To say technology has altered the way we hunt and apply for jobs would be a vast understatement. This is equally true for employers trying to filter through an expanding pool of candidates across a variety of Internet forums and mobile media. New position openings can receive hundreds of applications online within hours, making it increasingly difficult for potential employees to stand out and get an interview. How do you prove yourself amongst such a large pool? Getting an interview has to go well beyond simply submitting a resume and waiting for a phone call. Employers are now looking for demonstrated abilities and skills that exhibit consistent professionalism across a hodgepodge of platforms. So don't just send your generic resume to the virtual stack and hope for the best. Here are five ways to enhance your resume:
1. Cater to the job
While it's imperative to have a standard resume to use as a starting point, you should not send the same document to every employer. Individualize the content in your resume to align with the job functions for each position to which you apply. This can be done by using keywords found in the job description, highlighting relevant experience and following specific formatting requests.
2. Have additional materials available
If a hiring manager likes your resume, he or she may ask for additional materials, such as a writing sample, portfolio or references. Many applications request these materials from the get go. Have materials edited and prepared for when an employer comes knocking. For example, preparing a resume with visual components to complement your paper resume might come in handy when applying for a job in graphic design.
3. Showcase relevant skills
This tip sounds like a no-brainer, but it requires careful consideration. For example, when applying for a job as a social media manager, demonstrate deft, professional and consistent use of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Proving that you can create quality content and garner followers across these platforms will likely help land the job.
4. Highlight accomplishments
More and more hiring managers are looking for evidence of proven skills and deliverable products. While it's important to list major job responsibilities, employers want to know that you are capable of producing results. Therefore, listing accomplishments demonstrates the ability to finish projects and achieve specific results
5. Be unconventional
Don't be afraid to think outside the box, but make sure it's done in a way that is meaningful and demonstrates initiative. Also, always consider the general disposition of the company. Whereas a young startup design firm might love an infographic resume, an established law firm will probably respond to something more traditional.