Creating a resume that stands out is much easier than most people think. A good resume must include three components:
- It must get you past the applicant tracking software (ATS)
- It must tell the reader why you are a good fit for their job
- It must be visually appealing
Too often, we overcomplicate the resume but forget these three basics.
The key to a standout resume is the focus
That means that first, you must decide what your next position looks like. Spend some time to figure out exactly what you want from your next job, then ensure your resume tells that story. While that advice feels counterintuitive to many, it works very well.
Focus on what you can do for the position you’re applying for
In the past, a resume was a job history, now it is your brochure. Instead of broadly telling the reader everything you’ve done in the past, focus on how you solve the problem of the reader (the hiring manager). This should be easy to do since you know exactly what types of positions you will be applying for.
Review two or three similar job postings and pull out the terminology you see used over and over. These are the keywords you want to include in the resume to get you past the ATS.
Create a visually appealing format
The good news is, there is no one right way to do this. Decide what appeals to you. After all, this reflects you. Make sure the document is easy to skim and that you’ve used a font that is easy to read. If using color, ensure it still looks good printed in black and white.
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