10 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

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Job Interview

In the midst of an economic recession, it seems like it’s that much harder to stand out among thousands of applicants. Your resume is often your only shot at securing an interview, and it’d better be good. There are many tricks to achieving a polished, informative and well-rounded resume that employers will actually read through and consider. With careful wording and thought, you too can create an impressive, individualized resume. Here are 10 ways to make your resume stand out from the others:

  1. Use Keywords
    Employers sift through dozens of resumes each day, throwing out ones that don’t meet their standards or catch their attention. One way to ensure that your resume is read is to use specific keywords. Many times employers will screen your resume, looking for keywords that indicate your experience, qualifications and words used in the job posting.
  2. Write a Career Summary
    A career summary is one of the most important sections of a resume, which is an introductory statement of your professional skills, credentials and accomplishments. This is the point in which you sell yourself to the employer and keep their attention.
  3. Keep It Recent
    Don’t get caught with an outdated resume. Make sure all of your dates are correct, easy to identify and old information is updated or deleted.
  4. Add Something Interesting
    If you’ve traveled abroad, volunteered for years or have another interesting tidbit you think is appropriate to share — include it. Not only is your life experience a good subject for conversation, but, if it’s relevant to the position you are applying for, then the employer may see it as additional experience. When writing about this interesting experience, hobby or talent, include the knowledge and skills you gained, as well as how it can be applied to this position.
  5. Highlight the Experiences that Matter
    If you find yourself overloaded with too many work experiences, job duties and other information, you should restructure your resume to include only the information that matters and appeals to the specific job you’re applying to. This can be done by focusing on the skills and experience needed for this job and describing your qualifications using keywords that can be found in the job posting.
  6. Include Reliable Contacts
    Employers may contact some of your previous employers or listed references to ask them a few questions about your work ethic, attributes and character. It’s important to include reliable contacts with current phone numbers, e-mail addresses and home addresses so that employers will be able to reach them multiple ways.
  7. Keep it Concise
    When in doubt, keep your resume short and simple. As a rule of thumb, resumes should only be one page, which forces you to keep it concise. Of course, you want to talk about your level of education, previous work experience and skills, but condensing or deleting the fluffy, unnecessary information can help the overall look and flow of your resume.
  8. Proofread and Edit
    One of the quickest ways to have your resume thrown out is having grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors in your resume. Applicants should also take into account their tone, use of industry-specific terms and generalized statements. To avoid slipping up, always proofread, edit and read your resume out loud to listen for any mistakes and make sure it flows well.
  9. Add a Photo
    Depending on the type of job you are applying to, some employers would prefer to see a picture of you attached to your resume. This isn’t necessary for most careers, but it’s a good idea if you want to personalize your resume and put a face to your name.
  10. Post your Resume Online
    Increase your chances of being noticed and hired by distributing your resume on various social media Web sites. Many of these sites will display your resume for employers to see, and match you up with jobs that fit your qualifications and needs.
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