In a world where job opportunities are fiercely contested, every job seeker dreams of finding a secret ingredient that will make their resume shine brighter than the competition.
Fear not, because with this, CDI has got you covered! We’ve reached out to our esteemed member resume writers and career coaches, the masters of their craft, and asked them to share their invaluable insights. These experts have spilled the beans on favorite strategies to make your resumes showstoppers, captivating the attention of employers, leaving them in awe, and giving you the competitive edge.
Here’s what we asked them:
What’s one technique a job seeker can use on their resume to ensure they stand out from the competition?
For example, instead of simply stating that they increased sales at their previous job, they could state something like: ‘Increased sales by 25% within the first quarter by implementing a new marketing strategy that targeted a previously untapped customer demographic.’
By providing specific numbers and details, the job seeker is not only showing that they have achieved results in the past, but they are also demonstrating their ability to use data and analytics to improve business outcomes. This technique can help a jobseeker stand out from the competition because it provides concrete evidence of their skills and accomplishments rather than just formulating vague or generalized statements.”
– Clair Levy, Precision Resumes Solutions
– Cheryl Harland Muller, Resumes by Design
– Tim Cunningham, Fast & Focused Resume Service
– Darleen Ghirardi, Darleen Ghirardi Executive Coaching and Consulting
What not to write: Responsible for increasing customer satisfaction.
Instead: Increased customer satisfaction by 50% by following up ten days after the sale, answering questions, and offering add-on services which also increased revenue by $10k annually.”
– Debbie Marshall, Thrive Consulting
“I’ve seen too many tasks-based resumes from senior professionals in Latin America. They have led teams and made decisions, but their resumes don’t reflect that. So, an achievements-based resume will make the difference.”
– Alejandro Motta, RedacciónCV
“The F pattern. This refers to the way our eyes read content on a page. Firstly, our eyes move from left to right as we pay attention to headlines at the top of the F and short paragraphs. Then they move down to the left side of a page, so bullet points are important here. This leads to the short bar in the middle of the F, a subheading, and the information under that.
The importance of the F pattern is that when used strategically, you place all of the most important information in the top half of the page in the pattern of the top half of an F because this is how our eyes read, and this is the most important information we digest first. So, we’re more likely to quickly scan or miss the following information. If you want to get noticed, your resume layout should follow the F pattern.”
– Athena Ali, The Get Noticed Coach
What are the skills and experience you have that set you apart from others, and how do you go about applying your skills and experience in a way that can benefit your next employer?”
– Betsy Shepard Reed, BSR Career Development
“You can differentiate yourself from the competition by emphasizing your specific talents and accomplishments. Explain the difficulties you faced, how you successfully addressed them, the outcome, and its positive impact.”
– Gina Christiano, GC Career Consulting
– Renzo Maurtua-Neumann, Area CV
“The first page of your resume should clearly and concisely convey your unique value proposition for the employer. Through a headline, an authentic and relevant summary paragraph, key career highlights, and the beginning of your work experience, you should captivate a reader and entice them to read more. Few do the work necessary to build out these sections well, so you will likely stand out from the competition if you do.”
– Angela Watts, MyPro Resumes & Recruiting
“For new grads with little experience or those looking to shift careers, it’s important to view what you have to offer as more than just job titles and work experience. If you did it for any reason, then it qualifies as a form of experience! You will need to be creative — pick up each piece of your life like a puzzle (related jobs, unrelated jobs, volunteer work even with family businesses, self-study, formal study/education right down to the relevant course level, athletics, awards and even home care to family members) and ask yourself, ‘Does this relate and if it does, how can I showcase the value from it?’ Then look to include it on your resume.
For everyone, my favorite strategy at shifting from responsibility-based to metrics-driven results stories is to look at each responsibility you held and ask, ‘What did I do? Why did I do it? Did I find a way to make it better, faster, cheaper, more reliable? If so, how did I do it? What results did it achieve, even if it only made my job easier and no one else noticed?’ Just go down the rabbit hole with the who, what, when, where, how and why.”
– Laura DeCarlo, President @ Career Directors International
What this means for writing your resume:
Now the keys to success are within your reach. By implementing these proven strategies and tapping into the expertise of industry experts, you now have the power to transform your resumes from ordinary to extraordinary, leave a lasting impression on potential employers, and secure that dream job.
- Target your resume for each position.
- Don’t just tell but sell your experience with stories and quantifiable results whenever possible.
- Front-load your resume with what makes you stand out and the key words that match the target position from your experience.
- Get help from a professional if you are struggling to make yourself shine in your resume!
It’s got to be all about the unique and wonderful YOU!
Get ready to conquer the professional stratosphere and claim your well-deserved spot at the top. The sky’s the limit, and we’re here to help you reach for the stars!
Need help taking this important step?
CDI is a global professional association of the industry’s top resume writers, career coaches and other career professionals. Our robust directory will let you search for the perfect practitioner to make your successful transition. Each of the participating professionals featured in this post can be reached via their links or by searching the directory.
Special thanks to Bridget Batson of Houston Outplacement for curating these tips.