6 Ways to Maximize Your Resume For a Job

Photo credit: mflmigration.com

Using effective keywords and specific numbers can capture potential employers’ attention as soon as they open your resume. In fact, simply changing a verb or two can draw viewers. Here are six simple ways to make the most out of your skill sets:

1. Plant the right keywords. Certain buzzwords identify an industry or a profession, showing you know the lingo – and potentially separating your resume from the rest of the stack. Visit the websites of companies and associations related to your target industry, and check out the terminology used on their “about us” page. Also search for LinkedIn profiles of users who have similar jobs to the one you’re seeking, and take note of the keywords they’re using. Remember: Add these keywords and specialties to the “summary” section in your LinkedIn profile. Search engines add more weight to keywords in bold, italics, and in title/header tags.

2. Instead of listing your knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, tout social expertise in areas such as SEO, HTML, CSS, WordPress, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Flash, and Dreamweaver. At this point, it’s pretty much universally assumed that you know how to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Photo credit: enforen.com

3. Highlight specific numbers. If you manage your company’s Twitter account, how many times do you tweet per day? Do you use applications like HootSuite and TweetDeck? Did you increase the number of followers?

4. Use descriptive, action-packed verbs. Verbs on your resume should be concise and firm — and, most importantly, action-first. Change have demonstrated to I demonstrate. Also delete static terms like completed and made. A resume is your opportunity to make a killer first impression on potential employers! To start, here are 10 resume power words: formulate, design, produce, manage, develop, present, master, execute, build, and collaborate.

5. Include impressive stats or analytics, such as total page views and absolute unique visitors to your website. Even if you simply wrote an article for another website or blog, note the number of visits or re-tweets your post received.

6. Social media links should dominate the visual hierarchy. If you’re active on Twitter (which you should be), list your Twitter handle at the top of your resume – near your address, email, and phone number – so it’s easily identifiable. Also include your personal website and/or blog, but ensure it has been recently updated. Including a blog URL on your resume can work against you if you haven’t posted in more than a month.

What other ways do you maximize the skills on your resume? Comment below!

Check out other tips & advice from No Joe Schmo, such as questions to ask at the end of interviews and ways to make your business card stand out.


No Joe Schmo featured on Resume Bear!

EXCITING NEWS! >> Selected Q&As, tips, and advice from No Joe Schmo will now be available on the nationally-recognized Resume Bear blog! Resume Bear allows you to activate alerts so you will know in real time when your resume has been opened and is being read, and has been featured on About.com, Fox Business, Mashable, Reuters, Businessweek, and HR World. Its blog offers tons of career tools tailored to college graduates, including resume, cover letter, and interview tips — and now, No Joe Schmo posts. Check out the first one here!

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Underneath it all: a story

Everyone has a story. Whether it’s your local barista or the pizza delivery guy, they all have history. At the core, this is what sparked my passion for journalism and the idea for No Joe Schmo. Hearing about someone’s success story offers inspiration;  it gives us a sort of behind-the-scenes insight, which is like finding out a secret on the playground that none of the other kids know about it. It’s giddy and thrilling and enticing, but we’re not really sure why.

We’d all love glamorous careers and enough money to buy four houses and a small country. But the alternative to movie stardom isn’t necessarily a 9-to-5 office cubicle job. Behind every job are 50 more opportunities. Now-dinosaurs like Myspace and LiveJournal served as building blocks for Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Biz Stone of Twitter.

No Joe Schmo delves into the heart of local communities and finds out the essentials about their careers. Although the job market is brighter than it’s been in years, it’s important to keep your mind open to outside-the-box opportunities. We admit, some jobs we highlight — like dog food tasters — aren’t extraordinarily appealing. But those dog food tasters might offer some of the most valuable career advice.  They’re not necessarily featured in the Forbes 500s, and you probably wouldn’t recognize them on TV. But their stories and career paths are just as worthwhile.