How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Having a winning résumé is vital to securing an interview. Take a fresh look at how you write your résumé, make it stand out in the crown, and market yourself.

By Joyce Lain Kennedy | Excerpted from Resumes For Dummies

1. Match Your Resume to the Job

To dart past job software filters, a resume must closely match your qualifications with the requirements specified in a job posting’s position description. Include keywords to help connect the dots. Alternatively, when  you’re posting your resume in a job board’s resume database, research a dozen job ads in your target career field for typical requirements and keywords. The old generic resume has nearly dropped dead.

2. Choose Flattering Format

Select the best format for your situation. For example, the reverse chronological format is appropriate when staying in the same field, but a skills format works best when changing fields. A hybrid format (using parts of both types)  is effective in any situation. One to two pages, in most cases, is the right length to avoid T.M.I. (too much information).

3. Sell, Don’t Tell

Forget the naming-your-previous-responsibilities routine. Merely listing “Responsible for XYZ” doesn’t assure the recruiter you met your responsibility or the result of your efforts was worth the money someone paid you. Don’t be stingy with your accomplishments. Always answer the “So what?” question for each accomplishment. The hiring honchos are thinking “Who cares?” or “What’s in it for me?” Tell them!

4. Prove Your Claims

A good start on backing up your claims of skills and accomplishments is measuring them with numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts.

Compare the following statements. Which is the most convincing?

  • Easy Ways to Be More Popular OR 50 Easy Ways to Be More Popular
  • Towels on Sale OR Towels 40% Off
  • Designed internal company insurance plan to replace outside plan at great savings OR Designed $30 million self-insured health plan, saving estimated $5 million per year over previous external plan.

5. Use Bulleted Style for Easy Reading

Using one- or two-liners opens up your resume with white space, making it more appealing to read. Big blocks of text suffocate readers. Let your words breathe.

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  • Your Comments

    • RO-LAN

      Hello… As a retired RESUME WRITER and an internationally credentialed CAREER MASTER, the few resume tips shown above are barely the “tip of the iceberg” but a good start when considering writing your resume. Before preparing your own resume, you must keep in mind that what you are about to create is actually a “short commercial” about yourself and what you have to offer a prospective employer. Your goal is to sell yourself on paper and get the reader interested enough to want to interview you. Before you actually start the writing, decide on what style of resume will best suit your background (targeted, functional, formal, basic). Select a good quality paper and envelope and now decide on the font size and letter style to compliment the paper. Plan out the categories you will need to complete the resume and decide on the order of the information to be presented as well. As trivial as all of the above might seem to you, these are all very important areas to consider PRIOR to doing the actual writing of the document. The creation/writing of the resume is a whole other topic. Feel free to contact me, should you need any other tips!! RO-LAN, rlapointe@aol.com …………