How Do You Make a Resume that Gets Noticed?

Blog / How Do You Make a Resume that Gets Noticed?

by | Aug 5, 2021 | Job Seekers

5 Tips to Stand Out

There’s a minor league baseball team in Georgia that was dying: ticket sales down, losing games, and losing money. A crazy guy and his wife bought that team and changed the game – literally. Jesse Cole shook up the name of the game by renaming the team the Savannah Bananas, and sports a bright yellow tuxedo regularly. You literally can’t miss him! This team is memorable, innovative, and now a success. That’s what we all want from our resumes too, right?! We want to be memorable, innovative, and a success, and it starts with a resume that gets noticed. 

How long does it take a recruiter to decide if you are right for the job based on your resume? According to eye tracking research, only around seven seconds. But just how do you keep the recruiter from throwing your hopes and dreams into the trash bin before you even really get a chance? Here are our top 5 tips to make a resume that is easy to scan and strands out from the crowd.

How Do you Make a Resume that Actually Sets You Above the Competition?

1 | Just Beat It
Before your resume lands on a recruiter’s desk, you might have to first “beat the bots.” Many companies rely on software to pre-screen resumes. And if they aren’t using software, sometimes they task people with the job of screen resumes that best match the job specifications. So to have a fighting chance, you’ll need to have a resume that utilizes key words and phrases from the job description. One good way to catapult you to the top of the pile? Place a qualifications summary at the top of your resume. It just needs to be a few well-written sentences about why you are the best person for the job. Use it to showcase your accomplishments and be sure to use a keyword or two while you’re at it!

2 | Focus on Relevant Experience
Contrary to what you might think, a recruiter is not interested in how you got from point A to point B in your job timeline. Too often job seekers give equal weight to every job they’ve held, even if they don’t relate to the job you are applying for. So rather than doing a complete breakdown of every job, list only the jobs that are relevant. If your resume seems a little light on a list of careers doing this, then be sure to list the most relevant jobs at the top. It’s not necessary to list your jobs in the order you held them. Tough love: be objective and not emotional when it comes to how much weight you give to your roles and their descriptions. 

3 | Supercalifragilistic….Extra Braggadocious?
We’ve all heard that it’s not polite to brag and we even make fun of the “humble brag” on social media, but your resume is not the time to be humble! So don’t be afraid to sell yourself on why you are the best candidate for the job. Be sure to mention any awards you’ve won, big promotions, finishing top of your class–whatever it is that helps the recruiter understand that you are a top quality candidate. 

4 | Be Creative!
If you are applying for a creative position, including a portfolio might be a requirement. But what if they only require seeing your portfolio if you land an interview? And what if you’re applying for a more technical job? (Let’s face it, if a chemist gets a little creative in the lab, you could have some mutant spiders on your hands!) It’s a good idea to still be a little creative on our resume. Now don’t go overboard, but showing a little of your personality can help you stand out! (Think about that yellow tuxedo from our friend Jesse Cole!)

5 | Cut the Fluff
You only have so much space and while recruiters want to find the best qualified candidates, they also don’t want to read a resume that’s more of a novel. So cut the fluff and meaningless phrases. Cliches like “results focused” or “highly qualified” aren’t going to help you stand out. Other fluffy things you can nix? The phrase “references upon request.” Just cut to the chase, focus on experience that matters and list your references. Otherwise you’ll be wasting your time, and your recruiter’s.

Bonus Tip: Go a Step Further
Want to take it one step further? Experience is great but personality and office culture are just as important. Workzinga allows you to take a personality test so a potential employer can see if you are a right fit culturally in their company. And it doesn’t just help employers find great employees. It helps job seekers “interview” companies as well. Workzinga allows companies to take a profile test as well, so you can see if you match. 

Do you need to go crazy and reinvent the resume? Hardly! But, you DO need to make it good, following some of the core rules, knowing how the system works, and knowing when it makes sense to get creative and break rules!