Several reports indicate it’s the hottest job market in years, especially for recent college graduates. But young job seekers should take note: good grades and a college degree aren’t enough to set you apart from the gazillion other new graduates hoping to land a new job. On top of everything else, many job seekers are submitting resumes to employers which include a long laundry list of roles and responsibilities. But if you’re looking to stand out from the competition, creating a resume which highlights your accomplishments may be the deciding factor between you and another candidate.
Your resume should tell a clear and concise story about the unique value you’ve contributed to an organization or volunteer project. It should highlight your strengths, which include hard skills as well as soft skills such as teamwork, collaboration or persuasion. And remember, you don’t have to sit around waiting for permission to showcase your strengths. Nowadays, there are several ways you can create your own opportunities and attract a potential employer. Whether it’s using Instagram to create a movement for social change or writing thought leadership articles and publishing it to your personal blog or LinkedIn—opportunity comes for those who hustle while they wait.
Positioning yourself for success in the job market is about setting yourself apart from the competition. The Daily Muse compiled a list of questions to help you highlight the things that set yourself apart. For each of the positions on your resume, ask yourself the following:
- What did I do that was above and beyond my normal job duties?
- How did I stand out among other employees?
- Was I ever recognized by a supervisor for a job well done? When and why?
- Did I win any awards or accolades?
- What new processes did I implement to improve things?
- What problems did I solve?
- Did I ever consistently meet or exceed goals or quotas?
- Did I save the company money?
- What made me really great at my job?