3 Resume Hacks That Make You More Competitive

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Seven seconds. That’s the average amount of time a recruiter spends looking at your resume. If you want to be a competitive contender in the hunt for a job then you’d better make every second count. These 3 hacks will show you how to write a resume that catches the recruiter’s eye and keeps them reading. 

Write summary statements, not objective statements.

One of the greatest rappers of all time, Kendrick Lamar said that the first line of any song is the most important line of the song. This is more or less true for your resume as well. What you say in the top third of your resume will determine if the recruiter ever sees the remaining two thirds. That’s why a strong summary statement is much more valuable to job seekers than an objective statement. Summary statements tell employers what you can do for them. Objective statements tell employers what you want from them. 

Leading with how you can be an asset to the company demonstrates your skills and abilities upfront. It shows that you know what you have to offer and what you’re offering is pretty darn good. Make your summary statement detailed but to the point. Include keywords from the job description that match up with your skills and abilities to show that you can do the job when it makes sense to do so. Keep your summary statement between two and three sentences to keep the recruiter reading to the next section in your resume.  

Talk results, not responsibilities

Talking about work experience on your resume is a balance between highlighting what you did in previous roles and what you achieved. A bulleted list of job duties reads like a job posting that you copied and pasted. It’s not exactly impressive. When writing the experience section of your resume, write achievements, not job duties. Think of this as your time to brag about yourself as much as you would like. Sometimes it can be hard to talk about how awesome you are. I get it. If you get stuck, the XYZ formula works every time when writing achievement statements. 

The goal of each achievement statement is to show that you can identify problems and provide solutions. And they don’t call you a problem solver for nothing.

Speak their language

The job market is becoming more competitive every day. Doing a little research into the company you’re applying to can take you far and set you apart from the competition. Research the company’s mission and values to get a snapshot of what principles guide the work that they do. Jot down keywords and phrases that keep coming up in the company’s mission and value statements. Find ways to incorporate those keywords and phrases into your resume where it makes sense to do so. For example, does the company talk about innovation in their mission statement? Talk about how you innovated a new approach to solving a problem for a class project. Using words and phrases found on the companies website and in the job description shows that you did your homework. It helps you get past the pesky applicant tracking system that’s most likely going to read your resume before it lands on the recruiter’s desk.

Landing a job starts with a well-written resume. A well-written resume catches the recruiter’s eye and gets you to a phone screen or to an in-person interview. But in a world where recruiters have tons of positions to fill a resume that stands out is your winning ticket. Stand out by showing how you can be an asset with a great summary statement. Draw the recruiter in with results-driven achievement statements. Show that you take initiative by speaking the language of the company. If you want more tips on how to write a resume that stands out watch our video on Building A Standout Resume. Follow our blog to stay up to date on all things resumes!