Resumes – How to Truly Stand Out

It’s time to put your best foot forward in your resume!

A typical recruiter spends just a few seconds reviewing your resume before deciding if it deserves further inspection – or a standard “we’ll keep your information on file” rejection letter.

If you’re updating your resume, what’s the best way to capture a hiring manager’s attention? Here are a few tried-and-true tips, as well as a few new ideas to ensure your application makes it into the “must call” pile:

Reflect. Before you make a single update, take a step back and consider:

  • Why you’re ready to make a job change.
  • What your ideal job looks like.
  • What you’ve achieved since you last updated your resume.
  • Where you see your career headed over the next three to five years.

Spend some time gathering your thoughts, speaking with your family and your friends, and gaining some clarity on where you want to go in your career. Investing think-time before you change your resume will make the revamp more intentional, focused and effective.

Think beyond your resume. With the advent of social media, personal blogs and online portfolios, recruiters may be scrutinizing much more than your resume. Be sure you review and clean up your “digital footprint” as part of your update, so what an employer finds out online about you improves your chance of getting called for an interview.

Customize content. The more closely your qualifications match the job’s requirements, the more likely a recruiter is to give you a call. Make their decision easy! Before you apply, do your homework and adapt your resume to the position, industry and employer:

  • Research it. Scour the company’s website and social media platforms to learn everything you can about the company’s mission/vision, industries served, competitors and recent accolades, and the role itself.
  • Tailor your “career objective” statement to the job posting.
  • Align your skills and experience with those of the available position, highlighting your transferable job skills.
  • Explain how your value translates into the job’s specific requirements.

Watch your language. The wording in your resume needs to work for humans and machines. Scrutinize every section, keeping the following pointers in mind:

  • Use action-oriented verbs. Skip the buzzwords, opting for vivid, descriptive language to describe your accomplishments, such as: increased/decreased, achieved, created, managed, solved, promoted, negotiated.
  • Strike the right balance between modesty and hype. While it’s essential to be honest, you still must present your experience in the best possible light to stand out. If you’re concerned that you may be selling yourself short – or pushing the envelope a bit too far – get an outside opinion on your resume.
  • Make sure it passes the ATS test. An ATS (applicant tracking system) is a type of screening software employers use to make scanning and sorting resumes more efficient. To ensure your resume is both recruiter- and ATS-friendly:

–     Incorporate the top five to 10 industry- and position-specific terms you discover during your research near the top of your resume.
–     Highlight each resume section heading in ALL CAPS to make it easier for the ATS to correctly categorize information.
–     Stick to basic formatting and standard fonts.
–     Choose an approved file format (read upload instructions carefully!).

Looking for a new job in 2018? 

PrideStaff can help ensure that you don’t just search, but succeed.  With offices throughout the country, we help hard-working people like you find great jobs, temporary or full-time, within our network of clients. Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more, or search jobs here.