How to Make Your Resume Stand Out and a Winning One

In today’s competitive cut throat market, it is very important to stand out in the crowd to get noticed. Be it in person or on your resume. As we all know that recruiters spend very little time to scan through a resume, it becomes more important to make that 10-15 seconds count. There is no 1 set format or standard which should be followed to develop a resume. When your resume is being compared to all other resumes laid on the table, it is all about how your resume looks like in comparison to the piled up other resumes.

Actually, resume writing is not a science wherein the equations should match. Here, you have to follow the small tricks which practically work. Let’s see some of the ways you can keep in mind to make your resume stand out from others in the job world:

  • Get it Tailor Made: As there are different fittings required for various line of clothes, similarly, a resume should also be customized as per the job requirements. A simple but clever way to understand is to refer to the job description that has been published. Every job requires some specific skills and proficiency level. So, understand this and tailor your resume keeping in mind the job write-up. Pay attention to what is written and being repeated in the job description.

  • Relevant Keywords: Keywords are essential but do not choke the resume with jargons and keywords as the HR Manager who is supposed to shortlist your resume, may not be aware of the heavy jargons and keywords. Chances are there that due to difficulty in understanding, he might reject the resume. So, add keywords related to your profile, but do not go overboard. Once again look at the job description and make sure your resume is the answer to their requirement. But do not falsify while doing so. Recruiters will quickly gauge if you are faking information. Moreover, there is always the danger of being caught during the interview even if your resume passes the 15-20 second test.

  • Proper Format: Though content is the heart of your resume, but presentation also matters. So, judiciously choose a suitable, presentable format which showcases your skills and personality proficiently. While formatting your resume, make sure you give proper spacing to make it more readable. You can bold the headers to make it more prominent. Bullets should be clearly marked and points are easy to segregate. Visually your resume should be pleasing to the eye rather than a strain to an eye.

  • Error Free: even a typo error can spoil your chances of getting shortlisted for the interview. If required, proofread it 10 times before submitting it to the hiring manager. Do not be over confident that you have done everything right. Ask help from your friends, colleagues who can proofread it once for you.

    It is quite natural that if you have done something or written something, you tend to get biased about it. You see no fault in them. But when someone else is seeing that they will come with a fresh eye as well as a new perspective. Even a single spelling error can be a glaring fault in recruiter’s eye. Besides this, spelling errors, sentence composition errors and other errors would demonstrate the lack of your attention towards your resume.

  • Remain Specific: Although details about your job roles, responsibilities and achievements play a vital role in your profile. But at the same time, it is essential to have a look before writing something. I have read a resume in which a person has written getting chocolates as a token of appreciation. Just think of it - how lame does that sound! I mean it is good that your company is distributing chocolates for your achievement, but put your mind to it. Is it worth mentioning in your resume? I guess not.

    Remove any unnecessary details which can raise brows. Stay away from mentioning religion, marital status, or any other personal or political preferences which are not at all relevant to your profile. Some resume formats require these details. So, use them carefully and only when it is asked. You can also remove the work experience which is not relevant to the prospective position. Avoid mentioning anything which is more than 5 - 8 years ago. And if it is a senior profile, do not talk about college activities, extra-curricular activities.

  • Length of resume: Though there is no hard and fast rule for this, it is suggested that you should conclude a resume in not more than 2 pages. It is okay to have a resume which is more than 1 page. Do not forcibly fit your resume on one page. It will only make your resume cluttered leaving no space in between.

    If someone has worked for 4 - 5 organizations in his entire career, of course, the resume would hardly fit into one page when you might have done various things in those organizations. But remember to keep important points in the first page itself. The keywords should be visible on the first page.

  • Keep it Professional: Just to grab the attention of a recruiter do not give your resume a jazzy-flashy format which looks superficial. This will grab the attention of a recruiter but in a negative way. Avoid mentioning negative things on your resume such as you left the last company because of an arrogant boss or stuff like that. Just stick to your career related factual details.

  • Liar...Liar... Pants on Fire: Do not let your well-built resume scream this phrase like children do when they find somebody from their group is telling a lie! A serious problem may occur even if you somehow skip by chance from the background check.

    Sooner or later you might get caught. There will always be a fear of losing the job anytime, and that will not be great news if you lose job just because you faked a degree, education, work experience or skills. And of course, you do not want this to be a hurdle in your future jobs as well.

    Follow these simple tips to make your resume stand out from the others. You never know you might win an interview and subsequently get a job which is the ultimate purpose of putting in all these efforts. And yes, to top it up write an equally good cover letter if you want to turn the first impression in your favour.

  • My Suggestion: Here my suggestion would be to structure the content first. Work hard on the content part. Decide what content to keep and what is not so relevant? And once you finalize the resume content part, choose a structured, neat and organized format which suits the profile the most. Content being the core, this should be paid great attention to but presentation and aesthetics part can also not be ignored.


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