6 resume adjustments that could make you stand out
By making just small adjustments to your resume, you could help yourself stand out in a crowd. We have put together this list of tweaks and tips that you can easily do to help push your resume to the next level.
Don’t cram your information – its okay to take up more pages if necessary
Many people are scared that if their resume is too long it won’t get noticed. However, it’s more about how much text is on the page because this affects readability. If a resume is cluttered it can be overwhelming to look at and many of the important details can go overlooked because they are lost in a sea of letters. Make sure to use white space and separate things clearly. Hiring managers and recruiters should be able to look at your resume and see distinctly, your name, your details, where your summary is, where your skills are, where your experience is, etc. Don’t squash it in or be afraid to add an extra page. If someone skims your first page and thinks, ‘hmm, okay, this person has a lot of what we’re looking for’ they will go on to look at the rest.
Edit per job ad
It’s important to add key-words and specific things that apply to you that were mentioned in the job ad. Most people reading the resume will be highly familiar with these words and phrases. In fact, they will be actively looking for these details when going through applications. Make sure to have an easily editable version of your resume that you tailor to each job ad; it will only take an extra five minutes and could make a huge difference.
Quantify and be specific about accomplishments
There are two steps to this pointer. Firstly, you need to talk about your accomplishments, not just your responsibilities. Don’t say things like, ‘ran campaigns,’ or ‘successful project management throughout my time at [X Company]’. You have to get a bit more specific than that. What did you achieve whilst project managing? How did your campaigns run? Secondly, add numbers and or quantifiable details to your accomplishments. For example: ‘My most recent project was run efficiently and completed 2 weeks earlier than projected. I kept the project within budget and was able to produce 10% ROI and an NPS of 50 from the client’.
Avoid long winded sentences
When reading through your resume do you ever find yourself pausing or having to pause where you don’t have any grammatical cues to pause? This is a sign your sentences may be too long. People skim resumes at first so make sure you use short, punchy sentences. Being succinct in your resume will be more eye-catching and easier to digest for readers.
Highlight key areas that are important for the job or industry at the beginning of the page
The first page matters the most! This is where hiring managers and recruiters decide if they want to keep reading on. Make sure you highlight the important areas clearly here. For example, do you have experience in the industry you are applying for? Write that nice and high on the page, either in your summary or in your skills and knowledge section. Do you have an award in your field? Make sure that’s on this page. Avoid phrases like: “Although I don’t have direct experience in [X industry] yet, I know my [X skills] will be applicable.” Transferrable skills are important to mention but avoid phrasing them in a way that says you ‘don’t’ have experience. Instead you could say something like: “My experience as an [X job title] gave me excellent team management and time management skills that would benefit [X role] greatly”. Ideally, this sentence would include keywords from the job ad.
Remove irrelevant experience
Lastly, make sure to remove anything that isn’t relevant to the role or industry you are applying for. That first retail job you had, remove it. That entry level job from 10 years ago, you don’t need it. Only include things that show you are right for the job you’re applying for.