The numbers for job seekers can sometimes be depressing. Lots of applicants, lots of resumes, and not enough job openings to match. But that doesn’t mean your job search is doomed.
Adding some personal flair to your resume can take you from the bottom of the pile to the next one scheduled for an interview. But don’t take it from us — it’s backed by science.
Taking the time to go the extra mile with your resume to make it stand out in the crowd can pay off big time.
Start With Your Cover Letter
Your introduction to a recruiter or hiring manager comes before the resume — it lies in the cover letter. Rather than droning on about your relevant experiences and why you’re “a great fit for the role and excited about the opportunity,” tell an interesting story to let your personality shine through.
Don’t just tell any story. Somehow tie it back to the opportunity. Maybe you once ran for class president and didn’t win, but it taught you the lesson of never giving up and helped you accomplish X, Y and Z in your career thus far.
You might have a great quote or testimonial from a former colleague or client that speaks to who you are as a person. That’s another way to allow someone else to validate your character.
Show How You Fit Within the Culture
Many companies hire not only based on qualifications and experience, but culture fit is becoming almost as important. Understanding the culture and how it matches with your personality can give you a leg up on the competition.
This is extremely important, as most unsuccessful new employees don’t fail because they lack the skills for the role. In fact, only 10% fail because of shortcomings in the level competency. 81% of hires fail because of personality or attitude-related reasons.
Consider the culture of both the company itself as well as the industry. Find creative ways to allow your complementary personality to shine through. If you’re in a creative industry, maybe it’s a unique design to your resume. Those in the hospitality industry might share an experience they had with a guest that allows the candidate’s personality to come through.
Passions say a lot about a person. Even further, any extracurricular hobbies, passions or qualifications could give you and a recruiter something in common. Commonalities allow individuals to have a more personable connection with one another, elevating you from a candidate among hundreds to a candidate with a memorable identity.
Use Your Voice
When it comes to resume writing, it’s important to remain professional and concise. But it’s also okay to inject some personality into the words. Write how you would speak to allow your natural personality to show.
A careful balance must be maintained, and avoid compromising the professionalism of your resume. If you don’t know how, practice in the mirror or with a friend. Give your elevator pitch and record yourself so that you can transcribe it for inspiration on writing your resume.
Tell Recruiters About Your Personality
Don’t just let the people reviewing your resume infer about your personality — tell them who you are. Tack on character traits to your accomplishments or work experience.
For example, you might say, “Proposed and implemented a new process to increase sales in the future.” Instead, write, “Increased sales by proposing and implementing a new process as a forward thinker unafraid to take risks.”
Look Beyond Your Resume
If you link to your LinkedIn or portfolio site, make sure your personality shines through there as well. More than half of recruiters check candidates’ social media profiles. If they want to, they will find you. It’s important to you to make sure they like what they see.
Personality in Your Resume Will Show You’re the Right Candidate
Inject a bit of personality into your resume and application through your cover letter, some creativity, extracurriculars, and your voice. You should also use your past experience to directly tell hiring managers what they can expect from you. Finally, be sure to look beyond your resume, using LinkedIn and other social media platforms to show how strong of a fit you are.