Is Your Resume Going to Stand Out?

No matter what the pundits say about the shrinking unemployment rate, it seems like it's harder than ever to find a good job.

Unfortunately, the new standard method of uploading your resume online doesn't make it any easier to get your resume noticed among the hundreds of competing documents that recruiters and employers go through regularly. Is your resume going to stand out?

Your resume will have a better chance if you look at these five keys to presenting the perfect resume to companies and recruiters in 2015 and beyond:

1. Follow Instructions

Remember those contests you used to enter that had complicated instructions.

You knew that your entry would be disqualified if you didn't follow directions to the letter. It's the same with your resume.

When you read the application instructions, make sure you adhere to them.

If they specify that they want a cover letter (or not), make sure you do it. If they ask for salary requirements, you'd better mention something, even if it's a general salary range.

Unfair as it may seem of them to ask for salary requirements, your unwillingness to supply that may make them disqualify your candidacy.

2. Include Testimonials

It may seem unusual to include testimonials on a resume, but with certain industries, one or two testimonials could really help your chances at getting your resume noticed.

As the following article looks at, if you're wondering how to prepare your resume for a cosmetology career, you could consider including a few headshots of work you've done for previous clients in your cover letter or resume package.

Did you do the hair for a wedding party? An artistic shot of the bridesmaids' hair would add interest to your application.

Any field that is artistic would benefit from client/customer testimonials to prove your work is valued.

3. Incorporate Keywords

When an employer asks you to upload your resume to their site or job board profile, chances are their recruiters are going to use keyword searches to filter out the best candidates.

You can highly increase your odds of being shortlisted by incorporating keywords into your resume that correspond to the job description. Even long-tail keywords are effective here.

For a rough example, if they are seeking "detail-oriented salesperson with a proven track record," you should use that exact phrase on your resume.

One way to use this example is to say at the top of your resume, "I am a detail-oriented salesperson with a proven track record seeking long-term employment in the automotive industry." This will make you stand out as being a perfect fit for what they are looking for.

4. Don't Get Too Artsy

The plethora of easy-to-use graphic design software is tempting to use on your boring old resume. But getting too artsy on your resume can make you look unprofessional.

A few colored lines to emphasize a border or an interesting typeface is fine.

But a background image of your bulldog doesn't say "means business" like you might think it does.

5. Edit, Edit, Edit

Write your resume, put it away, and read it again the next day.

Chances are you'll find a typo, missing punctuation, or something that could be reworded. Don't ever fire off a resume without editing first.

Your resume will now have a much better chance of getting noticed when you spend the necessary time and effort crafting a great one.

Have you used any of these tips?

Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credit: Image courtesy of phasinphoto at

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about recruiting, hiring and how to get your dream job.

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