Making Your Resume Stand Out – For the Right Reasons
Every job seeker wants to make their resume stand out from the competition. With so many people vying for the same position, blending in isn’t going to cut it. While some people use highly creative resumes – putting their information on a product label or creating a video – you want to be cautious about this approach; it doesn’t fit with every industry and may not garner the response you were hoping for. Here are a few more tried and true approaches to getting positive attention:
Start with a strong title. This can also be seen as your “brand” and should go at the top center of your resume below your contact information. Let a potential employer know right off the bat what type of role you fit into. Your title could be something such as “Senior Account Executive,” “IT Specialist,” or “Multi-Unit General Manager.” Ideally this will be close to the position you’re applying for.
Craft a compelling summary and competencies. Really dig into the job description and company information to figure out what the employer wants and needs. Instead of a vague or generic summary that doesn’t tell much about you, draw out your greatest strengths and skills. What makes you the best fit for the role and why would you be an asset? Don’t be afraid to brag on yourself – after all, you’re trying to sell your skills and experience to the employer.
Lead with results. As you’re filling in your work experience, start your list of bullet points off with your most impressive accomplishments. Show how you made a difference and grab their attention with solid metrics. Including promotions or awards received can pack a punch too and demonstrate that you’ve been recognized for your work.
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Balance white space. Use the amount of space necessary to succinctly get your point across without cutting key information. If you can fit it neatly on one page, that’s great. If you need a second (or perhaps third) page, that’s fine too. Using miniscule margins and cramming everything onto one page can be a turnoff and make your resume look too busy.
Cut the fluff. Along with balancing white space comes cutting unnecessary or irrelevant information. Details like courses you took in college, the part-time job you had over the summer, or tasks that are expected of everyone probably aren’t necessary if you have several years of experience under your belt. Pick out the information that is most meaningful and will appeal to a potential employer when they’re thinking about their business.
Make sure it’s error-free. Spelling and grammar mistakes will make you stand out, but not in a good way. Check and double-check your resume and cover letter to make sure it’s perfect.
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