How to Make Your Resume Stand Out?

Kelly Barcelos on February 22, 2016 in Recruitment Process

The day has come when you are finally applying for a job in your dream company. You have painstakingly made your resume and applied, hoping to make the cut. But there are a thousand others wishing for the same. What should you do differently to stand out and land that dream job? The following tips should help you achieve your goal.

How to Enhance Your Resume?

First impressions do matter. You get one shot at forming a great impression with your resume, make it count. Convince the recruiters why they should consider you, just through your application. Making a few changes will go a long way.

  • Focus on readability. Use a clean font, maintain a legible font size, don’t use fancy colors, and keep the formatting consistent throughout the document.
  • Use working hyperlinks if you provide any. Add your social media account links if they are relevant.
  • If you’ve held multiple positions within the same organization or worked for multiple organizations, clearly segment them. Don’t include several bullet points within each heading. Condense and avoid talking about things irrelevant to the job posting.
  • Avoid explaining your high school or college achievements if you have graduated almost 15 years ago. Focus on the professional history since employees will be more interested in just that.
  • If you have soft skills which you think will be an advantage to the job, do mention them.
  • Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. There is no other way around it. Do not send the document till you proofread it numerous times.
  • Unless you are applying for a creative post such as a designer, avoid including any images/portfolio. They act as distractions.
  • Save your resume in PDF format. It’ll prevent any changes in formatting when opened in any other system. Moreover, name your resume as First name_Last name.pdf. It’ll help recruiters locate your resume easily.
  • Avoid overused, clichéd words like ‘goal-oriented’, ‘team-player’, ‘hardworking’ etc. Use stronger verbs that highlight your strengths and personality.
  • Try the word cloud generator to see which keywords pop out. Make sure you have as many keywords as possible.

How Is a Typical Resume Processed By an Employer?

Hiring managers process resumes using two methods:

  • Through ATS: How to Make a Resume ATS Friendly?

    Large and well-established companies usually employ an applicant tracking system (ATS) to process all the resumes they receive. Once you submit your application, it will go into ATS’s database. While screening, the recruiter searches all applications present in the database using various keywords. Based on those keywords, corresponding resumes will be shortlisted.

    Here are 7 ATS resume formatting tips:
    1. Use terms in their extended forms and acronyms.
    2. Use a hybrid or chronological resume structure.
    3. Avoid using columns or tables.
    4. Use a conventional font that is screen-friendly.
    5. Use neither headers nor footers.
    6. Put conventional section headings on your resume.
    7. If you can, save your document as a.docx or PDF.

    After this, recruiters will sift through the resume to see if the applicant is qualified for the post. If not, they move on to the next shortlisted resume. If your resume isn’t relevant, unreadable or lacks common keywords, it’ll never pop on the ATS and no one will ever get a chance to see it at any point. So, when you are applying for large companies, always assume that an ATS is involved and write your resume accordingly so that it comes up in the search.

  • Manual selection

    In relatively smaller companies, processing resumes is still a manual procedure. Recruiters go through each resume individually and shortlist the ones they deem the fittest for the post. Usually, there is no dedicated database for resumes as applicants mostly send resumes via email. Considering the managers have to go through a huge pile of resumes in a short period, they don’t spend a lot of time on each resume and they make quick preliminary decisions.

    They mainly check whether corresponding skills are present in the required post, such as soft skills if it’s a managerial post, technical prowess for a technical job, communication and writing skills if the job focuses on communication etc. So, emphasize qualities that add value to your profession.

Regardless of how the applications are processed, you have to remember that very little time is being spent on each resume. So, don’t make it difficult to read, keep it concise yet detailed, and look out for spelling and grammatical errors. Take the opinion of your trusted friends and make the required changes to make it more impactful.

All you need to do now is send that resume and wait for that phone call. Good luck!

Kelly Barcelos

Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specializing in HR and is responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. When Kelly is not building campaigns, she is busy creating content and preparing PR topics. She started with Jobsoid as a social media strategist and eventually took over the entire digital marketing team with her innovative approach and technical expertise.