7 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand OutMay 16, 2023
In today's competitive job market, crafting a unique and compelling resume is more important than ever. Your resume is the first impression you make on a potential employer, so you want it to be a strong and positive one. Here are seven tips to help your resume stand out in a crowded field.
1. Tailor Your Resume to Each Job Application
It's crucial to customize your resume for each job application. While it may take more time, it shows potential employers that you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the position. Analyze the job description and identify the key skills and experiences the company is looking for, then highlight these in your resume. For example, if the job description mentions a need for excellent customer service skills, make sure your resume highlights your experience and accomplishments in this area. For example, if you're a Business Analyst applying for a position that emphasizes data analysis and problem-solving skills, you might say, "Leveraged advanced data analysis to identify operational inefficiencies, resulting in a 25% reduction in costs over six months."
2. Use Quantifiable Achievements
Instead of merely listing your duties in each role, focus on your accomplishments. More specifically, quantify these accomplishments whenever possible. For instance, instead of saying you "increased sales," say you "increased sales by 20% in the first quarter." This gives potential employers a clear picture of your capabilities. For example, if you're a Project Manager, instead of saying you "managed a team," you might say, "Led a team of 10 to complete a complex IT infrastructure project 15% under budget and two weeks ahead of schedule."
3. Incorporate Relevant Keywords
Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes before they even reach a human. These systems scan for specific keywords related to the job. To make sure your resume makes it past this initial screening, incorporate keywords from the job description into your resume. But remember, don't overdo it—your resume should still read naturally. For example, if you're a Scrum Master, your resume should include keywords from the job description such as "Agile," "Scrum," "sprint planning," or "backlog grooming."
4. Keep it Clear and Concise
While you might be tempted to include every detail of your professional history, it's important to keep your resume concise. Aim for no more than two pages. Use bullet points and short paragraphs to make your resume easy to skim, and avoid jargon or complex language. Remember, clarity and brevity are your friends here. For instance, a Business Analyst might include a bullet point like, "Spearheaded the adoption of a new data visualization tool leading to a 30% decrease in report generation time."
5. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Always proofread your resume. A resume with typos or grammatical errors can quickly end up in the rejection pile. Read your resume aloud, use a spell-checking tool, and have someone else look it over if possible. A fresh set of eyes can catch mistakes you might have missed so, it's a good idea to get feedback from a friend, family member, or career coach. They can help you identify any areas that need improvement. For example, a Project Manager could lose credibility if their resume mentions managing "budegts" instead of "budgets."
6. Use Strong Action Verbs
Using strong action verbs can help your resume stand out by making your responsibilities and achievements sound more impactful. These verbs should be specific and descriptive, painting a clear picture of your abilities and initiative. For example, if you're a Business Analyst, instead of saying you "did market research," you might say you "conducted comprehensive market research." For a Project Manager, rather than saying you "were responsible for a project," you could say you "spearheaded a major IT infrastructure project." Scrum Masters could upgrade a phrase like "led daily stand-ups" to "facilitated efficient daily stand-ups." Choosing the right action verb can breathe life into an otherwise dry description, capturing a potential employer's attention and making your resume more memorable.
7. Leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly useful tool in many aspects of job hunting, including resume creation. AI-powered resume builders can provide real-time feedback on your resume, suggesting improvements related to format, keyword usage, and even tone of language. These tools can ensure your resume is optimized to pass through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and make a strong impression on recruiters. Additionally, some AI tools offer industry-specific suggestions, allowing you to tailor your resume to the unique expectations and standards of your field. However, while these tools can provide valuable insights, they should be used as a complement to—not a replacement for—personalized editing and proofreading. By using AI in conjunction with the other strategies outlined above, you can craft a resume that truly stands out in today's competitive job market. An AI-powered resume builder could suggest including a relevant certification like "Certified Scrum Master (CSM)" or using a more impactful verb like "orchestrated" instead of "led."
In conclusion, a standout resume is tailored to the job, filled with quantifiable achievements, uses relevant keywords, is clear and concise, and is meticulously proofread. By following these seven tips, you'll increase your chances of grabbing a recruiter's attention and landing that job interview.
If you're looking to break into the tech industry as a non-tech profession, The Career Accelerators (TCA) can help you achieve your career goals. Book a call with us today to learn more about our courses and how we can help you succeed.