If they didn’t notice you before...

Here is the entire secret weapon in just one phrase: To turn your resume into a secret weapon that cracks the job search code, make it appealing – magnetically appealing.

The key is your resume has to be stunning – strikingly different from the others – magnetically appealing. Like a fully magnetized rod that attracts iron filings, it must have an irresistible pull right towards the center of your target. You want to take them off guard; pique their curiosity to the point that they can’t lay your resume down on the desk without next picking up the phone to call you!

Here’s how to develop your resume’s secret weapon and stand out in a distinctive manner – distinctive enough to set the standard so that all the other resumes in the stack end up being compared to yours! There’s always one that does it, so it might as well be yours. To blend in with the crowd these days would sound the death knell for your resume and career! So implement these changes and you’ll have a secret weapon (a new powerful resume) that will make all the difference between career limbo and career success.

ELEMENT 1: Utilize Color

The “look” of your resume is the first thing they notice. We are very easily captivated visually. Here's a question to think about:

Why do you think advertisers use images and color?

Think about influencing your readers this way (after all, you’re advertising yourself). Believe it or not, most people make major decisions based on pleasing visual data they encounter, and they do it in just 3 seconds. Simply put, humans processes visual data in the back of the brain and logical / rational decisions in the front. We have a very quick, initial chemical / biological reaction to visual stimuli even before we have a chance to logically think it over.

So start with some color. We’ve had the technology and capability (to add color) for years now, but I still see most resumes in black and white. Be careful however – different colors have different psychological affects. Avoid red – it screams “WARNING!” Instead try blue (for trust) or my favorite green (for money). The right colors, can make your resume pop off the page. It also allows you to take control and guide the reader. Accent the information you really want them to notice, such as past job titles and accomplishments. You can even add a textured background color so it looks like your electronic resume is actually printed on paper!

ELEMENT 2: Hit the Bull’s-eye

The first line at the top (after your name and contact info) needs to be your target position. Just pop it in like a headline. The first question they always ask is:

“What does this person want to be when he / she grows up?”

This way they get an immediate answer. It’s also to your advantage because as they read the rest of the document, they already have that position foremost in their mind and are seeing you in that role.

But what if the position you are seeking is something you’ve never done before? What if you’ve always been a staff member and now want to jump into management? Easy! Just state your headline target job title as: “Marketing Manager Candidate” which clearly shows you want to be considered as a candidate for the Marketing Manager position.

ELEMENT 3: Tap into the Power of a Summary

When most people go to a bookstore, they see a book I may want to buy, pull it off the shelf, flip it over, and read the summary on the back. This section was designed to sell the book and in the same way, a short and powerful overview, showing the value you have to offer, can sell you to your next potential employer. If I had to pick a section of the resume that’s the most important, this would be it. This section may be the only thing they read, so whatever you do make it count! Pack it full of the “wow factor” value that you have to offer so it will knock their socks off!

ELEMENT 4: Add the Crowning Jewel

This is something you won’t find anywhere else, but I promise it works – it’s like lightening in a bottle. It’s vitally important to make the resume easier for them to read and this element has a huge impact. After implementing it, we’ve been stunned by the response.

Just under the top “Summary” section and above the job history, insert a flowchart with a row of boxes horizontally across the page connected with a line. Starting on the left (in the first box) put your most recent employment information (company name, your job title, and time frame). Then work across the page filling in the boxes to the right. It’s basically a resume-at-a-glance. The key is to put a second row of boxes underneath with a condensed value statement. Because it’s hard to explain and more easily conveyed if you see it visually, feel free to go to www.ResumeSample1.com or www.ResumeSample2.com to see some free samples.

ELEMENT 5: Integrate Branding

Again, think of advertisements (and you are advertising yourself here). We often see quotes, a slogan, motto, vision statement, or other powerful pieces that make it easier to remember. Help them remember you with branding. The key is to find what is unique about you and capitalize on it to make you stand out.

ELEMENT 6: Consider an Alternative Format

Use an alternative electronic or paper format. Anything from outstanding PowerPoint resumes to simple and distinctive / foldable paper formats can get you noticed. Don’t be afraid to stand out with a different style – as long as it’s tasteful you will get some good results by simply daring to be different.

ELEMENT 7: Seal the Deal with the Right Cover Letter

The cover letter can make all the difference. The resume gives you one chance to sell yourself, but if you are able to include a powerful, value-packed cover letter that enhances the resume, you can double your chances. Talk about the other side of the coin – your style, your approach, your work ethics. Tell them why you’re good at what you do and what makes you stand out from all the other candidates.

It is possible for you to take control and get noticed for a change, so get busy looking at your resume with fresh eyes and start implementing these standout components to unlock your resume’s potential! Turn your current resume into you’re new secret weapon!

Author's Bio: 

About the author: Tracy Parish, CPRW, author of the original Career Snapshot Resume, has built a better mousetrap that helps her clients catch better-paying jobs. She does things on resumes that nobody else on the planet does and her clients get 90% response rates. So if they didn’t notice you before, you’ll now be impossible to ignore!
Also, because nowadays every job is temporary, she also teaches her clients how to create income security in a world with no job security; 80% of her clients get a second paycheck every month, whether they work or not!
Tracy’s services are very elite and individualized. She works personally, one-on-one with clients at all levels and around the globe. She is also a conference speaker and has had her work published in numerous best-selling career books, on the top 10 career websites, and in syndicated news articles. You can reach her at: www.TrendSettingResumes.com or by calling Toll Free: 1-888-522-6121.