When crafting a résumé, perhaps the most important thing you should do is aim to differentiate yourself from other job applicants. After all, the ultimate goal is to make your résumé stand out to recruiters, enough so that they reach out to you individually. So, how can you make your résumé stand out? We have a trick you’ve likely never considered.
Although it can be tempting to distinguish your résumé by making it visually different from others (using an unusual font or adding extra design elements), it’s best to stick to a traditional résumé format for most jobs. Visual discrepancies can actually work against you—unless you’re applying for a creative position.
That said, using a traditional résumé format can be limiting, making it hard to express your personality and work style, both of which can be major factors in a recruiter’s ultimate decision to hire you—or not.
The solution? In your résumé, hyperlink to work you’ve created to showcase not only examples of the caliber and kind of work you produce but also your writing voice and work style. For example, hyperlinking to reports, published articles, or graphic design samples will add another dimension to your résumé. This, in turn, will personalize you in the eyes of recruiters, who will associate you with producing high quality work of a certain type. Furthermore, many job applicants don’t link samples of their work to their résumés, so by doing so you’ll differentiate yourself from them and gain a competitive advantage.
That said, be careful not to overwhelm your reader by including too many hyperlinks in your résumé—be selective and choose just a couple examples of your best work. And while you’re at it, you may as well hyperlink your email address, to make it easier for the hiring manager to reach out to you directly.
So now on to the technical part—how do you hyperlink a résumé? First, if you’re applying to a position online, you should check whether the application allows you to upload your résumé as a PDF. Unless the application requires you to submit a plain-text résumé, you should always submit your résumé as a PDF in order to preserve the formatting and links.
Once your résumé PDF is ready, use a free tool such as PDFescape to link words on your résumé to their corresponding URLs. Leave the URLs themselves off the page, as they can appear clunky and take up valuable real estate on your résumé that could be delineating more of your accomplishments. Furthermore, if the hiring manager happens to print out your résumé, he or she is unlikely to type a URL out on the computer—so it’s best to just use hyperlinks, which will not appear when a résumé is printed out.
Once you’ve added all the links you wish, save your résumé as a PDF with your first and last name, the name of the company you’re applying to, followed by the word “résumé,” and voilà! Your résumé is ready for submission.