It can be quite challenging to write a resume that stands out from the crowd. Hiring Managers won’t spend too long looking at your resume. In fact, if they receive a high volume of applications, the most they’ll do is to scan your resume to look for keywords.
Perhaps you’ve been actively looking at new jobs for a couple of weeks (or even months) now. You may have been stretched too thin at the time to give your resume the right attention it deserves. Perhaps you’ve applied for a couple of jobs already, but haven’t received any feedback?
The topmost part of your resume
Does your resume starts with ‘Curriculum Vitae’ or ‘Professional Resume?’ Here’s your first new year resolution: omit it from all your future resumes. It’s a waste of precious space when it’s already given that you’re submitting a resume anyway.
Instead, put your name, professional title and your contact details right at the top. You may also include your award abbreviations or post-nominal letters if these are applicable to the role you’re applying for.
Jack Williams, MBA
Sales & Business Development Manager
Canberra, ACT 2601 | 0412 345 678 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Use bold, caps, italics and colours strategically
Make your name and job title the most prominent out of all other details. Use a bigger font (usually font size of 20 or above) to make your name stand out from the rest of the content. You may use a different colour, or make it bold.
Subheadings, such as Core Skills, Professional Experience and Professional Qualifications, should be slightly bigger as well.
Be consistent. If you’ve made subheadings bold, make them all bold. If you’ve used light blue to highlight job titles, make sure it’s consistent across the whole document.
Choose a readable font that’s not outdated
Do you think that all resumes have to be written in Times New Roman or Arial? Wrong!
While we recommend that you avoid fonts such as Comic Sans and Century Gothic, opting for a slighting different font to the norm is another way to make your resume stand out.
Choose a font that’s both professional looking and easy to read. For example, Calibri, Helvetica and Georgia.
Customise for each job
Sending out one generic resume to all job postings won’t cut it in 2020. This doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch each time. Rather, you can create one ‘master’ file and customise it to subtly mimic the employer’s language.
For example, if the job ad stresses relationship management skills, briefly mention your ability in the personal statement section of your resume.
Try to reorder your bullet points under each job title to mirror the order of requirements the employer gave. For example, if one of the first requirements is sales management, then any experience you have in that area should take the top bullet.
This technique will also help you get past the automated resume scanners (or ATS), which are programmed to locate certain keywords from your resume. The more closely you mimic the job listing, the higher the chances that your job application won’t be rejected especially in the initial stage.
Leave off unnecessary details
The following irrelevant details are better left off on your resume this 2020:
- Your entire career history – going back 10-15 years is enough to demonstrate you’re qualified. Detailing any roles before the 20-year mark could make you look old and likely won’t impress anyway as they are usually your junior roles.
- Your Uni graduation year – unless its recency is one of your main selling points.
- Your references – unless the job ad states that you need to provide these on your resume.
- Pronouns (such as I, he/she, we) – resumes are ALWAYS written in silent first-person.
As the job market gets more competitive in 2020, these resume tips could help you stand out from the competition.
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