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3 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

WORK

September 14, 2019

You need to demonstrate HOW you are the best candidate, not just why.

I’ve learned a little (okay, A LOT) from reviewing thousands of resumes throughout my career. I’ll tell you what I rarely see:

Impact. Value.

Basically, what’s in it for me if I hire you?

Most of the resumes I’ve seen over the years literally just outlined candidates’ job responsibilities. Why should I (or any other employer) waste my time interviewing a candidate whose only accomplishments consisted of showing up and doing her job?

I know it sounds harsh, but it’s true: if you can’t explain your achievements in your past and current position, why would anyone think you would add value to their company in the future?

3 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Other than your name, contact information and a list of former employers and job titles, here are three things to include if you want to make it to the interview round.

Metrics

Instead of calling out tasks you completed, talk about what you achieved. Don’t say, “Wrote press releases” when you actually, “Secured 11 TV and print interviews for Client XYZ.”

Or rather than, “Processed procurement bids,” write, “Saved company $750,000 over two years through procurement bid analysis.”

You don’t think you had any major accomplishments? Dig deeper. Think about what you did to make someone else’s life easier. Perhaps you didn’t just, “Schedule meetings for my boss.” Maybe you, “Streamlined internal intake process for vice president’s meeting requests. This process freed up two hours weekly for her.”

Whatever you do, don’t lie because the truth will come out during the interview process. Trust me.

Professional Development

Did you take advantage of professional development opportunities offered by your company such as training programs or conferences? Did you take any courses on your own through providers like Lynda.com or Skillshare.com? If so, note those, and if they are unrelated to your current job but align with the job you are applying for, highlight them in your cover letter.

Also mention any professional associations you are a member of, particularly if you served in a leadership role.

Volunteer Work

Most people usually don’t get into volunteer work to enhance their careers, but to me, volunteering demonstrates empathy, relationship-building skills and excellent time management.

Whether you volunteered as the fundraising chair for your child’s school PTO or as the regional events coordinator for Special Olympics, you need to list this experience.

Although you weren’t paid to participate, you learned something. And to potential employers, the fact that you gave of your own free time to help someone else gives them a glimpse of the type of person you are.

Final Note

As I mentioned above, don’t lie just to make yourself look better. I’ve seen candidates with pumped up resumes fall flat on their face when I’ve asked follow-up questions or asked them to complete an exercise based on their supposed skill set.

Take the time to uncover WHO you really are and it will be easy to demonstrate HOW you are the best candidate for the job.

What have you seen on a resume that made someone stand out from the crowd? Comment below.

3 ways to make your resume stand out from the crowd
  1. Ashley says:

    Hi Comms Mom! These are great tips on resume-building. Do you offer resume review services?

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