You know that you’re qualified for the jobs and open positions you decide to pursue. You have the right degrees and the level of experience that meet the requirements of each post…but you aren’t sure this is quite enough to give you an edge. So what steps can you take to separate yourself from a highly qualified applicant pool? How can you set yourself apart from a group of people who probably have resumes that are almost identical to yours? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Write better than anyone else.

You may not have much to say, or to claim, that can’t be claimed by your competitors. But sometimes the way you deliver a message can add incredible power and impact to the message itself. Don’t just get your point across; think of your resume as a marketing opportunity and make the most of it. Invest serious care and attention in every word choice, and make sure your personality, expertise, and reliability come through in every single phrase and subheading. It may not seem fair, but those who write and speak well are usually considered more intelligent and trustworthy than those who don’t. Focus on brevity, clarity, and relevance.

Consider the visual impact of your document.

Again, you may not think these small details matter, but the right font choice and layout can suggest a higher level of general competence, intelligence, and attention to detail. Keep your text relaxed and uncluttered, and choose a font that’s dignified, but not distracting. Consider Garamond, Calibri, or Times New Roman.

Leverage your overlapping skill sets.

You may have a degree in the subject area required by these employers, and that’s great…but so does everyone else. If you minored in a separate subject, now the perfect time to highlight this fact. If you hold an area of expertise or experience that falls outside of your standard course of study, shine a spotlight on this skill set. This may be a second language, a programing certification, healthcare and safety training, a leadership course you completed, or a track record in public speaking, fundraising or project management. Almost all employers respect skills like these, regardless of their specific industry.

Let your personality show.

Focus on what you can do, but also on who you are. You’re more than just a random collection of skills and past experiences…You’re also an interesting person with a unique way of looking at the world. Share a little bit of what makes you special and let these traits come through in your language and tone.

For more on how to make the most of your education, skills and winning personality as you submit your resume to employers, contact the job search and staffing professionals at Expert.


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