Your resume isn’t what will land you the job, but it can get your foot through the door. Hiring managers and internship recruiters alike get stuck searching through piles of repetitious applications each day. Make yours stand out from the pack and spice up your content by following these eight steps.
1. Give yourself a unique header.
This is a quick and simple way to start your resume on a good note. Instead of just learning your name, the hiring manager will also be given a sense of what you do and who you are right off the bat. Keep your header short with one to two-word descriptors.
Emma Smith is a “Writer, Communications Specialist and Creative Thinker.”
Leah Anderson is a “Journalist, Problem-Solver and Entrepreneur.”
2. Don’t be afraid to play around with the font.
Here’s a little secret; recruiters spend a whopping average of six seconds looking at a resume. That’s right six. This means it’s a good idea to add emphasis to the parts you want to stick out immediately. By alternating between the style, size, and even color of the font, you automatically guide attention to certain accomplishments. Just keep it clean and avoid fonts that are excessive.
3. Use numbers to quantify your achievements.
Employers love to see achievements that are measurable and concrete. Beef up your bullet points by using percents, dollar amounts, and numbers where possible. It can be confusing at first but just think about concepts that involve money, time, and dollar amounts.
Wrote press releases.
Wrote 35 press releases in a 3-week period under daily deadlines.
4. Identify your accomplishments, not re-hashed job descriptions.
No hiring manager will be drawn to a candidate that uses the same vague job descriptions that the last resume used. Companies want to know what problems YOU can solve for them. This means it’s important to be specific and highlight the unique things you did at the last company you worked for. Consider sentences that start with words like “designed,” “initiated,” “launched,” “supervised,” and so forth. For more great attention-getting words click here.
Developed a comprehensive communications strategy to increase consumer turnout for the Apple iPhone X summer launch event.
Helped startup company gain blue verification check mark across all platforms.
5. Provide a link to a professional online presence.
Have a blog or online portfolio? Now is the chance to add a little creative character to your resume. As our world continues to grow more technology-centered this is the perfect way to show you are adept online. With most job applications being sent over the internet now, it is also a good idea to directly link your website or blog for hiring managers to access with ease.
6. Include positions you held for long periods of time.
Whether it was a part-time job you held for years at the local burger joint or an internship that decided to keep you on for longer than 3 months, hiring managers will take notice of the time and dedication you put in. Positions that you held for short periods of time, on the other hand, might signal that you gave up or didn’t put in the effort. Overall, it’s a good idea to include at least one long-time position on your resume.
7. List relevant coursework.
This is a great way to show off your wide range of knowledge and expertise. College offers the unique opportunity to expand your horizons and take classes in subjects you might not get the chance to dabble in later. So if you took a course in graphic design or creative writing, think about how you can tie in those experiences to your next application. Depending on the position desired you can swap out courses accordingly.
8. Do not overlook your activities section.
Another subtle way to make yourself stand out as distinctive is to include productive activities you were or are currently involved in. Political and social organizations, musical groups, and charities are just some examples of the variety of activities to choose from. This shows that you not only have a good work ethic, but are well-rounded and have passion.
Finally, it is a good idea to treat your resume as a very short and condensed story of who you are as a professional. All the little details add up, so make the best of the space you have. This is what will get you out the door and into the interview.