Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out from the Pile

Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out from the Pile


Your resume is the very first thing an employer will see before they meet you in person. Not only does it need to accurately represent your work experience, but it also needs to make a lasting impression. These days, with the job market becoming more competitive every day, it's extra important to do everything you can to make your resume stand out from the pile.

Focus on your achievements, not your responsibilities

When listing your work experience on your resume, it's important to focus on your achievements rather than your responsibilities. For example, instead of saying "managed a team of 10 employees", say "increased team productivity by 50% over the course of 6 months". This will give employers a better understanding of your actual impact and contributions in a previous role.

Use numbers to quantify your achievements

Numbers catch people's attention, so make sure to use them in your resume. Use metrics to quantify your achievements, such as "increased sales revenue by 30% year over year" or "reduced customer complaints by 50% through implementing a new feedback system". This will give employers a concrete understanding of your contributions.

Customize your resume for each individual job application

Tailoring your resume to each job application is key. This means reading the job description carefully and adapting your resume to highlight the skills and experiences that match the job requirements. This will show employers that you're not just sending out a generic resume to every job opportunity, but rather that you're making a genuine effort to fit the position.

Use keywords from the job advertisement in your resume

Employers and recruiters often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes before they're even seen by a human. To ensure your resume gets past the ATS and onto the desk of a hiring manager, make sure to use keywords from the job advertisement in your resume. This will show the system and the human reader that you're a good match for the job.

Add a professional summary statement

A professional summary statement at the beginning of your resume can be a great way to grab a hiring manager's attention. This should be a short, powerful statement that highlights your most relevant skills and experiences. Make sure to tailor this statement to the job you're applying for, and keep it concise and impactful.

Show your personality

Employers want to get a sense of who you are as a person beyond just your work experience. While it's important to remain professional, showing your personality can help your resume stand out. This can be as simple as including a personal interest or hobby section, or using a unique and creative resume design.

Include relevant volunteer experience

If you have volunteer experience that's relevant to the job you're applying for, make sure to include it on your resume. This can demonstrate your commitment to a cause, your ability to work with others, and your willingness to put in extra effort. Just like with work experience, highlight your achievements and quantify your impact.

Proofread, proofread, proofread

Spelling and grammatical errors can be a quick way to get your resume tossed in the reject pile. Make sure to proofread your resume carefully, and have someone else read it over as well. Attention to detail is a valuable skill in any job, so letting errors slip through can reflect poorly on your overall application.


In today's job market, it's important to do everything you can to make your resume stand out from the pile. By focusing on your achievements, customizing your resume, using keywords, and showing your personality, you can help your resume catch the eye of a hiring manager. Remember to tailor your resume to each individual job application, and proofread carefully to avoid any errors. Good luck!