Second place isn’t useful when hunting for a job. First place gets a job. Second place gets nothing.
That’s only after you get the interview. You need to have one of the best resumes to make it to the interview stage.
Figure out what’s different between you and the competition. Why can they get an interview when you can’t?
1 job. 100 resumes. Do the math.
80 resumes are tossed in the trash by the receptionist after a 10 second review. Another 10 get trashed after maybe a minute long read through. The remaining 10 get sent to the hiring manager. He picks out what he believes are the 3 best for interviews.
100 –> 20 –> 10 –> 3 –> 1
A vanilla, generic resume won’t get you an interview. What is the difference between you and the losers?
The first step is making it past the receptionist. They chucked 80 resumes because they looked like they were the least qualified. What makes you look qualified for the job? Put those on your resume in big, bold letters. Even if they’re so “generic” they’re expected for the job, if they can’t tell you have it easily, you could get chucked with the other 79 resumes.
Make it as easy as possible to see the basic requirements that you meet on your resume and you’ll make it past the receptionist.
The second step is getting the hiring manager to like your resume. Just like the receptionist, they’ll scan to check for minimum requirements. Then they read for attitude, ability, and something special or unique that makes you stand out.
The best things to make you stand out make you look like a “mini me”. They want someone who can do the job as well as they can, if not better. You need to be able to help with their problems.
You don’t always know what their “problems” are, but a good idea would be either staying within budget, increasing revenue, or better serving the customer. Your resume needs to show how you will help him meet his goals.
Think: what about you makes you stand out?
I wrote a resume planning book and a resume planner to go with it. It has a number of questions and ideas to help you stand out in your resume. It explains many of the types of questions you need to answer with your resume, and how to show your past experience applies to this current opening.
Focus on the best and most important parts of your resume.
Something To Do Today
Grab the resume planner and go through it step by step. It’ll take a bit to complete, but it’s necessary and worth it.