As you probably guessed, employers receive hundreds if not thousands of resumes for one job, especially after the year we had in 2020.
Many HR departments have gotten so overloaded with job applications recently that they don’t even read one sentence on most resumes – they just end up in the trash.
So how do you make sure your resume stands out and gets read rather than tossed in the trash?
It needs this one thing, or don’t bother applying.
What value can you provide a company?
Managers and HR departments aren’t interested in your past jobs and accomplishments as much as they are interested in what you can do for the company. They know there are plenty of qualified candidates out there. Anyone can check all the boxes on the qualifications they need – that’s not their concern because they know they’ll find someone.
What they want to know is what value you can provide to the company. What pain points can you solve that others can’t?
That’s your value and what makes you stand out from others who can check the boxes for a college degree, a certain number of years of experience, and job skills.
What’s the difference?
Here’s where employers see the difference.
They can look at resume after resume and see the same thing over and over again. Any one of the people applying could probably fill the job, but employers want more than a warm body.
They want someone who will come in and make a difference. They want someone who understands the job, what it needs, and what will make it better.
When you apply for a job, look at the job description, and decide what skills and personality traits you have that would check the boxes and make a difference for the company. Talk about those pain points and the skills you have to solve them.
When employers read your resume, you want them to think, ‘Now this is the person who can take the bull by the horns and give us what we’re missing.’ What makes you different from the other thousands of people applying for the same job?
Don’t skip the basics
This doesn’t mean that you should skip your job history and educational background.
Employers will look for that too, but in order for your resume to catch their eye and for them to take the time to read your resume rather than throw it out, you need to show value.
Do this at the top of your resume – somewhere where they will see it, and it will make them want to read more. They’ll continue scrolling through your resume to make sure you have the required degree and/or number of years of experience, but it’s that value-added piece that they really need.
What’s your personal brand?
Before you send your next resume, stop, and think about your personal brand. What sets you apart from others?
Don’t focus on your professional achievements alone. They matter, but hundreds of others can probably replicate what you offer there. Instead, focus on what you bring to the table that’s personal to you.
What can you offer the company that will help them achieve their goals not only to hire a qualified individual but one who can go above and beyond in the position they’re filling?