5 Easy Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out
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- 1. An eye-catching resume should be concise, visually appealing, and tailored to the job vacancy you’re applying for.
- 2. Use an editable resume template to ensure the document looks neat and clean.
- 3. Include relevant experience, accomplishments, and volunteer work, and trim away unnecessary details like hobbies and long lists of responsibilities.
Are you applying for a new job? Like it or not, it’s time to bust out and polish your resume.
Job seekers often dislike resumes because it’s near-impossible to distill your entire skill set and work history into just one page. But you don’t have to be a professional resume writer to create an eye-catching CV and make sure you get a chance to prove you’re a fit for your dream job.
We’re sharing five expert tips from Deel’s people team that will instantly boost your resume writing skills and help you stand out among other job applicants.
1. Use efficient, visually appealing resume format
Walls of text are a chore to read. They also make it difficult for the hiring manager to quickly understand how your professional experience is relevant to the open position. So, keep your resume to one page and use headers, bullet points, and infographics to communicate essential information at a glance.
Candidates often reduce the size of their resume’s text to include as much information as possible. But small text (and text with small spacing) isn’t easily legible. Size is especially important for headers: hiring managers scan your resume, so headers must be more prominent than the rest of the text. Some text-based recommendations:
- Stick to a standard font like Arial, Cambria, Calibri, Times New Roman, or Helvetica
- Make all body text 11-12 points and all headers 14-16 points
- Use 1.0-1.15 line spacing between lines of text and double space after headings
In terms of visuals, if you choose to include infographics in your skills section, make them easy to digest. Consider asking a friend to review any visual elements to check that they communicate information clearly.
A common question is whether you should include a picture next to your name at the top of your resume. There's a very divided opinion on this: some hiring managers recommend sending a resume without a picture since it can lead to unconscious bias throughout the interviewing process.
On the other hand, “a picture makes a CV stand out and makes it easier to remember. It helps put a face to the name, adding another layer to the presentation of a candidate,” says Danica Ristic, Deel’s senior people development program manager.
It's impossible to be to everyone's liking, so this decision is up to you.
2. Trim away everything but the key details
Recruiters and hiring managers determine whether your experience is relevant to the job description in a matter of seconds.
“It takes me about half a minute to go through my mental checklist and see if someone should be taken into consideration. They must fulfill the requirements such as language knowledge, for example. Then I spend a few minutes looking for the rest of the criteria,” shares Danica Ristic.
So, remove any extraneous information better suited for the interview and spotlight the essential details aligned with the company’s job posting. If the potential employer needs you to elaborate on any topic, they will ask you to include a cover letter.
For example, a software developer could include a technical skills summary at the top of their resume listing the various programming languages, technology, and tools they have used to show the reader they’re a match for the job.
Include the following – and only the following – in your resume:
- Personal details (name, contact information, location if applicable)
- A summary of your relevant skills and expertise (2-3 sentences)
- 2-4 relevant work experiences (company name, dates worked, job titles, achievements, and technology used, if applicable)
- Relevant education and certifications (that aren’t expired!)
- Links (GitHub, portfolio, social media—LinkedIn profile, personal website, and any standout projects)
That means you should leave out long lists of responsibilities, every job you've ever had, details about your hobbies and interests, and similar information. “There’s no need to include references, whether personal or professional, long descriptions of soft skills, or a detailed history of education and course the candidate has taken,” says Camila Sanchez, Deel’s talent acquisition specialist.
Remember, the purpose of your resume is to secure an interview, not a job.
3. Tailor your resume to the vacant position
A hiring manager’s job is to fill an open position, not find the most decorated candidate. They want to know how your skills and experiences could help the team, not read about everything you’ve ever accomplished. This is why you shouldn’t send the same version of your resume to every company, but tailor it to include the relevant information for a specific job position.
When updating your resume, use the language of the job description. Don’t regurgitate the job description word for word, but use the description’s keywords when describing your skills and experience.
Of course, you may not always have time to rework your resume from top to bottom for each new application. But before you submit, spend a few minutes tweaking the language to fit each job description, expanding on areas most relevant to each position, and deleting ones that aren’t.
Want to check out our open vacancies? Visit Deel Careers.
4. Mention volunteer experience
Dedicate a section to showcasing your volunteering work if it’s in a field related to the position you’re applying for. Industry experience, whether it’s paid or not, is valuable, and it may sometimes help the recruiter decide if you get an interview with the hiring manager.
Volunteering experience also paints a picture of a proactive person who can be motivated intrinsically, which may signal to the recruiter that you’re the right fit for the company culture, increasing your chances of landing an interview.
If you’re not sure if your volunteer work would count as relevant experience, think of any transferrable skills that would be useful for the job you’re applying for.
5. Focus on accomplishments, not responsibilities
The best resumes highlight their accomplishments in relevant roles instead of focusing on job responsibilities. A recruiter already knows what a specific role entails, but what you achieved in that or similar roles makes you an attractive candidate in the job market.
Use action verbs to focus on what you did in your previous roles and what the outcomes were.
So, a sales rep could say: I made X cold calls daily with a X% conversion rate, instead of just claiming it was their responsibility to make cold calls to prospective clients.
Using metrics to quantify your work provides a clearer picture of your experience and makes it more scannable for the recruiter.
Treat your resume like a reverse job description
With the rise of AI in the hiring process and the possibility that applicant tracking system bots might be used to scan resumes in the first round of hiring, the chances of a plain, extensive resume getting selected are even lower.
A human hiring manager will probably also pass over your application if they can’t quickly understand your skills and experiences and how they match the vacancy.
Make your resume visually appealing, concise, and relevant, and don’t forget to proofread it before you hit send!
Deel helps connect the best workers with the best talent worldwide. Whether you’re a direct employee, EOR employee, or independent contractor, we make working from wherever easy.
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