An average job posting attracts at least 250 resumes from potential employees. That means you have less than half of percent to be chosen for the job.
Getting past the first level of resume reading is essential to even make it to an interview. That is why your resume should be treated like your ticket to your next job opportunity.
So, how to make your resume stand out to make it past level one?
Here are the 9 must do tips to make your resume shine through the rest of the stack.
1. Write for the Specific Job
Job descriptions are your key to make your resume stand out to that particular hiring manager. Use it to your advantage.
Each time you apply for a new job, go through your entire resume to add skills that you may have left out but are relevant to the position.
You may also have some experience from years ago that can be included in a section specific to the job. Really comb your memory for anything that relates to what the job description is asking for.
2. Use a Title and Purpose Statement
Think of a title as your first impression. If a resume says "Experienced Administrative Assistant," then this sends an immediate message to the HR representative. Your stand out resume directly reflects the position they seek.
A purpose statement goes into more detail about your experience and goals in a short and clear manner. So, you can say, "I have 10 years of experience as an administrator, but I am seeking a position with growth potential."
3. Use Industry Keywords
What makes a resume stand out in the time of computerized applications is the proper use of industry keywords.
You can find these key phrases on the job description as they stand out and often get repeated. For example, "customer service experience" may be a phrase that is searched automatically on an application.
If certain keywords are not found on the applicant's resume, it might be tossed in the trash immediately. This is a quick way to weed out many of the resumes from a huge stack.
In addition to finding key phrases on the job description, you can search online or use some of these tools to find common industry key phrases used by recruiters.
4. Showcase Volunteer Work
Volunteer jobs not only show that you have valuable work ethics, but it can also supplement a lack of paid job experience.
Do keep in mind that volunteer work should still relate to a specific job.
This section can also include internships, school activities, and major projects completed. Focus on leadership roles and activities where you acquired new skills.
If you have a gap in your resume, you can use volunteer work to show that you remained active. And if you are getting back into the job pool, start volunteering right away to add this to your resume.
5. Explain Transferable Skills
The most difficult task for standout resumes is when you are changing career fields. It takes some craft and imagination to transfer skills from one discipline to another (some more than others).
But, there is always a way to show an employer how you can be an asset to their company. Focus on broad skills like management or customer service experience.
You can also explain how you quickly learned a new program at a previous job, which shows how you are a fast learner. This is the only way to jump into another industry without specific experience.
6. Put Your Accomplishments in Numbers
Sometimes words aren't enough. People want to see hard numbers and facts, especially in careers like sales.
But, no matter the job, put quantitative accomplishments wherever they seem appropriate. Do not overdo it though or add a number where it would be impossible for you to know (this shows that you are making up statistics).
7. Stay Professional
No one likes to get too personal when it comes to first impressions. Too much emphasis on your day-to-day life can come across as desperate and unprofessional.
So, keep your hobbies, personal hardships, and bad experiences at other jobs out of your resume.
8. Keep Designs Simple and Clean
You may be wondering how to make my resume stand out visually? Think about its readability. Can you glance at your resume and see a snapshot of your professional experience.
If not, then it is time to remove clutter, unnecessary designs like bright colors and borders, and stick to a simple template.
9. Proofread and Get a Peer Review
One spelling or grammatical error on your resume shows your potential employer that you make mistakes. It is an easy way for your resume to be cut from going to the next round.
Make sure you print out your resume and read it. Reading it on the computer can trick your eyes. Also, use an online grammar/spelling checking tool. In addition, have a friend read over your resume for mistakes and overall quality.
How to Make Your Resume Stand Out Using Professional Services
For first-time job seekers, career-changing professionals, and anyone who wants to find a better job, a professional resume service helps you along the way.
If you are wondering how to make your resume stand out but are overwhelmed contact us today to get a free consultation. Just provide us with your current resume, job descriptions, and any supplement material like reference letters.
We then do the work for you by drafting your resume. Take a look at your resume to see that it fits your needs before our job is complete.