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Looking to Create a Standout Resume? Use This a Checklist from a Recruiter

Creating a standout resume is an important way to help set yourself apart from other applicants in today’s competitive job market. Your resume is often the first impression a potential employer has of you, so it needs to be polished, professional, and tailored to the job you’re applying for. To help you create an impressive resume, we’ve compiled expert tips and a checklist with the help of one of our seasoned recruiters, Mary Ellen Killen. Follow these guidelines to ensure your resume gets noticed.

Expert Tips for Crafting a Standout Resume

  1. Tailor Your Resume to the Job
    • Customize your resume for each job application. Highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the job description.
  2. Use a Clean, Professional Format
    • Choose a simple, readable font like Arial or Times New Roman.
    • Use bullet points for easy readability.
    • Keep your formatting consistent throughout the document.
  3. Start with a Strong Summary
    • Begin with a brief summary that highlights your key qualifications and what you bring to the role. This should be a snapshot of your professional identity.
  4. Focus on Achievements, Not Just Duties
    • Use quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your impact. For example, “Increased sales by 20%” is more compelling than “Responsible for sales.”
  5. Incorporate Keywords
    • Use keywords from the job listing to ensure your resume gets past applicant tracking systems (ATS).
  6. Showcase Relevant Skills
    • Highlight the skills that are most relevant to the job. Soft skills like teamwork and communication are important, but also emphasize technical skills pertinent to the role.
  7. Include Education and Certifications
    • List your education and any relevant certifications. Include the institution, degree, and dates attended.
  8. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
    • Spelling and grammar errors can undermine your credibility. Review your resume multiple times, and consider having a friend or professional proofreader review it as well.
  9. Limit to One or Two Pages
    • Keep your resume concise. One page is ideal for those with less experience; two pages are acceptable for more seasoned professionals.
  10. Add a Professional Touch
    • Consider adding a professional headshot if it’s customary in your industry. Ensure it’s a high-quality photo with a neutral background.

A Recruiter’s Checklist for a Standout Resume

Use this checklist to ensure your resume covers all the essential elements:

  • Contact Information
    • Full name
    • Professional email address
    • Phone number
    • LinkedIn profile (optional but recommended)
  • Professional Summary
    • Brief, compelling summary of your qualifications
    • Tailored to the specific job you’re applying for
  • Work Experience
    • Job title, company name, and dates of employment for each role
    • Bullet points outlining key duties and achievements
    • Quantifiable results (e.g., “Increased customer satisfaction by 15%”)
  • Education
    • Degree(s) obtained
    • Institution name
    • Graduation date
    • Relevant coursework (if applicable)
  • Skills
    • Technical skills relevant to the job
    • Soft skills
    • Certifications and licenses
  • Additional Sections (if applicable)
    • Volunteer experience
    • Professional memberships
    • Awards and honors
    • Publications or presentations
  • Formatting and Presentation
    • Consistent font and format
    • Use of bullet points for clarity
    • Proper use of headings and subheadings
    • Adequate white space for readability
    • Error-free content (spelling, grammar, punctuation)

Creating a standout resume involves more than just listing your work history or job duties. It requires a strategic approach to presenting your skills and experiences in a way that aligns with the job you want. By following these tips and using our checklist, you can craft a resume that not only catches the eye of hiring managers but also helps you land your dream job. If you need additional help in your job search, contact Mary Ellen or another member of our team today!

Good luck!

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