You may think that reading and judging resumes in a HR department is a thoughtful and conscientious job but, for people who do it daily, it is more like a factory conveyor belt that trundles CV after resumes along for their perusal.
Why should you take advice on how to make your resume stand out from somebody like career blogger James Miller? The reason is that there are some things you can “Only” learn from experience, and that is what James Miller from SimplicityResume has when it comes to resumes.
Here are some of the DO’s and DON’Ts on how to make your resume stand out.
1. DO Make Sure to Highlight Your Biggest Selling Point
There is a reason you should write a new resume for every job you apply for, and that is because you can tailor your resume to suit what the employer is looking for. However, since you do not have time for writing a new resume every time, you should alter your current resume to suit the job you are looking for.
With that in mind, you should take a look at what the job wants in an employee, and then search your mind to figure out what your biggest selling point is. For example, are they asking for employees who have training on a certain piece of equipment? Do you have target related achievements that will appeal to them? Are you qualified in exactly what they are looking for?
Find your biggest selling point, and put it near the top of your resume, perhaps in the targets, or objectives, or the summary section.
Remember that your biggest selling point may vary depending on the type of job you are applying for and the company you are applying with. For example, the ability to speak English and French may appeal to a French-Canadian company, whereas your ability to drive a forklift truck will appeal more to a warehouse company.
2. DON’T Start With A Quote
Perhaps if you have worked in management or HR, then you will know the almost-painful feeling that comes with reading famous quotes on resumes. On average, every 1 out of 5 resumes will contain a famous quote near the top, which means your average HR worker probably reads these quotes at least 15 times per week.
It is painful because the senders honestly think they are being enlightened or intellectual when they add a quote. They think they are being original, when in fact they are being painfully similar to all the other people who added quotes to the top of their resumes.
3. DO Make Sure to Add a Profile Photo
Many online articles claim you shouldn’t put a profile picture on your resume because the employers may discriminate against you for your looks or weight. However, if that is the case, it is best they know your looks or weight, or even your age, right away rather than wasting your time with an interview.
Furthermore, part of modern due-diligence checks is to go onto your public Facebook or LinkedIn profile, where they will see a picture of you anyway, so you may as well add it to your resume.
4. DON’T Add Fancy Graphics or Italics
Standing out doesn’t mean fancy graphics or italics. Can you cast your mind back to 1996? Do you remember what websites used to look like back then? They looked like the interior of the old Star Trek consoles. They were full of marquee text, colorful graphics, pixilated stuff, and dumb noises. By today’s standards, they were cheap, crass, tacky, and very unappealing.
The very same sentiment applies to modern resumes and CVs. There is nothing attractive about fancy graphics, fancy fonts, and italics on modern resumes. The 1996 web designers thought they were doing a great job. Do not be as foolish as them, do not add fancy graphics or graphics to your resume, and keep italic text to a bare minimum.
5. DO Add Three Objectives or Summary of You
There is still a raging debate as to what you should put directly under your personal information at the top of a resume. Some people think you would start with your qualifications, and others think you should put a list of objectives or a summary of yourself.
The answer lies in the type of job you are applying for. If you are going for a minimum wage job, then run straight into your qualifications and experience and forget about objectives or a summary.
On the other hand, if you are looking to start a career in a new job, then having three objectives near the top of your resume is a good thing (at least two should be career related). If you are going for a job that you are perfect for because you have experience, then add a short summary of yourself that highlights your experience and relevant qualifications and skills, (a two-line summary is fine).
6. DON’T Add Bold Colors or Images
When you think about something standing out, you think about bold colors and pictures, but that is not how you make a resume stand out. Your resume is not a cereal box on a supermarket aisle, so bold colors and fancy picture will not work. Stick to highlighting your strongest selling points and stay clear of visually engaging styles and formats.
7. DO Use the Same Wording as in The Job Advert
If they ask for somebody who is attentive to detail, punctual, and good at working as part of a team, then work those very same words into your resume. Literally find a way to add those descriptive words into your resume when writing about yourself.
The people who post ads will forget the wording they use, but they will not forget the types of employee they want. It may seem a little childish simply reciting their own words back to them, but they have forgotten their own words. When you add their own wording into your resume, you are telling them what they want to hear, which is a good thing.
Conclusion – Do Not Try to Be Original
Let’s pretend you are a beautiful blonde woman who spends two evenings per night in fancy bars. This beautiful woman has heard every single pickup line, and has experienced every pickup technique, from treating her mean, to pretending to know her from school. Every line that men “Think” is original is just one in a long line of failed attempts that she is bored with.
For this beautiful woman, do you know which line works the best? It goes, “Hi, my name is ……., and you are?”
Why does that stale, clinical, and bland approach work for her? Because it is the only one that gets to the meat of the matter. It has no dressing, it is not pretentious, it is not a routine, and above all, the man is “Not Trying to Be ORIGINAL.”
No matter what fancy method you have come up with, or read, or seen on TV. No matter how original you “Think” your new resume method is, you will fail if you “Try” to be original because it is guaranteed that the HR department that reads your resume will have seen the same thing already 100 times. If you take “ANYTHING” away from this article today, take this, “Do not try to be original. Just offer your best selling point and send a standard non-fancy resume if you want the best results.”