7 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out (And Get the Job)

two women talking about tips to make your resume stand out

Your resume is the often first thing a hiring manager sees when considering you for a job. Make sure it gives off a good first impression by using these tips to make your resume stand out and catch the attention of hiring managers. 



#1) Make it easy to scan. 

Hiring managers usually have many resumes to review, so they may not read each one word-for-word. Instead, they will scan each one quickly and look for signs that it is worth taking a closer look. 

Format your resume so that it is easy for hiring managers to scan and quickly see the most important information. Keep it to no more than one sheet, and use subheadings and bullet points to break up big blocks of text. 


#2) Match your resume to the job description.

Many people have one resume they use when applying for all jobs. This strategy is a mistake. You should always adjust your resume to make it fit for the specific job you are applying for. 

While you may be applying for jobs in the same industry or field, each job will be slightly different. Look closely at the job description and make adjustments to your resume to highlight how you are a fit for this specific position.  

  • Include relevant work experience. 
  • Use words that are in the job ad. 
  • Highlight past projects that are related to the position.  


#3) Use keywords.

If you want your resume to stand out, you need it to appeal to hiring managers, as well as automated resume review software. 

Many resumes are initially reviewed by an automated tracking system that scans for keywords, which are the terms closely related to the job description and qualifications. The software looks for resumes that match the keywords and then flags them for human review. (This is another reason why it is so important to craft a unique resume for each job you apply for.)  

Make sure your resume makes it through the first review round by including the keywords most relevant to the job. Those keywords should include words and phrases from the job description, software and tools you have experience using, and resume action words.


#4) Add metrics to your work experience. 

Many resumes simply list work history. But if you want your resume to stand out, add metrics that quantify your experience and accomplishments. Numbers stand out compared to simply describing your work.

For example, don’t just say you trained and managed employees. Say you trained and managed 15 employees. Don’t say you increased sales in your department. Say you increased sales by 35% over six months.


#5) Save your resume as a PDF file. 

You want to make it as easy as possible for hiring managers to review your resume. One way to help them is by saving your resume as a PDF instead of an editable document, like a Word document. Saving a file as a PDF ensures that the file will be easy to open, and it will retain all formatting so you don’t have to worry about design and layout issues. 

When you save your resume file, also be mindful of the file name. The hiring manager is going to see the name of the file. Use phrasing that makes it easy for them to find and access your file like: [Your Full Name] Resume for [Company Name]. 


#6) Update your resume often. 

Too often, people only update their resume when they are actively looking for a job. They may not update their resume for years, and this can be a problem. When you wait to update your resume, you will likely have a difficult time remembering all of the details that can make your resume stand out. 

Instead of waiting until you need it, update your resume often. Each time you complete a project or produce powerful results, add it to your resume or a running list that can be easily added when you are looking for a new job at a later date. 


#7) Get a second opinion. 

Even if you use all of these tips to make your resume stand out, you can always benefit from having a second set of eyes review it. When someone else reviews it, they may catch small typos you missed or point out information that is confusing to them. 

If the person knows your work history, they may also be able to help you identify important experiences you neglected to include. If you get someone who is experienced with resume writing to review it, you will be even more likely to find ways to improve and optimize it. 

If you are serious about a job, make sure you are putting out the best resume possible. 


Make Your Resume Stand Out

CareerSource Central Florida offers assistance to career seekers looking to make their resume stand out. Request your appointment so we can learn about your skills and experience and help you showcase that on a professional, eye-catching resume. Request your appointment today.