A good resume can be the difference between getting the job of your dreams and not getting a job at all. To get a job, you need to have a good interview, but to get an interview, you need to have a good resume. Your resume should speak to who you are and why you would be a good fit, but when there are many people with similar resumes competing for the same job, you need to find a way for your resume to differentiate itself from all of the others. Certain items are fairly standard on a resume, including education, job experience, etc, but there are many areas of the resume that you can manipulate to attract the attention of the potential employer. By testing out some of these simple changes to your resume, you might find it easier to get your resume noticed and get the chance for an interview.

Use Keywords from the Job Listing

The most important thing to realize about your resume is that it should be a living document. You shouldn’t submit the same resume to every job you apply for because every position within every company is looking for different qualifications and characteristics. Instead, look at it as a document that you should tailor for the recipient every time you submit it somewhere. A simple way to do this is to utilize keywords from the specific job description that is put forth by the company. If they say they are looking for someone with good time management skills, make sure you include that in your updated resume. Additionally, look up important keywords and skills from your industry area. Using technical terms and keywords from the specific area of work will make you look more qualified to work in that specific industry. By crafting your resume to exactly what the company wants, you will end up looking like the perfect candidate. 

Make it Easy to Read

While you might have a lot of information that you’d like to include, if there gets to be too much or it’s too convoluted, the person reading your resume won’t be impressed, they’ll just be confused. Carefully go through your resume and think about each piece of information that is included. Ask yourself “Is it important?,” “Is it impressive,” and “Is it necessary?” if you don’t answer yes to at least one of those questions, then it might be something that can be left out. You might be surprised to realize how much nonessential information is on your resume. On the other hand, if you find you have a lot of important information to include, don’t be afraid to make your resume longer than a page. It’s better to make your resume two pages, but easier to read than to try and squeeze everything in. Additionally, use headings, sub-headings, and bullet points to simplify the format and make it easy to follow.  By removing extra clutter, the hiring manager can quickly determine whether they want to call you in for an interview.

Add Visual Appeal

With many templates available online, there is no reason for your resume to be a dense wall of text. Find a format that is easy to read, uses color, visually appealing, and works for you, however, do not let your resume become overwhelming. Choose a basic font and a minimalist style that isn’t difficult to look at because, ultimately, the content of your resume is more important than how it looks. 

Check for Errors

While this article is about making your resume stand out, but you want to make sure that it’s noticed for positive things. Spelling and grammatical mistakes send the message that you don’t care about the job or are ill-equipped to handle the responsibilities. Beyond errors in writing, make sure that everything is up-to-date and reflects the current state of your life. If you’ve finished a job, add an end date and make sure your description of responsibilities is in the correct tense. Reviewing your resume doesn’t take much time, but it can make a huge difference in securing an interview. Sometimes it can be difficult to notice errors in your resume, so try reading it aloud or enlisting the help of a friend to check for mistakes.

Your resume should help you effectively get your foot in the door and help you to secure an interview. There is a careful balance to creating a good resume, however, if you make these simple changes, you’ll be well on your way.