is not suitable for a small creative private firm or startup. It does not occur to them that if they initially applied for a job in sales, and then try to get another job, they need to amend the description of their experience and skills.”
Formulate how you are different from other candidates
Your relatives and colleagues, we are sure, can spend hours telling what a good person and persistent worker you are. But for the employer that sees your resume for the first time, you are just one of many others. Don’t be shy in your resume and CL. Write about yourself without false modesty. Enter specific facts into the text: projects, education, achievements at your current place of work, etc.
“As a head of department, it can be difficult for me to find during the interview in the candidate’s resume those moments that can be decisive in the final choice. If the candidate himself can clearly articulate his strengths, he will do half of the job for the employer and will not give me a chance to make mistakes.”
Carefully read the text of the job ad. It may happen that you need a cover letter or a code word
A number of employers require candidates to send a cover letter. It is usually noted in the job ad. If your resume comes in without the cover letter, your chances of employment are drastically reduced. Sometimes there is a catch in the text of a vacancy: you need to write a code word in your resume. Employers do this to make the first round of selection. Those candidates who miss this word will never be invited for aptitude tests and interview.
“Be careful, take your time. It will be ridiculous to send your resume with corrections for the second time. It is better to double-check everything several times and only then submit your resume and cover letter.”
Submit your resume from 8AM till 16PM
Employer HR agents usually review most of applications in the morning and 2-3 times later throughout the day. In the late afternoon, activity decreases. Therefore, submit your application during working hours from 8AM to 16PM in order your resume does not get lost in the stream of incoming letters and responses. The chances of your resume noticed and reviewed more quickly increases dramatically when you submit your application before noon or at least 15-16PM.
“For some job posts, HR agents receive more than 100 applications per day. After 18 o’clock, when everybody wants to go home and thinks about dinner and rest, chances are that some resumes can just get very little attention.”
Do not forget to clarify before the interview whether you will have aptitude tests
Although 90% of employers use aptitude tests to pick the best candidates, some applicants get caught by surprise that they need to take aptitude tests. We recommend clarifying this point before you even submit your application.
And if your employer uses aptitude tests, you should find what types of the tests you will have to take. This information can be vital for your preparation in order to score high.
Turn the interview into a dialogue
If the time spent researching your future employer is not wasted, you will have questions and new ideas. Prepare these questions and write them in your cover letter (if you may) and voice them at the interview. Formulate and voice your questions and ideas, this will definitely draw attention of your interviewer.
“One of the main questions that I ask during the interview (the answer to which is very important for me) is the question:“ Would you like to know something more about our company and specifically about this vacancy?” I look forward to smart and thoughtful questions that indicate that the applicant did not sit in complete jitters, but listened, thought and reflected during the interview or prepared questions in advance.”
Read more about questions you should ask your potential employer in our article
8 smart questions for the employer at your job interview
Don’t try to “sell” yourself. Hiring is a two-way process. You want to get a job to fully satisfy your ambitions. And your employer wants to get an employee who is most suitable for a given position.
It is rare that a candidate does not have career mistakes or temporary gaps in the resume. Share this experience of yours. It will show that you have learnt the previous lessons and have done the necessary “work on mistakes.”
“Only he makes no mistakes who does not work.”
Read more about aptitude tests practice: