On average, hiring managers receive 250 resumes for each corporate job posting, and job search sites get about 427,000 new resumes every single week (ERE).
So, how do you stand out?
It’s hard to make a good first impression through a resume—particularly when you take into account that the average recruiter only looks at it for about six seconds (ERE). But messing with the format just for the sake of memorability can actually backfire.
Here are the five most important tips to make your resume stand out for the right reasons!
1. Choose your format wisely. Sure, lots of colors and unusual fonts will help you stand out… but not in a good way. Above all, your resume should be easy to scan. Remember that recruiters are only spending a few seconds on each resume. If all the important information stands out immediately, your resume is much more likely to get a second glance.
If you want the recruiter to focus on the job titles you’ve held or the companies you’ve worked for, make sure this information is emphasized through bigger or bold text. You can also choose to emphasize prestigious schools you’ve attended or postgraduate degrees you have earned.
After you have formatted your resume, have a friend or colleague take a look. Were they able to easily scan through the document? What elements stood out at first glance?
2. Customize each resume using keywords. Did you know many companies use computers to scan resumes for keywords? This means that your resume might be eliminated before it even makes it into a recruiter’s hands, solely because it didn’t contain any of the keywords they were looking for.
This is why it’s important to customize each resume you submit. You can often find desired keywords in the job posting, or by studying the LinkedIn profiles of professionals who currently hold similar positions.
3. Eliminate unnecessary information. Do not include a picture, personal statement, or resume summary. You also shouldn’t list foreign languages if you’re not proficient, or basic computer skills that most applicants will know. If you have worked at an office, your recruiter will assume you know how to use Microsoft Word.
If you have a college degree, don’t list your high school diploma. Don’t feel like you have to include every single job you’ve ever worked. Rather, choose only recent and relevant experience. No matter how proud you are of that acting gig, your time as a receptionist is more likely to land you an office job.
When you eliminate unnecessary information, you free up valuable real estate on the page.
4. Follow the numeric accomplishment recipe for better bullet points. Most people approach resumes by listing their responsibilities. However, to truly create an eye-catching resume, we recommend having each bullet represent an accomplishment (including quantitative data whenever possible).
Use the following formula to list accomplishments under each job:
Action Verb + Number + Result
Your final result should look something like this:
|Content Writer at Roth Staffing Companies Jan 2018 – Present
5. Proofread, proofread, proofread! Sixty-one percent of recruiters will dismiss a resume because of a typo! (ERE) It’s worth taking the time to carefully review your work.
Print out your resume and read through it. Sometimes, errors are easier to catch in print than on the screen. After you have carefully read through the document several times, ask someone else to help you proofread. You can ask a friend, a parent, or a coworker. Just make sure they are well-versed in grammar and spelling rules.
Got everything? Great! There are two more tasks for you to tackle: the cover letter and your LinkedIn profile.
While resumes are ideal for summarizing your skills, the cover letter is a good place to show personality and dedication. If you’re going for a competitive position where you’ll be up against other qualified applicants, the cover letter is an invaluable tool. It’s what will help you stand out! Check out our top cover letter tips.
Finally, most recruiters will vet a candidate on LinkedIn before scheduling an interview. This means that even if your resume caught a recruiter’s eye, a lackluster LinkedIn profile can still leave you dragging behind other candidates. Check out our 15-minute LinkedIn guide for revamping your profile.