Top 8 Ways To Make Your Resume Stand Out

Posted November 16, 2018, by Jenny Sakr

It’s no secret that the job market is competitive, recruiters, hiring managers and HR personnel usually have far too many applicants for the positions they are recruiting for. Which means that unfortunately, a huge percentage of applicants’ resumes will end up on the ‘no’ pile even if they tick every box and even if the person writing the resume has the skill, agility and prowess to nail the position available.

You might be the best person for the role, but if your resume doesn’t pique the recruiter’s interest within seconds, well, you can kiss that job goodbye. Sorry folks, it really is that harsh, and it’s definitely a dog eat dog world when it comes to getting your resume noticed.

But all is not lost, there are plenty of surprising ways to make your resume shine, and we have 8 resume tips right here. You’re welcome!

1: Tailor Your Resume To The Job

Studies show that the average recruiter scans a resume for six seconds before deciding if the applicant is a good fit for the role, so not only do you have to make sure your content is clear and concise, you have to make sure you highlight what the employer is looking for.

Make sure your resume substantiates why you are perfect for the role. Be sure to clearly and succinctly highlight your experience and skills that match with the role you’re applying for. If you’re going for an IT job, it’s simply not necessary to put that you worked at a fast food chain eight years ago – it’s not relevant.

TIP: Use a template which you can easily tweak for and weave information in and out of for each position you apply for.

2: Be Careful What You Cut

Now, we know we’ve just suggested that you leave out unnecessary words and keep the resume tailored to the position but as LinkedIn recruiter, Glen Cathey says, “don’t cut valuable content just to limit your resume to 1-2 pages”. Glen wrote a piece on LinkedIn which discussed how most resume samples miss out vital information and role relevant skills, and experience in a bid to keep their resume’s short. His theory? Make your resume as long as you need it but keep it relevant to the role, precise and concise without overlooking the important stuff.

Cut the fluff, keep what adds value.

3. Use Buzzwords

Even if you don’t like buzzwords, make sure you include some in your resume. Incorporate words such as ‘managed’, ‘developed’, ‘accomplished’, ‘strategic’ etc. into the language and tone of the resume and you’ll instantly appear capable. Just make sure that you adjust the words to relevant words suitable for your industry. Also feature the names of skills, techniques and experiences in your resume because some recruiters perform advanced data searches to find people with specific skills. So if you have these on your resume, you might find that the right job finds you rather than the other way around. 

4. Format matters

Your format should always be professional, modern and clean looking. You want the recruiter to read to the bottom of your resume and ideally spend longer on it than the standard six seconds. Busy, cluttered and unstructured formats subliminally off-putting, so don’t do it! If you are not great at formatting why not download a professionally designed template! Or if you’re not a words person then hire a resume writer and leave it in expert hands. The return on investment when you bag the job of your dreams will be well worth it.

5. Punctuation is on point!

Typo’s and errors project a lack of attention to detail, laziness or a lack of desire or motivation toward the job. Polish your resume perfectly, and it will surely let your recruiters know that you are serious, professional and competent.

6. Skip The Hobby Section

Remember when we said in the second point to cut the fluff? Well, hobbies are fluff! This is a bit of a useless section on a resume unless they are relevant to the role, or you have recently left school and want to show how you have developed skills through your hobbies. Remember the recruiters are scanning for those resume’s that are a likely fit for the job they are recruiting for, do you really think that they are interested in whether you keep horses, enjoy football or knitting? Probably not and if they are, we are sure that they will ask during the interview.

7. Make Use Of A Header

Create a clear capitalised header right across the top of your resume, and make sure it slams your recruiter in the face with a clear, hard-hitting statement that defines who you are and how you can fulfil the role you are applying for – just make sure that it’s tailored to the role you are applying for.

8. Back It Up

Provide case studies, metrics and any other evidence either through storytelling or hard facts that demonstrate that you know your stuff. Remember that it’s ok to have a longer resume if the information you include is relevant.

P.s Don’t forget to attach a cover letter with your resume! According to Business Insider Australia, “about half of all HR reps say they won’t even read a resume if the candidate hasn’t submitted a cover letter. So, unless the employer explicitly says they don’t want a cover letter, write one.” So if you’re serious about a role, get serious about putting together a stand out CV and cover letter.


Jenny Sakr
Jenny Sakr

Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.

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