Your resume is polished and proofread. You’ve even followed the time-honored resume advice passed down over the course of the last ten years (when email became commonplace) and created a plain text version of your resume so you can copy and paste your resume into emails and onto website applications.
Now it’s time for your resume to make an impact.
It’s important, before we begin, that you’ve “stacking” your resume properly. That is to say, top-loading your resume with your skills and traits. Let’s start by delving a little deeper to add some “WOW!”.
You should stack your resume so that HR departments can find you. Since their queries will likely only scan the first 200 words of your resume, that’s where you want to concentrate. The more buzz words and skills you put within the first 200 words, the better the odds you will make it out of the electronic slush pile.
A key tip: List every computer program. You may know Word and Excel very well. Microsoft Office Suite contains those programs and others. But if you only mention the software suite (assuming “most people know Word and Excel are part of Office”), but not the individual programs, you may linger in the slush pile. If you only mention the programs and not the suite, the same fate may befall you. A good way to work around this is by listing the suite, then the individual programs in parenthesis (e.g. “Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access)”).
You can also add pop to your resume by turning it into a webpage. Most word processing programs like Word or OpenOffice allow you to save your document as html. Once it’s in HTML, you can upload it to a free service like Blogger.com or GeoCities.com. You can increase the odds of visibility to your resume website by tinkering with the meta tags in the source code (use the Google Search Box on the right side of this page to get free info on meta tags).
You can also add impact to your resume by getting into more than just one set of hands. Go to a company website and dig around some. Look for the key personnel. Check out the site map and search for names, titles and email addresses. You’ll be amazed at what you can find if you look hard enough. Once you find the key contact names, email a short introduction and your resume in the body of the email.