7 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out from the Crowd


Wed Feb 21 2024

7 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out from the Crowd

Are you a recent graduate, an intern, or someone looking for new opportunities and struggling to figure out how to write a suitable resume?Do you face challenges in making your profile stand out to employers among the thousands of other job applications?Despite putting considerable effort into crafting your resume and sending it to numerous companies, are you still not receiving any responses?Mastering the art of creating an outstanding resume, as discussed in today's blog post, is not too difficult if you genuinely care about making yourself stand out and securing a quick interview from potential employers.Creating a resume is like going on a crazy rollercoaster ride in your job search journey – super exciting with tons of new opportunities but also kind of nerve-wracking. The whole process has its ups and downs, and everyone goes through moments of uncertainty. Writing your resume is a really important and kind of overwhelming first step. You want to make a killer impression, which leads to endless overthinking of every word and skill you choose. While tools such as ChatGPT and Resume Builder can assist you in generating an initial draft, the real magic of your resume is all you need to refine and perfect it.

The Significance of an Exceptional Resume

On average, employers only spend a quick 7.4 seconds checking out a resume. This super short time is because there are so many people applying for certain jobs. Hiring managers gotta quickly figure out if candidates have the right skills and experience they need.In that quick glance, hiring managers and recruiters also gotta weed out folks who won’t fit the job. They’re looking for people who are genuinely interested and can show off their passion and qualifications. Plus, if they’re using an applicant tracking system, they’re filtering resumes based on keywords and specific skills. So, candidates gotta navigate both the system and the human review.Making a good resume means matching your qualifications to the job description and using the same lingo as the company. A generic, one-size-fits-all resume isn’t gonna cut it. Putting in the extra effort to personalize each application can really up your chances of landing that dream job and ending your job search.

How to Write a Resume

The blank page can be intimidating, but starting with headings and sections can help you create a great resume. Outlining the sections beforehand makes it easier to fill the page. Here are the sections you should include:1. Work ExperienceIn this section, clearly label your work experience and use separate points for each job entry. Include jobs that highlight your suitability for the role.Include any relevant experience, even if it may not seem obvious. For example, if you’re changing careers from product engineer to project manager, showcase transferable soft skills. Make sure to provide a description or bullet points that demonstrate the connection.Each entry should include:
  • Job title
  • Organization Name
  • Dates of employment
  • Brief description of accomplishments
You can choose to organize this section chronologically, from most recent to least recent, if your career progression has a clear linear trajectory.Alternatively, you can prioritize your most relevant experience, even if it’s not the most recent. This is called a functional resume. The goal is to showcase your best work first. For example, a new parent who transitioned from a full-time job to a part-time job may want to focus on career highlights rather than recent positions.It may also be helpful to divide your resume into sections based on different skills. For instance, if you’re applying for a management position at a software development company, you could have subsections that highlight management experience and development experience separately. This allows a hiring manager to quickly assess your full potential.2. EducationAlright, let’s talk about your education. Here, you’ll want to list your degrees, starting from the most recent one and going down to the least recent. This includes any associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD degrees that are relevant to your field. Make sure to mention the name of the educational institution, the program or degree you pursued, and, if you feel like it, the date you completed it. Feel free to add any other details that might be relevant.3. CertificationsNow, onto certifications. If you have any professional certifications that are related to the job you’re applying for, make sure to mention them in this section, along with the date you obtained them. This part is especially important if the job requires specific certifications or licenses. Highlight any certifications that are required, such as a driver’s license or a programming language certification. And hey, don’t hesitate to include non-required certifications as well, like the ones you got from online courses. They show off valuable soft skills like self-motivation and initiative.4. SkillsInclude relevant skills, both soft and technical, that are supported by your practical work experience, metrics, or impactful action verbs. Instead of simply stating “good communication skills,” highlight yourself as a thoughtful communicator who uses active listening and empathy to build strong interpersonal relationships. Specify the coding languages you are familiar with and describe how you have used them. Highlight any self-directed learning experiences to demonstrate your initiative.5. Unpaid work or volunteeringSimilar to your work experience section, this part focuses on unpaid positions, such as volunteer work, personal projects, or relevant internships that have helped you develop your skills. Provide detailed descriptions to explain why you have chosen to include each point.6. Link to portfolioIf applicable, include a link to your representative work or have a portfolio with sample projects available in case the hiring manager requests them. In creative fields, a digital portfolio is often expected, so make sure to provide a link if possible. Recruiters and hiring managers may also review your LinkedIn profile and domain-specific profiles, such as GitHub, to assess your successful projects. Maintain consistency between your resume and your body of work across all professional platforms.

Creating a Killer Resume That Could Get You 2x More Interviews

When you apply for a job and don’t receive a response, you can confidently assess whether it’s due to your resume, the job market, or other factors. If you’re not getting the desired responses, it’s crucial to thoroughly review the essential elements of a powerful resume. By making strategic adjustments, you can significantly enhance your prospects of receiving more favorable outcomes.

#1: Simplify your Resume

To ensure efficient sorting of resumes within a limited time frame, it is highly advantageous to utilize uncomplicated formatting techniques, concise sentence structures, bullet points for presenting information, an appropriate font selection, and avoiding clichés. Here are some suggestions:
  • Prominent Section Headers: One effective method is to make section titles such as "Education," "Experience," and "Skills" stand out by implementing a larger font size and/or a distinct color. This allows recruiters to swiftly locate the necessary information without wasting precious time.
  • Concise Bullet Points: Instead of composing lengthy paragraphs, it is recommended to present information in brief yet impactful points. Each bullet point should ideally be limited to 1-2 lines for optimal readability. Recruiters typically do not have the luxury of time to thoroughly read lengthy blocks of text.
  • Appropriate Font Selection: Opting for a clean and easily readable font, such as Calibri or Arial, is highly advisable. Maintaining a font size between 11-12 ensures easy legibility, avoiding anything smaller than 10. It is essential to ensure that both human readers and automated systems can effortlessly interpret the chosen font.
  • Strategic Use of Whitespace: It is crucial to avoid overcrowding the resume with an excessive amount of text. Leaving some empty space enhances the visual appeal and reduces the overall clutter, making the document more visually appealing and easier to navigate.
Considering the limited time that employers have to review resumes, it is of utmost importance to convey information in a concise yet impactful manner. Remember, a well-structured and concise resume significantly improves the chances of capturing the attention of hiring managers and securing potential job opportunities.Here is also a tip from a recruiter at Amazon.
  • Create a clean, simply formatted, and easy-to-read resume that clearly demonstrates your qualifications for the role you're applying to.
  • Refer to number one.
  • Seriously, it's just number one.

#2: Crafting an Engaging Summary that Hooks Recruiters' Attention

A resume summary, also known as an objective, is a concise paragraph of 3-5 sentences that expands on your headline statement and highlights why you are a strong candidate for the job. It is beneficial for both experienced professionals and those with no prior experience. Think of the summary section as a well-crafted, cold email that captures the reader's attention. By researching the recipient and creating an engaging and concise summary, you increase the chances of getting a response.When done effectively, the summary section can help align your skills and experience with the position. While some may argue that it takes up too much space or lacks usefulness, it is still crucial to recognize that recruiters want to learn more about you beyond the experience section. Therefore, it is important to take the time to thoroughly understand the company you are applying to and showcase what matters to them in your summary. This approach not only makes your resume more memorable but also shapes the recruiter's perception of you in a positive light.Furthermore, the summary section holds immense value when it comes to switching careers, lacking work experience for internships, or having gaps in your work history. Recruiters naturally have questions when they see such gaps or changes, such as why the career switch and if you have sufficient experience. To proactively address these questions and alleviate any concerns, utilize your summary section to provide insights into why you took a career break, what you gained during that time, why you want to switch companies or need the internship position, and how you improved and studied during any gaps. Mastering the summary section brings you closer to creating a standout resume. Now, it's time to understand how to connect your responsibilities with results and effectively present your work achievements.Small tips for nailing your summary section:
  • Don't mention information you already have on your resume
  • Make sure to highlight your critical skills relevant to the job using keywords from the job description.
  • Craft a concise summary statement that effectively demonstrates why you are the ideal candidate for the position.
  • Showcase your notable achievements that you aim to replicate in your new role.
  • Provide concrete evidence of your accomplishments by incorporating specific metrics such as percentages, sales figures, and other measurable results that provide a realistic perspective of your professional achievements.

# 3: Resumes Should Be Relevant

Studies have shown that 61% of recruiters will toss out a resume that hasn’t been customized for the specific job. So, if you want your resume to pack a punch, it’s gotta be tailor-made for the position you’re gunning for. When you personalize your resume, you’re forging a link between your experience and what the employer is after. So, don’t forget to sprinkle in the job title you’re targeting, shine a light on those oh-so-relevant skills, and give your accomplishments the spotlight they deserve. Trust me, it can make a world of difference!Another big thing is work experience. Like, more than 90% of recruiters really wanna see relevant experience on a resume. So, if you customize your resume for the specific job you’re going for, you’re giving the recruiters the deets they need to know that you’re a perfect match.Customizing your resume doesn’t have to be a drag. It can be as easy as throwing in a few tweaks and tweaks. By tailoring your resume for each gig you go for, you’ll up your chances of snagging some sweet outcomes.Key Takeaway: If you want to boost your chances of nailing the job, make sure to personalize your resume to match the position you’re gunning for.

# 4: Resumes Should Include Keywords Specific to the Industry

Using industry-specific words in your resume is super important because it helps employers figure out if you have the necessary skills, abilities, and qualifications for the job. To up your chances of getting interviews, do some research on the professional, technical, and academic skills needed for the position and give them top priority on your resume.Keywords are essential not only for the fancy applicant tracking software (ATS) to filter out resumes but also for the human reviewers. Once your resume passes the ATS screening, the HR person checking it out will want to see the relevant keywords right away without having to search for them.To make it easy for hiring managers to find the info they need, I suggest adding a special section just for keywords or keyword competencies at the very top of your resume. That way, you can immediately show off your professional, academic, and technical skills.By making it easier for the hiring manager to make a decision, you’ll increase your chances of getting more interview requests. Pretty neat, right?

# 5: Resumes Got to Show Results

Recruiters often say that finding skilled candidates is the biggest challenge when hiring. But the truth is, there are actually plenty of skilled candidates out there. The problem is that they have a hard time showing off their accomplishments and what they can do. The secret to a killer resume is to show off your value and what you’ve achieved. Hiring managers want to see what you’ve done in the past to gauge how well you’ll perform in the future. So it’s super important to clearly explain what you’ve already achieved.Alright, so here’s a cool trick you can use: the C.A.R. format, which stands for Challenge, Action, and Result. Basically, for each job you’ve had, talk about the challenge you faced, what you did to deal with it, and what happened as a result. Check out this example of a resume bullet written in this format:
  • Achieved a 20% increase in customer satisfaction scores through the implementation of a new customer support system. This was accomplished by streamlining processes, training support staff on new procedures, and implementing a feedback loop for continuous improvement.
The result is a 20% increase in customer satisfaction scores.The action taken was to implement a new customer support system, streamline processes, train support staff, and implement a feedback loop.The challenge addressed was the need to improve customer satisfaction scores.It is worth noting the deliberate and effective use of action verbs in communicating the client's achievements: increase, implement, and streamline. By following a similar approach when describing your unique differentiators, you can effectively highlight the measurable results you have achieved, showcase how you have delivered desirable outcomes, and overcome challenges to provide exceptional value to your customers.Key takeaway: Highlight important information by using bolded text to grab the employer’s attention.

# 6: Personal Branding is Essential in Resumes

Alright, so personal branding is all about finding and highlighting the things that make you special and awesome to hiring managers. If you want to build a killer personal brand for your resume, take a moment to think about these questions:
  • What sets you apart from others in your field?
  • So, what sets your approach apart from the rest?
  • How do people usually describe your strengths when they introduce you to others?
  • What do people usually come to you for help or advice with?
  • What achievements are you most proud of?
By answering these questions, you can figure out what to prioritize and highlight in your resume. For example, if you’re really good at managing budgets and have a proven track record of saving companies a ton of money, make sure to showcase this accomplishment front and center instead of burying it at the bottom of your resume.

#7 Seek an Objective Perspective and Leverage Technology

To enhance the quality of your resume, it can be highly advantageous to seek the perspectives of others and leverage cutting-edge technology. It is recommended to reach out to trustworthy individuals, such as coworkers or colleagues, and request their sincere feedback. Their valuable input can extend beyond mere validation and offer constructive criticism to help you refine your resume. Incorporating their insights can significantly contribute to the development of a compelling resume while also ensuring there are no inadvertent errors or omissions.Furthermore, it is worth exploring the potential of AI technology, such as the revolutionary platform called RapidResume. This innovative tool utilizes advanced AI algorithms to swiftly optimize your resume, resulting in an exceptional document with minimal exertion. With features like the "rate my resume" function and more, you can promptly receive an evaluation and score, gaining invaluable insights to further enhance your resume. For more information about this remarkable AI Resume Builder, click here.

Wrapping up

Now that you're well-equipped with the knowledge and understanding of how to craft a compelling resume, it's time to put these effective strategies into action. Remember, your resume is your ticket to the job interview, and you will want it to truly stand out in the crowded job market. Actually, if you implement and follow the strategies and key takeaways meticulously outlined in this blog post and put them into action, you'll definitely get bombarded with interview invites.But wait, there’s more! To truly excel in your job search journey, consider these additional tips.”
  • Networking Matters: Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Connect with professionals in your industry through LinkedIn, attend industry events, and engage in meaningful conversations. Networking can open doors to opportunities that might not be advertised.
  • Continuous Learning: Show your dedication to growth by highlighting any ongoing education or relevant courses you’re taking. This not only demonstrates your commitment to staying updated in your field but also adds value to your resume.
Remember, the job market is competitive, but with a standout resume and strategic approach, you’ll be well on your way to securing interviews and landing your dream job. Good luck on your job search journey!

Written By

Wendy Nguyen

Wendy Nguyen

Marketing Coordinator

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