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Resume Tricks To Land The Job Of Your Dreams

Updated on September 10, 2012
Use these 5 subtile tricks to make your resume "pop" - Photo courtesy CELALTEBER.
Use these 5 subtile tricks to make your resume "pop" - Photo courtesy CELALTEBER. | Source

Landing a job in a down economy can be a tough task for even the most qualified candidates. While hundreds of applicants flock to new job openings, a quick glance of your resume can separate you from the next guy in the unemployment line.

Don’t hyperventilate over the thought of having to revise your resume. Instead, incorporate a few resume tricks to stand out from the crowd.

1. Drop The Fancy Vocabulary
Big words and fancy vocabulary will not impress a hiring manager. With so many resumes to review, managers only have time to skim through your resume looking at job and education history. Including words that you barely know how to use may come off as arrogance, or that you are purposefully inflating your job descriptions.

Try using clear, concise writing on your resume. Past job descriptions should be direct and to the point, not wasting away precious space with filler words. Education section of your resume should take up as little room as possible and only include the school name, years attended and degree earned.

Whether you are creating an IT resume or sales resume, skip the jargon and make very direct job descriptions.

2. Use Exact Employment Dates
Many times, applicants use vague past employment dates to cover-up gaps between jobs. This produces a red flag for recruiters and hiring managers, and is now one of the staple issues they look for when reviewing resumes.

Be sure to include as much information about your employment dates as possible. If you have exact dates (i.e. Sept. 26, 2008 – Dec. 1 2010), go ahead and include them. Just be sure to be consistent throughout your resume template. Listing exact dates for only one previous job is unacceptable.

If you do not have the exact dates of employment, simply include the month and year (i.e. June 2007 – July 2010). This is standard on resumes. If you have gaps in employment, you may use the cover letter to briefly explain why if you believe it is necessary.

Understand that the unemployment rate is extremely high and most employers will not question gaps on a resume.

3. Nail Keywords
Your resume should be customized for each job application. When looking at the job description, highlight words that you can use in job description on your own resume. Words that describe the job functions work best.

Below is sample job description from Coca-Cola. Bold-faced words are strong keywords you should incorporate into your resume.

Execute and close all sales calls. Sell in incremental displays and equipment placements; sell in promotional programs and ensure dealer compliance. In connection with a sales call, maintain appropriate inventory levels, maintain company assets and point of sale, ensure account meets Company merchandising standards, determine stores' product needs, place and transmit appropriate order in conjunction with existing geographic sales routes.”

Now that you have identified the key words of the job description, you can incorporate those into your resume. If you have executed and closed sales calls, write it on your resume. For example, “Executed and closed all sales call for Quill Office Equipment within my geographic territory.”

Using the same keywords that the employer does shows that you paid attention to their details and matches your experience exactly with the description.

4. Print Resume On White Paper
If you have not submitted a resume in the past ten years, you should know that most resume applications are submitted on the Internet or by e-mail. You should also know that applicants have been very color ambitious when printing their resume.

Applicants are usually asked to bring copies of their resume when interviewing for a job. The use of color when printing resumes has transformed from white, to ivory and grays, to the new pinks, blues and yellows.

Printing a resume on a colored sheet of paper will only draw negative attention. White is the color of choice since most people continue to bring on ivory and gray, thinking they will stand out from a pile of resumes. Pick a nice bright white resume-quality paper to print on and your resume will “pop” from a pile sitting on the hiring manager’s desk.

5. Focus On The Bottom Line
It is no secret that times are tough. Companies want to hire the best employee at the lowest price and they want to expand job duties to accomplish more with less people. Use this your advantage.

Did you save your previous employer any money in your last job? Even if it was suggesting a cheaper printing paper or you recommended to not upgraded software, all cost-saving techniques can help. Think hard about what you done in previous roles to help reduce cost and include it the resume. It may make your application stand out from others.

Remember that the resume is your first step into the office of your future employer. If you don’t stand out at the resume stage, you will never get to shine in the interview. Create custom resumes for each application use these tricks to help you stand out in the crowd, without taking drastic measures.

Resume Writing Poll

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    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 

      6 years ago

      This is really great advice! Everyone should read this hub.

    • JLBender profile imageAUTHOR

      JLBender 

      6 years ago from Greensburg, PA

      Thank you for both comments. Another very good point PegCole 17. I am currently sitting on a hiring board and you would not believe the amount of resumes with typos we have received. I would say 80% have at least one mistake in them.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Valuable advice-well written. Good luck with the challenge!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Years ago, I was Placement Director for a business school counseling student graduates in resume preparation and interview practice. Your suggestion to mirror the action verbs in the job listing is a good one. Employers are looking for a match to their stated needs. Another key point is to let someone proof read your resume to avoid typos that will get you into the "no" pile immediately.

    • JLBender profile imageAUTHOR

      JLBender 

      6 years ago from Greensburg, PA

      I am happy the hub helped. Thanks for leaving a comment and let me know if you need any advice/help.

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 

      6 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      I'm trying to find a job right now, after being a homemaker for the better part of fifteen years I'm struggling! Thank you for this hub! Perfect timing for me! Great tips! Hugs, jamie

    • JLBender profile imageAUTHOR

      JLBender 

      6 years ago from Greensburg, PA

      Thank you for the comments. I would have to agree with you PeanutButterWine that most people don't know how to use within the right context.

      Thanks to both of you for the comments.

    • PeanutButterWine profile image

      PeanutButterWine 

      6 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

      my resume is full of large words, and I cant say I haven't ever gotten the interview or been offerred the job, however, not everyone knows how to properly utilize the 'big words' within the correct context, and so come out looking like posers. Its all in the understanding I think! Fun Hub, voted up, interesting and useful! :)

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      I didn't think about not using large words. I also think it's great that you included the keywords you should hit!

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