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Stand Out With Your Resume in 3 Ways
Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recruiters look for people for qualified for a specific position so they only spend a matter of seconds glancing over a resume. With so many to go through, they can't allow their attention to linger to one for more than just seconds.

In those few moments that your resume has one-on-one time with the recruiter, they are deciding where it goes from there. There are only one of two places it could go next: the callback pile or the filing cabinet of no return.

It's likely that the filing cabinet will get more contribution than the callback pile. There are plenty of things you can do to get yourself in the pile of lucky candidates who made it to the next step. Here are a few:

1) Unique accomplishments
A position in particular industry will generally attract that same types of people. There's a good chance that the majority of them will have the same skills and background. That being the case, you'll need something interesting and quirky, even, that will jump out at them immediately. Something that they wouldn't expect. These are also great for conversations starter at your next meeting and you'll already have their interest in the story behind it.

2) Buzzwords
Buzzwords are important because that is what they are skimming for in the few seconds. They are searching for as many words on your resume match the job description. This is tough to beat, however, since other candidates are sure to pull the same words on their resumes. Take it a step further with yours by visiting the company's website and see if any of their goals match your experience. Fit those keywords on your resume as well.

3) Don't leave everything out
Since resumes are meant to be brief, it's generally advised that you only include information relevant to the position applied for. This advice can backfire for those who don't have much experience to begin with. Having a resume that's too bare looks just as bad. Even if your past jobs don't relate to the position you're applying for, a good work history speaks more for you than complete omittance. Including it will at least show that you're a hard worker and are comfortable working in difference settings.

Things to Avoid Standing Out With
  • Inappropriate font. Keep the font standard so that it's easy to read. Also, don't experiment with the colors. Black or even a deep navy blue would work as long as it doesn't interfere with the abilityto read clearly and quickly.
  • Colored paper. With this you're basically telling the recruiter, "Here, you throw this away."
  • Opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but they should not be given where they are not solicited. A resume is one thing they are not wanted. Recruiters make decisions based on merit so they have no interest in that kind of information anyway.