I’ve reviewed countless resumes throughout my recruiting career. And I’ve seen it all—the good, the bad and the ugly.
Want to know what makes a striking resume that will really catch a recruiter’s eye? Think differently.
Here’s one example: Scanning through new applications for an entry-level marketing role, I came across an interesting file that read: “OPEN ME”. Of course, my curiosity got the best of me, and I opened the elaborate, flashy, fun PowerPoint presentation containing the candidate’s information and work history.
By putting in the extra effort to make the resume really stand out, the candidate quickly got the attention deserved. And the candidate got the interview as I happily routed the resume to the hiring manager.
Four more ways to help make your resume stand out:
Review and reformat.
Review your resume to see what you can improve. It could be as simple as choosing a different style, updating fonts or reorganizing your information. There are plenty of free templates available online.
If it looks like you are adding another page to your already two- to three-page resume, eliminate jobs that are not relevant to the one in which you are interested.
And it’s no longer necessary to include “References made available upon request”. Any employer who is interested will request references when the time comes.
Hyperlinks can be used to replace information without sacrificing integrity. Replace brief descriptions of companies you’ve worked for by adding a link to their website.
Including a link to your professional profile is vital. Today’s hiring managers tend to look at the Skills and Endorsements page of your LinkedIn profile.
If you have work samples you’d like to showcase, it may be best to create a separate webpage and redirect hiring managers there. Include a hyperlink to any awards and recognitions you’ve received, which helps to confirm the legitimacy of your success.
Show; don’t just tell.
A recent Cambridge University study noted that an average recruiter only spends six seconds reviewing a resume. Can you get to the “meat” of your resume in six seconds?
The phrase, “Don’t tell me; show me,” resonated with me from one of my writing mentors. If you can add some cool graphics to tell your professional story on your resume, do so.
Here are a few examples of unique, creative resumes, ranging from cool to completely extreme. Be professional, but have fun with your resume—just remember to be thoughtful about your color and font choices.
While most applicant tracking systems can now accept a wide variety of document formats, always save your file in Microsoft Word or as a PDF as well.
Proofread, proofread, proofread.
Never underestimate the power of having a resume that’s well-written and spelling and grammar-error free. For recruiters and hiring managers, a well-written resume is a critical reflection of your professional self.
While free proofreading tools exist, it’s also important to ask a well-trusted colleague or friend to review your resume. The extra set of eyes really helps, especially if you’ve spent hours writing and rewriting that document.
Happy writing! I wish you the best of luck in your future career endeavors.
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