How To Make Your Resume Stand Out

How To Make Your Resume Stand Out

Does your current resume begin with a generic objective statement telling the reader what type of jobs you are looking for? Let me guess that it reads something similar to this:

“I am seeking the opportunity to expand my skills, knowledge and experience in a challenging professional environment. I am honest, reliable, eager to learn and open to tackling a range of tasks. I am a strong and empathetic team player and always complete tasks to a high degree of quality and to deadlines” 

If this is how your resume begins, it’s time to make some changes. In the competitive job environment where hiring managers may receive upwards of 500 applications for a single position, an objective statement is more likely going to lead to your resume being deleted.  From a hiring manager’s perspective, they are not interested in a non-specific, all-purpose statement that adds no value to the resume and provides them with no reason to want to hire you. You may have the best skills and be the perfect fit for the job however, you may never get this opportunity because your resume has already been deleted.

What is a Qualifications Profile?

A great way to introduce yourself on your resume is by creating a qualifications summary or career summary.  Rather than telling the reader you are seeking an opportunity to expand your skills, rather promote what skills you actually can bring to this specific role. A targeted resume including a targeted profile will encourage the reader to continue reading the resume as opposed to pressing the delete button. For example, if you are applying for an IT job that requires programming skills, list you’re programming skills within your introductory profile. That way, the reader will be interested to read on as they know that you have skills that are required for the position.

How long should my qualifications profile be?

The last thing you want to do is turn your qualifications profile into an essay! Statistically, a hiring manager will only spend between 15 to 20 seconds when initially reading your resume. If they open your resume and see a half page profile they are more likely to be turned off as they won’t be bothered to read all this information. A well written profile should be no longer than 2-4 sentences. It needs to be targeted and present value.

What else can I do to make my resume shine? 

The key to writing a successful resume is highlighting your key achievements and value added skills.

The job market is competitive and if you’re going to prove to the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for a job, you need to show off every key achievement and skill you have to stand you out against all the other job candidates.  Remember the golden rule of resume writing – your resume is a marketing document and needs to market all the great things that you can bring to a potential job. Providing achievements that are backed up with quantitative evidence will guarantee that you will stand out from the other job seekers.

What types of achievements should you include in your resume?

Employers want to know the value you are going to add to the business and they want to see examples of your past accomplishments to indicate your future accomplishments. Types of achievements to include are:

  • Ways you saved the company money or reduced costs
  • Examples of new ideas or implementations that resulted in positive outcomes
  • Special awards or recognitions you received (e.g. voted #1 salesperson for two consecutive years)
  • Training, hiring, mentoring, leading and managing staff
  • Resolution of problems or issues that led to a positive outcome
  • Training courses, seminars and workshops that you successfully completed

2 tips to turn your resume into a selling tool

  1. Use strategic keywords throughout your resume to catch the reader’s eye. Strategic keywords will ensure that your resume will be picked up by employers using software programs that help eliminate candidate resumes.
  2. Go through the job requirements to find out exactly what the employer is looking for in the right candidate and incorporate this into your resume. For example, if the job is looking for someone with leadership skills, make sure you provide examples about the leadership you performed either in your past jobs or through community involvement or extra-curricular activities.

Including responsibilities and duties in your resume are important because it shows the reader what you actually do on a day to day basis. However, in order to take your resume to the next level and stand out against the competition (and get the highest possible salary!), you need to focus on value added achievements. 

Today’s post is written by Amanda Ryan, a Program Development Associate & Senior Resume Writer at RedStarResume. Amanda is a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specializes in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.

 

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About Anna Runyan

Hi! I’m known as the leading authority on getting women unstuck out of careers they hate. For the last 5 years I’ve been helping clients transition into careers they love. I have worked behind the scenes helping hundreds of professional women find fulfilling, challenging and purposeful careers. Make sure you sign up for my FREE leadership course and weekly career report here.

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