Whether you’re applying for your first professional job or are looking to elevate your career at another company, your resume is the hiring manager’s first impression of you. Depending on the position, a recruiter or hiring manager can receive hundreds of resumes to review. How can you make yours stand out? Follow these steps to create a resume that’ll get you noticed.
1. Use the Right Keywords
The hiring manager or recruiter may not be the only one you need to impress with your resume. An increasing number of organizations are using automated software to screen resumes for keywords. Therefore, it is important to put these keywords into your resume.
Start by reviewing the job listing (and similar listings) and jot down keywords being used. Print out your resume and use a reliable pen like the G-350 Gel Retractable Pen, available with a red ink refill, to circle the matching keywords. If your resume is light on keywords, add more.
2. Use an easy-to-read format
Grab the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention at the start. If your resume isn’t easy to read, they won’t read it. The key is to show them why you would be an ideal candidate from the start.
Showcase your most relevant experience and contact information at the forefront, using a standardized font like Arial, Calibri, or Georgia. Be sure to create a healthy balance of whitespace. If you have an online portfolio or website, highlight the URL so it stands out.
3. List Your Most Relevant Work and Accomplishments First
While you might have an extensive work history, it is important to keep your resume as concise as possible without leaving out key information. Use bullet points to summarize your experience.
Try to only include work experience, achievements, education, and skills that are most relevant to the position you’re applying to. Add quantifiable results whenever possible to highlight your accomplishments and leave a lasting impression.
4. Tailor Your Resume to the Position
No two jobs are the same, which is why your resume should not only be unique to you but to the position you are applying for. If you aren’t sure whether to mention particular proficiencies or talents, try to look at your resume from the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s perspective and ask yourself, “Is this relevant to this specific position?” If the answer is no, then you can leave it out of the application.
5. Proofread and Edit
Set aside time to proofread. Don’t get caught with spelling errors or typos on your resume! While many of us rely on the wonders of technology to check for grammatical or spelling errors, many of these errors can fly under the radar. It is crucial to print out your resume and mark it up. Choose Different with a professional pen like the Sarasa Grand or the G-450 Gel Retractable Pen. Both options are metal and feature rapid dry gel ink technology for a smooth writing experience.
6. Save As A PDF and Rename the File
If you’re emailing your resume or uploading it to an application portal, make sure to export the file as a PDF. This will ensure your careful formatting won’t accidentally shift, making for a print-ready file for the interview.
The name of your file also matters. Stand out by including your full name and “Resume” in the file name. It’s one less step that the hiring manager or recruiter must take.
Your resume is often the first step in getting that interview with the employer. Make sure it puts your best self forward. For more professional job-hunting tips, check out 5 Tips for Acing Your Virtual Job Interview.