Just as recruiters use sizzle to attract candidates to job openings, candidates should be using sizzle to spice up their resume. What is sizzle and why is it important, you ask? Let me first start by explaining this simple, but often ignored concept. Sizzle is another way of creating unique attractors and providing quantifiable and verifiable information to get people to notice a product. Resumes are a candidate’s product and in the spirit of being concise, they need to quickly capture a candidate’s potential worth to a prospective employer.
A comparable example that supports this concept is within the hospitality industry. No one selects a vacation resort simply because it says that it has king size beds, a pool, spa and hotel bar. Most people continue their research until they find a description that helps them to imagine themselves in the actual environment. Now if that same resort described itself as being the most relaxing/fun/family friendly/adventurous place by 95% of its visitors, you would be more inclined to take a closer look. Other considerations include customer return rate, satisfaction rate, and/or customer serving rating.
The same thing happens when a candidate wants an employer to notice him or her in the sea of applicants. By creating a vivid description of what he or she can do, the employer can better imagine him or her working on their team. Take a moment to think about the average length of time an employer or recruiter reviews a resume. What did you think it is? One minute? 30 seconds? Neither. The answer is six seconds. If a candidate wants to get more face time with an employer, he or she needs to provide examples of what they made, saved or achieved. This encourages an employer to spend more time reviewing your qualifications and make the call to request an interview.
A classic way of adding sizzle is writing out several examples of what you have made, saved or achieved for your current and past employers. Did you create a new program that everyone loves? How much did you save your company in terms of time or money? How did you help your organization or department achieve a goal?
Think of your answers in terms of percentages or dollar amounts that are verifiable in a reference check. For example, let them know that you saved your department $50,000 by introducing them to a new vendor that happened to be more efficient and cost effective than the last one. If your statement is not quantifiable, then make sure that it is specific rather than generic. Make sure to also draft several examples that pertain to each job you had so that you can easily customize the resume for each new opportunity you are applying for. Not every example is going to be applicable to each job opportunity. Tailoring your resume with examples like this will get an employer to give you a second look.
What are some things that you have made, saved or achieved for a company? Feel free to share them here in the comments.