When applying for a job, your resume is your first chance to make a good impression and your best chance to get an in-person interview. Considering that an average of 118 applications are submitted for every job opening, it is easy to become lost in the pile on a recruiter’s or future employer’s desk if your resume is just a white piece of paper or PDF similar to the rest of the stack. Here are five alternative ways you can transform a boring resume into one that will stand out and better represent who you really are to your future employer:
1. Update your LinkedIn profile
These days, recruiters see your LinkedIn profile before they (and often instead of) see your resume. And considering that 89 percent of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn, having a complete and engaging profile can help you standout during the weeding out process and allows you to highlight your best work. Be sure to take advantage of all of LinkedIn’s features, including endorsements and recommendations from friends; as well as listing publications and or works that you have published, which add credibility to your profile; and filling in the “summary” section, which can help personalize your experiences.
2. Sign-up for a VisualCV account
While not replacing a resume per se, VisualCV aims to replace a boring CV (curriculum vitae) with an interactive portfolio that really highlights your work. Here is an example of a profile, which anyone can create, regardless of technical experience. Signing up allows you to add performance charts, images, video clips and audio tracks, among other content. Additionally, you can add letters of recommendation, reference lists, and a tracking feature to see when people open the documents. If you create a VisualCV, make sure to constantly update your site as new work is accumulated and to divide your work experience, videos, and photos in an organized manner so that you do not overwhelm recruiters.
3. Create an attractive and compelling website
If you really want to make an impression and to control exactly what a future employer learns about you, create your own website. If you decide to create your own webpage, but want a little more structure, About.me is the simplest way to have a personalized and flexible online profile. Add social buttons to all of your profiles, write a compelling summary and ensure that you show future employers your best side.
4. Craft a ‘Prezi’ to display the different facets of your life
Want something more dynamic than a webpage representing you? Many people have opted to create a “Prezi-me,” which can be shared through a URL, displayed on a social media site or linked in an email signature. Here is a great example of how you can include goals, qualifications, past experiences and additional information about yourself to show your employer who you really are. Make sure your Prezi-me includes all of the same professional sections that your resume would, plus examples of past work, recommendations; and make sure to start the presentation with a compelling reason for your employer to sit through the presentation. Lastly, make sure to add a transcript of your Prezi-me (in the information section under your Prezi) in case an employer only wants to pass along the text of your presentation.
5. Use a video resume and reel
While some people believe there is a bit of a stigma against using these, video resumes can be a really effective resume tool if used correctly. A video resume enhances your career portfolio; it does not replace it. The right video resume can make you stand out from the crowd; the wrong one, at the enjoyment of so many others, can make you a laughing stock. Don’t just create a video resume because you can, create one because it’s relevant to the job you want to do. Show how you will fit into the company culture and demonstrate work, talk about an industry trend, include testimonials, or create an infographic video of your experience. There are so many ways to take smart, creative risks with video that have a higher upside than taking creative risks with a traditional CV.
Only 47 percent of people who search themselves in Google liked what they saw of their online reputation. Considering that 37 percent of employers used social media to screen future employers, it’s important to ensure that you stand out and appear professional. With hundreds of resumes being reviewed for every job opportunity, it is especially important to stand out in the sea of candidates and to represent yourself well. As seen above, using technology to enhance your resume makes it easier and quicker to get your name out there, whether it be linking URLs in email correspondences, using social media sites to get your name out to potential recruiters, or creating a visual experience through a video or Prezi to captivate your recruiter on a new level. Overall, the best practice and most probable change to land a new job is to create and incorporate a few of the suggested tips, which allows you to be active on various mediums and present yourself as the “full package.”