5 secrets to make your resume stand out

A resume is a document used by job seekers to help provide a summary of their skills, abilities and accomplishments, and is often used to convince the reader that you’re a candidate worth interviewing. As it is a candidate screening document and not an all-inclusive record of your career, a prospective candidate should put good effort in carving it out diligently, to make an engaging and lasting impression on the reader. After-all, the most important tool you have on a resume is language, so use it to create a perfect picture of your strengths and abilities.

Follow these secrets to make your resume stand out,

1. Focus on layout and format

There are three general formats for creating a resume: chronological, functional, or combination . Choose the one that fits you. The chronological resume — which is really reverse-chronological —is the format most often used.

Break up text in bullet points to show accomplishment and use white space to draw the reader’s eye to specific items. Bullet points with facts and figures will better demonstrate your skills and experience than long sentences. When talking about your roles and responsibilities, each sentence should begin with an action verb, that best describes the your responsibility.

Quantifying statements is a great way to make a strong case. Adding numbers to your achievements makes them more descriptive and specific, and will catch hiring manager’s attention. Numbers makes you stand out on achievements and abilities that others may not have.

Your resume needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn’t, employers will read between the lines and draw not-so-good conclusions about you.

2. Highlight your USP

This is the most important factor that can make or break your prospect of getting an interview call based on your resume.  You are a brand that you’re are trying to market and sell with the help of your resume.  So start with a good Unique Selling Proposition. Think of “tell me about yourself” kind of questions and mention a crisp summary that entails what have you accomplished so far, in form of Objectives or Career Summary. Mention the reasons why someone should hire you. Write 3-5 reasons why employer should want you.

Just keep in mind, talk about accomplishments and not just duties. Let the potential employer know what you’ve accomplished in your current and previous roles, and show how you made a difference.

3. Tailor it well

Employers look out for candidates that have required skills for a job opportunity. They expect you to clearly show why you are the right candidate and how can you add value to the organization. Whenever you try to develop a one-size-fits-all resume to send to all employers, you are almost sure to end up with something employers will toss in the recycle bin.

So, tailor your resume for the opportunity you are applying, and it will catch the eye of employer for all the right reasons.

4. Add Only Relevant Information

The goal of the resume is to get an interview with the company. It is not a good idea to include everything about your career, so be sure in mind to carefully evaluate whether your early career experience is relevant to the job you’re applying now.

You can keep information about your education brief enough to qualify on minimum education eligibility. If you’re a new graduate, you should consider including a list of course work that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. You might have worked on a number or projects or jobs, not all might be relevant to the job you are applying for. Add only the relevant work experience  and use concise statements.  And make sure you don’t reveal everything.

Avoid listing down your hobbies and interests that do not sync with the opportunity you are applying. But note an exception here, sometimes an employer might look for your other self to understand how well you are with things outside your professional career. So including hobbies is purely dependent on the opportunity at hand. There is no hard rule to include or exclude it.

Rather than listing down references in resume , having made them available on requests is a good idea. In cases where employer need additional information, they can always reach out.

5. Watch out for the length

As its common for employers or recruiters to sort from a number of resumes, they might get only a few seconds to scan and glance through your resume. Sometimes the sorting process is automated, so in order to get noticed, keep your resume concise and focused on your key selling points.

Though there is no such rule on length of resume, a one or two-page resume may be the best bet for the vast majority of job-seekers, unless you are applying for a senior-level manager or executive position. There are some exceptions to this (a highly experienced candidates can get away with longer resumes, and there are specialized types of resumes for certain fields like academicians), but when in doubt, keep your resume focused and down to a page.

Finally, it is not just a resume, but the evolution of passion throughout the years of diligent work on the way to becoming an expert. So you have every right to make it shine to showcase your talent.