The Arnold Group (TAG) - Job Seeker Blog
The Arnold Group (TAG) - Job Seeker Blog
How to Make Your Resume Stand Out Against the Stack
Article Categories: Job Search, Resumes
Posted on Friday, July 10, 2020

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out Against the Stack

Hiring managers sift through dozens of resumes when searching candidates for their open job positions. With so many resumes to review and so little time to review them in, recruiters typically only spend 10-20 seconds on each resume before making a decision about moving forward with learning more about that candidate or not. Better ensure you capture your reader’s attention in that small window of time with these tips:

Customize to the company and industry

Think about the industry you’re in – while the key elements of a resume are important no matter what, some elements may be more important than others, depending on the industry. For example, if you’re applying for a job in finance, hiring managers are looking for numbers and hard data, but if you’re applying for a job in a creative industry, the design of your resume is what will be scrutinized.

Consider the company you’re applying with as well. If you’re applying for a finance position at a creative company, you need to consider the hard data you include and the design of your resume. If you’re applying for a creative position within an accounting firm, the hiring manager will likely be used to looking for numbers and hard data within a well-designed resume.

Figure out what elements an employer in your desired industry and the specific company are most likely looking for in a resume, and spend time perfecting those elements to make yours really stand out.

Include keywords from the job posting

Think of the job description as your roadmap to tailoring your resume - it’s going to include several key words outlining the type of candidate they’re looking for. This means including a few of those keywords in your resume will better capture their attention, because that’s what they’re looking for. Just be sure including those keywords is honest, accurate and within context.

Often, hiring managers will do keyword searches to sort through resumes faster. It sounds tedious, but it’s worth it to update the keywords within your resume for each job you apply for.

Describe accomplishments – not just responsibilities

Resumes often list the responsibilities of a job you’ve done, but not what you’ve achieved. Employers not only want to know what you did but what you did well. For example, if you are a pizza delivery person and list delivering pizzas as a responsibility, you should clarify if you delivered them hot and on time. Listing your accomplishments is evidence of a job well done and will surely make you stand out.

Create a concise summary statement

Speaking of accomplishments, a great place to include them is in a summary statement where they are front and center. Oftentimes, applicants include generic self-descriptors in their objective and while they may be true, they aren’t going to make you stand out. Your accomplishments are unique to you, therefore including a few of your most notable ones will greatly stand out.

Proofread… and then proofread again

Tailoring your resume to the unique position you’re applying for, carefully choosing keywords to include, and describing your many accomplishments won’t matter if you have a glaring typo that could have easily been fixed. Remember, you only have 10-20 seconds to make your resume stand out and the goal is to make it stand out in the best way possible. A hiring manager who spots a typo in the first five seconds of looking at a resume isn’t going to spend another second looking further… no matter how many keywords they spot.

Your resume’s job is to catch your reader’s attention and make them want to learn more about you during an interview. Following these steps to tailor your resume to each position you apply for may take extra time and effort, but is going to pay off in the end when your resume is bumped to the top of the stack. For more resume tips, visit our free Resume Resources page.

Article Categories: Job Search, Resumes