How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

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.

  • Republished from:

    Resumes For Dummies, 6th Edition

    buy NOW

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.