Crafting Standout Resumes

If you’ve been looking for a new job for a while now but are not getting the results you think you should, it might be time to consider giving your resume a makeover.

There are dozens of tutorials, suggestions, and think-pieces written about what constitutes a great resume, making it really confusing to know what information should be included and what should be left out. Should it list all your previous jobs or just the ones that match the position you’re applying for? Is your home address important? Do you need a mission statement or written intent? Does it really need to fit on one page? 

Luckily, SmartTalent is here to help!

Here’s how to write a resume and what information to highlight to help you stand out from the crowd. 

  1. Yes, your resume should be tailored to the job. Your resume is like your handshake: It can create a very strong first impression, and you want it to be a favorable one. The best way to do that is by painting a picture of you as the best candidate for that particular job. If you’re applying to different positions in different industries, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it. Read the job description closely and highlight the skills and expertise you have that will best fit the position. In other words…
  2. Showcase your pertinent skills. If you’ve worked in several different positions, you might have transferable skills that can be applied to many types of jobs. This can work to your benefit by showing your flexibility and adaptability, but only if you call these skills and attributes out clearly and prominently. If the position you’re applying for is looking for someone with strong communication skills, you’ll want to highlight your abilities with Microsoft Outlook and Word, for example, and the experience you have running an information campaign or social media strategy to launch a new product. The best way to draw attention to your skills is through a bulleted list or by highlighting the skills that match the job description by putting the terms in bold. This brings up another strong strategy…
  3. Focus on keywords and objectives. Many offices and hiring managers are relying on software and artificial intelligence to help scan resumes for the words and phrases that will be important to them in finding strong candidates. By reading the job description carefully and paying attention to phrasing on the company’s website, you can likely determine which words are the most important to include on your resume. Add them throughout your resume, naturally and frequently, to give your background and skills a higher score as it’s being reviewed. You’ll also want to use active words (aka verbs) whenever possible to bring your experience to life. 
  4. Keep it clean. When a person is reviewing a resume, it needs to be easily and quickly understood. This is not a time for fancy fonts that are hard to read! Pick something straightforward and professional looking and select a size that’s easy to read; usually, 10-14 pts is best. You want to make sure your resume is nicely organized in an understandable way, typically in chronological order, with your current or most recent position at the top and working backward. 
  5. Be specific when it counts. If you can demonstrate your abilities and your efficacy, do it! When detailing your work experience, don’t just say you increased sales; say you implemented strategies that led to a 15% increase in sales during a six-week period. You didn’t just devise a new filing system; you created a system that resulted in a 20% boost in efficiency. Numbers tell a very strong story and should be used whenever you can. Be specific about how your work improved the previous company’s bottom line or expedited service, and that’s a great way to demonstrate how you’ll be an asset to this team. 

When you’ve written a new resume (or three), have someone read it over to look for typos, grammatical errors, run-on sentences, or anything else that might work against you. Your resume is a critically important part of the job search process, and you want to make sure you’re doing all you can to present yourself in the best light! 

If you’d like a little extra help with your resume, or if you’re looking to make a change right away, call SmartTalent. Our recruiters and staffing experts can help get you on the right track toward a big career change! Call SmartTalent today, and let’s get started.

Share Article

Similar Posts