When I was job searching a few years ago through trial and error I uncovered a few ways to make my resume look profession and have it stand out so I could get the coveted phone interview.
Tailor your resumeWhen job searching it can be tempting to create one resume that lists all your skills and qualifications and only use that one resume. Don’t give in to temptation. Even if you’re looking at the same type of job at multiple companies, each job description is different and tailored to what the hiring manager needs. So if you’re resume is generic and not tailored to the job description, you make it easier for hiring managers to dismiss your resume.
It took me a while, but I soon realized that I couldn’t send out a generic resume to every job description. I needed to tweak my resume to highlight the skills and experience I had that matched the qualifications in each job description.
To do this I
- Created a base resume that noted all my qualifications for the type of job I was looking for
- Read each job description carefully so I knew what they were looking for
- Tweaked my base resume to highlight my skills and experience that matched the qualifications
- Included keywords or phrases from the job description in my resume
Pay attention to formattingIn today’s world most people scan documents first to determine whether they want to spend time reading them. Recruiters and hiring managers tend to do this in an effort to quickly weed out unqualified resumes from the hundreds they may receive. So the way you format your resume can determine how easy it is to scan.
After spending the time to tailor your resume, you want to make sure it’s read. Some tips from recruiters to make your resume scannable include
- Using headers
- Bold text
- Use bullets
- Keep fonts and spacing consistent
- Don’t use crazy unreadable fonts
- Keep the number of colors to a minimum
Edit, edit, editPlease, please edit your resume. Many recruiters and hiring managers will toss out a resume if there are spelling errors. Especially obvious ones. I’ve seen resumes where the applicant spelled their own name wrong. Having spelling errors gives the impression that you don’t pay attention to details which on the job could cost a company thousands of dollars. If you’re not good at editing, ask a friend or relative to edit your resume for you.
Include social handlesPotential employers will probably check you out on social media, particularly LinkedIn to get an idea of your personality and more in depth information about your experience. Having this information included on your resume so it’s easy for them to find can help earn you bonus points.
Create an online portfolioIf you’re looking for a job in a creative field such as design, digital development, or writing, create an online portfolio showcasing work you’ve done in the past. This can be work done on previous jobs, on the side or just for the fun. Just make sure it’s relevant to the type of position you’re applying for and you have permission to share it.
If you’re not looking for job in a creative field, you can still create an online resume. It will allow you to share more about your background and skills and could help you standout from the pack.
What have you done to make your resume stand out?