12 Things You Should Know About Making Your Resume Stand Out

Your resume can help you put your best foot forward with most recruiters. You can do this with a dynamic resume. A dynamic resume is how recruiters are able to size you up along with your credentials without setting eyes on you. Your resume determines to a large extent whether you are called for an interview or not. So, how can this dynamic resume be made? 

Here are a few tips to help you along:

  1. Highlight your accomplishments.  When highlighting your work experience, it is not enough to stop at the organizations you worked and your job title(s). It is very important that you explain to your recruiter how you did your work. The keyword here is how.  You should also explain your experience in terms of what you did.  These words must depict action. They must show what contributions you made to the organizations where you have worked. Examples include: "acquired contracts", "budgeted expenses", "chaired the executive committee", "defined organizational KPIs" and the like.
  2. Draw attention to your awards and recognition.  Emphasize the awards and recognition you have received. Your resume is not the appropriate place for humility. Provide information on the relevant accolades you have received throughout your education and career. They indicate a track record of success – an attribute that most organizations are attracted to. Awards imply that you are considered excellent in your particular field and that you were recognized for it.
  3. Hone in on the job description.  Align your skills, capabilities and experience with what the organization is looking for. If the job is for a sales position and it requires good customer skills, emphasize your interpersonal relations and social networking skills – any skill that will prove to the recruiter that you will be able to handle the job. In addition, only emphasize the experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Align your experience, skills and responsibilities with the requirements of the organization, which is summarized in the job description. This can also be referred to as “tuning your resume to fit the role”. Avoid spurious claims, however.
  4. Include trainings, seminars, or workshops attended. Including trainings, seminars and workshops you have participated in shows your enthusiasm for enhancing your skills and know-how. Your participation in trainings & workshops also increases your value in the eyes of your employer, thereby increasing your chances of landing an interview.
  5. Highlight your leadership roles.  Nowadays, employees deliver beyond what’s in their job description. They are often asked to participate in corporate social responsibility programs.  They may be asked to coach out-of-school kids or support less fortunate communities. Your leadership, or membership in a civic organization demonstrates that you will be an asset to the company. Your ability to associate with people who may not have the same background as yours, shows your versatility, can earn good publicity for the company and might bring you closer to landing that job interview.
  6. Avoid the use of fancy fonts or colours. They draw attention away from the message of your resume.
  7. Include a cover letter. A cover letter should always accompany your resume even if the recruiter did not ask for one.
  8. Include metrics – Always describe your achievements quantitatively. If you mention that you were able to improve the efficiency of a process for example, this information becomes more effective when you mention the number of hours you saved or the amount of money you saved the company. Here’s another example: Instead of saying “Involved in staff training”, it makes more of an impression if you say, “Trained 50 employees in one week”.
  9. Use Industry vocabulary – These keywords or buzzwords when used in moderation, indicate to the recruiter that you are a professional. For example, if you are an analyst, words like “requirements”, “stakeholders” or “processes” can prove to the recruiter that you have the required background.
  10. Use a career summary- This gives the recruiter a quick overview of what you will be able to contribute to the organization. The career summary should always be about what you can do for the organization and not the other way around. Where you don't have enough experience, a career objective will do.
  11. Different countries, different styles - If you are seeking a job in another country, remember to use the resume format of the country you are applying to. Recruiters from different locations usually have different peculiarities so take your time to understand what sells in the country you are targeting.
  12. Close the gaps – Always ensure that your time is well accounted for. Fill the gaps in your resume with information on the projects you worked on or at the very least, what you learnt. Remember that every experience, no matter how little, is valuable.

Putting your best foot forward with a well-written and well-thought-out resume will bring you closer to bagging that interview.


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