Ways To Make Your Resum Memorable
As I was making my way through the stack of 120 resumés, inevitably after the first 30, they all started blurring together. However, there were some resumés that distinctly stood out, even to this day.
After going through 120 resumés in four hours, I noticed patterns in the ones that stood out. The memorable resumés were very different in terms of experience, educational background, and personal interests. However, they all shared these four elements that helped tell their story.
Lying Or Misleading Information
Recruiters can spot information that does not stack up. For example, they are always on the lookout for inflated:
- Job titles
Employers are conducting increasingly vigorous background checks on candidates. This can range from on you to employing a specialist candidate checking service. Something that you think is just bending the truth could really trip you up.
Why Your Resume Should Be Two Pages
Your resume will most likely need two pages to show your career progression. If you have more than 10 years of experience, youâll also want to include a professional summary and possibly a career highlights section. These are both excellent opportunities to fit in more keywords.
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Put Yourself In The Shoes Of The Resum Screener
The screeners job is to look for candidates who are potential role fits in a pile of hundreds of resumés. By default, every resumé starts off as a rejection and will get rejected unless something stands out . Use the four elements mentioned above to leverage your experience to craft a story of how you fit the needs for the role.
Make it easy for the screener to move you on to interviews!
Show Quantified Impact Of Your Accomplishments
Instead of describing responsibilities, stand out by showing actual results.
A lot resumés regurgitate phrases in the job description. This may seem like tailoring your resumé to the job, but in reality, youre not. Youre just hoping a few buzz words will get you past the resumé screen.
If you have relevant experience, use the job description as a guide, but show tangible results. For instance, if a job description for a marketing manager position mentions email marketing, write out the results youve acheived, dont just state that you, Owned email marketing campaigns for strategic product initiatives.
What matters is the impact of your work, not the actual day to day responsibilities.
Instead, say something like:
Drove X product launch email marketing campaign that produced 300 qualified sales leads directly attributing to over $30,000 in revenue
Its even more important to show tangible results if you dont exactly have relevant experience or a non-traditional background for a role.
Showing great results will demonstrate youre a high performer and may help you make up for your lack of direct experience to get past the resumé screen.
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Highlight Former Achievements In A New Way
Of course, if you’ve got an impressive accomplishment or title sitting outside that two-decade limit, include it.
“If 30 years ago is the role where you discovered a patent still in use today, you ought to mention that,” says Ceniza-Levine.
You have a few different options for how you chose to work that information in. If a title you’ve held or company you’ve worked for is likely to impress a recruiter, consider a section called “earlier work history” or something similar where you can simply list previous jobs, by noting only the title, company and location, says Amanda Augustine, a career coach with TopResume. Or you could try including it in a “career notes” or “career highlights” section at the bottom of your current work experience by writing something like: “additional experience working for ABC company or serving clients like XYZ,” adds Augustine.
If the role you want to include is one where you did discover a patent or win an impressive industry award, you could also draw attention to this by folding such an achievement into the summary statement, which is typically a short paragraph at the top of your resume that acts as an elevator pitch to readers selling your skills and experience. Or you could include it in a section following your work history that lists awards or accomplishments you’ve earned over the course of your career.
Case Study: Gals One Page Resume
With over a decade of experience, Gal was searching for a new job in business development.
From starting his own company to leading software solutions all the way to speaking three languages, you could say he was spoiled for choice.
Most people would say that 10+ years of experience = two pages.
But, Gal took a different approach.
On one page, he successfully told the recruiter who he was, why he was motivated for this job, the experience hed bring, and how he would make an impact.
Amidst the fog like Gal, you will hear different opinions about how long your resume should be. For someone with over 10 years of experience, most professionals and job seekers around will expect to have a two-page resume.
That doesnt necessarily mean you should.
Since Gals resume was one page, it was completely different to the rest of the other applicants. In other words, it was a gateway to standing out from the crowd and getting his voice heard among the chaos.
Be like Gal and get hired for the competitive job posting at your dream company by using Enhancvs free resume builder. Use the same one-page formula now below!
It only takes a few minutes!
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Case Study: Mias Three Page Research Assistant Resume
Mia has been working in immunology for many years.
From her undergraduate work to her current postdoctoral work Her drive to make a difference in the world has produced publications, presentations, and awards.
In her pursuit of postdoctoral research, demonstrating her expertise in the field is an absolute must. There are also expectations of an academic resume to put simply, having the correct style and streamlining your design.
To produce a resume to satisfy these conditions as well as discussing her previous work, a three-page resume was needed.
So far with all the case studies, have you noticed any similarities?
Firstly, theyre modern resumes which stand out. Above all, its the resume design and the way it highlights key information such as your certifications and different types of skills by using appropriate visual aspects. This is what makes them so compelling for the hiring manager.
Chances are, the recruiters at your company arent used to seeing a modern resume like this. So, making an impression and getting your foot in the door isnt difficult.
If youre unsure what to write and trying to cope with writers block, Enhancv makes the entire resume building process easier for you.
When youre using any of these proven examples, you have a resume in front of you thats gotten someone hired in the most competitive spaces. More importantly, they could just be like you.
These resume templates are free.
How Many Pages A Resume Should Be
How long should your resume be? The answer is that the length of your resume depends on a number of factors. It depends on how much experience you have and what level candidate you are. If youre an entry-level candidate, a page should be plenty.
For more experienced candidates, its fine to have a longer resume. Read below for more detailed information on how long your resume should be, and tips for making your resume the perfect length.
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List Your Personal Interests
- This section shows you’re a well-rounded person who people would want to know and work with.
- Employers often use this section at the start of an interview to break the ice.
- Casual interests are better not to list . This is really about highlighting hobbies that have helped you grow as a person.
- This résumé step is considered optional. If you’re having trouble coming up with interests, or feel your résumé is already too long, feel free to leave it off.
Ceramics, camping, reading, soccer, automotive repair, carpentry
What Is A Cv
A CV, which stands for curriculum vitae, is a document used when applying for jobs. It allows you to summarise your education, skills and experience enabling you to successfully sell your abilities to potential employers. Alongside your CV employers also usually ask for a cover letter.
In the USA and Canada CVs are known as résumés. These documents tend to be more concise and follow no particular formatting rules.
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Change Your Resumes Formatting
If your resume has wide margins and a large font, youâre going to have a hard time fitting all the information you need on two pages. After clarifying the content, read our advice on resume margins and font size, as well as the top 10 resume fonts. This will help your resume appear balanced, relevant, and easy to read.
Many people opt to use templates they find online. The templates you find on Etsy, Canva, or other sites are often very visually appealing and use a lot of white space however, multiple columns can confuse ATS scans so proceed with caution.
âIf your resume includes more than a square inch of white space at any point, adjust your settings. Thatâs valuable real estate! Play with the margins, tabs, and justification settings,â advises Caitlin.
Note: white space refers to spaces without content, no matter what color youâve opted to use or any lines youâve incorporated into your resume.
Finally, be wary of any site or resume builder that offers a subscription service for resume templatesâtheyâre notorious for charging unknowing job seekers month after month. When in doubt, DIY your resume or hire a reputable service.
Case Study: Daniels Two Page Customer Support Resume
Daniel had been involved in remote work for over two years.
Two years of experience doesnt sound like a lot. But the impact hes had during that time was huge, which left him with a lot to say.
The nature of his work requires more detail on who he is and his ability to fit company culture despite the distance. It was also necessary to explain the reasons why hes gravitated towards remote working too.
His less than 10 years of experience would typically lead us to a one-page resume. However, in this case, two pages were needed.
The hiring manager wants to see the value you can provide for the company. Even if you dont have as much experience as Gal does and youre someone like Daniel, you want to talk about the results you were responsible for.
When the employer sees what youre capable of, its more likely theyll hire you for the job posting since they understand how valuable you are.
If youre like Daniel and you want a proven two-page resume template to secure your new career, click the button below to get started for free!
It only requires minimal effort. Its that simple!
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When Two Page Resumes Are Okay
Including a second page to communicate key experiences, achievements, projects or other relevant information that show your direct qualifications for a role is absolutely acceptable to employers. Alternatively, if those two pages are filled with irrelevant information such as unrelated job duties or hobbies, this can be a turn-off and put your application at risk of being passed over.
What Is The Best Way To Layout My Resume
Your resume must look clean, clear and well structured, with enough white space to enhance readability. Use a simple font like Arial 10 or 12 point, and keep formatting, such as italics and underlining, to a minimum. Bullet points are extremely useful as they allow you to highlight key points succinctly and keep the document tidy. Start each one with an action verb if you can , rather than I.
Spelling and punctuation must be perfect, so after you proofread and spell check your resume, give it to a friend to do the same. Hiring organisations are inundated with so many applications that unnecessary mistakes can see yours rejected.
As for the document layout, most organisations will upload your resume into their database so make sure it is in a commonly accepted format that follows the below structure. We recommend a cleanly formatted Microsoft Word document or PDF with no graphics, images, no fancy formatting or fonts. While a creative CV may look good, graphics and special fonts can be difficult for an ATS to process.
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Include A Career Note In A Senior
If you only held one or two positions before the 15-year cut-off, you can provide a short career note that mentions the roles and titles you held.
This format gives you some flexibility, as you may decide to summarize a few very similar roles into a short blurb to keep your resume length under two pages. For instance, you may say that your earlier experience includes … executive assistant work for companies including Company A, Company B, and Company C. If you worked with some name-drop worthy clients, you have the ability to work those details into a blurb like this as well. However, the rule of thumb is to keep this note short and sweet, so eliminate unnecessary details such as employment dates.
Click on the following link to see the entire two-page sample resume for a senior professional.
Spelling Punctuation And Grammatical Errors
Always double-check the spelling on your CV. Ensure you are writing in the correct tense and if you are using the third person, stick to it throughout the document. Avoid Americanisms and use the spell-check. If you struggle to spot mistakes, ask a careers professional, mentor or friend to look over your CV or use spell-checking software like Grammarly.
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How Long Should Your Resume Be Key Takeaways
Truth is, theres no perfect answer. There are too many factors to be considered to allow for a simple determination. Nonetheless, the strategies and topics discussed will help you in making the decision.
Before submitting your resume, use the following checklist summarised from everything in this guide:
- Ive looked at the typical traits of one page, two page, and three + page resume
- Ive answered the who, why, what, and how questions of a resume
- Ive ensured all of my experience is specific, relevant, and measured
- Ive determined the significance of each item included on my resume and believe removing any section would negatively affect my chances of being hired
- Ive consulted other successful resumes to see how others have crafted their resumes for inspiration
- Ive used Enhancvs builder to present all of this information in a sleek way and have capitalized on their unique sections to stand out
If youve followed these steps, chances are you have the perfect resume length for you.
As weve learned from Gals case study, sometimes rules-of-thumb do not fit your situation. Daniels story shows us that sticking to one page isnt always an advantage, and Mia shows us that in some cases, the recommended length is the best length.
As long as youve done the research and followed this guide, there is no right or wrong answer.
Do you agree with our tips? How long do you prefer your resume to be? Share your own insights in the comments below.
How Many Pages Should A Resume Be: The Golden Rule
If you have been in the workforce for a number of years, you’re entitled to a maximum of two full pages of resume real estate. This rule applies to most senior professionals, whether you’ve been in the workforce for seven years or 27 years.
The reality is that most recruiters spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether the applicant should receive further consideration. With so little time to make the right impression, it’s important to present a succinct document that highlights the recent and more relevant parts of your professional experience, skills, and education.
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Questions To Ask Before Writing Your Resume
- What is your purpose in writing a resume? Are you changing jobs in the same career area or are you changing careers? It will make a difference in how you organize your resume.
- What type of job are you seeking? It can help to have a specific objective or use the position to craft a targeted resume.
- What type of person and experience are required for the job? You can find this information through research, informational interviewing and networking.
- What skills and abilities do you have to offer an employer and what ones will you stress? Focus on those that support the experience and qualities they are seeking that is specific to the position.
Let The Numbers Do The Talking
Which of these statements sounds more impressive?
- In my past role, I led the team to increase revenue by 20%.
- In my past role, I increased annual revenue from $5 million to $6 million, a gain of 20%, while leading a global team of six employees spread across four time zones.
Most recruiters would probably say the second. Not only does the second sentence talk about the candidates accomplishment, it also shows the depth of their success by citing cold, hard facts.
Like facts, no one can really argue with numbers. They help us understand just how successful a candidate has been, Lance Robbins, director of economic and workforce development at Distribute Consulting, explained. Metrics are essential to telling the story of previous successes. So keep track of any quantifiable milestones youre hitting in your current role, project, or internship. You never know when youll need to pull data together to bolster a job application or interview.
Pro tip: Continue this practice even after landing a job. You can use numbers to make a case for why you deserve a promotion or a raise down the line.
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