Resume Reboot: Standing Out in a Sea of Grads

Resumes are like Olympic Fencers: they never get as much notice as they’d like, and they pretty much all look the same. Okay, not the best analogy. But really, can you tell me who took home gold in the Men’s Individual Foil in London?
healthyu_gradsThere’s my point. It takes a whole lot for a resume to avoid drifting into obscurity especially when open positions are receiving more applications than ever, and resumes seem to be looking as identical as ever (you’re not the only one to have Googled “resume templates”).

However getting noticed is possible.

One must consider many aspects of his or her resume when attempting to come across as a qualified individual within one to two pages. And even when your resume is polished and perfected, with each position you apply for it may require some retouching. But when every little choice you make could mean the difference between employment and unemployment, attention to detail is key. So whether revamping or just now starting your resume, here are some things to take into account.

Oh, and for what it’s worth Lei Sheng, a 28-year-old from China, was your Individual Foil Champion.

Keep It Professional

Be straightforward and factual. Your resume should be written like the back of a baseball card: get to the point and let your stats do the talking. Personal pronouns like “I” or “you” should never appear on a resume.

Tailor It

Write your resume as if you are the person reading it. Think about the position you are applying for, the company’s style, and the state of the market. If you include an “objective” in your resume, make sure to mention not only how you will help the company, but also how the company will improve your skills. Also, always include a cover letter to outline the more in-depth reasons you feel you should be hired for the specific position. The goal is to have a professional-looking resume that avoids looking like it was cookie-cut and sent to a dozen companies at once.

“Have-Done’s” Do More Than “Can-Do’s”

Instead of making several vague statements about the things you feel you can do, demonstrate them by including what you have done. For example, rather than saying you are “very trainable,” elaborate on positions or experiences you have had where you were required to pick up on something quickly. Instead of saying you manage people well, include a school or work experience where you taught someone. The person reviewing your resume is trained to make inferences on how your past will predict your future; focusing too much on how you see your future will seem like fluff.

Apply For an Interview

It seems counterintuitive, but it’s a good idea to think of your resume as an application for an interview rather than a job. Your main goal is simply to come across as a sharp, professional individual in an efficient manner. Even if you do succeed in getting a call back, you’re likely still in the preliminary steps. Coming across as overbearing can take away from your professionalism and, aside from that, saving just a little bit of fire for the interview will make your second impression even better.

Keep It Alive

Even when you’re employed your resume should be an active document. Write down the tasks you perform in the workplace or when volunteering so that come resume-sending time you aren’t left straining to remember what exactly you did at “X” company. The most important part of doing this is being able to include as many keywords, especially action verbs (implemented, facilitated, analyzed, etc.), as possible, which catch the eyes of both employers and resume-reviewing software.

For anyone interested, check out ACI’s HealthYMail “Do Away With Office Drama”

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About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), corporate wellness programs, student assistance, corporate concierge, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. ACI partners with clients to Perk Up employee engagement and performance with benefit programs that improve morale, productivity and the bottom-line. With a 95% customer retention rate and over 7 million lives covered. ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit www.acispecialtybenefits.com or call 800.932.0034.
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