Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out

You are looking for a job. What is step one? Creating a resume. No matter where you want to work, employers want to know what your previous work experience looks like to know that you can fulfill the need of the company. The employer will receive dozens (maybe hundreds) of resumes, so you have to make sure yours stands out to get that initial call back. Here are a few tips to get your resume noticed to get that first interview.

Look at other Resumes

It’s a smart idea to look at sample resumes and see what stands out. The people who will review your resume are human, just like you, so there is a psychology to it that you can notice for yourself. Consider the placement of sections, ways to make it easy to read, and how to make sure the areas of importance are highlighted. You want to stand out, so make sure the important parts of you standout on the piece of paper.

Keywords

Review the job description and identify keywords in the summary. This is particularly important when seeking a job with a company that uses AI or other tools to scan resumes for needed skills.  As you apply to different jobs or roles you should always switch up the language in your resume a bit to match what it is the employer is looking for. If the job is searching for someone who works well at prioritizing multiple projects at once, address this in your previous job descriptions. And this goes for your skills as well. As an example, if the job is looking for “someone well versed in design programs”, make sure to list a couple programs such as “indesign, illustrator, or photoshop” under a professional qualifications section in your resume.

Relevant Information

Make sure you are only putting relevant information on your resume. The small details can be brought up in the interviews. This is also determined by the level of experience you have in the field you are trying to get involved in. If you don’t have prior experience in that exact area of work, it’s okay to use prior work experience that might not exactly align with the new role but try to spin it in a way that works. And make sure to list the most important information first, when listing experience.

Make Your Resume Readable

Your first consideration in writing your resume should be content – why are you the ideal candidate for the job? Once you are sure that your content is compelling, consider how your resume looks. Its all about readability. Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Complicated fonts will not make you seem unique and creative.  They are difficult to read and some of these fonts may not be supported by the employer’s system, resulting in strange symbols and unreadable text. We advise traditional “business fonts” such as Arial, Calibri, Helvetica or Garamond.
  • Font size matters.  Typically, it is best to stary in the size range of 10.5 to 12. 
  • The rule about one- and two-page resumes is no longer valid. If your resume is well written, the reviewer will be willing to read a third page.  However, always edit it as tightly as you can.  The objective is to get to the interview where you can provide additional detail.
  • You want to stand out, but there is no need to put a rainbow on your resume. You want your resume to look professional and that way to do that is to have a two-color maximum color pallet on your resume. Keep it brief, and simple. Let your personality show how colorful you are.