We all know it’s tough out there. For any given job opening, there are more than enough candidates. It doesn’t matter if you have the adequate education or experience. You can still send in your resume, wait for weeks and find yourself in a depressing black hole.
Before you can make it into the interview room, you need to have a winning resume that’s sure to catch recruiters’ attention. Yes, you should make sure there are no errors, make it stand out and get it to the right people. But beating the competition is no easy feat.
Follow the four tips below to nab your dream job.
1. Quantify your success.
You can explain your responsibilities to others all day long, but if you want them to pay attention, it’s time to talk numbers. On your resume, numbers quantify exactly how much sales volume, profit margins or generated donations you were responsible for. If you grew a department by a certain percentage, include that number to make a big impact. Sure, you can list your X, Y, Z responsibilities and, in fact, most people do. But if you want a leg up from the competition, always go a step further and translate your responsibilities into dollars. How much did you make — or save — for the company?
2. Use your networks.
What’s the secret to getting a job today? According to a study published by theFederal Reserve Bank of New York, referred candidates are twice as likely to get call backs from recruiters and 40 percent more likely to get hired compared to those with no referrals.
Why is this? Because employers think referred candidates have already gone through a vetting process. Many companies even offer referral incentives to encourage their employees to refer talent from within their networks.
3. Identify keywords to pass the applicant tracking system.
There’s a good chance that if you’re applying to a larger firm, your resume will be scanned by a filtering software searching for related words. The screening process is used to identify the right candidates so you should incorporate industry buzzwords mentioned in the job posting.
Identifying common terminology and key phrases will get you through the initial screening and on to the hiring manager.
4. Include completed courses and certificates.
Enhance your resume by including the courses and certificates of completion which shows potential employers that you’re dedicated to becoming the best. If you want to show that you have leadership skills, think about taking a Dale Carnegie course, which Warren Buffet once said was the best thing he’d ever done for his public speaking skills. If you want to acquire knowledge that only business schools used to be able to offer, massive open online courses (MOOCs) are all the rage right now.
But if you want to show your future employers that you can save them money while knowing the secrets of increased efficiency, Six Sigma certificates are definitely something to consider. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, the training will give you the skills to improve business processes that will benefit companies.
What is Six Sigma? The training is a set of principles that focus specifically on statistical methods and was made popular in 1995 when General Electric implemented the training as part of its culture.
Why is the certification so valuable? Those who have been trained by the Six Sigma methodology are able to understand how to best utilize resources when working on projects.
In any industry, that’s impressive. It also helps to add all those numbers to your resume when you’re quantifying it.