How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

June 20, 2018 by
How to Make Your Resume Stand Out
Rodney Boman

Stop us if this sounds a bit too…familiar for comfort.  You’re perusing your favorite job board and come across the potential job of your dreams.  Excitedly you crack open the electronic version of your most recent resume.  Satisfied there are no glaring errors, you hurriedly upload or attach and hit that submit button, confident you’ll be reaping the fruits of your job-search labors shortly.

In today’s competitive job market, however, it may not be enough to just have a decent resume with some applicable experience.  Hiring managers, much like applicants, are stressed for time and the advent of online job boards means that they’re likely flooded with a host of applicants.  If you want the best shot at the most lucrative employment offers, your resume needs to stand out from the crowd and sell your personal and professional brand.  At a loss for how to make that happen?  We’ve compiled a few of our favorites suggestions to spruce up that resume in no time.

1. What’s in a Title?

One of the most important factors for hiring managers, recruiters, and employment decision makers when it comes to reviewing resumes is a job applicant’s current title.  Your job title will often provide an at a glance analysis of whether your experience will make you qualified for the currently available position.  If the job listing indicates the company is looking for a marketing manager, for example, the title of sales clerk on your most recent position is probably going to see your resume headed straight to the circular recycle bin.

So, then what’s an applicant to do?  First and foremost, ensure that the position you’re applying for matches up with your given qualifications.  If your current company has flexible or non-existent job titles, feel free to pick one for yourself that fits the desired job opening.  If your company uses distinctive titles that don’t describe your work, leave the title off.  In this case, focus instead on individual duties, responsibilities, and skills in your current position.  Just be sure not to be dishonest in either of these cases, since your new employer will most likely verify employment details before making a serious offer.

2. Be Relevant

Most job positions are seldom one dimensional.  Chances are in your current role you perform a variety of tasks and have developed a range of skills, all of which makes up the day to day or week to week responsibilities of your position.  When crafting your resume, don’t be afraid to make minor adjustments to help appear as relevant and qualified as possible for the position at hand.  Review the job listing for your desired position and try to make connections between their desired skills and your work experience arsenal.  Consider re-wording or highlighting key areas that may be the most applicable to help push your resume to the top of the pile.

3. Show Some Personality

Whether in a resume, interview room or social function, no one wants to interact with the uptight stick in the mud who shows no color or personality.  The same can be said for uninspired resumes. Review your sentence structure, word choice, and formatting to ensure that your resume comes off as approachable, friendly and shows a bit of personality in addition to sharing your relevant experience. Be cautious against jokes, slang or colloquialisms (we’re striving for professionalism after all) but also shy away from being too staid. When in doubt as a friend or colleague to review for readability and to make sure your resume accurately reflects your true self.

4. Come on Strong

In the equation of number of resumes to review versus amount of available time, CV’s that don’t deliver an impactful message from the bat will often find themselves on the bottom of the candidate pile. While all resumes contain the same basic information regarding education, experience, and skillset, candidates have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to how to organize this information.  Lead your resume off with your strongest traits for the biggest impact.  Have an advanced degree or attended an esteemed college?  Those items should be the first thing your new prospective employer sees in order to up your chances at scoring that interview.

5. Keep it Short and Sweet

Our last point when it comes to making your resume stand out has less to do with what you should add and more to do with what you should leave off.  With the exception of certain advanced positions that require detailed work history, certifications or 15+ years of experience in your field, the most effective job resumes stick to a single page.  This brevity makes your candidacy easier to review and keeps you from standing apart in the negative.  Remember that quality beats quantity in the resume game and make the biggest impact in the smallest space possible for job hunting success.

Article Written By: Simply Hired Staff September 30, 2017