Make Your Resume Stand Out

It’s time to find a job — perhaps your position for the next six months, the next six years or maybe even longer. No matter what, you must get the job first, and one major part of that is still the résumé. Remember, this document helps answer the questions, “Why should we hire you? What makes you qualified?” This is your chance to market yourself, and you get one chance at it, so do your best. Whether you have put one together before or you’re writing one for the first time, keep these ideas in mind.

Studies indicate that résumés may receive less than ten seconds of perusal by the average HR person, so you must do what you can to make yours stand out from the other 249 who applied for the position. These numbers aren’t meant to bring your spirits down; they’re meant to show you the significance of a well-written, eye-catching résumé.

  • With that short résumé reading time, you need to use keywords that someone scanning it will easily spot. Choose words you find on a company’s website, looking at job descriptions similar to the one you’re going for, and even meeting with prospective colleagues, if possible. Keep them as close to the top of the résumé as possible so a recruiter doesn’t have to search too hard.
  • Avoid the generic. The generic résumé does nothing for you, no matter how neatly typed or how perfect the grammar. Use those keywords to fit your résumé to the company’s needs. Put it together in a way that shows what they want to know about you in terms of this position, not simply what you want them to know. Consider opening with a professional profile, telling specifically what value you’ll bring to the company — and make sure it’s nothing they can find elsewhere in your résumé or in your cover letter. Think of it as one more small but important opportunity to show why you are the best choice.
  • While writing descriptions of what you’ve done at various jobs, make sure to focus on accomplishments. Rather than writing, “responsible for outgoing products,” you may want to write, “manage database of 35 major clients, totaling 87 percent of outgoing products” or something to that effect — it’s specific and quantifiable. Numbers help — they’re easy to spot and understand. Writing about your accomplishments also demonstrates the company has benefited from you being there … implying the same will happen at your future place of employment. Consider having a separate skills or related experience section that highlights your accomplishments.
  • To that end, format clearly. Keep it to bullet points (although not too many) that will make it easy to read and find the keywords and numbers. Pare down anything that seems too wordy and use an easy-to-read font style and size. As always, check for mistakes!

To write the best résumé possible, go to PrideStaff Thousand Oaks/Ventura County to contact our knowledgeable staff. We will help you create a résumé that manages to be professional and personal, much like we are.

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