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How to Get Attention in a Competitive Employment Market: 7 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out

by Michelle Dumas

resume"Good enough" attempts are not "good enough" when it concerns your resume.

You have one chance to make a fantastic first impression in a job market that's overflowing with skilled candidates. Your resume has to wow the reader, seize attention, and compel the employer to pick up the phone and call you. Any less and you may lose out on the scarce, ideal job opportunity. To help you, here are seven essentials that professional resume writers use to help craft a resume that is enticing to recruiters.

1. Develop a resume with the perfect job in the forefront of your thoughts.

This is not the time to be generic or uncertain, as an unfocused resume makes you appear as if you don't even know what you want and quickly loses the attention of the recipient. Be confident and craft a resume that emphasizes how you are the matchless candidate for your ideal job. Don't throw away the 15 seconds that you have to get your essential points across, or you will be overlooked.

2. Synopsize your credentials with the emphasis on the employer.

Don't just use an out-of-date, self-serving objective statement. Create a profile section that tells the reader what you offer to them. This part of the resume is "above the fold" and all the most appropriate and intriguing details should be here at first glimpse. Feature your most riveting and applicable qualifications and fill the summary with examples that show the reader you have the ability to add value, rather than just telling them.

Prominently convey how you will provide that extra value to the organization and how you have the ability to do so in a way that sets you apart from other job candidates.

3. Spotlight successes throughout the resume.

Don't highlight standard job responsibilities, as these don't show how you actually performed and provided value and benefits for the company.

Instead, emphasize how you delivered that value by preparing an achievement-focused resume, to make evident your future potential.

Achievements are commonly related to how you solved a problem, how you rose above a challenging circumstance, how you made money, how you save money, or how you bolstered efficiency.

4. Provide evidence that you will deliver value and benefits.

An achievement is fantastic, but it is only part of the story. You ought to also define how that success added value in some tangible way. Did it make more money, conserve time, or did it aid in productivity? Use numbers to characterize your results whenever possible.

5. Produce a standout design.

Steer away from utilizing a template when you craft your resume and originate a personalized design that helps to play up the unique aspects in your background. Don't go for an ineffective "one size fits all" approach. Your goal is to stand out. Not to blend by using a resume that looks like 99% of the resumes that are out there.

6. Prioritize and highlight your most pertinent experience.

It's prevalent to go back about 10 to 20 years and no more. But the real key is to bear in mind you are creating a marketing document and not an autobiography. It is wholly allowed to exclude inconsequential facts and experiences and to structure your resume so that it strategically highlights the most relevant and impressive qualifications you offer.

7. Observe the current best standards and practices.

Remember that standards, expectations, formats and styles change over time. The old resume format you were taught in college 10 years ago is likely no longer up to date and adequate. Do your research or seek the advice of a professional to be certain that your resume format is up to date.

After reading these tips, if you still feel that you would benefit from help to improve your resume seriously consider consulting a professional resume writer. This is an investment that will pay you back many fold, by dramatically shrinking the time it takes you to search for the job, by putting you in a position to get the job that you always wanted, and by furnishing you with a framework to negotiate great compensation.

Michelle Dumas runs of one of the longest-standing and most respected professional resume writing firms on the internet. Since 1996, Michelle and her team have empowered thousands of professionals with resumes that get results and win jobs fast. Get insider resume writing tips, example resumes, and more articles like this one at her website. Go now to

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