When applying for nearly enough positions these days, you need to submit a resume. When you have a paper resume, hiring managers skim through it to find candidates that sound appealing. Lucky ones can go on to the next stage of the decision-making process and attend an interview.
One of the issues now is there are more applicants for every position, and with online applications, the numbers of applicants increase even further. Making sure you create resumes that stand out is more important than ever. They need to be easy to read yet contain all your important information and match your cover letter and the job description of the position you’re applying for.
Here we show you the best ways to make your resume stand out from the crowd, no matter which position you apply for.
What are the 3 things That Make You Stand Out from the Crowd?
Every resume will be different for every person and every position. Therefore, trying to pick standout things for these can be hard, if not impossible.
However, these three things will help you stand out. Here is how to make a resume stand out against the masses of others.
Make a Great First Impression
A clear and concise resume shows a glimpse of the value you can offer an employer. Including objective and headline sections in your resume are great places to start building this picture.
Resumes with eye-catching objectives, headlines, and possibly a summary (less is more) stand a higher chance of contact by a hiring manager. Nevertheless, your content needs to be relevant to your audience.
- Headlines are professional taglines and should comprise:
- The type of job you are applying for and a guide of your level of experience
- Add some flair if applying to creative roles
- List qualifications and skills employers value and match their job postings
If you have space for a summary, capture attention by highlighting further achievements and skills. Some professionals state you stand a better chance with a summary, yet do not cram one in for the sake of it.
Make sure you have no grammar or spelling mistakes; this can stop an employer from reading. If you add details where there are acronyms in use, not every employer, can understand these, so add the acronyms in parentheses following the spelled version to avoid confusion.
Targeting the Job You Want
To create a standout resume for potential employers, you do need to study the job descriptions for the roles you are applying for. When doing so, you need to note the following:
- Use the same language and terminology the employer uses when describing the skills and experience you are seeking
- Check out the key responsibilities for the advertised position
- Write down all the words and phrases the employer uses when describing their ideal candidate
When conducting this research beforehand, it broadly reveals the details you will add to your resume. An example is if the job posting cites leadership and management experience, then include examples of your work experience where you have been managing people, along with the scope of your responsibility.
Illustrate Your Value
Writing a compelling resume is one of the most challenging things during your job search. The next hardest thing is to make a convincing argument for the value you will place in the company.
The work experience section is where you need to accomplish this. Here, you can show the results you delivered to previous employers. You need to use specific examples in the skills section. You need to detail what you did and how you were able to measure your success. General statements or affirmations do not provide any information to an employer.
Again, you need to go back to the job posting and, if specific details are listed, use them in the description of your previous jobs and successes. You have a better chance of getting through to the second round if you fill in all the details that an employer is looking for.
What Should Your Resume Look Like?
Even with the things above, you may still find it overwhelming how to put all this down on paper.
Here are the best ways to make your resume stand out and be noticed as if it were a professional one. You can make an impact by tailoring your resume to look appealing while detailing all your key information.
Here are the top ways to accomplish both sides and get down on paper what you need to be successful.
1. Highlight Relevant Work Experience
Much of this comes from the above. Only list what is relevant to what your employer is seeking or can be connected to the position.
2. Numbers Stand Out
It is much easier to quantify your value when using numbers. When you have previous successes, quantify these with a value. Keep it simple and use cover letters as the place to expand.
3. Ongoing Certifications
If you sit any online courses outside of work, include these as it shows you wish to stay up to speed on your chosen industry. You can also highlight any volunteer experience that may relate to the position.
4. Top of Your Resume is the Primary Focus
A resume writer will focus on the top third of a resume. It is here where an employer will read and base their decision on which pile the resume goes. Make sure to add direct descriptions, smart headlines and clearly show your key points.
In this section, you will have your personal details, and it is wise to add a link to your LinkedIn profile. Here you can expand even further on your achievements.
5. Use Keywords
Some companies use automated scanning as the first step of their resume sorting process. Be sure to use keywords you found in job postings and descriptions. You can even use multiple versions of a particular keyword, if possible. Add to headers as well as sub-sections.
6. Keep it Short
One page, maybe two, is the maximum length any resume should go. Employers don’t want to spend time flicking through pages.
If you can use one page, think about the formatting.
- Be sure to keep your margins at the right size.
- Use bullet points rather than long sentences to increase readability and ease of formatting.
- Take advantage of white space instead of cramping.
There can be a lot to take in, and it gets tougher all the time to create a resume that will be noticed now everyone is trying to do the same.
If you still find it hard or are not getting the responses you expect, you can always seek the assistance of a professional resume writer.
Such people are always on top of new trends and understand what employers seek from submitted resumes.