How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Recently, I just got a new job. Surprisingly, my resume format played a big part in it…

When I was coming out of college, I put in over 1,000 resumes at various jobs around the nation. I didn’t limit myself to a certain city. Eventually, my boyfriend (now husband) landed a job first. So, I then had to limit my job area to a smaller metropolitan city. After what seemed like a million applications, I finally landed a job.

However, this job experience was different. I applied for maybe 20 jobs and received a phone call. The recruiter for the company mentioned how my resume really stood out and grabbed his attention. I was then brought in for an interview where I was offered the job on the spot.

Here’s my 6 tips to make your resume stand out:

  1. Tailor your resume to your career. Never follow a simple, generic resume you see online. If you’re a marketer (like me), then market yourself. Make your resume beautiful so that it will pop out among the others. If you’re in finance, you may not need all the bells and whistles.Now, I know people say tailor each resume for your job. Well, I’m sorry, but I’m not about to waste hours doing just that. You can if you want to – and hey, it may have better luck than mine.
  2. Use a format that a recruiter can easily scan. A recruiter once told me he doesn’t FIRST NAMEeven look at resumes that have a messed up format or are a bunch of jumbled words. He wants something easy to skim through and read. Honestly, I don’t blame him because I used to do the same thing. If the resume format wasn’t pleasing to the eye, then I didn’t even look at it.
    With my resume format, you can quickly and easily see my education, skills, organizations, awards and work experience. Everything’s labeled and stands out.
  3. Use buzzwords. It turns out that some larger companies use a system that scans your resume for certain keywords. You want to make sure those keywords are in your resume.

    One way to find out industry-specific keywords is to review the job description. If they list specific skills or experience, then you may want to list those word-for-word in your resume and cover letter. According to The Muse, the following are the worst words for your resume and the best:

    The Worst Resume Terms

    1. Best of breed
    2. Go-getter
    3. Think outside of the box
    4. Synergy
    5. Go-to person
    6. Results-driven
    7. Team player
    8. Hard worker
    9. Strategic thinker
    10. Detail-oriented

    The Best Resume Terms

    1. Achieved
    2. Improved
    3. Trained/Mentored
    4. Managed
    5. Created
    6. Influenced
    7. Increased/Decreased
    8. Negotiated
    9. Launched
    10. Under budget
  4. Send it in style. I haven’t tried this, but one day, I will…I mean I am in marketing!

    Recently, I read a story about a guy who delivered his resume with a box of donuts. You could do this with donuts, pizza, candy bars or any type of food. If it’s your dream job and you really want it, I would suggest delivering it to the company in style.

  5. Brand all of your documents. When you submit your cover letter and references, you’ll want to make sure all of the documents have the same format and style. It adds a nice touch and brands you.
  6. Submit letters of recommendation. There’s nothing more impressive than having letters of recommendation from bosses and peers. Make sure to add a references page, too.

Hope this helps you land your dream job – or at least stand out when looking for employment.

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