Whether you’re a recent graduate, switching industries, or looking to make a career move, you know that to be competitive in the job market, your resume has to stand out.
Having a well-crafted resume—one that is optimized for applicant tracking systems (ATS) and showcases your achievements—can help ensure recruiters and hiring managers take notice. A winning CV can help you land an interview—and potentially open doors for the job of your dreams.
It’s not just about listing your experience. It’s about knowing which skills and accomplishments to highlight, how to properly format for readability and ATS compliance, and making sure your CV stands out from the competition. That’s why I’m here today — to share my best tips on how to make your resume shine like a diamond. Let’s get started!
Customize Your Resume for Each Job
When it comes to writing an eye-catching resume, there’s one important piece of advice: customize your resume for each job. Think of it this way: if you’re applying to a dozen different jobs, then sending out the same generic resume won’t do you any favors.
Instead, take the time to tailor your it to fit each job. This means more than simply switching out a few words — you should genuinely adjust your it based on what’s important in that particular role. Get rid of irrelevant information; add relevant skills or experiences; highlight any tools or technology that could give you an edge.
By really diving into the job description and seeing what a particular employer is looking for—and then matching your resume accordingly—you’ll stand out from other candidates who are just sending out generic copies of their resumes. Take the extra time and make sure that your customized truly stands out!
Highlight Your Qualifications
You don’t want your qualifications to go unnoticed, so make sure to include them prominently in your resume. This is where you can list your educational degrees and certifications, as well as any special honors or awards you have received that would be relevant to the job.
When you list each qualification, don’t just throw it on in passing. Instead, take the time to highlight it and make it shine by breaking down each item into individual elements. For example, instead of saying “Bachelor’s degree in Business,” you could write:
- Obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business from XYZ University
- Graduated with honors for consistently achieving a GPA of 3.7 or higher
- Received XYZ award for excellence in business acumen
By taking the extra step to break down each qualification and illustrate its merits, you will make sure that your skills are actively noticed by potential employers.
Showcase Relevant Experiences
Making your resume stand out isn’t just about the content you include—it’s also about how you present it. If you’ve got the experience that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for, don’t be shy about showcasing it. This can help make your resume stand out and make a good impression on potential employers.
To highlight your relevant experience, try these three tips:
- Use strong action verbs to describe your experiences. Instead of saying “I was responsible for,” try words like “coordinated” or “oversaw.”
- Put the most relevant experiences first, and go into detail about what you did in those positions.
- Be specific about any achievements or successes you had in those roles—list percentages or figures whenever possible. This can help the employer get a better sense of what kind of impact you had in past roles and whether you’d be a good fit for their team.
By highlighting your relevant work experiences, it will be easier for employers to recognize how qualified you are and make an informed decision whether or not to invite you for an interview!
Use Proper Formatting and Grammar
You may not realize it, but formatting and grammar play a huge role in whether or not your resume stands out. Poor grammar and poor formatting can quickly turn someone off to your application, even if you have the perfect qualifications.
Take the extra time to double-check your resume for mistakes and typos — trust us, it will pay off! A good rule of thumb is to view your resume on two different devices: a desktop monitor and a phone. This way, you’ll be able to make sure everything looks clean and professional from both perspectives.
Get creative with margins
If you’re looking for an added boost, try utilizing more creative formatting techniques such as adjusting page margins. For example, setting your page margins at 1″ on the top and bottom and 1.25″ on the left and right can add a bit of visual interest to your resume without going overboard.
Choose fonts with care
When it comes to font choice, style matters too! Keep in mind that some fonts are easier on the eyes than others — when selecting a font for your resume, opt for one that’s not too small or too ornate. A simple sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica is usually best.
By putting extra care into these details, you can help make sure that your resume stands out from the rest — so don’t skimp on any of these essential elements!
Include Keywords From the Job Description
Writing your resume is about more than just listing the facts of what jobs you’ve had and where you went to school. You’ve got to make sure it’s tailored to the job you’re applying for—and that means using keywords from the job description.
Recruiters go through hundreds of resumes, so using keywords in your resume can help them quickly weed out the candidates who are not a good match and spot those who could be an ideal fit.
Including keywords related to the position you’re applying for in your resume will also show recruiters that you are familiar with the job you’re applying for—which can be a huge advantage over other candidates.
So how do you include relevant keywords in your resume? Here are a few tips:
- Read the job description and find keywords related to the role, such as abilities, certifications, and technical skills needed.
- Make sure these words appear throughout your resume, including in your summary statement and skills section as well as throughout your experience section.
- Double-check to make sure each keyword is spelled correctly since typos can lead recruiters to overlook your application altogether!
- Use synonyms when possible – this will make sure that even if the recruiter doesn’t use an exact phrase from your resume, they still get the idea of what it is that you’re trying to express in regards to qualifications or skillset required for the position.
Including specific job-related words in your resume–and using them correctly–can help ensure that recruiters notice it and consider you for their open roles.
Keep It Under Two Pages
You’ve probably heard this already, but it’s worth repeating: keep your resume to two pages—one page is even better. Employers only have a few seconds to decide whether they want to contact you or not, so they don’t have time to go through multiple pages of your resume.
When it comes to making your resume stand out, Here are a few tips for keeping it under two pages:
- Make use of white space by using bullet points and one-sentence blocks of text.
- Highlight qualifications that are relevant to the position you are applying for and leave out anything that isn’t necessary.
- Break up the content into sections and subheadings for easy scanning and navigation.
- Cut down on the font size and keep the font consistent throughout.
- Stick to the most important facts; don’t include each job or project you’ve ever done in your career history section–just include recent work experiences that are most applicable to this job opening.
By condensing all of your experience into two pages or less, employers will be able to quickly skim through and decide if they want to contact you or not.
Those are our top tips to make your resume stand out from the crowd. While it takes a bit of time and effort, it’s worth it when you find the perfect job. Crafting a resume that catches a potential employer’s eye can be the difference between getting an interview and ending up in the rejection pile.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t forget to use all the help available to you. A resume-writing service can be the perfect solution if you feel the work is beyond your skill level. Even if you do decide to use a resume-writing service, the tips provided in this article can still help you make sure your resume is the best it can be. With the right resume, you can make sure your path to a great job is clear.