Your resume at times is your first impression with a potential employer or recruiter. Therefore, it is important for you to make sure your resume stands out from the crowd. A stand-out resume that is well articulated can make the difference between getting an interview or being overlooked for the position.
We asked our internal recruiters “what makes a resume stand out to you”. Below are some of their tips for creating a stand out resume that our recruiters look out for.
Chronological order with qualifications at the beginning
Make sure you focus on relevant experience and outline your achievements. Include specific examples of your accomplishments however make sure you keep the content no more than four pages. It is likely recruiters will not spend time reading long resumes.
Anthony Blair (Team Lead & Principal Consultant)
Make sure all jobs are in chronological order from most recent. Also, make sure the companies you worked for are clear as well as your job title.
Another suggestion is to put your qualifications at the beginning of a CV rather than at the back. Especially for roles that require qualifications such as engineers. Lastly, don’t make it too long if it’s twenty pages long it will never get read. Three to four pages is normally sufficient.
Concise and to the point
Recruiters and hiring managers can be busy people. It is important to keep your resume concise and easy to read. Make sure to use bullet points with clear and simple language. Avoid using slang terms that are not relevant to your role.
Grace Hogg (Principal Consultant)
A really well set out CV which is clear, concise, and easy to follow is what stands out the most for me.
Nichola Jones (Principal Consultant)
Concise and to the point. Company name, dates employed, title, projects, and software used on each project. The bullet points on duties and responsibilities for each position. Nothing worse than lumping these into Paragraphs. Also, a short personal summary outlining the type of companies worked at and where they feel their strongest strengths are. Hate having to wade through words.
Include a summary or objective statement
Including a summary or objective statement at the top of your resume is an easy way to grab the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s attention. Your statement will help a hiring manager understand briefly if you would be a good fit for the role or not.
Chris Flint (Principal Consultant)
A summary or objective statement at the beginning of your resume to provide a concise overview of your professional experience and skills. This can include soft skills describing personal and professional attributes such as; qualities, values, personality type, communication style, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership style, etc. This is a valuable consideration for team and culture fit.
Tailor your resume to the job description
A mistake most job seekers make is they use the same resume for every job they apply for. Make sure you tailor your resume to the job description by highlighting the keywords and skills the employer are looking for.
Aya Ashyrova (Recruitment Consultant)
A resume that stands out to me is tailored to the role where it includes most of the keywords outlined in the job description. Also, a resume with no errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Leave out hobbies/interests that potential employers might see negatively
An interesting hobby may make you stand out from the crowd, giving you an edge as it gives hiring managers something memorable to latch onto. However, make sure you do not include any that employers may see negatively.
Thomas Wara (Principal Consultant)
I’d leave out anything that might be seen to take you away from giving the job your absolute best. Common Hobbies I see that I’d personally leave out are.
- Travelling (most people do, but there’s no real value in mentioning this in your Resume)
- Hobbies that may be dangerous or considered violent (Cliff diving, MMA, Bare Knuckle boxing, etc.)
- Hobbies that reflect antisocial behaviours
- Hobbies or interests that lean towards your political or religious views
It’s important to include hobbies/interests that contribute to your personal development and demonstrate acts of service or genuine interest you’re passionate about. Some examples are Team sports, fitness, reading, writing, community service, cooking, etc.
Outline gaps between roles
If you have had large gaps between a role, recruiters want to know briefly why. You do not need to be too personal or in detail, a quick mention of maternity leave, career change, or education purposes can help them not disregard your resume.
Leisha Martin (Principal Consultant)
I would add if there were gaps between roles, then add the reason why (i.e. Maternity leave, extended holiday, career change, etc.)
Avoiding common mistakes in resume writing is important to making your resume stand out. Our recruiters outline the importance that you should not rush through your resume. Following these suggestions can increase your chances of attracting attention, potentially securing your desired position and making your resume more distinctive.