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How to Make your Resume Stand Out

What makes a resume stand out from the crowd? With this article, you might find out, it is actually easier than you think.

How to Make your Resume Stand Out
Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
9 min read

Getting your dream job in this era is entirely different and tedious than you can imagine. The first step to applying for a job that will eventually land you a slot in the interviews is the resume. Henceforth, it is really important to make a striking resume that will impress your employer.

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Employers get hold of numerous resumes whenever they give a call for a vacancy. Out of those numerous resumes, only a few are filtered out for the interview. So what makes those resume filter out among other several resumes. It becomes quite challenging for the recruiter to select the resumes so make sure yours catches his eye. Read on further to find out How to make your resume stand out!

Meet the demands of the Job

Whenever a job is posted on print media, social media or a website, a certain set of requirements are listed according to it. Recruiters are well informed about the skills and experience that a candidate must possess to be fit for the job. Therefore, when The recruiters skim through your resume, they are looking for those requirements that were posted in the Job Description. Hence, your resume should reflect all the requirements that were listed in the job advertisement.

Out of the many resumes that are emailed to the address provided by the company, those resumes that closely match the requirement are landed an opportunity for the job. So, candidates must include all the necessary hard and soft skills, degree, certifications and work experiences that align with the job they are applying for. If some skills aren’t closely related to the job, then they shall enter them creatively so that they are read as transferable skills to the recruiter.

Modify as per the industry

You have made your resume as per the instructions mentioned on our article. Now that must be your primary one. You shall go for a second one as well where you will be customizing your resume as per the industry you are applying for. The skills, qualifications, achievements and experience depends upon the job requirements but to attract your recruiter further you must be adding some more creativity to your resume.

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For example, your resume must show noticeable signs of creativity and design if you are applying in a web developing company or for a graphic designing firm. Similarly, it must show lots of creative words if you are applying for a Content Writing firm. Also, if you are applying for a finance firm then your resume must depict numbers.

All these examples reflect how passionate you are about the industry.

Never avoid Header

If you have created your resume, make sure you have not missed out on the header. What does the header contain?

  • Full name at the top
  • Residential address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Right after you add that information, include your career summary or career objective below it. Career Summary or Objective reflects your goal for choosing the career and what you aspire to do in the field. It shall be no more than 3 lines.

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Recruiters, who have to review a large number of resumes, are expected to skip your resume if it doesn't have an eye-catching and unique summary. Make sure you include it so that the recruiter sees it, read it and decide your future in the job you’ve applied for.

Add Powerful Words

Adding power words or phrases indicates your strengths, skills, achievements and other sections of interests effectively. These words can buff up your profile easily and show how confident you are with your resume approach. Power words can be used in every section.

For Example: Describing previous work experience “Supervised the maintenance department and achieved insights regarding the operation of boiler”.

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Another example: Describing achievements. “Initiated a new action plan to mitigate the effects of oil spillage in the factory” or “Successfully accomplished the budget handling of over a million dollars negotiating $500,000+ contracts”.

The power words in the above three examples were: Supervised, Achieved, Initiated, Accomplished. They didn’t blatantly state your work experience or achievements but emphasized what you did there.

Focus more on Accomplishments nor responsibilities

Job responsibilities are laid out for the candidates so that they can have an idea about the vacancy open and either they meet the requirements or not. If you restate the context of the job description, even in your own words, that won't do you any good. You will just be reiterating the responsibilities in the resume. The recruiter knows that you will be fulfilling the responsibilities in the job but he will be looking for whether you are up for it or not.

You must be answering the job responsibilities with your skills, achievements and accomplishments in the area. They must be evidence that will support your case in the recruiter’s hands where he will be judging your capabilities for the job.

Keywords are more important than you think

Your job advertisement isn’t only a source of information that tells you that a certain position vacancy is available. It can be utilized in several ways. To make your resume stand out, you will already be customizing it according to the job. To further enhance those customizations you shall add into it some keywords that are mentioned in the job advertisement or job opening.

A company adds certain words in a job advertisement that specifies their requirements for the job. If those keywords are added to the resume, then the recruiter, who just skims through it, will notice the word and instantly get his attention towards it. Besides that, some companies undergo keyword searching to filter out the resume, hence, your resume will also get filtered out if it contains the keywords from the job openings. So, don’t take the job advertisement and the keywords mentioned in it lightly!

Keep Things Concise

Resumes are meant to give a gist about yourself to the employer so that he can decide whether you shall be called for an interview. Filling the resume with information will only make the recruiter skim through it at a rapid pace which may result in him missing out on information; maybe he might even skip your resume.

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For entry-level candidates, a one-page resume is best. For others, it may depend upon how relevant things are for the current position they are applying for. So it is necessary to concise things up and fit them into one page by not going into unnecessary explanations.

Numbers win games

The employer will be expecting lots of text in the resumes. He’ll stop for a moment when he’ll see numbers in your resume. What do these numbers represent? They don’t represent your contact information or how much salary you earned in the previous job. But, these numbers will be quantifying your success.

A bland sentence like “I led a team as a Project head that ….” won't get the recruiters attention. However, a sentence like “I led a team of 20 distinct minded individuals who ….” will grab the recruiter’s attention. He’ll be compelled to read what that line says and will get impressed with your success.

Relevancy is the best policy

Once you start writing a resume, you feel like you dump all the information in one basket. For you, it might seem helpful, but it can backfire on you. There are many discredits of adding too much information to your resume. Some of it might be relevant but most of it will be irrelevant.

Adding irrelevant information will make your employer toss your resume aside because it would be too long for him to skim through. He won't be taking interest in reading it since he won't find the information he is looking for to select you. The irrelevant information shadows the relevant information mentioned in the resume. Even if your employer skims through your resume, he’ll get a perception about you that you didn’t focus on the job advertisement and applied for it for the sake of the job.

Skills are the takeaways

What makes a person qualify for a job apart from their experience is the skills. You may inherit numerous skills that are yet to explore while there will be some skills that you are not good at but you believe the opposite. So it is essential to add the skills you are good at. For that, you have to explore yourself by involving in different activities.

Once you know the skills you inherit or you have learned, then list them down and sort them as per the job requirement. Different jobs require different skills. So you can't mention all the skills in the resume since that will only give rise to irrelevancy. Only add job relevant skills.

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Skills are really important in the recruitment process of fresh graduates. Since they don’t have work experience, they are judged mostly based on the skills they possess. So list them down carefully if you want to get your dream job.

Make your resume appealing

Resumes must look clean and professionally modified. Such resumes will attract the recruiter and will gain his appreciation. Professionally Creative Resume consist of the following:

  • Font Size must not ideally be around 12 points. It must be such that the resume feels comfortable skimming through the content.
  • Font Style must be professional. Professional Fonts include Helvetica, Georgia, Times New Roman.
  • Color choices are equally important in your resume. Not only will they serve as a source of attractiveness but will make your resume visually appealing as well. Primary colors like Black for text and White for background must be used. Whereas a third color like blue or green can be used to highlight imperative details.
  • Templates are a good choice to make your resume look stylish and attractive. Use a template that doesn’t take too much space with design and allows you to cover all the content of your resume in the pages you desire.

For jobs like Web Development or Graphic Designing, your creativity will be more judged than your context. So work on where the industry compels you to work.

Attach a Cover Letter

Cover Letters are the best way to be more specific regarding the job. Some jobs ask for it others do not. So send it no matter the circumstance. Follow proper steps to write a great cover letter. We have covered the cover letter in more detail in an article that you can find in our blog.

Final Thoughts

You have to know learned the main points that will make a resume stand out. Read them carefully and apply them to your resume before you submit your job application. Remember, you need to get yourself into your dream job. So work for it before it is too late.