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7 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

As someone with 10+ years of experience in recruiting, I recently had a moment of clarity about how I view people’s resumes. The moment of clarity didn’t come during the years I’d spent looking at them, but when my own son asked me for direction. He’s my son after all, so I had to give him the best advice. The resume he came up with was not at all what I like to see as a recruiter, so we got to work and did the following steps. Thus, my moment of clarity: 7 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out.

DO NOT be too wordy! In my son’s resume, he was very wordy. He basically listed his position and wrote a paragraph about what he does. There isn’t a recruiter on this planet who would read through all that! We just don’t have time to read about every detail of your past jobs. I recommend condensing the information down to several points that are relative to the position you are seeking next.

DO use bullet points! Each bullet should highlight the most important details about your previous roles and contributions. You want the recruiter to get interested enough to pick up the phone and call you. We can always ask for more information later; give us the main points first.

DO show the results! When I look at a resume, I am not going to look at it long, so when using bullet points, show me the results of what you have done.

  • Solved X problem
  • Saved company X amount of dollars
  • Increased revenue X
  • Beat quota by X

When recruiters see numbers, we stop and look.

DO pay attention to spacing and formatting!  Your resume must be pleasing to the eye. The easier your resume is to scan through, the more time I am going to spend on it. You want to make it clear that you’re fit for the job, so the points that prove your qualification should stand out! This is how you get a phone call, when a recruiter can see how you’re exceptionally fit for the role. Use bolding to show me where you’ve worked, titles you’ve held, and the dates you were there. Then, add a few detailed bullet points that describe your success or the benefits you provided.

DO have some white space.  If I want to read a novel, I’ll buy a book ?

DO put some meat on the bones of the resume.  As much as I mentioned previously about not being wordy and using plenty of space, you must provide quality detail about yourself and past work experiences that makes you relevant to the job you want. While you want to lure a recruiter or hiring manager into calling for more details, you need to provide something beefy enough, so they think you’d be a good fit, take the bait, and give you a call.

One more thought….DO NOT waste time overthinking your resume. If you are interested in a position or thinking about changing career paths, don’t get lost trying to craft the perfect resume. It’s a work in progress. Just get it done and put in the right hands.

Hopefully that helps anyone crafting a new resume or updating their current one. Once my son followed these steps, he provided me with a well formatted, carefully detailed resume, one that would be the greatest tool in moving himself forward. Now he’s working at his first “real job” out of college and starting his career. If he can do it, so can you!

Good Luck!

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