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How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Wondering how to make your resume stand out from the competition? You’re not alone. With the advent of online job postings and submissions, there are more job applicants than ever. So, what are employers looking for in a resume and how can you land an interview?

Resume Tips

The typical recruiter or hiring manager has to wade through hundreds of resumes for any given position. Catching his or her eye can be a challenge, but these resume tips should help you get noticed.

Target your resume to the job

Let’s say you’re applying for a job as an account manager. Make sure your resume emphasizes responsibilities, skills and accomplishments that go along with the position. If all your jobs have been in retail or restaurant service, highlight how you used excellent people skills, organizational expertise and leadership qualities in those jobs. To do this, find keywords in the job posting and incorporate them into your resume.

Use power verbs to highlight your accomplishments

When you describe how you added value to previous companies or solved problems, choose your words carefully. Begin sentences with meaningful words like “improved,” “grew” and “initiated to show how you produced results rather than just stating your duties.

Quantify your successes

When it comes to what employers are looking for in a resume, numbers will take you far. Whether it’s related to growing profit margins, increasing memberships or securing donations, quantify it with a percentage or number. For instance, you can include a phrase like, “Implemented a marketing campaign that increased sales by X percent.”

Consider adding a section with core competencies

Many companies use technology, like applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help sort through resumes. By identifying and ranking certain keywords (often the ones mentioned in the job description), these systems rank applicants with a score. The more keywords you use throughout your cover letter and resume, the better. Incorporate these words in your initial summary and in a bulleted list of core competencies. A financial planner might use the phrase “Detail-oriented accountant with 10 years of money management experience” or “Experienced tax specialists ensure on-time preparation and review of key financials.”

The Best Career Advice is to Find a Job that Both Suits You and Challenges You

There’s a lot of career advice floating out there, but your best bet is to find a job that matches your experience and offers growth potential. You could use all the resume tips out there, but if you aren’t the right fit for the job or if it’s a go-nowhere position, you’re unlikely to find it fulfilling.