By Amanda Clark
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When writing your resume, the last thing you want is for it to blend in with every other job seeker’s out there. Relying on templated formats and canned language can make it do just that. Plugging your name into a generic resume that makes you look like a jack-of-all-trades but master of none can kill your job search. Instead, you want to focus on incorporating information that makes you stand out from the competition and demonstrates why you’re a great fit for the position. But what kind of information is that?
What you have achieved throughout your work history is unique unto you. No one else has exactly the same track record or successes. Use available metrics to your advantage for more concrete examples of the impact you have made. Show hiring managers the types of results you can achieve by highlighting major projects you were part of or initiatives you spearheaded. Think about what you’re most proud of in your career, and what sets you apart from the next person.
While you may have similar skills as someone else in your field, you probably also have some talents that they may not. Consider your academic training and professional development, but also those skillsets you have built along the way. Did you take a winding path to get where you are today that allowed you to work on more diverse projects or assignments? Are you making a career transition where you can bring transferable skills from your previous profession? Look at the bigger picture and how you can take the job to the next level. Make sure your core competencies section includes not just keywords from the job description, but also other desirable abilities that show your potential.
The places you have worked and projects that you have done are also unique to you. It is highly unlikely that another applicant will have come up via the exact same path. Have experience working for a Fortune 500 or leader in the industry? Make sure it’s noted. Trying to get in with a startup and have previous startup or entrepreneurial experience? That can make you more attractive to potential employers.
Many employers appreciate seeing volunteer experience or involvement with professional associations. It shows that you’re active outside the workplace and are passionate about giving back or helping others. If you’ve spent the past five years working with Big Brothers Big Sisters or are on the board of a professional organization, don’t be afraid to add it to your resume. This can show you as a more well-rounded candidate.
Customizing your resume so that it not only aligns with the job opening but also reflects you as an individual is important. You don’t want to be just like everyone else applying with nothing to set you apart – which is one of the hazards of a generic resume.
Source:: Business 2 Community