Creating a stand-out resume is an underlooked skill in the job search process. Many job seekers create a one-size-fits-all resume and submit it to every possible employer they can find, and then are surprised when they do not get the results they want. As hiring and job search experts, we deal with candidates daily who need help realizing that crafting the perfect resume is more than listing your relevant skills and experiences on a piece of paper. In the following section, you will find 10 tips from our recruiting experts providing key insights into what employers want to see from applicants. 

10 Tips from Resume Experts to Stand Out

1. Consistent Font and Size

Consistency is key! Stick to a font size between 10-12 points, with popular choices like Arial or Times New Roman. This will guarantee your resume looks professional and will be easy to read. Identify awkward gaps and white space in your resume and look to reformat these spaces to be filled.

2. Highlight Accomplishments

Don’t blatantly reiterate job descriptions. While it is important to relate to the position you are applying for, a hiring manager will pick up if you cut and copy what they think you want them to see. Instead, emphasize your accomplishments and the value you brought to your previous roles. Did you achieve cost savings, meet deadlines consistently, or implement successful processes? Highlight what sets you apart.

Resume Tips

3. Accurate Dates

Be sure to double-check your employment dates for accuracy. While this may be easier to guesstimate, misrepresenting your work history can make you look untrustworthy and unprofessional to your potential employer. When entering dates, use months and years to provide a clear timeline.

4. Educational Clarity

Clearly state your educational background. If you are still studying, mention you are currently pursuing a degree and include your major/minor. If you have a strong GPA, consider including it.

5. Replace the Objective with a Summary

Consider replacing the traditional objective with a concise summary that outlines your experience and contributions. Keep it factual and written in the third person.

6. Focus on Relevant Information

If your resume focuses heavily on old or irrelevant information to the job you are applying for, consider removing or consolidating these sections to more closely match your objective (catching the interest of the reader). Prioritize accolades, accomplishments, and work experience that closely relate to the position.

7. Explain Industry Terms/Acronyms

Spell out industry-specific terms and acronyms and provide definitions if necessary. This ensures clarity and helps you align your skills with the job description.

8. Write for the Job You Want

Craft your resume with the desired job in mind, not just your current position. Before you apply, look for what the job application wants and see if your resume aligns with this. If not, (and you do have the experience) make sure it is clear that you CAN do the job. Using a canned resume will not allow you to stand out from the rest!

9. Use Action Verbs and Keywords

Incorporate action verbs at the beginning of bullet points to describe your experiences. Place the most significant achievements at the top. Bullets should start with the action verb followed by the explanation. Do not use “I” or list “responsible for” in each bullet, just start with the verb. Include a dedicated skills section with relevant keywords.

10. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

Your resume is your first impression, simple mistakes can make for a quick denial from hiring managers. Proofread your writing for grammatical errors, spacing issues, or spelling mistakes. Attention to detail is important across many industries and various positions, so be sure that your resume doesn’t paint the wrong picture to employers. Seek a second opinion for a more thorough review.

Your Ticket to Your Next Interview

By following these ten resume editing tips, you’ll create a more professional document that increases your chances of landing interviews. As you progress in your career, remember to continue updating your resume. Stay proactive, stay updated, and continue to fine-tune your resume to reflect your ever-growing skills and experiences. Remember, a well-crafted resume is your first step toward your dream job.