Published 11 May 2018 Category: Compass Tips

How To Get Your Resume To Stand Out

Are you a college student writing a resume in hopes of getting that internship you’ve dreamt of or an experienced professional updating your resume because you’re looking for a new job? Learning how to write a CV so that you have the best chances of landing the job can be stressful and confusing.

The difference between a good resume and poor one can be the difference between even getting an interview. Studies have shown that on average, recruiters look at a resume for around 6 seconds before moving on to the next. That’s a pretty scary statistic, so here are some tips to writing resumes that stand out:
 
Tailor your resume to fit the job you’re applying for
Mass applying to a bunch of jobs with a generic resume won’t cut it. Employers are looking to see how your experience is applicable to the job they are hiring for. It is crucial to read the job description and the required duties of the position you are applying for, and tailor your resume to highlight how your experience makes you a good fit for the role. I get that it’s time consuming but it is a worthwhile step to make your resume stand out and catch the eye of the employer.

Research the company a little bit and understand what it is they are looking for in a team member. By including whatever that may be in your resume, it immediately sets you apart from other applicants that don’t take the time to do so. If you have lots of experience under your belt, there is no need to include all of it on your resume. Don’t waste the time of the recruiter and exclude any experience that is not applicable to the job you’re applying for. Instead go into more detail on the experience that is relevant.
 
Quantify your achievements
Quantifying your accomplishments is a great way to catch the eye whoever is looking over your resume. If you have experience in a sales position, include how much you sold or how much revenue you generated for the company. If you have ever saved a company money on a certain project, state how much. Do you have managerial experience? How many people did you lead or train and quantify what you led them to do. Numbers are a great way for the recruiter to get context on your experience and allows them to get a better sense of you as a prospective employee

How to Quantify ANYTHING on Your Resume
 
Make it simple and easy to read
This includes adding a header, using a consistent easy to scan format, proof read it, and make it concise. Include a header that is clear and applies to the job at hand. The days of writing an objective on your resume are over; replace it with an executive summary where you explain in around 3-5 sentences your talents, interests, and how you can be of value to the employer. Include your name and contact information at the top. Use a professional email from a professional email provider for your contact info. I know you use your furrycat101@aol.com or baseballguy@hotmail.com email the most but you are trying to represent yourself as a distinguished professional here! 

Scannability is important because that is precisely what most recruiters are going to be doing, scanning it. This means use a clear, uncluttered format that breaks up your resume by topic (i.e education, work experience, skills). Use reverse chronological order, including your most recent experiences first and never include a picture of yourself on your resume unless explicitly asked for. A professional cv can still utilize unique resume templates, but will almost always be easy to read and formatted to be scanned.

One of the easiest things to do, but often forgotten is to proof read your resume. Any spelling or grammatical error will almost certainly result in you being tossed in the reject pile as it’s a sign of poor effort and lack of accountability in some cases. Your resume should also be as concise as possible, with most people saying that it should fit on one page. If you have 6+ jobs of relevant experience, it may exceed a page but nearly everyone should be able to fit all the information on one page. Recruiters won’t care about your high school job working as a cashier at McDonalds when you’re applying to be a graphic designer.
 
Key Words
Lots of companies use some sort of screening process to quickly weed out candidates out of the hundreds of applications they receive. More often than not, they scan resumes to search for certain industry key words. Make sure to do your research about common keywords and terminology used in the industry and job description and use them in your resume granted that you do in fact have those skills. This will help you make it past any initial screenings and on to the next stage where someone will look at your resume.
 
It’s more than just your resume
While crafting a flawless professional CV that is tailored to the specific position and highlights your applicable skills and experience is a great start, it is what you then do with this resume that matters. Your resume must tell a story. It should bring whoever is reading it through your professional work experiences, achievements, skills and interests and show how you have advanced and developed through the years.

Simply applying to jobs online is proving not to be as effective anymore. Find the email of the recruiter and send them your resume personally, or when you apply online, always try to email the company or find someone working there that can help you to follow up with stating your interests and why you think you’re a good fit. In the end, words mean nothing compared to connections you make and networks you can tap into.