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How To Make My Resume Stand Out

Demonstrate Your Worth With Numbers

Employment Tip: How to make my resume stand out?

Hiring managers and human resources personnel love numbers. If you can highlight specific results with percentages throughout your resume, do so. If there’s any particular story or relevant experience that you can expand upon, your cover letter is the ideal place to do it. Consider your resume a sneak preview into your cover letter details.

Heres how to do it:

  • Add numbers and percentages where you can
  • Expand upon impressive results in a cover letter
  • Dont forget volunteer work

Resume booster: When offering specific percentages or numbers to show off your results, be as specific as possible. For example, you might cover how you implemented a new system that improved data accuracy by 30% during a 12-week experiential learning opportunity.

My Example Ot Resumes

Once youve pulled all of the elements outlined above it is time to craft your resume into one that truly stands out, which means you have to look at the final element: design.

For this I thought it would be helpful to look at some resume examples.

I have had a pretty unconventional career, but I thought it was worth showing you an example of my resume from when I was new grad OT, along with my current resume. This way you can see how my format and content has evolved over the years to reflect my professional accomplishments.

For my new grad resume example, I used a free template from Canva. Canva had some really nice minimalist designs, you should check for a simple resume.

For my most current resume, I couldnt find an option on Canva that accommodated the longer paragraphs I needed to to describe my recent jobs, so I decided to purchase a template from Creative Market.

An example of a new grad OT resume

An example of an occupational therapy resume with diverse experiences

Keep It Organized Clean And Clear

Think of aesthetics and readability first. Why? Hiring managers, small business owners, and department heads dont have time to waste, which is why theyll initially review resumes for seven to nine seconds.

If your resume doesnt pass this quick test, itll be discarded. The best way to pass this test, or, at least, not fail quickly,

Specifically, keep your bullet points aligned, keep your grammar and formatting even, and make sure your spacing is neat.

To do this, break up your resume into discernible sections so that you can review it for mistakes and the hiring manager likes its aesthetic. A neat and clean resume signifies the applicant is someone who takes the time to clean up her work and pays attention to detail.

Ryan Chan

CEO & Founder, UpKeep | Awardee, Forbes 30 Under 30 for Manufacturing

Almost every hiring manager knows hiring is tough. With hundreds of applicants and resumes, its no longer simply about having the skills and background listed in a job description, but being able to stand out from the crowd.

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Submit A Cover Letter

When employers have you submit a resume online, they might ask you for a cover letter as well. Even if its not required, sending a cover letter is a great way to stand out as a candidate. If you do, make sure the design and color scheme of your cover letter matches that of your resume for a more cohesive look.

Tailor It To Your Industry And The Job Youre Applying For

Tips to make your resume sections stand out.

Be sure to include prioritize employment experience that showcases applicable qualifications. If youre applying for a job as a newspaper reporter, the hiring manager would benefit more from knowing about your skills as a college reporter than as a babysitter. Include only relevant positions that let your future employer know you understand what theyre looking for in an employee.

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Transformed The Culture Of Xxx By Introducing A Customer

Can you see how the second option offers more punch and business context? The action verb at the beginning of the achievement makes it weighty and impactful.

Additional pro tip match the action verb to the core nature of your industry. For example, if youre targeting jobs in the finance industry, use action verbs such as:

  • Budgeted

For a sales position, use verbs such as:

  • Accelerated
  • Expanded
  • Promoted

For a full list of powerful action verbs that make your resume stand out, read my guide here.

Sometimes Simplicity Is What Attracts The Eye:

When it comes to being visually attractive, you should not try too hard to think out of the box. Sometimes when everyone is trying too hard to be unique and different the person that gives up a simple, comprehensive as well as well written resume is the one whose work is best appreciated.

In this day and age when everyone is trying their best to be different and put on an impression, exterior companies appreciate those people bold enough who just present them simply as they are.

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How To Make Your Resume Stand Out From The Crowd

To ease the burden on hiring managers, most companies have integrated applicant tracking systems. These systems are meant to weed out the weak or unqualified resumes before they reach the employerâs desk.

These systems are called Applicant Tracking Systems and they are incredibly prevalent in mid-to-large companies. Integrating an ATS makes it a lot easier for companies to find the applicants they are targeting however, it also makes it a lot harder for the applicants to get their resumes are seen by human eyes.

Use Your Own Originality:

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out!

In modern times resumes are not a simple summation of all your qualification, skills as well as work experience, rather it can be viewed as an important marketing tool. The purpose for a resume is much more than to simply give a brief overview of your work history.

Therefore it is important to make sure that you try and make resume stand out visually by making use of your own originality rather than duplicating sample CVs found online.

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Different Resumes For Different Jobs

You should never have just one resume prepared. You have one small piece of paper to highlight all of your professional and academic skill sets. Not all of your prior work experience may be relevant for each specific position you are applying for. Having different resumes does not necessarily mean that you have to have ten different resumes that are already prepared. You should, however, customize each one based on the skill sets required for the position you are seeking.

For example, if you are applying for a freelance writing job, your summer waiting tables in high school may not be entirely relevant. If, however, you are applying for a customer service position, indicating that you have worked in a restaurant shows that you can deal with a lot of different people in a fast-paced environment. Be mindful and really consider your past experiences. You may never know what will grab the interest of your future employer.

Open Strong To Stand Out Quickly

The first 20 words of your resume are critical becausethats the rough equivalent of what a person can read in six to sevensecondsthe average time a recruiter spends reading your resume.

Your email and contact details at the top are exempt fromthis, mainly because recruiters wont bother with them until theyve vettedyour application.

With 20 words, thats just enough for the first one or twobullet points of your professional summary. Use these points to summarize yourexpertise and career progression.

For example:

Full Stack Engineer with 15 years combined experiencein iOS development, web development, and Internet of Things .

Thats one bullet point with a job title, length of tenure,and a list of key skills all in 18 words.

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Optimize Your Search With Keywords

Research shows that candidates resumes are less likely to be read if they dont use keywords.

Its advisable to use keywords in your headline and summary. These are two pieces of text that attract the attention of the searcher.

This will help you in positioning your resume in the correct category. Search engines like Google will rank your resume higher if it is optimized for search.

It would be best to optimize your LinkedIn and online profiles for job sites like Indeed or Glassdoor.

These sites use keywords to filter through resumes and make the process of finding a job much more manageable.

When you optimize your resume, you help yourself get to the top of the search results.

How To Make Your Resume Stand Out

How Can I Make My Resume Stand Out Examples

To get ahead of the competition and show employers that youre uniquely qualified for the role you want, your resume needs to do more than just list your experience it needs to help you stand out from other candidates.

Here are eight expert tips for making your resume stand out and grab the attention of employers:

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Your resume is your primary personal marketing tool in the job search. You very well may have the chops for whatever role youâve set your sights on, but you can still come up short if the skills on your resume are missing the mark on reflecting your industry expertise. Your chances of landing an interview depend on your ability to learn how to make your resume stand out.

The ability to stand out is even more crucial for the class of 2020, as they enter a shifting job market with a slowdown in hiring amid COVID-19 concerns. According to Glassdoor Economic Research, even internships are affected, with internship hiring on Glassdoor falling 49% in May 2020, compared to May 2019. College graduates and experienced professionals alike can benefit from improving their resumes. These five tips will provide the marketing flair to sound good in a resume while ensuring you never have to exaggerate or bend the truth when it comes to your career.

Shows The Benefits You Provide To Employers

It’s important for a resume to communicate to employers what you can offer to the business. For example, if you’re leaving a sales position, rather than just stating that you’re a “top performer,” state that you “achieved $300,000 in new media sales in 6 months.” This enables companies to quantify the value you can contribute to their organization. Try to include three or four measurable accomplishments for each relevant experience on your resume.

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Make Your Resume Stand Out With A Good Story

Once youve committed to the idea of getting some practical experience, another problem emerges. How do you get a job with no experience to sell yourself with? How do you set yourself apart from all the other twenty-somethings looking for the same opportunities and sporting the same education-filled, experience-shy resumés? How do you leverage yourself with no leverage?

Coming out of college, your resumé is going to look very much like everyone elses: emphasizing your educational credentials while short on experience. Fortunately, you can stand out with a good story. A story is a narrative about your interests and talents. When youre in your twenties, and life is more about potential than experience, a good story is weighted far more than it will be later in life. Heres how to make your resume stand out with a good story.

Your story must not be too simple or too complex. Stories that are too simple make you seem inexperienced and immature, but too complex and you seem disorganized. A story shows interviewers a link between your past, present, and future. Prospective employers want to know:

  • What did you do before?
  • How does that relate to what you want to do now?
  • How might both of those elements get you to what you want to do next?

Fifth Add Power Verbs

Tips for Making a Resume That Stands Out

You can use power verbs to start each job duty or accomplishment that you list in your professional experience section.

Examples of power verbs:

  • Organized onboarding procedures for new hires
  • Coordinated between upper-management and accounting professionals to implement effective work habits
  • Established project criteria for team of marketing professionals
  • Generated new clientele through external sales methods

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Create A Cover Letter That Tells Your Story

While your resume should convey your professional story in the most concise and effective way, your cover letter can really show the hiring manager your professional experiences, accomplishments and how youve grown over the years.

The top three things that must be included in a cover letter are how your work experience meets job requirements, how your skills meet job requirements and the reasons why you want to work at the organization.

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Your cover letter needs to show the reader that you are just the right person for the job. You dont need to include any hobbies just stick to showcasing your skillset and how its relevant to the job.

Keep in mind that hiring managers often see the same phrases and claims over and over again. You can consider using a template and refer to Glassdoors blog on writing a solid cover letter to make sure your cover letter doesnt sound like everyone elses.

Show The Employer Your Unique Value

Instead of talking about skills and tasks that everyone is going to have, show the employer what you have done and the impact youve made in your prior roles on your resumé.

This will prove what you can do and why youre better than the other applicants. This should be done in both the summary section and in the professional experience sectionand be sure to use metrics and data whenever possible!

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Present A Compelling Narrative

Your resume should tell a clear story as to why your experience and skills qualify you for the position you are applying for, Augustine said.

Therefore, TopResume recommends a hybrid-resume format that is not fully chronological. Instead, the top third of the resume should give employers a quick glance at why it makes sense to talk to you, she explained. It should include your contact information, professional title, professional summary and areas of expertise.

Then, dive into your work experience.

Highlight Changes And Growth

How To Make My Resume Stand Out

In your CV you should focus on your personal development. Show how you have grown and changed in your roles, and the accomplishments you have achieved. This will show the recruiter that you have learnt a lot from your past positions, and that you are committed to learning and expanding your skill set.

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Design With Readability In Mind

Avoid using graphics, tables, pie charts, and illustrations, which resume-scanning software cant read. Make sure you use a simple font like Helvetica, Arial, or Times New Romanless common fonts may be rejected by an ATS, and are harder to read for humans, too. Then, use clear section headings and make them stand out with bold type, capital letters, or a different color.

Create A Targeted Resum

Many job seekers create a general resumé and send that out to every employer, but not only will this not score well on an ATS system, but it makes it difficult for the hiring manager to easily see why youre a good fit for the job. I recently posted for a customer service position and received over 100 resumés.

Many had professional titles completely unrelated to the job I had posted, so I didnt even give those a second look. They immediately went into the discard pile because it was not clear that they had applied to the job I had posted.

For best results, create a targeted professional headline on your resumé that reflects the position for which you are applying, and make sure your summary is targeted, as well.

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Give An Answer In The Form Of A Question

Bonnie Zaben, COO of executive search firm AC Lion, included experience as a Jeopardy! contestant on her resume.

Lots of interviewers noticed and asked me about it, says Zaben. Most were friendly conversations about the experience, the selection process and Alex Trebeks personalityit was a great conversation starter.

But it also gave Zaben insight into her interviewers. One intrigued potential employer spent most of the interview aggressively quizzing her, leaving Zaben with an important impression.

If this is how he conducts his interviews, then this is not someone I want to work with, she says. I waited until the 30-minute mark, made my excuses and never looked back.

Provide Clear Concise Bullet Points Of Roles/responsibilities

Resume Writing 101: How To Make Your Resume Stand Out & Resume Tips 2021

You want to make sure youre not providing too much or not enough information a good balance is key! I also really enjoy when candidates list out their specific achievements/accomplishments in each role, to really showcase what theyre most proud of themselves for!

I recruit mostly sales representatives, and really enjoy reading when candidates exceed quota, win awards/trips, or place at the top of their teams!

Erin Murphree

Talent Acquisition Manager, PrimePay

You can make your resume stand out in different ways- positively or negatively. When it comes to standing out in a positive manner, take these tips into account!

  • Provide complete basic information such as your contact information, education, and work experience. If you just graduated from school, list the projects you did while in school. Were you a part of any clubs on campus? What type of leadership roles have you held?
  • Tailor your resume towards the job you are applying to.
  • Begin each bullet point with power verbs like initiated, improved, demonstrated, etc.
  • Add quantitative results especially when it comes to a metrics-driven position.
  • Highlight awards, accomplishments and recognition.
  • Utilize keywords that are relevant to the job opportunity and company.
  • Make sure all information is accurate and matches your LinkedIn information.
  • Be concise and use bullet points.

Jason Patel

Founder, Transizion

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