(function() { var cookie = 'rebelmouse_abtests='; cookie += '; Max-Age=0'; document.cookie = cookie + '; Path=/; SameSite=None; Secure'; })();

Recruiters look at dozens of resumes a day. If they see something they don't like, your resume could wind up in the “no" pile in just seconds.


Here are a few tips you should follow to make your resume better than the rest, standing out from all that competition!

1. Make Sure Your Resume Is Error-Free

We know that sounds like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised by the number of resumes that have a spacing issue, a punctuation error, or even a misspelling. The problem is that you have looked at your resume so many times, your brain knows what it is supposed to say, but in reality, it says something else.

Get several people to proofread your resume, and have them read it for different purposes. One person should read for grammar, for example, and another should read for punctuation and spelling. You cannot afford to send a resume to employers with mistakes. Any superficial error can severely hurt your chances of getting a call for that job.

2. Align Your Resume With The Description Of The Job You're Applying For

Hiring manager asks about a job applicant's resume

Too often people think that their resume is a "one and done" proposition. Not so! You should customize your resume for every job each time you apply.

Match up keywords from the job description with keywords in your resume. Make sure that your achievements and successes indicate that you are an excellent candidate for the job you're applying for. You need to tweak your resume for every single job posting. There are no exceptions.

3. Make Your Resume Sleek

Woman reviews a resume

Some people think the trick to a great resume is to stuff as many accomplishments as possible into it by using tiny font and stretching the margins to the limit. The result is a resume that is difficult to read and looks cluttered and clunky. Those resumes will wind up in the "no" pile because the hiring manager doesn't care enough to search the document for truly relevant information. They also don't have time to waste when there are dozens of other resumes to review.

Your resume should have a clean and contemporary look and feel. Use lots of white space and be as concise as possible. Also, use clean-looking fonts like Calibri or Arial.

4. Use Keywords Strategically

Check the job description carefully for each position you're applying for. Then, use keywords in your resume that match keywords in the job description. Also, you may find it helpful to use free word cloud tools to identify the keywords that are used most frequently in the job description. Adding those keywords to your resume will make it easier for you to get your resume past the ATS.

Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for individuals who are a good match for their job opening. Don't make them guess whether or not you have the required skills or experience. Your resume should get them curious to know more about your qualifications. At the end of the day, the goal of your resume is to get the employer to call you. It won't be the thing that gets you the job, but it will be what gets you an interview.

5. Describe Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities

Man looks for a job while writing his resume

Avoid using the word "responsible" in your resume. Instead, concentrate on specific and quantifiable accomplishments. For example, which sounds more impressive:

  • Responsible for manufacturing production with proven record of exceeding expectations.
  • Managed five different teams over the course of 10+ years resulting in $50 million in new sales along with a 30% reduction in waste.
If you said the second bullet point, you picked the right one. That's what hiring managers are looking for on a resume.

6. Use "Power" Words

Hiring managers discuss a job candidate's resume

Demonstrate that you are a person of action. Rather than being "responsible for" something, use words like "advised," "led," "launched," "executed," "generated," "planned," "produced," etc. These powerful resume words (and others like them) demonstrate your ability to perform on the job and your specific role in previous jobs. Strong action words validate your capabilities and specific duties you have performed.

Consider which is better:

  • Responsible for launch of a new product.
  • Initiated and led new product-launch that resulted in $20 million in revenue.
Download Work It Daily\u2019s free resume mistakes guide

Don't forget that your resume represents who you are and what you can do when you can't be there in person to explain all of that to a recruiter or hiring manager. Your resume is just one of hundreds that fly into a company on any given day. You need to stand out from the crowd, and it is your responsibility to make that happen. By following the tips above, you'll be sure to create a resume that's better than the rest.


Need more help with your resume? We're here for you!

Check out our FREE resources page and Live Events Calendar.

Or, join our career growth club today and get access to one-on-one career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, online tutorials, and unlimited networking opportunities—all in your back pocket!

If you want FREE career advice in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter The Daily Dose!


This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Learn how to land a career you love

One of the greatest struggles in life is finding your passion—the one thing that lights up your soul more than anything else. Society often tells us we should tie our passion to a job, something we can make a career out of and support ourselves on. The reality is that finding your passion and pursuing it is much deeper than that.

SHOW MORE Show less

If the stress of juggling school, work, and family is making life difficult, you are not alone. According to a recent study on college employment, 43% of the nation's full-time college undergraduates and 81% of part-time undergraduates worked while getting a degree. Not surprisingly, time shortage is one of the biggest reasons for students dropping out before completing their degree. So how do you make sure that you stay the course?

SHOW MORE Show less

Whether you're new to LinkedIn or you're a seasoned user, connecting with new people can be a challenge, especially when you're not sure what to write in your LinkedIn invitation. You might be tempted to use the generic "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" template, but beware! By not personalizing your message, you could lose a precious opportunity to network.

SHOW MORE Show less

Latest