Get the Job: 9 Surefire Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Get the Job: 9 Surefire Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Did you know that for the average job there are 118 applicants?

In many industries, that number could be much higher. Therefore, it is more important than ever to be sure that you stand out in the applicant pool to secure the job of your dreams.

There are plenty of ways to maximize your chances of getting that initial interview. The resume is a big part of that, as it is a complete summary of why you might be qualified for that position.

While it can be tempting to neglect your resume in favor of cover letter, both are equally important in your application, and neither should be forgotten. Read on to learn nine key ways to make your resume stand out in the crowd.

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

What makes an objectively good resume, you may ask?

The truth is that there will never be an objectively great resume, but by keeping these tips below in mind, you can increase the chances that it’ll catch their eye.

1. Cater to the Job Description

Many applicants choose to submit a one-size-fits-all resume, to all potential jobs. This is likely the biggest mistake one can make.

Even within the same industry, there is a huge variety in the job descriptions. A stagnant resume will likely result in a less than desirable outcome in this case.

Generally, employers are immediately searching for language that is in the job description in your resume and cover letter. Show them how detailed oriented you are, as well as how much you care about this job, by using the same words in your resume.

2. Stand Out in the Summary

Another important section of the resume is the summary. Many people choose to waste this prime real-estate on general descriptors like “team-player” or “creative”.

Rather than doing this, use the summary section to highlight your biggest achievements thus far, as this is much more likely to interest a potential employer.

3. Use Powerful Verbs

In mentioning previous jobs, always focus on action verbs. These verbs such as “coordinated”, “initiated”, “piloted” and “facilitated” can help the employer understand your previous position in a defined way. Moreover, these verbs can help you show how you produced tangible results, which can really make a resume stand out.

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4. Avoid Only Mentioning Responsibilities

While clearing stating your current or previous job description can be helpful, often times your overall accomplishments are more important.

Stating the requirements of the position do not express how good you were at it. Rather, it is better to express how you excelled at the job, and how you went above and beyond other employees in it.

5. Focus on the Competencies Section

In writing your resume, it is more important than ever to remember the role of technology in the hiring process. Many companies have begun to shift to talent acquisition software, which primarily uses keywords and phrases to rate potential applicants and their resumes.

This software by itself can determine whether or not a human reviews the application in the first place.

Therefore, one way to use this to your benefit is to include a “core competencies” section within your resume. In this section, be sure to mention phrases and keywords that were in the job posting, as well as key qualifications you have for the position.

6. Quantify Achievements

A prime method of making your resume stand out includes qualifying your achievements.

This is a great opportunity to demonstrate how you have gone above and beyond in your career thus far. There is something appealing and tangible about numbers that can intrigue an employer.

If there is any way that you could quantify a job responsibility, do not hesitate to do so. A great example would be changing “Administered Surveys to Clinic Patients” to “Administered Surveys to 450 Clinic Patients.”

7. Know Industry Keywords

Keywords are one of the main screening factors in a job search. Learning and using industry keywords will ensure that your resume is reviewed further. The best way to find these is by using different search tools to identify those most beneficial to your area of interest.

In using this tactic, is important to have the desired job in mind rather than looking for “any job”, as your resume will likely be much less industry specific. Some examples of industry-related keywords include “curriculum development” for the education field and “campaign management” for the marketing field.

8. Never Miss the Cover Letter

The resume is vital to any job application and therefore supersedes the importance of any cover letter. However, it is a big mistake to forego the cover letter and believing that your resume itself is “enough”.

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During any job search, you should be willing to go above and beyond for positions that appeal to you. Simply by submitting a cover letter, you are showing the organization that simple prospect of the position was worth the extra effort.

Otherwise, the lack of a cover letter could be interpreted by the organization that they were not worthy of the time. It is also missed the opportunity to tell your professional story in a way that could never be possible with a resume alone.

You are able to convey exactly why you would like the position and the exact experiences you feel qualify you for it.

Don’t miss this chance to prove to them that you have what it takes for the job with both your resume and a cover letter, even if you have to do a bit of research to learn more about creating the perfect cover letter.

9. Clarity Is Key

The last point to make is that clear communication is extremely important in any great resume. Resumes should be clean and concise in their presentation.

Creating this appearance is fairly easy. Use professional fonts such as “Times New Roman” and avoid using any graphics or media that may distract from the message.

Land Your Dream Job

Getting that next job doesn’t have to be a terrible process if you use these tips for resume-building.

All in all, be sure that you use industry-specific keywords and phrases from the job description and mention accomplishments over your responsibilities. Moreover, try to be as clear as possible, and quantify your positions wherever you can.

Finally, always cater to the company and position, no matter what. A key place to do so can be in the summary based on the qualifications, as well as with the use of action-verbs in your job descriptions.

Looking for some qualities employers look for to make your resume stand out? Check out this article with seven key qualities that look good to hiring managers.

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