A resume is always needed, when applying for a new job. You hope that your skills, education and experience with help you land the position. However, in order to get the opportunity to meet with a potential recruiter, you need to get invited for an interview. A stand-out resume is the first way to convince a recruiter that you deserve an interview.
Keep the Layout Simple
As a general rule, your resume should not be more than one page in length. Now if a job is asking for 7+ years of experience or you are applying for a senior role, it is acceptable for the resume to be between 2-3 pages in length. Check out TopResume. They go further into detail as to how to determine what resume length you need.
Another way to help your resume stand out is by using a header. Use this space to include your name and contact information and mention the position you’re applying for. It’s a simple, but great way to grab recruiter’s attention. It also helps to bring the resume together and will give it a polished look. Here is a list of the most important sections you should include in your resume:
- Include personal details such as contact information and photo, which is optional
- Career overview
- Summarize your strengths and achievements
- Employment History
- Start with your current or recent position and work backwards
- Include title, dates of employment, summary of duties and responsibilities, and job status (full-time, part-time, temp, etc.)
- This is the place to also include volunteer experience
- If you have gaps between jobs, give a short explanation
- Start with your most recent educational experience first.
- Include, educational institution, degree, and dates
- Achievements and awards
- Include any achievements that are relevant to the job you are applyingfor
- Professional Memberships
- Include any professional organizations that you are an active member of
- Additional Skills
- Include skills that you are proficient in and are relevant to the job
- Also include other languages spoken
It is completely fine of these sections are empty, just leave them off the resume. If you need a little help creating your resume, check out Microsoft Office. They have tons of free resumes and cover letter templates.
Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for
The truth is, a generic resume that you send to every employer isn’t going to catch the eye of the recruiter who receives it. What they’re really hoping to see is a resume that has been tailored to the job at hand. They want to know that you’ve read their job listing and that you know exactly what they want in a potential employee. And you should tailor your resume
to show off the skills and experience they’re looking for.
It’s worthwhile to make a few tweaks to your resume before sending it off, even though it may take some time. Always review the job listing for the position you’re applying to and figure out what the company is looking for in an employee. Determine what qualities they deem are valuable for their employees to possess. Make sure your resume reflects those skills, so recruiters with see that you’re a perfect fit. This is a major way to make your resume stand out among the rest of the generic resumes.
Use Industry Keywords
Contrary to popular belief, many recruiters do not take the time to read your entire resume. Recruiters will sometimes receive dozens, possibly hundreds of resumes within a week. They do not have the time to read and vet each resume in its entirety. It is especially important to use industry keywords when applying to jobs at large companies. Majority of those companies use a filtering system to skim through your resume to find certain keywords.
Tip: Industry keywords can be found right in the job description. Make sure you read the entire job post and add keywords and skills to your resume.
Add a cover letter to truly stand out
If a job application says to submit a resume, often people will just submit a resume. But, if you submit a cover letter as well, a recruiter is going to be impressed and increases your chances of landing an interview. Use the cover to really brag about yourself and personally explain why you are the best applicant for the job.
DO NOT FORGET TO PROOFREAD!
It is extremely unprofessional to send recruiters a resume with grammatical and spelling errors. It is the quickest way to have your resume end up in the trash.