5 simple tips to make your resume stand out

Writing a resume is not easy. Often, we can write for hours without knowing if it’s quite right. So here are a few things you can do to make sure you do get it right!  The person reading your resume won’t chuck it to the side halfway through reading it. In fact, we want the employer to put your resume on the top of the pile.

The first thing to establish is your layout. A resume needs to be easy on the eyes!

1. Get creative, use white space and play around with the placement of information. Of course, you need to keep it professional and keep your job history in chronological order but there are multiple sites such as ehancv.com or visualcv.com that can give you an idea of what else you can do to make your resume more visually appealing.

The next step is focusing on the content. There are a few things to think about when it comes to this.

2. Start with a short summary of yourself. Make it personable yet professional. Show them that you know what kind of worker you are as well as what kind of person you are. This can be a subtitle under your name, such as ‘Passionate, communicative, determined’ or it could be a short paragraph, indicative of your qualities and achievements that prove you’re a strong candidate. If you are to go with a short subtitle under your name, it would be wise to include personal achievements elsewhere (perhaps in a sidebar) that reflect the qualities you have stated. For example, ‘I volunteer with St Vincent Soup Vans in my neighbourhood because I am passionate about making people’s lives better.’ Things that aren’t primarily work-related (perhaps graduation, travel, volunteering or personal projects) can often make your personality shine and make an employer think about how you will fit in with existing personnel.  

3. When writing about your job history, it’s better to list outcomes and how you achieved them before simply listing what your duties were. For example, ‘My team accomplished an average performance increase of 20% in the year I started, I achieved this by….’ Rather than ‘I lead a team of 10.’ In doing this you show both what you are capable of as well as how you can perform within the company.

4. Cater your resume to the job description or ad. Use the same keywords that the company has used to describe your previous responsibilities or own qualities. A lot of corporations have computer systems that search for these words to select a final group of resumes. And even if they don’t, the employer will know what they are looking for and will recognise keywords, placing you on their radar.  Just make sure you are being truthful. A resume is one of the rare places where we can talk ourselves up and not be considered boastful, but it still has to be honest. If you lie on your resume, it’ll show in the interview.

5. Add links! If you have a personal blog, LinkedIn (which I highly recommend), a website or online portfolio then definitely add the link to your resume. This way, the employer will be able to get more of a feel for your persona and ability to connect with others.

Lastly, as a reminder, read over your resume several times. Make sure you have spelled everything correctly. Don’t use too many words, be precise and ensure you’re keeping to the point. These are some simple steps to help yourself get noticed. Unfortunately, there’s no magic trick that applies to all jobs which will guarantee getting an interview – but following these guidelines will enhance your chances of getting to the next step in the recruitment process. Happy writing!

If your resume is on point, but you still need a cover letter check out this blog that shows you what you need for a successful one. For interview tips and tricks, head to our interview tips page