10 RESUME RECOMMENDATIONS TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
The world wide web has given us access to so much information about, well, everything. While this is great for things like recipes and funny videos, it can be hard to distinguish the best information from outdated or speculative content.
Let’s talk about resumes. When you search online for resume help, you get thousands of websites, opinions and sales pitches. It’s overwhelming, and much of it is useless.
At Talimer, we want to provide you with reliable, relevant, and most importantly, USEFUL information to help you and your resume stand out from the sea of sameness.
Here’s 10 tips from our team of professionals, who have over 40 years of combined experience in large and small businesses, staffing and DEI:
1) Now is NOT the time for humble.
If you’re from the midwest, this first tip will be the most difficult. But, remember, you are competing for a job. In order to win that role, you need to present yourself with confidence, even on paper. If you think you are the best at something, tell it on your resume. Remember the “how,” not just the what.
2) Numbers, numbers, numbers!
Statistics are something people like to see. No matter what you do, I can almost guarantee that you can prove your value with numbers. Do you manage social media channels? Focus on impact over time, or volume over time: increased followers by X% in X months; wrote X posts in X weeks. Customer service role? Try, “Fielded X number of customer calls per week resolving X % with complete satisfaction.” Do you code? Brag about it. Again, impact, volume, speed and accuracy can all be quantified. X pages built over X days or increased page speed by X% or reduced shopping cart errors by X%. You know your job and your accomplishments better than anyone, so use that to your advantage.
3) Keep it brief.
After ditching midwest modesty, you may find yourself with pages and pages worth of amazing work – examples and case studies, etc. Now it’s time to edit and highlight the ones that tell the best story while keeping your resume to ONE page. You want to give them enough to pique interest, while leaving some things for the interview.
Most job applications have an option to add a CV. A CV is a Curriculum Vitae which is a detailed synopsis of your career. This can include your whole career or just the stuff that you are most passionate about. A CV is longer than 2 pages but no more than 10. If you chose to write a CV, remember that someone is actually looking at this. What does that mean? Keep it exciting and relevant.
4) Link to supporting content.
Some things words just can’t describe. For example, as a photographer I might tell you my images are beautiful, vibrant and breathtaking (they are), or I could just share them with you via my online portfolio, which highlights my photography and other work so you can decide for yourself.
Build your own website for free using Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. Buy an interesting URL. Here you can showcase reports, research, software knowledge, etc. This gives hiring managers tangible examples of your experience. Make sure you comply with any company and confidentiality rules regarding content you share.
5) Include transferable skills such as “relevant experience.”
There are some skills that you have that just make sense to have in every job. There are some skills that you need in every position. These can be skills like teamwork, leadership, or software skills. Believe it or not, these are skills employers look for and show that you have the potential to grow.
6) Think hard about soft skills.
You need ALL the skills. Hard skills are skills that make you qualified for a position, like knowing a piece of software. Soft skills are those that make you a good employee and person. This includes time management, team player, effective communicator, etc. These are just as important as hard skills and are necessary for a well-rounded employee.
7) Get to the point.
If you’re going to use them, save the most important stuff for the bullet points. When you have too many bullet points, nothing actually stands out. Simplify. Include 2 or 3 instead of 6 or 7.
8) Broaden your idea of work.
Remember, beyond your 9-5, you are a person that has other things going on. Maybe you don’t have 20 years of experience to show for your career, but we guarantee you have something to highlight. This includes any “nontraditional” work like volunteering, freelancing, consulting, or a part-time gig. Your life and resume do not need to be limited to just a 40-hour work week. Everything you do tells a story.
9) Get a thesaurus.
Imagine reading 10 resumes in a row and every sentence begins with “Assisted with…” or “Managed…” You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it easier for the hiring manager to say “YES!” by crafting an interesting and well-composed resume. Write it yourself and have someone you trust edit/proof it, or hire a copywriter/editor to help. You do not have to “manage” or “assist” everything on your resume.
10) White space is okay.
One page is a lot of pressure. You may feel the need to fill the entire page with information. This is a reminder that white space: indents, spaces, tabs and gaps also tells a story. Help the reader understand the most important aspects of your experience and career history by using written content highlighted by a good layout. If necessary, enlist the help of a designer to create a clean, easily readable format.
I am sure you have heard this before, but do not lie on your resume. While you might impress them to get the job, they may ask you to demonstrate those same skills at work and your lie will catch up to you. Getting caught ruins your credibility. Skip this awkward interaction. Don’t engage in hyperbole, exaggeration, misrepresentation, overstatement or excessive embellishment either.
- Save it as a PDF. Saving as a PDF ensures that the format stays the same on every computer.
- One page? Keep the font readable without squinting! Make it legible. Probably no smaller than 9 points.
- Have a working resume that you are constantly updating. Try to update your resume monthly (or use your LinkedIn profile to record accomplishments regularly). It’s hard to remember all the incredible things you’ve done in the heat of applying to a new job.
- Proofread your resume. Have someone else proofread it. Then, proofread it again and maybe once more, for safe measure.
- Lastly, don’t sell yourself short. You got this and you’re here for a reason.
I know that a lot of these tips may seem generic, but they are tips that many people do not practice or execute in their resumes. Want more specific tips? Check out our Cake and Frosting blog post on CEO Erica Conway’s approach to frosting up your resume. These tips, along with the frosting, will make your resume stand out and keep you as a top candidate for any job you apply to.
Talimer is blowing up what’s wrong with the “gig economy.” By putting freelancers first in a unique marketplace, we’re growing and empowering a diverse community of tech professionals to feel fulfilled, confident and secure in their lives. We’re doing this by providing them access to jobs, benefits and more while making it easier for businesses to secure these highly skilled, hard-to-find, on-demand freelancers. To learn more about Talimer please visit www.talimer.com. To see Talimer’s available job opportunities, please visit www.talimer.com/job-opportunities.