In a competitive marketplace like procurement and supply chain, producing a distinctive and unique resume and job application is vital. But how do you achieve this without resorting to gimmickry or coming across like a show-boater? From demonstrating your commitment to developing an impressive online presence, read on to discover top tips for making your job application stand out from the rest.
Grab their attention, right from the start
Recruiters look through a huge number of resumes and job applications every day. They simply don’t have time to waste sifting through paragraphs of insubstantial lists of achievements looking for something that impresses them. You need to capture their attention and their imagination from the get-go. This doesn’t mean doing something quirky for the sake of it. Think about what your USP is. What makes you different from everyone else they’ll be considering and then devise an interesting and authentic way of communicating it. Make sure you keep it concise though. It’s best to assume you’ve got 10 seconds or three lines to grab their attention before they move on to the next.
Make it easy to read
Sounds obvious perhaps, but plenty of experienced professionals still hand in resumes that are packed too tightly with information, poorly formatted, or in a novelty font that makes the reader’s eyes blur. Choose a font such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or Garamond that is easy to read, and a font size of around 12 and no less than 10.5. Make sure all the sections are lined up neatly with subheadings to draw attention to each section and include bullets to format and segment your skills, experience, and achievements. If you’re struggling to format your resume, check out one of the many free templates available online. Try to keep your resume to two or three pages and position the different sections so they flow well over the page breaks.
Cultivate a great online presence
Employers are increasingly referencing and checking candidate’s social media profiles to make sure they are suitable for the role. Your LinkedIn page should look 100% professional at all times and include a few recommendations from colleagues, peers, or managers. If you are recognizable on your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter you should also do your best to appear professional.
If you really want to demonstrate your commercial nous, you could consider starting a blog, commenting on the industry or the business world in general. This is a big commitment, however, so if you can’t publish regularly, it’s probably best not to bother.
Tell your story
Alongside your skills and experience, recruiters are keen to understand what makes you, you. If you’re asked to include information about your interests and passions don’t resort to the standardized responses of enjoying socializing, sports, etc, even if that is the case. Tell your story. What do you love most about seeing your friends? What excites you about the sporting world and why?
Structure your achievements well
Naturally, you want your achievements to shine on your resume and job application so make sure you structure them so the reader can easily understand what was achieved and the role you played. Using the STAR technique is useful in this situation.
Tailor it the specific job and firm
When you have a number of applications to submit, this isn’t easy. But, it is well worth taking the time to tailor your resume and application to the specific role and company. Consider the language used in the job specs and how they prioritize the skills and experience they want and adjust your documents accordingly. If they clearly state that the job involves a lot of stakeholder management, you should focus on your achievements and projects that have benefitted from your personable nature, your emotional intelligence, and your diplomacy. If the first line of the job spec focuses on the ability to analyze and break down complex information, you’ll want to talk about instances where you’ve demonstrated those capabilities.
Ask a friend or colleague for their input
We aren’t always the best at blowing our own trumpet or acknowledging the attributes that make us special. Ask a friend, family member, or colleague for their input. What, in their opinion, are the characteristics that make you such a good friend or co-worker? If they turn to you when the going gets tough, why is that? You can also ask them to proof and review your resume when you have completed it. An extra pair of eyes to catch spelling, grammar, or formatting errors is really valuable. They might also have ideas about ways you can refine the content to get your points across better.
We hope these tips for making your job application stand out from the rest have been helpful. If you are looking for a new role in procurement and supply chain, talk to us. We’re connected to some of the most exciting businesses across the US, and globally, and we would love to help you find your dream role.
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