5 Tips for Making Your Resume Stand Out

Your resume forms part of the first impression that potential employers get of you. It also helps to set you apart from the other candidates. With some advertised roles attracting hundreds of applicants, it has never been more important to know how to make sure your resume is being noticed for the right reasons. Below are some tips that can help make sure your application paperwork is working for you.

Unique resume
photo credit: Scott Kellum

1. Simple Layout and Design Is Best

Unless you’re vying for a position in a creative industry, your resume should stick to a fairly standard template with conservative fonts and typefaces. It needs to be easy to read, particularly at a glance – recruiters don’t always have a lot of time to spend scanning each resume so make use of things like headings and dot point lists but make sure any formatting still works for both print and digital.

2. Sell Results, Not Responsibilities

Your resume shouldn’t read like a job description; for most roles, your tasks and responsibilities are self-explanatory. Think of some of the achievements you can list rather than outlining what you were supposed to do. Remember to quantify what you’re saying with facts and figures – e.g. how many staff did you supervise? What was the size of the budget on the project you delivered?

3. Highlight Your Qualifications

Having completed additional studies beyond your secondary or tertiary/vocational education shows that you are serious about your professional development. If you don’t have formal qualifications or it’s been several years since you studied, it can pay to start thinking about going back to the books. Education providers like Evocca College offer a number of Diploma courses across a broad range of disciplines and offer things like deferred payments and flexible delivery to help you get qualified on your terms.

4. Use Keywords

Comb the advertisement to find the keywords to they’re looking for and use words that they’ve used in your resume and application. If the ad said “Must have strong Microsoft Office skills” repeat that phrase back in your own text. This ensures that digital scanning software recognises you meet the job requirements. Just make sure you don’t try to stuff the keywords in at the expense of how well the document reads though – spelling and syntax errors are still a resume and job application no-no.

5. Don’t Include Overly Personal Information

Your name and contact details are as intimate as you need to be about your personal life when applying for a job. You don’t need to include a photograph, date of birth or information about your marital status in your resume anymore. Doing so may make your resume stand out, but for the wrong reasons!

Don’t forget that it’s easy for people to seem the same ‘on paper’ – your resume is your opportunity to show your potential employers why they should choose you. The time you invest in getting your resume and application right will pay off.

What’s your best tip to make sure your job applications get noticed?