When you are looking for a job, you need a way to stand out and be remembered; you must make an impression that leaves employers with the feeling that they need you on their team. For most people, the job hunt is the most competitive endeavor of their life.  It is grueling, draining, and arduous. However, when you take the time to improve your resume and position yourself to win, it can also be thrilling, liberating, and ego-boosting.

Use these five techniques for giving your resume that “oomph” it needs to get you the job:

1. Let Others Do the Work

Online businesses have already discovered that testimonials are effective; online job searching is much the same. By letting your previous employers and colleagues sing your praises, you give prospective employers insight into how others see you and your accomplishments. In the old days of paper resumes, we all used to present references by adding “references furnished upon request” at the bottom of our one-pager; today we realize that those professional references might well be the most effective presentation of our work ethic, personality, and professionalism.

Rethink how you showcase your references with the Spectoos testimonials widget. It provides an easy interface for requesting testimonials, enables you to have your personal website with all of your testimonials (which can be linked from your emails or resume), and will rank on Google when prospective employees or head hunters search for your name.

Resume Faceboard

2. The KEY to your WORDing

Long gone are the days of photocopying dozens of identical resumes and mailing them to many different companies. Today, it is all about personalization. Your resume can (and should!) change for each company you apply with. Comb through the job description to find the keywords and specific talents they are seeking – and add those into your resume. You can even ask some of your professional references to focus on the requirements most of your desired jobs list in their descriptions when they rave about how great you are.

3. Data proves; Storytelling engages

Data is important in most fields today, and while you should use data to prove your worth, doing it as part of a story is more engaging and makes it more likely to be remembered. The reason is in the neuroscience -“Emotionally engaging stories affect more areas of the brain than rational, data-driven messages.” Telling your story, as it relates to the open position, with emotion, is not to go unnoticed.  Plus, getting hired, these days, is not only about how well you can perform your tasks.  It is also about how well you will fit into the corporate culture.

Your resume should summarize the accomplishments you have achieved at your previous positions, but it should do so in a way that reflects who you are – your personality, your character, your passion.   This can be difficult to do on a one-page resume, but you can integrate your story into your existing resume.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself that can help you with this:

  • Can you describe a problem that you solved at your previous company?
  • What impact did you make on your previous place of work?
  • In what way did you take initiative to achieve a goal at your previous job?

The answers to these questions will be a great basis for your resume storytelling!

4. Ditch the widely accepted formatting

Improve your resume beyond the regular (boring!) templates available in your word processing program. Especially in creative fields, people are foregoing the standards in favor of creative resumes. Consider creating an infographic resume like these or even a funny video resume.

Adam Pacitti bought a billboard, created a personal website, and shot a video. The result was SIXTY job offers! While it only takes one, who couldn’t use a 60x boost to their ego while job hunting?

Adam Pacitti Billboard

5. Then: networking. Now: social networking

Use your social networks, especially LinkedIn, in your job hunt to supplement your resume.  You can include a link to your profile in your initial email to recruiters or within the resume itself.

Many headhunters, recruiters and HR professionals use LinkedIn to proactively search for and research new employees, so think of your LinkedIn profile like an online version of your resume.  It needs to be engaging, optimized with relevant keywords, and filled with relevant information about your achievements (as we have mentioned above for your offline resume). You should also include specific representations or your experience in your LinkedIn profile, like videos, publications, podcasts, projects, and infographics.

Make sure your profile is up to date, that you have a professional photo, and that you use the keywords that prospective employers are searching for – especially in the headline and summary. This helps companies (and search engines) find you! LinkedIn is another good place to present references about your past work, so ask previous clients and coworkers to write you a recommendation there (and then also use them in your Spectoos testimonial widget – they can be automatically imported!)

Making your job hunt effective is challenging. With financial and emotional realities necessitating a job hunt that is also efficient, you must find the tools that can help you. One of the uses of the Spectoos widget has been highlighting third-party testimonials of individuals’ work history with socially proofed references that build trust and get the job!

If you need help vamping up your resume or creating a personal webpage that highlights your work experience and references, give Spectoos a try, and watch the job offers come rolling in!