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    Posted March 1, 2014 by

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    Three Tips to Make Your Résumé Stand Out

    For every job advertised in 2013, companies received an average of 383 applications. This grim statistic comes from the CEB (formerly the Corporate Executive Board), the world’s leading member-based business advisory company
    (NYSE: CEB).

    Government data indicates the situation is getting worse.

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the economy added just 113,000 jobs in January 2014, far less than the 185,000 economic forecasters had predicted. That follows the meager 75,000 new jobs the Department said the economy added in December.

    Finding quality work is getting tougher for America’s unemployed – so tough, job-hunters are resorting to desperate tactics.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that one man sent a package containing a pillow, pillowcase and an enlarged résumé to the New York office of a company he wanted to work for. Another job seeker sent his target firm an embroidered résumé, while another delivered a box of chocolate bars…with his qualifications listed on the nutrition label.

    “I’m sort of immune to this stuff,” said Bobby Gormsen, senior recruiting manager for online craft marketplace Etsy in a Wall Street Journal interview.

    He added, however, that job candidates can gain an edge for being creative, so long as their skill set matches what employers are looking for.

    Doug Fogel, a professional résumé writer in Santa Rosa, California, said job hunters should forgo dramatic attention-getting ploys. Instead, he recommends incorporating three little-used résumé techniques.

    “The first thing I like to do is place a testimonial on the top fold of the résumé’s first page” he said. “You can do that easily if you have a letter of recommendation - just take an excerpt from that letter and highlight it so it stands out from the rest of the copy.”

    His second technique is to use sub-bullets underneath a few of the main bullets.

    “Sub-bullets allow you to expand on your achievements and accomplishments without going into a long block of text,” he said. “That breaks up the copy and makes your résumé much easier on the eyes of the person reading it.”

    His last technique deals with formatting..

    “Sometimes a line will run just a little long and there will be a spillover onto the next line of a word or two,” he said. “What I do in this case is reword the line so it doesn’t spill over, or create a simple table so that the copy fits into one line.”

    He added that such a tiny detail might not seem important, but by reducing or eliminating one- or two-word lines, your résumé will look cleaner, and you will be able to pack more information into it.

    “In this job market, you have to do whatever you can to stand out, but only in ways that make sense,” Doug said. “So forget sending in singing clowns or whatever to deliver your résumé … instead, concentrate on creating a compelling document that is easy to read and makes it clear what benefits you’d offer to your chosen company.”

    For more information about U.S. labor statistics, visit www.dol.gov.
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