Resumes

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Preparing to apply for jobs within a particular industry requires you to review your qualifications and place them in an appealing resume format. By taking the time to revise your resume and implement tactics that can enhance its quality, your resume can stand out against industry competitors. In this article, you can learn why it is important to make your resume stand out, and eight methods you can apply to your resume’s format and content to give you the best chance at getting noticed by employers.

Why is it important to make your resume stand out?

It is important to make your resume stand out because you can potentially increase your chances of getting noticed by employers. With an increase of companies accepting online applications, hundreds of qualified individuals can discover a job opportunity and apply for a position. By using methods to enhance the quality of your resume, you can increase your chances of your resume being selected for review among hundreds of other applicants.

How to enhance your resume

Here are some ways to enhance the quality and appearance of your resume:

1. First, include a header

In order to help your resume stand out visually, consider centering your personal information at the top of the page. By centering your name and placing your contact information directly underneath it, your identity and contact details can be easily recovered by employers. Centering your header can also help your resume appear more aesthetically pleasing.

Example:

                                                                      Robert Smith

                                 555-555-5555  |     rsmith@email.com |     Orlando, FL      

2. Second, limit the usage of fancy fonts and color schemes

You can enhance your resume by limiting the use of fonts and colors that could distract away from the content of your resume. Choose a font that is easy to read as employers reviewing your resume will most likely skim over its contents. If the font you use is hard to read, they might not give your resume and qualifications the attention it deserves.

Example: Choose a font such as Times New Roman, Avenir, Calibri, Georgia, Helvetica or Corbel.

3. Third, include a customized objective statement

An objective statement is an optional component that can be included in your resume, but if used correctly, it can allow you to provide your reader with a brief statement about your professional qualifications. You should avoid ‘I’ language and choose the best adjectives and qualifying attributes to describe yourself in one to three sentences.

Example: ‘Determined and hard-working individual with over five years of experience as a marketing professional seeking to join the new business team as an account manager.’

4. Fourth, tailor your objective statement to the company and position you are interested in

Another way you can use your objective statement is by tailoring it specifically to how you and your qualifications can help improve the company to which you are applying. By directly addressing the company, you can make a positive impression on employers and help increase your chances of gaining an interview opportunity.

Example: ‘Determined and hard-working individual with over five years of experience as a marketing professional. Looking to apply knowledge of marketing principles and design programs to the brand efforts of Wilmington PR.

5. Fifth, add power verbs

You can use power verbs to start each job duty or accomplishment that you list in your professional experience section. 

Examples of power verbs:

  • Improved
  • Maintained
  • Resolved
  • Identified
  • Increased
  • Initiated
  • Designed
  • Established
  • Coordinated 
  • Administered
  • Delegated
  • Enforced
  • Generated
  • Hired
  • Managed
  • Organized

Examples of professional experience: 

  • ‘Organized onboarding procedures for new hires’
  • ‘Coordinated between upper-management and accounting professionals to implement effective work habits’
  • ‘Established project criteria for team of marketing professionals’
  • ‘Generated new clientele through external sales methods’

6. Sixth, use numbers and data to quantify your achievements

Quantify your accomplishments to help employers visualize the results that you have produced during your past professional experiences. This can help employers measure your work ethic and the success rate of your past achievements.

Examples:

  • ‘Increased sales to existing clients by 45% ‘ 
  • ‘Improved department productivity by 30%’ 
  • ‘Identified an additional $3,000 in available revenue’ 
  • ‘Hired 16 IT professionals’

7. Seventh, put accomplishments before responsibilities

Although it might be important to highlight the daily tasks you were responsible for completing in your past jobs, you should make sure to put an emphasis on the things you accomplished through the performance of your work responsibilities. Think about the outcomes of your projects, assignments and productivity to see if there are any resulting factors that you could include.

Example:

  • ‘Increased sales to existing clients by 45% through the use of new marketing methods’
  • ‘Improved department productivity by 30% after implementing an incentivized work system’
  • ‘Identified an additional $3,000 in available revenue by completing analysis of company balance sheet data’
  • ‘Hired 16 IT professionals while employed as the manager of the IT department. Instructed new hires on Javascript programming during 90-day trial period’

8. Eighth, use language from the job description

Review the original job description. Highlight keywords and phrases that were used to describe the personal traits and qualifications of an ideal candidate. It is important that you only use the words and phrases that accurately describe you. You can implement these keywords and phrases into your objective statement, skills section and professional experience descriptions.

Example of a job posting:

‘Looking for a financial planner with five years of experience working in accounting or a related area. An ideal candidate must be a motivated individual with a passion for continued learning opportunities. Candidates should have advanced knowledge of MS Excel, superb communication and excellent data analysis skills that could positively contribute to the corporate efforts of Louden Publishers Inc.’

Example of highlighted keywords and phrases from the job posting:

  • Motivated
  • Superb communication
  • Advanced in MS Excel
  • Positive
  • Data analysis
  • 5+ years of experience
  • Accounting and Finance industry
  • Passionate about continued learning