5 Ways To Give Your Resume the Wow Factor

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In this tight job market, making your resume stand out is crucial. We all know that our resumes are our chief marketing tool, but still, there are many people who send out resumes that don't have what it takes to impress employers in the digital age. Years ago, a well-written, neatly typed resume could be photocopied and mailed out to companies with great success. The document was the same for each potential employer and it served as a written work history. Those days are gone.

In today's digital job market, a resume has to be internet-friendly. We have to understand and accept the fact that the document we email to employers will be subject to Google web searches and even scanned by an applicant tracking system. Although the change has made work easier for human resource departments, it makes things more difficult for a job seeker.

If you are struggling to find a job, here are 5 ways that you can add some "wow" to your digital resume:

Research companies and keywords: When starting your job search, look at job boards and print out all of the job listings for companies you are interested in. Compare the ads and look for the most frequently used keywords. These words will be related to the most desirable skills and experience for the position. Once you've identified the important keywords, make sure that your resume contains those same words. Since most companies use some sort of applicant tracking system that scans resumes for specific keywords, the more hits your resume has, the better.

Always customize your resume for the job: The days of cookie-cutter resumes are long over, which is why it's important to edit your resume to match the keywords for each job. Every time you send out a resume, you should customize it to target the specific company. It's a little more effort, but if the prize is a job that will pay you a good salary, it's worth the extra 30 minutes. After all, this is the first deliverable to your new company - make it count.

Address your cover letter to someone: If you aren't sure who is in charge of hiring or don't know the name of the person, do some research and find out. These days, almost everyone has an online presence. With a quick web search or by using a professional networking site like LinkedIn, you should be able to discover the name of the person in charge of hiring. If your internet sleuthing doesn't give you a name, you could try cold calling the company and asking. Addressing a cover letter to "Dear Hiring Manager" should be avoided at all costs.

Use your network to get a personal referral: Having someone you know recommend you for the position is the best way to make sure that your resume is actually read by a real person. Once you submit your resume, make a list of people you know. If you don't personally know someone who works for the company, ask the people on your list if they know anyone. If, after checking with everyone, you still don't have a contact on the inside, use networking sites to find someone. Start a conversation and ask for help. You'll be surprised at how many people, even the ones you only know through distant friends, would be more than happy to help.

Follow up with the hiring manager: After sending in your resume and cover letter, it's a good idea to call the hiring manager personally to confirm that they have received your application. This doesn't mean that you should call and say, "Did you get my resume?" Instead, use the call as an opportunity to give your pitch and stand out. For example, you could call and say, "Hi, this is Ms. Smith. I've been working in sales for 10 years and I have a proven track record of success. I'm very interested in working with your company. I just sent you a copy of my resume. I wanted to take a moment to touch base with you and make sure that you've received it." This gives you a moment to state your name and say why you are someone they don't want to miss out on. It shows that you are determined and sincere about your interest in the position and illustrates how you get things done.

Giving your resume the "wow" factor involves doing more work at first, but it can make you stand out and help you land the job you really want. Do you customize your resume for each job? How do you make your resume memorable? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Image by digitalart / freedigitalphotos.net


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  • ASIF M
    ASIF M
    Excellent article
  • Rosetta D
    Rosetta D
    I found the information to be very helpful.
  • Eric S
    Eric S
    Excellent article.
  • zewdu a
    zewdu a
  • Solomon V
    Solomon V
    oh yeahthis is difficult time but it would get better
  • Shawn W
    Shawn W
    God.....same-ol' tired info., how about something new?!?
  • Ali A
    Ali A
    DEAR SIR:   This is a great help in helping me to write a "WOW"Resume please let me know how? Can you post the best Civil Engineering / Construction Manager so that everybody can see. Thanks   
  • Pankaj S
    Pankaj S
    I think its a very knowledge article for people who are seaching for jobs. These are small things, very important though for finding a good job
  • Sherrie M
    Sherrie M
    Thank you for the information on giving your resume the wow factor. I especially appreciated the LinkedIn tip. I hate to simply put "To whom it may concern" but didn't know how to get around that.Sincerely,Sherrie
  • Robert B
    Robert B
    These are very good tips. I have been applying but not getting response probably because of ignoring some of these requirements, but not I am making it a point to improve.
  • Olivia P
    Olivia P
     Not bad of the 5 recommendation for WOWING you resume.
  • Nancy S
    Nancy S
    I have found that hiring managers do not want to be contacted after receiving resumes, otherwise they are inundated with phone calls.
    Thank you for the exceptional information. I will review my Resume to include some of these facts.
  • Brenda B
    Brenda B
    This sure didn't say anything.
  • Nazim u
    Nazim u
    I agree post your jobs.
  • pastor m
    pastor m
    It is good for me for looking a new job..
  • Fredrick S
    Fredrick S
    I found this to be very informative and will use this for my next job I apply for.  Thanks
  • Darius M
    Darius M
    The article on making my resume stand out and get recognized is very helpful. Thank You
    A very informative article but It works when you know the company, the HR manager or the contacts. Many jobs opportunity comes through head hunters making quite impossible to apply what you recommends. Will incorporate some of the points presented in my CV. The cover letter is another issue mainly to who address it.RegardsGabor
  • David J
    David J
    Permanent job seeker 2 1/2 years since being laid off from a job that I had held for 10 years:No. 1 - OKNo. 2 - OK, but your are what you are based on your experience and I think that customizing every resume to satisfy a specific job description could lead a person to chasing jobs that they are not really qualified for.No. 3 - good luck!  Tried it and it doesn't work.  Most of the time you cannot get that information.  Everyone says "apply to the job as advertised and we might get back with you.No. 4 - OK, understood, not a problem - it used to be called "references".No. 5 - go back to No. 3 - very hard to get that info.
  • diane j
    diane j
    I think this is great information and a good reminder on some things that people may have forgotten about doing.  Thank you and God bless you.
  • David B
    David B
    How do you find out who the hiring manager is?  The postings don't provide names, unless you have to email someone.
  • Nancy S
    Nancy S
    As someone who's been out of work for nearly a year and guzillion resumes emailed out (like many of us have done) I will definitely give all of these great   ideas a shot.  Will keep you posted.  Thank You!
  • Angelina R
    Angelina R
    This article is very helpful in understanding how H.R. decides on which resumes to review.  The hints are very enlighting, although it would be helpful to actually view an example of the program, and how it decipher's the document.
  • Helen B
    Helen B
    Great info, I will definitely utilize it

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