In my reader survey earlier this year, many of you indicated you’d like to see career-related posts here on Small Towns & City Lights. Being in the midst of graduation season, I thought this would be the perfect time to kick that off.
One of the biggest struggles people face when dealing with the job hunt is getting noticed. It’s no easy feat, especially with so many people vying for the same position. BUT there are some things you can do to rise above the competition. Here are my top tips for how to make your resume stand out, whether you’ve been in the workforce for a while or are just getting ready to jump in.
Use an Easy-to-Read Format
As a hiring manager (and also someone who works in marketing), the first thing that my eye goes to in a resume is the formatting. If you’re using a bunch of random fonts all over and the formatting is out of whack, it’s on to the next one. Remember, your resume is your first impression, so be sure to clean it up and put it in an easy-to-read format with bullet points! If you can keep it to a single page, even better!
Tailor Your Resume to the Job
Every job description includes a list of tasks you’d be responsible for. Be sure to read them carefully and adjust your resume (truthfully) as needed. Since you typically only want to include a few points for each position you list, there’s a good chance you have some other points you could include on the backburner!
Add in Power Keywords and Show Achievements
Use words like led, delivered, managed, planned, developed, and increased, when possible. They show leadership and that what YOU as an individual were able to contribute in your previous role(s). If you have metrics or achievements you can include as well that really helps prove your value as to what success you had in the past and what you’d likely bring to this new company, if hired.
Check Grammar and Spelling
This might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you check the grammar and spelling throughout your resume before sending it in. If you need a sanity check, have a friend or family member look over it. This is SO important. If grammar or spelling errors are found, it’s often the fastest way to get your resume put into the “reject” pile.
Include Relevant Contact Information
This is a big one and has two parts. First, you don’t need to include your entire home address, because that’s not something the hiring team needs to see to decide if you’re qualified or not (including your city and state are fine though). The second part of this is for those of you living in one location and applying to a job in another. The hiring team might think you’re not serious about the job or that it would be more complicated (since a move would be required) if you’re out of state, so if you want to improve your chances, leaving off your location is a safe bet. But the main takeaway here is that you should include the most relevant contact info of how you want the recruiter to reach you – your email address and phone number!
What tips do you have to make your resume stand out?