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5 creative ways to make your resume stand out

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Looking for a job is very much like dating. When you find the right job, you feel like the luckiest person in the world. But getting to that point is often a long and painful process. You will face rejection. You will (wrongfully) question your worth at times. You will spend countless hours wondering why they didn’t call you back even though your interview went so well.

Because job seeking is so brutal, you need to excel at everything you can control — and that starts with your résumé. This vital document often makes or breaks your chances at an interview so you have to get it right, especially since recruiters typically only scan through a resume for six seconds before making a decision on an applicant, reports The Muse.

Crafting a perfect résumé may sound like a tall order, but there are many tips and tricks you can use to make it happen. Here are a few.

Presentation matters

When eating at a fine-dining restaurant, you don’t just want your dish to be tasty — you expect it to look like it had been plated by Van Gogh himself. Well, think of recruiters as the pickiest and busiest of food critics and your résumé as A5 wagyu beef. The content of your résumé might be delicious, but if the presentation doesn’t match, it will be promptly returned to the kitchen.

Make sure your résumé is well-formatted, easy to read and follow, and visually appealing. There are many templates you can find online if you need help or you can go the extra mile and hire a professional designer — it’s a worthwhile investment.

Less is more

“Why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?”

Kevin from “The Office” was spot on when he gave this piece of résumé advice. Conciseness is preferred in almost all professional contexts, but it’s especially important when writing your résumé for two reasons: you have limited space and the recruiter has limited time.

Here are some tips to shorten your résumé without weakening it:

  • Get rid of filler words (e.g. “in order to” and “basically”)
  • Remove irrelevant job functions
  • Shorten line spacing (while minding readability)
  • Use precise and powerful words
  • Use active voice.

Optimal résumé length depends on your experience. Stick to one page if you’re newer to the workforce. But if you’re applying to a more senior role, you might need a multiple-page CV.

Let your personality shine

In this day and age, companies value personality more than ever. In fact, most interview processes will require you to pass a “vibe check” interview with potential team members — and no vibes usually equal no job. But before you get to that stage, recruiters will look to your résumé to get a glimpse into your personality and vet you for culture fit.

Although most of what you say on your résumé doesn’t reveal who you are as a person, how you say it does. Use powerful words that show you didn’t just participate in projects but led them. Write a profile that conveys confidence in your skills but also a desire to always learn more. Sound human.

It also doesn’t hurt to add a line or two about your hobbies and interests — the recruiter or hiring manager might share a common passion and that’s a huge bonus.

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Show, don’t tell

What do you call the best basketball coach in the world whose team never wins? You call them... as much as you want because they’re unemployed. To prospective employers, the results you can produce matter as much as your actual skills — if not more.

As such, try to include tangible achievements when listing job duties — not just descriptions. For example, “Increased inbound sales by 25%” is better than “Conducted inbound sales calls.” And if you want to be even more advanced, Inc.com recommends using the X-Y-Z format as recommended by Google recruiters: “Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y], by doing [Z].”

Know your audience

If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: you need to personalize the heck out of your résumé. Customize each version based on the company, the role and the job description.

You want to do this for several reasons. First of all, it increases your chances of getting past applicant tracking systems (ATS), which crawl through your résumé and compare it to the job description to determine a match. (There are many services to help you get past those ATS, like Jobscan.)

Secondly, it makes your résumé as relevant to the role as possible — therefore making you seem as qualified as possible. And lastly, it shows that you pay great attention to detail, a quality universally desired in a candidate.

Ready to apply?

Perfect résumés don’t mean much if they lead to bad jobs. Fortunately, Utah is filled with an increasing amount of incredible companies, like Biofire Defense.

Biofire, a top tech company in the state, is hiring right now. They offer incredible benefits, like 4+ weeks of yearly paid time off and tuition reimbursement as well as a fun yet challenging culture with plenty of opportunity for growth. Search their job opportunities on their website.