Job-hunting can be competitive. Employers often see resumes stack up on their desk, day after day. So, what can you do to increase your chances of getting picked for an interview? Use these tips to stand out as a job applicant:
1. Use creative labels.
You might not think that the title of your resume and cover letter matter. Think again.1 Also, for the file name of your resume, stay away from “resume.pdf” – it's boring and can easily be mixed up with someone else's. Show a little personality and style by labeling your resume and cover letter creatively. Personalize it with your name and add in the position for which you are applying.
2. Show how your skills make a difference.
Show how your skills will benefit the employer or company.2 For example, if you're experienced in Excel spreadsheets, the benefit may be keeping important information organized and easy to find quickly. Showing what you can do is good. Explaining why it matters is better.
3. Use the right keywords on LinkedIn.com.
Do some research on LinkedIn.com. Type in the name of the position you're interested in and see what key phrases stand out in the job description. Add as many of those phrases to your profile as you can if they apply to you and your experience.3
4. Follow directions.
It's great to be different, but don't ignore directions. Often, employers will have a specific system for submitting an application and cover letter. When you successfully follow their directions, it shows you can listen and pay attention to details. Applicants who fail to do this may be eliminated from consideration for the position.
5. Match your skills to the specific position.
Despite the fact that some positions have the same name, they don't always have the same duties. For example, an employer looking for a pharmacy technician at a hospital may have different expectations than an employer for a local pharmacy. Read the job description and change your resume and cover letter to match the position's responsibilities.
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