10 Tips to Make Your Resume Pop

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Recruiters, managers and HR professionals receive a lot of resumes each day. Very little time is spent reviewing each resume so you need something which will make you stand out above the crowd. Here are ten tips which will make your resume pop.

1. Follow the instructions

When you read the request for applicants, are the recruiters asking for a resume and cover letter? Do you need to send your resume in a specific format? Are there specific words that you need to have in your cover letter to reassure the hiring professional that you have read their advertisement? The applicants which do not meet standards are not even considered.

2. Don’t be boring

When you read your resume, do you find that you are falling asleep? If you are falling asleep then you can be assured that the person reading it finds it boring. Focus on the things that will make your audience excited. Are there any words that can be used in the place of ‘responsible for cash handling procedures?’ Your resume is a reflection of yourself.

3. Use numbers

Tell the hiring professional what you have done. You want the recruiter or HR person to know exactly what they are getting. If your sales numbers increased by 300% or your customer base increased by 10%, write it in your resume. Let the manager know that you served over 200 customers a day as a bartender.

4. Use an original layout

Countless applicants use the resume template that MS Word offers. HR professionals and recruiters have seen it so many times that they can probably write these resumes in their sleep. If you do something different with the layout, you will set yourself apart from the crowd. Try placing your name vertically upon the page. Be different.

5. Talk about your strengths

Your resume is designed to tell people what you can do. Managers need to know about the strengths that you offer. If you are an excellent listener, talk about that. Do not be low key when you are writing your resume. Put your strengths right above your experience.

6. Read about copywriting

Copywriting is the art of using words to sell products. In this instance, you are the product. Learn some new tactics which will make your resume dynamic and appealing. There are plenty of copywriting manuals on the market.

7. Testimonials

If your manager has written a glowing recommendation, put it at the top of your resume above your contact information. This will make you stand out above the crowd, because you are immediately showing what you can give your prospective employer.

8. Proof, proof and proof again

Technical errors are sloppy and show that you are not paying attention to detail. Let your friends proof your resume. Read it over and over again to make sure that it places your best foot forward. Remember that spell check only catches those words which are misspelled, not the ones which are improperly used.

9. Use bullets and short phrases

Huge paragraphs turn people off. The recruiter does not want to read a tome, they want to get an idea about whether they should hire you. If they are having to slog through a narrative, chances are they will not read to the end. Use bullet points to draw attention to your work. Use short sentences to get your point across.

10. Tailor your resume

There were key words and phrases placed in the advertisement. The employer might be looking for an executive assistant. The employer might be searching for an administrative assistant. Tailor the words in your resume to meet the criteria specified in the advertisement. There should be no question about your abilities.

To make your resume pop, you want to show the employer that you care about the position that they are advertising. Use care in your words and tailor them to meet the expectations of the hiring professional. A resume that stands out is more likely to get the interview

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3 thoughts on “10 Tips to Make Your Resume Pop”

  1. “Tailor your resume”

    I cannot emphasise this enough. The requirements for graduate jobs are not all identical, neither should you resume be identical for every application. It really shows through if you’re just firing off a template and it does affect your chances. Everything you put in a resume should be geared towards the job description.

  2. @Nic – I tailor my resume for each position I apply for. We have to be organized when we do this, and very importantly, make sure that the ‘tailoring’ doesn’t damage the integrity of it. I try to avoid providing conflicting information between different versions!

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