Resume Advice

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Having a resume that stands out from the crowd is crucial for a successful job search. Follow these tips to creatively grab the hiring manager’s attention.

Leila Le
Published: (Updated: ) - 6 min read
As an Operations Lead, Leila oversees Simplify's blog & newsletter, reaching 100K job-seekers monthly, where she brings experience curating resources for candidates to help them land their dream job.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

When it comes to standing out in a crowd, your resume may be just the thing you need to help you get noticed. After all, your resume is like your own personal marketing tool, so it stands to reason that you'd want it to be as attention-grabbing to recruiters and hiring managers as possible. We compiled some ideas to make your resume stand out!

Creative Ways to Help Your Resume Stand Out

Your resume is usually one of the first things potential employers will look at when they're considering you for job opportunities. If you want to make a good impression, you need to make sure your resume is as strong as it can be.

  • When describing your experience and key skills, use strong, active verbs. For example, instead of saying "I worked on a project and was a team player," you could say "I managed a project." This will make your resume sound more powerful and will help you to stand out.
  • When detailing your work experience, make sure to highlight your accomplishments, metrics, and certifications. Did you receive any awards or recognition at your previous jobs? Did you help your team achieve any goals? Be sure to include this information on your resume.

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  • Your resume should be easy to read and should look professional. Avoid using complicated designs or overly-fancy fonts. Stick to a simple, clean design that will make your information easy to digest.
  • Some employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help them screen resumes. These systems scan resumes for certain keywords and phrases related to the job opening.
  • Tailoring your resume means customizing it to each individual job you apply for. This means specifying why you are a good fit for that particular job, and highlighting the skills and experience that make you the best candidate. Taking the time to tailor your resume for each job you apply for will help you to stand out and will increase your chances of getting an interview.

Why is it Important?

In a nutshell, the more impressive your resume is, the better your chances are of getting noticed by potential recruiters. For recent graduates, this might be the difference between landing an interview or getting lost in the pile of applications. After all, with so many candidates to choose from, employers are often looking for any excuse to narrow down the pool of applicants. If your resume is dull and generic, it's likely to get lost in the shuffle. But if it's creative and catches the eye, you'll be that much closer to landing an interview.

When an employer is looking at resumes, they often have dozens or even hundreds to choose from. Your goal is to make your resume stand out from the rest so that the employer will want to learn more about you. By following the tips outline in this blog, you can make sure your resume stands out and makes a good impression on potential employers.

1. Add Blocks of Color

Adding blocks of color is the best way to make your resume stand out. Use colors that are professional and easy to read. It will help your resume stand out from the pile of black and white resumes that employers are used to seeing. But more importantly, it can also help to highlight important information on your resume, making it easier for employers to find what they're looking for.

In terms of design, there are a few things you can do to make your resume stand out. First, use a professional-looking font, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri, and make sure that the font size is large enough to be easily readable. You'll also want to use subheadings and bullet points to break up your text and make it easier to scan. Finally, you can use color judiciously to help certain elements of your resume stand out, but be sure not to go overboard.

2. Include a Professional Picture

If you're in a creative field, or if you're applying for a job that requires a lot of public speaking, consider adding a headshot to your resume. A headshot will help potential employers to put a face to a name, and it can also help to make your resume more memorable. Just be sure to use a professional-looking headshot, and avoid using a selfie.

Including a professional picture can help your resume stand out from the crowd. After all, most resumes don't include pictures, so including one will help you to stand out. Second, it can help employers to remember you. In a sea of applicants, it can be tough for employers to remember each and every candidate. But if they have a picture of you to look at, they're more likely to remember you when it comes time to make a decision.

3. Play With Different Layouts

Most resumes follow a similar layout: your name and contact information at the top, followed by your education and professional work experience. But there's no rule that says your resume has to look like everyone else's. If you want your resume to stand out, try playing around with different layouts.

One way to make your resume stand out is to think outside the box. Instead of a traditional chronological format, consider using a functional format with headings that highlights your relevant skills and accomplishments. This is especially effective if you're changing careers or have a gap in your employment history. You can also use a combination format, which combines elements of both the chronological and functional formats.

Looking for the optimal resume template layout? We did a study and found the template with the highest response rate – read about it here!

4. Showcase Your Experience With Infographics

If you're looking for a really creative way to make your resume stand out, try using infographics. Infographics are a great way to showcase your professional experience and technical skills in a visually appealing way. They're also relatively easy to make, so you don't have to be a design expert to create one.

To create an infographic resume, start by choosing a template. There are a number of templates available online, or you can create your own. Once you have your template, you'll need to add your own data. This can include your work history, education, skills, and anything else you want to include. Once you have your infographic complete, be sure to proofread it carefully to ensure that all of the information is accurate.

Another easy way to make your resume stand out is to use unique fonts and graphics. If you're not a designer, don't worry – there are plenty of great resume templates out there that already incorporate unique fonts and graphics. But if you want to go the extra mile, you can always add your own personal touch by incorporating your own fonts and graphics. Just be sure to keep it professional and avoid anything too cutesy.

Want to know what skills to include on your resume? Read our blog post on the most important skills to list on your resume here!

5. Work in a Little Bit of Humor

If you want to take a slightly different approach, you can try working in a little bit of humor. After all, if your resume is too serious, it might not stand out. But if you can find a way to make your resume fun and different, you'll be that much more likely to catch an employer's eye. Just be careful not to overdo it. If your resume is too jokey, it might come across as unprofessional. But if you can find a way to add a touch of humor without going overboard, you'll be sure to make a lasting impression.

6. Share Your Hobbies

Your hobbies can actually tell potential employers a lot about you and your work ethic. So, don't be afraid to share them on your resume. Including your hobbies can help your resume to stand out, while also giving employers a better sense of who you are as a person.

If you're not sure which hobbies to include, think about the ones that reflect well on your work ethic. For example, if you're passionate about running, it shows that you're disciplined and motivated. Or, if you're an avid reader, it shows that you're able to focus and absorb new information quickly. Choose the hobbies that you think will make the best impression on potential employers.

7. Keep it Simple

When it comes to resumes, less is often more. Avoid using too many words or fancy fonts, as this can make your resume appear cluttered and difficult to read. Instead, focus on making your resume easy to read and to the point.

One of the quickest ways to lose an employer's attention is to ramble on and on (and on) in your resume. Keep in mind that employers are often scanning dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes at a time, so they don't have the patience to wade through pages and pages of content. Get to the point and stick to showcasing your quantifiable achievements and skills.

Start Your Job Search With Simplify Today

A resume is often the first impression you make on a potential hiring manager, so it's important to make sure that it's a good one! By following the tips above, you can help to ensure that your resume will stand out from the crowd and help you to land the role you want.

Now that you know how to make your resume stand out, it's time to start your job search. The hiring process can be tough, but Simplify can help! We've built a platform that helps you discover companies and jobs that uniquely fit your experiences and interests. We also help you autofill your online job applications, so you can focus on finding your dream job instead of those pesky job portals. Best of luck!

Are you resume-ready? Sign-up on Simplify and get matched with jobs that fit your skills and interests. More than 1 million applications were submitted using Simplify this year – check it out!