Make Your Resume Stand Out at Nine

It’s essential to make your resume stand out from the rest. Here are some key strategies to help you achieve just that.

In today’s competitive job market, a well-crafted resume is your passport to securing the job. However, with hiring managers inundated with applications, it’s essential to make your resume stand out from the rest. Here are some key strategies to help you achieve just that!

1. Tailor your resume to the job description

One of the most effective ways to grab a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention is to customise your resume for each specific job application. Highlight skills, experiences, and achievements that directly relate to the job description. This not only shows your alignment with the role but also demonstrates your attention to detail.

2. Showcase achievements, not just duties

Instead of listing job responsibilities, focus on your accomplishments and how they added value to your previous employers. Use quantifiable data and specific examples to illustrate your achievements. For example, if you are applying for a role in sales and if relevant to the role, mention how you increased sales by a certain percentage.

3. Use action verbs

Start bullet points with strong action verbs to create a sense of dynamism and impact. Words like “achieved,” “implemented,” “managed,” and “led” convey proactiveness and competency.

4. Highlight relevant skills

Identify the key skills required for the job and ensure they are prominently featured on your resume. Consider creating a separate “Skills” section or integrating them into your work experience descriptions. If you go through to the interview stage, this is what you will be expanding on, hence why it’s important to put thought into this. 

5. Incorporate keywords

With a lot of resumes, keywords can sometimes be the differentiator. We haven’t met you so this is your first impression. Including relevant keywords from the job ad will add value to your resume. For example, if you are applying for a technical role, include the name of the systems you have used. However, many fall into the trap of overdoing it. Ensure you are maintaining a balance and avoid overloading. Put yourself in our shoes, what would you want to see if you were hiring that role.

6. Keep it concise and readable

A cluttered, lengthy resume can be a turn-off and will most likely not be read. Aim to keep your resume to one page for early-career candidates and no more than two to three pages for those with extensive experience. Use a clean, easy-to-read font and format your resume consistently.

7. Include relevant extras

Depending on your field, consider including additional sections like a portfolio of your work, professional certifications, or relevant volunteer experience. These extras can help differentiate you from other candidates.

If you are applying for a design role, either link your portfolio in your resume or ensure you mention and provide it as another attachment. If it’s a publishing role, showcase your work.

8. Be honest and authentic

While it’s important to showcase your strengths, never exaggerate or falsify information on your resume. Authenticity and honesty are qualities employers value.

In conclusion, making your resume stand out requires a combination of tailoring, strong content, and a clear, organised presentation. By implementing these strategies, you’ll increase your chances of catching the eye of hiring managers and recruiters and landing the job you desire. Remember that your resume is your first opportunity to shine, so make it count.

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Q&A with Scott Spits, The Age Reporter

Scott is a sports reporter and producer with many years of experience, involving a range of tasks including liaising with other reporters, quality control and presentation of our journalism.