Creating a stand-out résumé isn’t a skill that comes naturally to most people. But, communication is one of the top skills employers are looking for, according to our poll. The first demonstration of just how well you communicate will most likely be the résumé an employer sees as they’re looking for candidates.
So, how can you make sure your résumé is newsworthy enough for you to be the topic of conversation around the water cooler tomorrow? Use these tricks from people who get you talking – reporters, who make the news you watch, read, and talk about every day. Here’s how you can think like a reporter when you write your résumé.
5 Ways to Think like a Resume Reporter
Make it Timely – One of the most important parts of reporting is to have news that’s – well, news. Which means it’s not outdated or something you hear every day. For your résumé, this means highlighting the parts of your professional experience that set you apart from the norm. It may also include adding updated language, terms, and software to demonstrate that you’re in-the-know on what’s going on in your field.
Know your Angle – In the news business, the angle of the story is an important element. Many different news outlets may report on the same event, story, or person, so reporters make sure they have an exclusive angle to ensure their story will be unique, interesting, and valuable to the public. Think about your résumé this same way. Chances are it will be in a stack with lots of other résumés with similar background, education, and experience levels – because everyone in consideration qualifies for the job. So, make your résumé stand out by writing it with a great angle. Are you a qualified accountant who just so happens to also be a really great customer service representative? Are you a salesperson with great local connections? Whatever your angle, highlight it in a way that adds to your appeal to that employer, industry, or niche.
Feature Experts and Eyewitnesses – Your local news station doesn’t just show you footage with reporters talking about what’s going on. To make things more interesting and add credibility to their story, they also interview witnesses and experts to talk about what happened. People often list several references on their résumé or include a seperate document listing references. In the world of digital résumés, professional networking site LinkedIn offers the ability for people who have worked with you to leave recommendations about you. These recommendations add credibility to your work history – because they’re essentially eyewitness reports about you as an employee. So, consider asking a trusted source to write a recommendation for your profile or to share a testimonial you could include on the references list you send to potential employers.
Focus on Action – In every great news story, people want to know more than just who was involved, the timeline that transpired, and where it occurred. The main thing people want to know is simple: What happened? So, make sure your résumé doesn’t just read like a list of who, when, and where. Under every job title, describe what you did using action verbs.
Highlight Results – Every good news story has a great ending. So, make sure each section of your résumé includes the results you accomplished in that job. For example, if you increased sales, tell by what percent. If you developed a new plan or process, how did it help the company. Make your résumé newsworthy by including not just a list of your job duties, but also how your work made a difference – in the life of your boss, your co-workers, your customers, or your clients. This will demonstrate that you’re more than the average hire – you’re someone who makes a positive difference and achieves important results.
In today’s competitive job market, having a standout résumé is more important than ever. With high unemployment rates, more applicants are applying for every open job. So, use these tricks from the reporter’s toolbox to make sure your résumé is one that will make headlines.
Have you used any of these ideas for your résumé? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments.