Want to stand out in the applicant pool as you look for your next job? Time to create an attention-getting resume! The trick is to make your resume rich with qualifications, accomplishments, and content that relate to the industry and career you have in mind. Review these five steps for creating an attention-getting resume, plus one to ensure your application present you and your qualifications in the best light. The steps include qualifications, accomplishments, job choice, word choice, simple layout, and a great introduction. Let’s dive in!
Qualifications Come First
The bulk of your resume should feature your qualifications and skills, from years of experience to unique skillsets. Make sure to hone your resume to include industry-specific skills. For example, a customer service job will be heavy on communication, while a manufacturing role will be productivity focused. List the qualifications that you have and that those hiring managers want to see. If you’re changing industries, think about transferable skills you have. If you have performed well on a packaging line, that could mean you like a fast-paced environment. Try to make connections between past roles and the job or career you want to have. For inspiration, search online for examples of industry-specific resumes.
Detail Your Accomplishments
Did you help the company complete an important project in record time? Or were you part of a customer service team that had high satisfaction ratings? If you have cool, data-driven accomplishments, include the details in a featured section. When you don’t have a lot of work experience, look at your volunteer work or involvement in service groups for accomplishments. Just make sure you can relate the accomplishments to the position you’re applying for.
Skip Filler Jobs
There is little value in including every single job you’ve ever had, so delete the filler jobs or part-time jobs that don’t reflect a connection to your career path. This doesn’t mean that all temporary or seasonal positions drop off your resume, but any job listed should have a connection to the qualifications of the job you want. The more you focus on important jobs, the faster and easier it is for the HR manager to put your resume in the “contact” pile. It’s okay to have gaps in your work timeline. You can explain those later.
Use Job Keywords
Word choice matters! When uploading your resume to an online job site, it can be helpful to incorporate keywords so HR managers or recruiters can easily find your resume. When you search online for a job, what terms are used for the job you want? Make sure those terms are in your resume before you upload it.
Keep it Simple
You might be tempted to add your photo or some graphic design elements, but that will be a waste of time. It is more important to focus on the content of the resume, with your qualifications, skills, and achievements front and center. Plus, a simple layout will translate better to an online resume. Sure, you can consider a different style of resume and add some dividing lines between elements, but keep the focus on the content.
Write a Great Introduction
You can have a great resume, but your first impression often includes a cover letter as well as your resume. Put some time into writing a sincere and enthusiastic cover letter, and you may get more attention from hiring managers. No need to write a long letter—just a quality intro, summary, and closing. Look at cover letter examples in your field to see how others have approached industry applications.
Check out all our tips for writing resumes and cover letters.