7 Secret but Powerful Resume Hacks that Get Interviews

7 Secret but Powerful Resume Hacks that Get Interviews

All resumes by qualified, certified resume writers will have the same hallmarks. They’ll all have branding, keywords, and accomplishment statements in bullets. With few exceptions, they’ll all be in the neighborhood of one to three pages long. And so on.

So how can you tell the difference between a ho-hum, reasonably good resume and a powerful, attention-getting, interview-winning resume? You’ll know, because the rules that govern excellent resume writing will have been hacked. Here is the countdown of my most secret hacks to writing a resume that breaks the rules and gets the right interviews.

Old-style computer screen reading "Hack Alert!"

Can you hack your resume to get more interviews?

7. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with a color–or two. Using color in the horizontal rules can improve the readability of your resume. Blues, greens, and grays are all good choices. Avoid red, as percentages of red inevitably appear pink.

6. Include a testimonial in a text box. Use the text box function in Word to wrap your resume around a particularly laudatory comment in a letter of recommendation or annual review.

5. If you’ve been out of the workforce for some time, try including the number of years in each position as well as the dates, particularly if you were with each company for a significant period of time.

4. Don’t have enough material to cover two full pages? Don’t decrease your margins or drive up your font size. Instead, use judicious amounts of vertical white space to open the page up and increase its readability.

3. Create a graph or a chart to convey increase or decrease in a critical metric–everyone understands “up” or “down” on a visceral level.

2. Use Word’s layout functions to improve your resume’s readability in applicant tracking systems (ATSs). Put page numbers in the header or footer of your document, thus hiding them from the ATS and promoting the readability of your resume when the ATS spits it out again.

And, my best hack, which actually changes the way hiring executives read your resume:

1. Write the resume in layers. Write the resume so that a hiring executive will see what you want him or her to see, when you want him or her to see it. Start by designing your resume so the hiring executive reads the branding first. Then construct your resume using as many as two layers of headings and two layers of bullets. This allows a high-level read and multiple levels of deeper reads, enabling your hiring executive to dig deeper into your content and to get more and more information about your candidacy with each review.

Not sure how to implement my 7 best resume hacks? Reach out to me–I’ll custom create your best resume strategy for your unique job search situation.

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.