When you’re creating a new resume or updating it to send for a new opportunity, consider the following ideas to make your resume stand out from the rest.
Ensure your resume is easy on the eyes
Because a Hiring Manager may see many resume submissions; they will often complete an initial skim to identify pertinent information is contained in the resume, before going in for a more in-depth evaluation. On average, it takes only a few seconds to identify keywords from your resume.
It is imperative that your top skills and information are easy to identify as clearly and quickly as possible. Here are a few guidelines to get noticed.
- Margins and spacings are even, no irregularities in-text sizing or font usage, no illegible fonts, and no spelling errors
- Bold keywords or information that you know will be most important to a hiring manager.
- Use bullet points to ensure that the most important points aren’t lost in a paragraph of text.
- Strategically add color to your resume – this can be a standout technique that helps you to get an extra bit of notice.
Customize your resume to each role
Considering your resume will only get an initial review of a few seconds, make sure that the resume and your wording are specific to each role. Our best advice is to change it up!
- Add the job title you’re seeking next to your name at the top of your resume.
- Use terminology and keywords from the posting or company description to capture greater attention.
- Use keywords that will draw the attention of any Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) if that is the way you will be sending your resume.
- Remove unrelated experience; especially background or titles that have nothing to do with the role.
- Retell your prior experience by drawing a direct relationship to the current role.
Focus bullet point descriptions to highlight achievements
This may not be possible for every bullet point, yet, when possible focusing on your accomplishments and major achievements will be powerful on your resume. Bullet points that read as though they were pulled from a company job description are not compelling. Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes and read each bullet point from a “So what?” perspective.
- Clearly, demonstrate the impact your work had on your organization and its clients.
- Take a common bullet point from “Assisted the director of the region in marketing and advertising to certain areas,” to “Negotiated 50 contracts for advertising within the region, marketing to over 70 new districts throughout the region.”
- Use “power words” throughout your bullet points, which will help you avoid common clichés and demonstrate your value.
- For example, accelerated, won, groundbreaking, critical
Don’t Saturate the market
There will be times when there is a high number of open positions that match your interest and experience. Our advice is to be targeted and selective. And DON’T list you’re actively seeking a new position on your LinkedIn profile. In fact, now is a great time to review your online presence as well. Hiring managers will google you and look at your LinkedIn and any other social platforms you may have. Make sure it reflects your resume in terms of companies and dates. Nothing worse than inconsistent professional information.
Be clear and concise
Think of your resume as your billboard. It should include relevant, high-value information about you. If you were on the debate team in high school, that may not be relevant when you have 10 years of professional experience.
Clearly share your relevant achievements, your professional experience, and your direct skillsets for the role.
If your job title(s) is/are confusing, be sure to clarify your role. The general rule of thumb is to keep your resume to your most recent 10 years of experience. If your related background is further back, consider a functional resume rather than a chronological resume.
Whatever version you select, be sure that it reflects who you are professionally and what you have achieved. Be clear about where you want to take your experience next in a clear and compelling way.