Our world is constantly changing. Although people do their best to keep up, more often than not it's easier said than done. With the unemployment rates in America, and in many other parts of the world, dangerously high, the competition to find work in this economy is fierce. Because of this, we wanted to provide you with some innovative ways to make your resume stand out. If you incorporate these tips in a resume of your own, you'll look modern, up-to-date and willing to go beyond what's asked of you to be successful. SEE: Top Skills You Need On Your Resume
SEE: 5 Ways To Refresh Your Resume
Why You Should Hire Me
There is a lot of controversy on the web about whether you need a cover letter to go along with your resume. Some say that a cover letter is necessary as it is the perfect place to explain why you should be hired for the position, but many say that some industries don't care about a cover letter. You definitely need to explain why the rest of your resume deserves to be looked at.
Therefore, why not express this explanation in a short and sweet "why you should hire me" summary. This can be at the beginning of your resume and should be two to three paragraphs in length. It should also include the main reasons why you want the job and why you think you think you deserve it based on your relevant experiences and skills. Feel free to add some reasons in point form. Putting some of your resume in point form gives your content order and helps the employer look through your resume easily.
Although some people may tell you not to include your references' contact information on your resume unless asked to, you will most likely be asked to include references sooner or later. You should definitely still have some references ready-to-go just in case. Since you will probably have to provide references eventually if you want to get hired, why not include more than just some references on your resume?
If an employer is seriously thinking about hiring you after looking over your past work, experiences and education, the employer will usually want to get in contact with your past employers to know two things: what kind of employee have you been in the past and would your past employer recommend hiring you. Before you give potential employers your references, you must first get in contact with the references yourself to make sure it is still OK to include them on your resume. You should use this time to further build your relationship with your references and talk to them about the position you are being considered for.
Since you are getting in contact with your references anyway, why not ask them each to create a quick three to five line "personal recommendation" highlighting some of the skills that may be essential for the specific position you are applying for. You can add these to your resume along with the contact information of your references. It will show your potential employers that you have taken the initiative to get references ready.
Today, everyone has some kind of website. It may not be a personal website with a personal domain name, but many people have a blog. A website is a great way to show your presence online, show that you are keeping up with the times and that you are tech-savvy. If you're currently looking for a job, you should probably already have a personal page on LinkedIn, so include the link to your profile on your resume.
So, how do you differentiate yourself from others? Well, some people are going well beyond a LinkedIn page and are actually creating their own personal websites. It can cost around $60 per year to set-up and maintain, depending on what domain name you register and which web-hosting products and services you want. You can even use WordPress for the page layout. Designing the look and content of your own website is much simpler than one might imagine. Any link you provide to a potential employer should be relevant to the position you are applying for. Make sure that any link you provide is professional, and only portrays the skills and attributes that will help you in the hiring process.
The Bottom Line
For those of you who are currently looking for a job, you're probably finding it pretty tough. With the U.S. economy still struggling to rebound from The Great Recession and the global economy slowing down because of the eurozone, you must do everything you can to land a potential job. For many, it starts by differentiating themselves through unique resume features. By summarizing your cover letter, your introduction will be short and sweet. When you include recommendations along with your references you display many positive character traits. Finally, by adding a link to a personal website, you are showing you are innovative and creative. Although adding these features to your resume won't guarantee you'll get the job you're applying for, it will definitely help you stand-out and give you a better chance of getting to that next crucial step, the interview.
SEE: Sell Your Skills, Not Your Degree
SEE: Top Skills You Need On Your Resume