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How to Strengthen Your Resume

by Andrea Shemeley | A Creative Mind for Hire

Have you been sending your resume out in response to job opportunities, without hearing a single response? If you answered yes to that quesiton, you are not alone. I have heard this from many of my clients, and I will share with you, what I tell them. To stand out amongst hundreds of applicants, you must present a professional personal brand that is well-designed and remains consistent across all media outlets. Streamlining your resume, is a great way to enhance your personal brand.

What is a personal brand?

Your brand is your personal marketing campaign built to highlight what differentiates you from the rest. If built and managed well, your personal brand will boost your authority position in your industry. Consider your resume as a key tool used to enhance your personal brand package and to separate you from the competition. Here are a few tips to get your resume noticed.

1. Good design will gain attention.

Grab the recruiter's attention with good design. Make sure the top third of your resume is eye-catching. That is the first thing recruiters see when they open your resume; their first impression of you. Give them something that will make them want to scroll down and read more. Use the same header on both your resume and your cover letter to strengthen your personal branding package. Keep content well spaced out so it is inviting and easy to read.

2. Keep it to one page.

Keep it brief. Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes to fill one open position. They do not have the time to read through 6-8 bullet points for each position you have held. Keep it to 2-4 bullets per job title. To gain more space on your resume, take out your career objective and replace with something simple and straight forward. Mine reads, "Graphic Designer & Creative Mind."

3. Avoid bias.

Remove your address to avoid location bias. Sometimes recruiters will discount applicants based on a possible long commute. And unless you graduated college in the past 3 years, delete your graduation date to avoid age discrimination.

4. Include links.

Resumes that contain links to your personal website and social media profiles, such as LinkedIn, make it effortless for recruiters to learn more about you and it further enhances and strengthens your personal brand. Your social profiles should be tied up in a bow. All content should be current and relavant. Consistency is king.

5. Get personal.

It's smart and inviting to list a few personal interests or volunteer experiences, in hopes of creating a personal connection. Again, keep it brief. I use a few simple graphics at the bottom of my resume to communicate a bit about who I am both in and outside the office. I like to travel, which lets the hiring officer know that I am open to new experiences and different cultures, we may share a passion for music... in this age of emails and text messaging, initiating a personal connection will help you stand out above the competition.

Using graphics to communicate your message not only saves space, but also grabs attention. If you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, add their logo amongst your interests and volunteer experiences.

Good work is hard to find.

Just remember, good work is hard to find. A well-designed, easy-to-read resume is the first step in helping you stand out from your competition. Try these tips to better your resume and enhance your personal brand. Keep your chin up.

Keep moving forward.

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