10 Tips for Making Your Resume Stand Out
Guest Post by James Adams
If you are one of the 9.8% of people who are unemployed in the United States, then you need to spend some time making your resume stand out from the rest of the crowd. Employers receive mass amounts of resumes for every job opening and do not have time to thoroughly investigate each one. The goal of your resume should be to make yourself memorable. If you can capture the employer’s interest instantly, then you will have a better chance of getting an interview. Here are ten tips to help make your resume stand out.
1. Make Your Resume Relevant To the Job
In previous years, it was okay to have one general resume that outlined your career history and accomplishments. However, jobs are much more competitive now and employers are looking for those who are most qualified. When applying for a particular job, only include past jobs and acquired skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a manager position, don’t include your cleaning skills.
2. Include a Cover Letter
Employers don’t just want to know about your job history and skills; they want to know why you are interested in working for their company. Show them that you know what their company stands for by including a cover letter with your resume. Include why you would be a good asset to them and how you intend to improve their company.
3. Use Proper Keywords
If you are applying online, it is especially important to use the proper keywords. Online application services often weed out unqualified candidates by searching for keywords in their resume. If you do not use the correct language when writing your resume, it could cost you several job offers. Pay attention to what the company is looking for in an employee and include those keywords in your resume.
4. Keep Page Number to a Minimum
Resumes that are three or more pages long are often not looked through by employers unless you really caught their attention in the very beginning of it. It is exhausting after 100 resumes for a human resources representative to examine a three page resume. Keep your resume concise and try to keep it at one or two pages long. If you go over that, you better have some really flattering information on that third page.
5. Keep it Neat and Tidy
Employers are looking for candidates who know how to be professional and your resume is a good indication of that. Do not write in paragraphs because it does not look neat and no one is going to want to read it. Use bullet points to describe your job duties and accomplishments. Choose a font style and size that is easy to read and looks professional. The easier to find the information, the better, so make sure you have plenty of white space.
6. Include Most Important Information First
Whatever you want the employer to know first should be on the first half of the first page. If you have more than one page to your resume, the person viewing it will not look on the next page unless you have already captured their attention on the first page.
7. Highlight Your Accomplishments
When describing what you did for a previous job, don’t just list your job duties. List what you accomplished at that job. Employers want to know how well you performed at previous jobs, not just what you were required to do. This will help employers know what kind of potential you have.
8. Check for Spelling and Grammar
The worst mistake you could make on a resume is a spelling or grammar mistake. Having great communication skills is important to employers and if you can’t communicate the English language properly in your resume, they will just move on to the next. Make sure to proofread and spell check your resume.
9. Include Most Recent Career History
Employers typically like to know your past ten years of work experience. Anything before that is usually irrelevant. If you feel the need to include a job you had more than ten years ago, make sure it is very relevant to the job and is a job you accomplished a great deal in.
10. Include Volunteer Experience
Including volunteer experience in your resume shows employers that you value something other than money. It shows them that you work hard at everything you do and that you spend time doing things you care about. It also shows them that you have good character and excellent morals.
James is a researcher and writer at Cartridge Save where he reviews ink cartridges for a range of printers. When he isn’t reviewing products, he enjoys writing about technology and design.