8 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out
Imagine this scenario: you’ve been looking for a job for a few months and finally found the perfect opening. It’s your dream job, but you know there are bound to be countless applicants vetting for the same position. You’re confident in your background and experience, but your resume is lacking—boring. You need to make your resume stand out, to scream at the reader “hire me!” but you have no idea how. While today’s technology has made it easier for everyone to apply for jobs, it has also increased the amount of competition within the job market. Hiring managers and recruiters only have a few seconds to skim your resume before they have to move on. Being able to effectively showcase your abilities while making your resume shine is a tough task for many to accomplish. So how do you make sure a bad resume does not cost you a job opportunity? Here are a few easy ways we have found to get your resume noticed.
- Use Buzzwords: Many companies run their resumes through programs that look for keywords that match the job posting. Incorporate action words or phrases such as “accomplished,” “managed,” and “team player”. Using key action words will actively portray instances where you facilitated change—how you made a difference.
- Headers: Include a precise, well formatted, impactful statement at the very top right underneath your name and contact information. A header will not only draw the eye, but also give the hiring manager a direct statement of who you are. This is a great way to market yourself and brand the image you present to an employer. Think of this as an advertising billboard for yourself, an example would be something along the lines of, “Digital Marketing Coordinator.”
- Tailoring: Tailor your resume to the specific position you are applying to. Include details related to the position, even the most minute. Tailoring your resume will ensure the skill sets presented directly targets qualities and experiences particular to the position they are hiring for. Showing them you took the time to tailor your resume is the best bet way to stand out and show why you would be the best fit.
- Formatting: Make sure your resume is set up in a traditional resume format. Be sure to not include pictures and keep your resume professional and concise. Employers only have a few moments to skim, it would be best to steer clear of hard to read fonts and unnecessary add-ons. Your resume is a chance to show employers why your experiences exceed their qualifications not showcase your creativity.
- Tell a Story: Allow your resume to tell a story, show how you’ve grown over your years of experience. Start with your most current job and work backwards; have it go through your professional experiences, accomplishments, knowledge, and skills. Your resume should exemplify the progression of your career, with each job’s skill sets building upon the next.
- It is Okay if it is Longer Than One Page: There is no need to limit yourself to the arbitrary one page rule. If the job you are applying for calls for an experienced worker it is okay to not trim information about your accomplishments. Make it long enough to tell your story but condensed enough to skim.
- Quantify Accomplishments: In the corporate world there is nothing that speaks louder than numbers. When writing about past experiences it would be a missed opportunity to just restate your job description. Take this chance to showcase the impact and value you had in a previous job. Using numbers will not only show hiring managers you are experienced, it will also increase your credibility. For example, instead of stating you were “a full-time member of the marketing team,” say “increased consumer engagement by 50 percent through execution of successful marketing campaigns.”
- Use a Cover Letter: Unless the employer specifically says to not create a cover letter—create one. Whenever you are presented with the opportunity to go above and beyond never hesitate to show that you are willing. A cover letter is your chance to show your value, personality, and highlight why your qualifications would be relevant to this position. A great introduction will help you stand out even before employers view your resume.