4 Ways to Create a Resume that Stands Out in a Crowd

Your resume is the most important document to advance your career. Given that employers will only scan it for 15-30 seconds, you need to make sure your resume stands out from the other candidates in the marketplace. Too many resumes are filled with fluff statements that anyone can say, and they don’t really distinguish you as a top candidate.

1. Create a resume that is short and to the point.

There is no rule on how long a resume should be, but you want to keep it as short and concise as possible.  If a resume is longer than three pages, there’s a very good chance that it will not be fully reviewed.  Hiring managers, HR and recruiters have to sift through so many resumes that relevant information will not even be read if it’s listed on page 2 or 3.  The longer and more story-like your resume is the more likely it’s going to be discarded.

2. Create a resume to reflect your accomplishments and not responsibilities.

Hiring managers are more interested in outcomes and accomplishments than your duties or responsibilities.  You should use numbers or somehow quantify what you have actually done.  If you are in sales, list revenue numbers. If you’re a developer, what applications did you create?  If you are a Project Manager, how many projects did you successfully manage?

3. List keywords and technical capabilities on your resume.

It’s critical to use keywords and technical terms on your resume to make it stand out.  A busy hiring manager or recruiter will probably not have time to read every word on every resume they receive. Instead, they will simply scan each one looking for important words or phrases that describe the type of candidate they’re most interested in. Adding keywords gives you a better chance of having your resume pulled up by the hiring manager or recruiter when they search the web or database.

4. Formatting your resume is very important.

Use bullet points instead of paragraph form to describe your experience and accomplishments.  Bullet points enhance the readability of your resume by making it much easier to scan.  Bold-face the names of companies you have worked for and keywords such as technologies you have used.  Again, hiring managers are usually scanning resumes for relevant experience, similar companies and specific skills.