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How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Posted by Goodwill Talentbridge on Sep 6, 2023 10:07:17 AM

When you're competing for your dream job, you might be wondering how to make your resume stand out from the many other applicants. Knowing what a good resume looks like can help you make your application look better, helping you land the job.

What does a good resume look like?

When faced with a stack of job applicants, the average recruiter takes only about 5 - 7 seconds to evaluate each job seeker. Make a good impression by following some resume basics:

  • Use an 11-12 size font
  • Don't use graphics or logos
  • Keep it simple: use a standard rounded bullet
  • Proofread multiple times to avoid spelling or grammar mistakes

What to include in a resume

Your resume should consist of six main parts:

  • Heading
  • Career Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Highlights/Skills
  • Education
  • Volunteer Experience

When writing, it is crucial to be mindful of the words you choose and the way you express yourself. The language you use can greatly impact how potential employers see your qualifications and achievements.

One way to enhance your resume is to start sentences with action words. Starting with the action you took shows initiative and demonstrates success. This will help catch the recruiter's eye, leaving a lasting impression of your skills and abilities.

Most recruiters prefer a chronological format because it’s easier to digest. When listing your previous jobs, start with your most recent work experience first, and go back from there – but not too far back. The last 10-15 years is enough.

Be sure to use data to provide concrete evidence of your success. Including data, such as numbers or percentages, adds depth and credibility to your resume. For example, instead of simply stating that you increased sales, you could specify that you increased sales by 20% within a specific time frame. This not only showcases your accomplishments but also highlights your ability to achieve measurable outcomes.

Avoid these 10 common resume mistakes

Using Keywords in your resume

Recruiters typically use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to inspect resumes. An ATS evaluates a document by searching for keywords and looking at its format. To help the ATS understand what you bring to the table, use keywords and be sure to spell check. This can help the ATS see your resume as a good fit for a particular job. To find keywords, you'll have to do some research :

  • Visit the company's website. Do a deep dive into the company's products and services and get to know its mission.
  • Review the job description. Include words from the job description in your resume.
  • Use commonly-known words. Some companies use creative job titles or acronyms that are specific to that organization. Be sure to translate unusual job titles or duties into words anyone can understand when describing what you did.

By knowing your audience and tailoring your resume, you will have a leg up as a potential candidate. Your resume should accurately reflect the skills, accomplishments and experiences you bring to the employer. This is your opportunity to shine! Do a little bit of bragging and demonstrate why you are the right person for the job. With a bit of research, careful review, and thoughtful edits, your resume will be too good for any recruiter to pass up.

What if I need resume help?

Not sure where to go from here? Get our tips for finding your next career opportunity. You’ll learn what you should know before searching for a job, which employment search engines to use, and what role social media plays in job hunting.

Additionally, the Goodwill Workforce Connection Centers can be an excellent resource. Workforce Connection Center services are free, thanks to funding provided by revenue generated through Goodwill’s social enterprise business, including TalentBridge. TalentBridge profits are reinvested in Goodwill’s training and development programs, making working with TalentBridge a win for you and for your community.

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