How to Get Your Resume to the Top of the Pile

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Applying for a job with a company that receives hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes for a single role can be daunting. You might know that you have the skills, experience, and qualifications to be perfect for the job, but that’s not to say dozens of other applicants aren’t as fitting. There are no guarantees that you’ll be in the running for an interview and an eventual job offer, but doing some of the following things might improve your chances.

Create a Professional-Looking Resume

A standard resume with a bullet-pointed list of qualifications might not be enough to help you be considered for a new job, especially if that role typically requires creativity on a daily basis. Check out a professional resume sample, and you’ll understand how well-designed and creative they can be to make them stand out. The more professional and well-crafted your resume looks, the easier it might be for it to ‘pop’ against other resumes in the hiring manager’s pile.

Use Your Connections

It’s not always what you know. Sometimes, it’s who you know. You might improve your chances of being noticed by a prospective new employer by reaching out to distant acquaintances who already work there. Studies have shown that ‘weak ties’ with an employee within a company can improve your chances of securing employment more than strong ties. Expand your social network, get to know more people, and you might be able to use these connections in the future to help you land your dream job.

Get Creative With Your Cover Letter

The average hiring manager has likely read dozens of near-identical cover letters from multiple job applicants. Cookie-cutter cover letters fulfill the requirement for having a cover letter for an online job application, but they are by no means the most effective option for making your application stand out.

Don’t be afraid to get creative, even if it means going beyond the company’s requirements for introducing yourself. Use humor and buck the trend by straying away from common terminology like ‘to whom it may concern’ and ‘I am writing to apply for the position of.’ The more unique your cover letter, the more intrigued a hiring manager might be to prioritize reading your resume.

Send It Direct

When a job advertisement is published on a job seeker’s website, an email address is typically provided for your cover letter and resume. While it’s typically a good idea to send your information to the generic job application email address provided, you might stand out by using your investigative skills to find the hiring manager’s direct email address.

Instead of your resume being lost within dozens of emails, it can be the lonely resume that makes its way into the inbox of the person in charge of making hiring decisions. This might work to your advantage and show that, as well as the skills you listed on your resume, you’re also tenacious and can think outside the box.

Getting your resume to the top of the pile is never easy, especially when you’re applying for a role within a well-established company with an exceptional reputation. However, professional design, a unique cover letter, connections, and investigative research might all help your chances of being noticed.


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