Simple ways to stand out
You want to capture the hiring manager's attention, and quick: often, they merely skim the document before deeming it worthy or not. It can be difficult to balance your experiences and qualifications, but there are many ways to spruce up your resume without going overboard. Business News Daily rounded up some of the best expert resume tips to help you land an interview.
Create an original template
"I often pass over resumes that match Microsoft Office templates," she said. "The templates are meant to be a guide to get started, but it should be expanded on to make it your own. If not, it can be assumed that you lack … professionalism, creativity, as well as learning and development."
Format your resume in ways that make you look good. For instance, Bissot recommended, if you advanced in a company quickly, draw attention to that growth; if you excessively job-hopped, bullet those jobs without providing specifics, and detail more applicable positions. This will play to your assets.
When structuring your resume, make sure the information is presented in a logical order, said Veronica Yao, a former recruiter and current marketing manager at HigherMe. "A hiring manager would read your resume … starting at the top and ending at the bottom," she said. "However, if they don't finish reading the whole thing – and they often don't – you still want to ensure your strongest points come across."
Craft a career snapshot
"With the career snapshot, you present a branding statement that briefly explains your unique value as well as your skills and qualifications. This would then be followed by a few bullet points that highlight your experience and your accomplishments," said Tomer Sade, founder and former CEO of Wise Data Media (acquired by WhiteSmoke). "Whatever you list here should be relevant to the position you're applying to."
"The top third of your resume is prime resume real estate," added Lisa Rangel, an executive resume writer and official LinkedIn moderator at Chameleon Resumes. "Create a robust summary to capture the hiring manager's eye."
Optimize your text
"Make sure you've carefully reviewed the posting and ... [used] the appropriate keywords in your resume to get past the screener," O'Brien said. "Be truthful, but understand that the first pass on your resume is likely via an ATS."
Think beyond your job duties
Similarly, Cheryl Hyatt, CEO of Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search, advised including any promotions or recognitions you've received since your last resume update.
"Integrate recent achievements and awards into the existing format," Hyatt said. "Conversely, it may be time to trim off items you listed previously that are no longer relevant to your focus."
You shouldn't ignore your skills section either. Sade reminded job seekers to list any industry-relevant apps or programs they're familiar with, as well as find ways to incorporate examples of their soft skills (e.g., work ethic, multitasking, reliability) into their job descriptions.
Use the right language stand out
"Words such as 'professional,' 'results-driven' and 'detail-oriented' provide very little helpful information," Sade told Business News Daily. "It's better to use actual job titles than these words."
Diya Obeid, founder and CEO of applicant tracking software JobDiva, agreed, noting that you should remove buzzwords like "best of breed," "go-getter," "team player" and "go-to person" from your resume.
Bissot added that you should use a variety of words rather than repeating the same monotonous ones. Get creative with your diction.
List your social media profiles
"If, and only if, your social media accounts are filled with professional posts pertaining to your industry, listing them on your resume can be advantageous," said Richie Frieman, author of "Reply All … and Other Ways to Tank Your Career" (St. Martin's Griffin, 2013). "They can show you have a strong network and are up to speed with modern-day marketing and communications practices. The hiring manager will see that you like to keep up with what's happening, and that you care about learning more."
Check for errors
"Make sure it's error-free and easy to read," Obeid added. "HR reps equate typos and errors with laziness. Use good English – the written word has a huge impact on the employer."
However, typos aren't the only type of mistakes to watch out for.
"Review formatting very closely, including font, alignment and spacing," said Bissot. "Related issues can often be perceived as a sign of lacking technical skills and/or attention to detail." Yao added that candidates often submit applications addressed to the wrong employer, or even outline irrelevant experience to the role.
"Receiving a resume that's crafted and addressed to someone else (or worse, a competitor) can be a huge turnoff and will set a negative tone even if they do choose to continue reading your applications," she said.
Additional reporting by Danielle Corcione and Nicole Fallon. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.