3 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out

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Although being quickly outpaced by networking, the resume is still an important component of many's job search process. Your resume is a personal advertisement of your skills and experience.  Done right, it can be key to getting you the interview.  As a HR professional, I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes over the past 15 years.  Here are three things I’ve found that successful candidates consistently do to make their resumes stand out.

#1 - QUANTIFY your accomplishments. Use numbers to highlight your accomplishments. Using numbers really makes your accomplishments stand out to the recruiter. For example:

  • Increased sales by 10% year-over-year through implementing a unique online marketing strategy.

  •  Led a team of 10 customer service representatives, resolving over 500 customer issues each day.

  • Managed 50 complex accounts, consistently meeting customer satisfactions scores.

You get the idea. Use numbers wherever you can.

#2 - TAILOR your resume to the job you are applying for.  Think in terms of what the recruiter is looking for and then tailor your resume accordingly. The best way to do this is to match as much of the content of your resume as possible to the job advertisement.

  • Use key words from the job advertisement in your “professional summary” section at the top of your resume.

  •  Use bold font to highlight closely related skills and experience.

  • Put your relevant experience first under each job even if it wasn’t the primary function of that particular job. 

  • Make your relevant experience obvious: If the ad says they want someone with 5 years of outside sales experience, and you have that, then write “5 years of outside sales experience” in your “professional summary” section at the top of your resume. 

#3 - DESIGN your resume. Recruiters are more likely to pay attention to a resume with a good layout. You wouldn’t think design would be so important but considering that recruiters are reading so many resumes each day, good formatting can make it easier for them to see how your skills and experience relate directly to the job you’re applying for. 

  • Use a consistent font (I recommend Calibri 11)

  • Line up your indents

  • Use bullets or bold text to highlight particularly relevant experience

  • Use lines to separate your resume’s sections

If all of this sounds like too much work, consider outsourcing your resume.

Contact me at skyemercer@gmail.com 

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Skye Mercer