In all my years of interviewing people and helping people with their resume I continue to see the “general resume” that is sent out as a mass mailer. People use the same resume for every position they apply for with little if any change in how they word it. This method does nothing to make a resume stand out and does everything to have it blend in with all the others and in most cases gets it thrown away never gets them an interview.
Here are 4 easy steps to make a resume STAND OUT, get NOTICED.
1. Objective: To really stand out an objective must be specific to the position applying for. Look at the responsibilities and qualifications the position lists and work that into the objective. Let the person looking at the resume be able to connect the dots between what they are looking for and your experience. The objective for sending a resume is to get the position so state that in this section.
Example: “Acquire the position of (list the position applying for) with (list company name) where I will bring my experience in (list out a few key experiences that match what they are looking for) to help achieve the mission of (list out the mission of the company or a summary of the mission.) Also, because a person may not have the exact experience in a given area they want to bridge the experience they do have and how it will relate and impact the position they are applying for.
2. Summary: Toot your own horn. This is the best section to connect the dots by listing out key experiences that match what a company is looking for. Keep this to a simple paragraph and use key words that pop out and captures attention. It makes it easier for the person reviewing the resume to see right off the bat that this person is worth looking at further. Again, this is where you must tailor your resume to each position. Just because this section is titled “Summary” it does not go last on the resume. This section should be listed right after the “Objective” section.
3. Bullets: When listing out experience, paragraph format is the kiss of death. Why, because it takes a lot of time to read and it makes the person reading the resume have to work at connecting the dots. With the vast amount of resumes coming in for each position, experience must POP off the page. Bullets make it easier to read and it also makes things stand out. Put the most important experiences at the top (those that relate to the position applying for.). If a person is looking at a sales position within a company have a bullet that shows how much they have sold, their sales goals and how they did in achieving them etc… Numbers and percent stand out and make a big impact!
4. Multi Page Resume: In the past a one page resume was seen as the gold standard but not anymore. Many people still try to force everything on one page making it look like a disaster. With this said, a 4 or more page resume can be over the top. A two or resume works well depending on the amount of experience. With so many people out of work and with a lot of experience companies expect to see multiple pages. Even for students coming out of college, they are entering the work force with more and more experience and skills. If the resume is done correctly and goes to the heart of what a company is looking for, a multi page resume works great.