When you send your resume to a hiring manager, it's easy to picture it being tossed in a foot-high stack of resumes to review on top of their desk. And while your resume is most likely one of many the hiring manager will receive, there are ways to make sure you don't blend in with—or completely disappear behind—your fellow eager job seekers. Harvey Nash’s Regional Recruiting Director, Cheryl Blumenberg, has a few tricks to help you catch and hold a hiring manager's attention.
Rock your resume
First, you’ve got to make sure your resume is clear and short, showcasing the experience most relevant for the job you’re applying for (click here to read our advice on keeping yours from becoming a novel). And rather than listing your awards and recognition at the very bottom, give them the real estate they deserve in the top third of the resume.“When we can easily see that you’ve been publicly recognized in your industry, by your peers, subordinates, supervisors—whoever—it lets us know that you really are good at what you do,” says Blumenberg. “It automatically makes your resume more than just words on paper.” She says additional things that can be listed here include relevant speaking engagements and articles you’ve written.
Another trend Blumenberg is seeing with resumes is including a link to an online portfolio featuring your work. “While this might not be applicable for everyone,” she says, “it certainly can make a lasting impression.”
Talk the talk, and explain how you’ll walk the walk
While surfing the company’s website the day before your interview is a good thing to do, there are stronger ways to show your interest in working for them. In addition to reading through their site, Blumenberg suggests taking a peek at their social media pages as well as any current news articles and industry publications you can find that feature the company. By signing up for a Google Alert, you can receive links to articles that mention it and a quick search at www.twitter.com/search can tell you what’s being said about it. This will help you learn as much as you can about the basics of the organization, plus it gives you insights to the issues they’re concerned about. “Once you do the research,” says Blumenberg, “you can come to the interview prepared with an explanation of how your experience can help the company. Tailor this ‘personal pitch’ the right way, and you’ll be hard to resist.”