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Expert Resume Tips to Stand Out in the Job Market

12 Tips for Writing a Standout Resume

Whether you’re navigating a career change or simply in need of a resume update, these 12 expert resume-writing tips can help you make your experience stand out to future companies and interviewers! Taylor Ririe, Sr. Manager of Talent Acquisition at Extra Space Storage, has been with the company for over six years and has a background in recruiting and human resources. He brings a wealth of knowledge and practical experience with these tips, ensuring that your resume highlights your skills and achievements in the best possible light.

Keep It to One Page

Recruiters and hiring managers may be looking at hundreds of resumes for one job listing. Keeping your career experience to one page can make your resume easier to read and understand quickly. A concise resume also shows your potential employer that you can communicate efficiently.

Target the Job You’re Applying for

Creating a resume for the specific job you’re applying for can help you stand out from other candidates. Generic resumes may not match the requirements recruiters or hiring agents are looking for. Use the job description as a guide for which experiences, qualifications, and relevant skills to include.

Use Keywords from the Job Description

Carefully review the job listing and pay attention to what words or phrases appear. Hiring managers and recruiters often look for these keywords when reviewing resumes, so including them in descriptions or headers can help you stand out as an applicant.

Prioritize Name & Contact Information

If your resume and application are impressive enough for a phone, virtual, or in-person interview, you want your name and contact information prominently displayed. Don’t make the recruiter or hiring manager search for your information—otherwise, they may move on to another qualified candidate.

Quantify Your Accomplishments

In your resume, it’s crucial to not just list your tasks and responsibilities, but to also demonstrate the impact you made in your roles by quantifying your accomplishments. Use numbers and data to illustrate your effectiveness. For example, “Increased sales by 20% through targeted customer outreach.” This approach shows your contribution to your past employers and highlights your skills in a measurable way.

Share Relevant Websites & Social Media

Depending on the industry, websites and social media handles may be important to share with hiring managers. These can include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, professional portfolios, and personal blogs. For developers, including a link to your GitHub profile can showcase your coding projects and contributions to potential employers. Keep in mind that whatever platforms you share should be job-appropriate. Avoid sharing anything that could reflect poorly on your professional expertise.

Choose a Professional Font

The font you use on your resume can make an impression on your future employer. Select a basic, easy-to-read font like Helvetica, Arial, or Times New Roman to make your resume clear, readable, and professional. Avoid fonts like Papyrus or Comic Sans, which are more difficult to read.

Opt for Reverse Chronological Order

Formatting your resume in reverse chronological order places your most recent and relevant experience near the top, where recruiters or future employees can easily notice it. Additionally, your educational background should be in reverse chronological order but should always be listed near the end of your resume after relevant work experience.

Name Your File Competently

If you send your job application and resume electronically, it’s important to name your file clearly. Simply naming the file “resume” could mean it gets lost in the crowd or easily overlooked during the review process. Use your name in a format like “John_Doe_Resume” or “John Doe Resume” to help your file stand out.

Utilize Simple Headers

Make your resume easy to read by adding simple headers for each section. Each header should relate to the content below it, such as “Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills.” Organizing your resume like this can make specific information easier to find. Additionally, keep your font type and font size consistent for each header.

Take Advantage of Action Verbs

When describing your job duties and accomplishments, be sure to use active voice instead of passive voice. Verbs like achieved, improved, led, and guided can add energy to your sentences. Additionally, try steering clear of overused phrases like “responsible for” to help differentiate your resume.

Update Your Resume Consistently

Keep your resume up-to-date with new skills, experiences, awards, or certificates as you learn or achieve them. Even if you’re not actively job searching, your updated resume will be ready for when opportunity strikes. Beyond updating, it’s wise to seek feedback from mentors, peers, or career services professionals. Their insights can help refine and proofread your resume, ensuring it’s polished before you submit it to higher managers.

Interested in a career with Extra Space Storage? Visit our careers page to learn more about our company culture and job opportunities.