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That’s an interesting question… But the wrong one.

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The question I was asked is, "What's the best way to get your resume noticed?" I want to preface my answer, which will be directed to the point like they always are, by saying that if you are submitting your resume, you are swimming in the pond with everyone else. It's hard to be caught as a fish if you're in there with millions of other fish., What you're telling me is that you are attempting to approach this through traditional channels by submitting your resume through an applicant tracking system or some other form of direct communication, rather than working at networking through the hiring manager, developing a relationship with that person, and trying to gain entrée that way.

Be that is it me, I just given a summary of the preferred way to do things -- you would not submit a resume; you have an introduction to someone by someone who knows them will vouch for you and give you the opportunity to present yourself to the manager.

If you really want to submit your resume, the best way, if you are determined to send it through an applicant tracking system, is to DEMONSTRATE THAT YOUR BACKGROUND ACTUALLY FITS THE JOB. Make it obvious as though the reader is 6 years old reading the resume that you fit this.

How do you do that?

If you have a job description (after all, you question tells me that you want to submit your resume against the particular job), make sure that all the criteria of the job description are your resume. Make it so it is obvious!

In doing this, you want to use their language. For example, there was someone I was coaching, who is in a sales role. He would normally talk about how he it helped increase sales by a certain percentage. However, the firm he was interviewing with spoke in terms of 4X or 10X. Language along those lines. You want to use their language because you want to be understood by them. It's like speaking French and interviewing in Germany. If you don't speak the same language, it is harder to connect.

Take the time to speak their language. Use their phrasing in your resume. Make the fit obvious even if you're going to use a summary at the very top of your resume that takes care of the requirements of the position, the functionality of the job, and lays out each of them.

For example, this is always an easy one. when I use IT as an example, you list the skill and next to it you might write, "3 years/current." Then you would list the next skill and say, "2 years/until one year ago." Item by item into columns so that the fit is obvious to the reader and you're not making them struggle to find the information.

(2) As you proceed, the rest of your resume needs to confirm what you've just written and use their language.

(3) Finally (this is one the people sometimes forget), make sure your LinkedIn profile is congruent with what you say your resume. If the profile isn't congruent (it doesn't have to use the same language because I'm assuming that you're not submitting your resume to just one company), you want to make sure that your profile is as all-inclusive as possible, telling the story of what your background is so that, as I said, a 6-year-old knows that you can do this job.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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