How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

By Victoria Robertson on June 17, 2021

Applying for a job is a stressful process, made all the worse when you have to create a resume from scratch. The bottom line is that your resume is what will get you in the door, so it’s something that needs to function at its absolute best.

But how exactly do you ensure your resume stands out from the stack the hiring manager has to sift through? Here are a few tips to ensure your resume not only stands out from the crowd but also lands you an interview.

Photo Via Pixabay

1. Tailor it to the Position at Hand

When you are applying for a specific position, using your general resume is probably your go-to, as it is the go-to for most other applicants. However, resumes should actually be tailored to the position you are applying for to make sure all relevant experience is highlighted.

Sure, your resume may be full of part-time jobs and internships, but when you cherry-pick your responsibilities so the most relevant to the job you’re applying for appear first, it’s clear you’ve taken the time to really understand what this job entails.

2. Display Your Intangible Skills

Hiring managers aren’t always just looking for experience and keywords. In fact, more often than not, hiring managers are using resumes to get a feel for someone’s intangible skills, such as attention to detail, organization, and dedication to the job at hand.

So, make sure all of those items are apparent. Conduct a grammar check on your resume, and have someone else do the same. List relevant experience at the top of your resume so it’s clear you know what you’re applying for and what they are looking for. Make sure your resume is well-organized, easy to read, and includes all your contact information.

That all sounds like irrelevant, minor details, but in reality, it’s going to really highlight all of those intangible skills that are otherwise absent from resumes.

3. Don’t Disregard Formatting

As mentioned above, the way you organize your resume matters, so don’t disregard the importance of proper formatting. For starters, your name, contact information, and any other details in that regard should be clearly listed. If a hiring manager has to go looking for your contact information, they’re going to toss your resume.

Additionally, make sure you’re consistent with your formatting. If you include five bullet points for one position, don’t include ten for another. Limit your bullet points to the most important aspects of that job, and then move on.

And don’t use different fonts, colors, or any other “fun” qualities in your resume, as it just comes off as messy, disorganized, and jarring.

4. Quantify Your Accomplishments

When listing your experience with the various jobs you’ve held, you’ll likely say something along the lines of “coordinated XYZ initiative for positive results,” etc. In other words, you keep things vague.

Whenever possible, quantify what you did. Instead of saying positive results, explain what those results were. Did you help raise a certain amount of money? Did you save your boss months of paperwork? How exactly did you help, and what exactly did you accomplish? The more quantifiable detail you include, the better you will appear.

5. Research Buzz Words

For every job, there are buzz words listed in the description that you should be referencing, where applicable, in your resume. For instance, if the hiring manager lists proficiency in a certain platform as a requirement, your resume should clearly list your experience with that platform.

Basically, look through all of the requirements in the job description, and make sure you list everyone that you meet in your resume. If you leave it out, the assumption is you don’t have it, so don’t fall victim to that mistake.

6. Keep it Short

Last, but most importantly, keep your resume short and to the point. Resumes over a page long are, frankly, not going to be read, especially if you’re an entry-level applicant.

Limit your experience to the most relevant/important positions, with only the most important bullet points for each. While it’s not going to break your application if your resume is a page and a half, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting to the point right off the bat to avoid a hiring manager glossing over your resume and missing important details because it was too long.

All too often, people rely on their experience to get them in the door, paying little to no attention to the other content of their resume. The truth is, everything about your resume says something unique, from the formatting to the grammar to the listed experience.

So, don’t take your resume for granted. Utilize these tips to make sure your resume stands out and really speaks to the entirety of your application. Because when you hold information back here, your chances of landing that interview decrease.

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