As a candidate job hunting has become easier than ever to find roles and apply quickly. What has become more difficult is the ability to stand out in the crowded pile of attachments and cover letters placed in front of hiring managers. Here are a few quick tips that will help you construct an attention grabbing resume that will make your resume STAND OUT!
Avoid Creating Long Paragraphs or Blocks of Text Across Your Resume
This sounds like an obvious technique to make your resume stand out but as a recruiter we still see resumes with paragraphs of text constantly. A recruiter or hiring manager will likely look at a resume for a total of thirty seconds to one minute before deciding to pass or dive deeper. That is a small window of time to impress or catch the interest of an individual. Seeing a wall of text is more than likely going to make the individual quickly want to move on. This negative reaction boils down to two reasons. The more important one is that in the corporate landscape being direct and articulating points quickly is an important skill and being able to show that in your resume is usually a sign you can do that well in the writing needed on the job.
The other reason you don’t want blocks of text is that bullet points allow you share the important details quickly. We have been trained via social media to scan and pull out information as quickly as possible and your resume should aid in that process-not create more hurdles for hiring managers to understand your skills and role in an organization. Make the hiring manager or recruiter’s job easier. Be direct with a few bullet points under each position that are specific to your role on the team as well as show your accomplishments and responsibilities.
Avoid Writing in the Third Person
To make your resume stand out avoid using pronouns as often as possible. Words like “we” or “I” should never really appear in your resume. Instead, you should write your resume to emphasize the action over the subject. Instead of saying “I was in charge of a team” simply use the word “Led/Oversaw a team.” This helps streamline your resume and avoids being clunky and more difficult to read. Sometimes when you use the third person it is confusing who you are referring to. The reader can’t follow whether this is something you did or something you assisted in.
Quantify your Accomplishments
When possible look to quantify your experience and accomplishments. Data and numbers are always easier to understand and the impact of statistics is often a powerful storyteller. Using phrases like “Increased revenue by 13% in first year” is more powerful than saying simply “increased profitability.” Numbers catch hiring manager’s attention quickly and allows them to digest your resume more easily.
As an added bonus always try to tailor the accomplishments you have to the job description for which you are applying. If there are specific expectations or metrics that are valued, try and include as many of those in your resume as possible. Keep your resume direct and succinct and it can make a world of difference when it comes to conversations and interview opportunities.