Writing Resumes and Cover Letters

Tips for Writing a Standout Resume

Crystal Rose

Creating a Standout Resume: Essential Strategies and Techniques

Are you struggling to make your resume stand out in a sea of job applications? Surprisingly, hiring managers may reject a candidate based on as few as five writing errors on their resume.

Creating a Standout Resume
Creating a Standout Resume

This blog post will provide essential tips and advice to help you craft a standout resume that captures attention and lands interviews.  

The Importance of a Standout Resume

A standout resume often serves as the key to unlocking a recruiter's attention in today's competitive job market. Recruiters are likely to scrutinize hundreds of resumes for each job posting, making it crucial that your document quickly catches their eye and impresses them with relevant work experience, transferable soft skills, and accomplishments instead of merely listing out roles and responsibilities.

It’s also common knowledge among HR executives that typos or grammatical errors could lead to immediate rejection; even five writing mistakes can shut down opportunities instantly.

Therefore, proofreading is essential for an error-free application - use tools such as Grammarly or consider getting an objective review from a career coach for professional feedback.

Another advantage of crafting a standout resume/CV is the chance it gives you to present your personal branding effectively. Through clear messaging about your achievements and abilities, you demonstrate not only what you’ve done but who you are professionally – critical factors in compelling hiring managers to call candidates for job interviews.

Basic Components of a Resume

The basic components of a resume include work experience, education, certifications, a summary, and skills.

Work Experience

Work Experience is a crucial part of any resume. This section showcases your professional history and shines a light on the skills and expertise you've developed over time. Filling this category with relevant job titles, organizations, dates of employment, and accomplishments forms an image of your career trajectory for hiring managers.

Unpaid work or volunteering can also feature here if they contributed to skill development related to the applied role—especially valuable for early-career individuals seeking entry-level jobs.

For each listed position, focus on outlining achievements instead of listing duties. Using action verbs alongside hard numbers can better articulate these successes – painting a vivid picture of how you've made an impact in previous roles.


Investing in education significantly improves your prospects in the competitive job market. Your resume should detail all pertinent educational experience, from degrees earned and institutions attended to relevant coursework or projects completed.

If you have an impressive GPA, don't hesitate to include it as well. Don’t overlook important internships or any ongoing professional development courses either; each shows your commitment to growth and intellectual curiosity.

Even if switching industries, transferable skills learned during education can be very impactful on a career change resume. Unpaid work experiences like volunteering that provide learning opportunities may also offer valuable educational insights worth highlighting under this section of your resume.


Certifications can greatly enhance your resume and make it stand out to hiring managers. These credentials demonstrate that you possess specialized knowledge and skills in a particular field, giving employers more confidence in your abilities.

In fact, according to a Deloitte survey, 85% of employers consider certifications important when evaluating potential candidates. By including relevant certifications on your resume, you not only showcase your expertise but also increase your chances of getting noticed by hiring influencers.

So whether you have certifications in project management, digital marketing, or any other industry-specific area, be sure to highlight them prominently on your resume to impress potential employers and boost your job prospects.


Writing a standout resume is essential for grabbing the attention of hiring managers. By including relevant information, highlighting accomplishments, and demonstrating industry knowledge, you can increase your chances of landing an interview.

Additionally, keeping your resume concise and error-free shows attention to detail and professionalism. Customizing your resume for each job application by adapting to industry needs and using keywords from job postings can further enhance your chances of getting noticed.

Don't forget to proofread your resume for errors and consider getting an objective review from a career coach or professional resume writer. With these tips in mind, you can create a strong and impactful resume that sets you apart from other applicants in today's competitive job market.


Skills are a crucial component of any standout resume. Hiring managers want to see that you possess the necessary abilities to excel in the role. When crafting your resume, it's important to highlight relevant skills that align with the job requirements.

This could include technical skills like programming languages or software proficiency, as well as soft skills like communication and problem-solving. By showcasing your skills upfront, you can give hiring managers a clear picture of what you bring to the table and increase your chances of standing out from other applicants.

Additionally, backing up your skills with concrete examples is key. Use bullet points to outline specific achievements or projects where you applied these skills effectively. This not only demonstrates your capabilities but also gives employers an idea of how you have successfully used your talents in real-world situations.

Remember, be concise and focus on quality over quantity when listing your skills - select those that are most relevant and impactful for the position you're applying for.

Tips for Writing a Standout Resume

Include relevant information, highlight accomplishments instead of responsibilities, keep it concise, consider the hiring manager's needs, ensure professional presentation, proofread for errors, demonstrate industry knowledge and get an objective review.

Include Relevant Information

When crafting your standout resume, it's crucial to include relevant information that highlights your qualifications and aligns with the job requirements. Here are key elements to consider:

  • Work experience: List positions that directly relate to the job you're applying for, emphasizing achievements and responsibilities.
  • Education: Include degrees, certifications, and relevant coursework that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
  • Certifications: Showcase any industry-specific certifications or accreditations that enhance your credibility.
  • Summary: Write a concise summary statement highlighting your key skills, experiences, and career objectives.
  • Skills: Highlight both technical and soft skills that are applicable to the position and valued by employers.

Highlight Accomplishments, Not Responsibilities

When writing your resume, it's important to focus on highlighting your accomplishments rather than just listing your responsibilities. This is because hiring managers are more interested in seeing the impact you have made in previous roles.

By showcasing specific achievements and outcomes, you demonstrate your ability to deliver results. For example, instead of simply stating that you managed a team, highlight how you successfully increased productivity by 20% under your leadership.

By emphasizing accomplishments, you make a stronger case for why you are the right candidate for the job. Remember that numbers and quantifiable results can be particularly impactful in catching the attention of hiring managers and setting yourself apart from other applicants.

Keep it Concise

A standout resume should be concise and to the point. Hiring managers often have limited time to review each application, so it's important to make sure your resume is easy to read and understand.

Avoid lengthy paragraphs or unnecessary details that don't directly relate to the job you're applying for. Use bullet points and concise sentences to highlight your accomplishments and skills in a clear manner.

By keeping your resume concise, you can grab the attention of hiring managers and increase your chances of being considered for the position.

Grammatical errors in a resume can give off an impression of carelessness and lack of attention to detail. This is why proofreading is crucial before submitting your application. Typos or grammar mistakes may raise red flags for employers who are looking for candidates with strong communication skills.

Consider the Hiring Manager’s Needs

Hiring managers have specific needs when it comes to finding the right candidate for a job. To create a standout resume, it's important to consider these needs and tailor your application accordingly.

By researching the company and the role you're applying for, you can gain insight into what skills, experience, and qualities are most valuable to them. This will allow you to highlight relevant information, use industry-specific keywords, and demonstrate that you understand their requirements.

Taking the time to consider the hiring manager's needs shows that you are proactive and invested in making a strong impression.

Consider the Hiring Manager’s Needs
Consider the Hiring Manager’s Needs

Ensure Professional Presentation

Your resume should be presented in a professional manner to make a good impression on hiring managers. Here are some tips to ensure professional presentation:

  1. Use a clean and modern resume layout.
  2. Choose a professional - looking font, such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  3. Maintain consistency in design throughout your resume.
  4. Use sufficient white space to make your resume easy to read.
  5. Format dates of employment consistently and clearly.
  6. Highlight important information using bullet points.
  7. Use action verbs and descriptive adjectives to showcase your skills and accomplishments.
  8. Check for any grammatical errors or typos and proofread your resume thoroughly.

Proofread for Errors

Proofreading is crucial to ensuring the accuracy and professionalism of your resume. Avoid making simple mistakes that could cost you a job opportunity by reviewing your document for errors. Here are some things to check for:

  • Spelling mistakes: Correct any misspelled words, as they can make you appear careless or uneducated.
  • Grammar errors: Double-check your grammar, paying attention to subject-verb agreement, tense consistency, and sentence structure.
  • Punctuation errors: Make sure your punctuation marks are used correctly, including commas, periods, and apostrophes.
  • Typos: Look out for any accidental typing errors that may have occurred during the writing process.
  • Formatting issues: Ensure that your resume is consistently formatted throughout, including headings, bullet points, and margins.

Demonstrate Industry Knowledge

Demonstrating industry knowledge in your resume is essential for catching the attention of employers. By showcasing that you are up-to-date on current trends and developments in your field, you can prove that you are proactive and engaged.

Staying informed about new technologies, best practices, and industry-specific terminology allows you to include relevant keywords and demonstrate that you have a deep understanding of your chosen profession.

Incorporating this knowledge into your resume shows potential employers that you are committed to growth and possess the intellectual curiosity necessary to succeed in their industry.

Get an Objective Review

Proofreading your resume thoroughly is essential for catching errors and improving its overall quality. However, it can be challenging to spot all the mistakes on your own. That's why it's beneficial to seek an objective review from trusted individuals.

By getting a fresh perspective, you can gain valuable insights into areas that may need improvement or clarification in your resume. Trusted individuals can help identify errors, provide constructive criticism, and offer suggestions to make your resume stand out even more.

Remember, hiring managers may decide not to hire a candidate based on as few as five writing errors, so seeking feedback is crucial for ensuring the professionalism and effectiveness of your resume.

Customizing Your Resume

Customizing your resume is essential to make it relevant and impactful for each job application, allowing you to stand out from the competition.

Customizing Your Resume
Customizing Your Resume

Adapting to Industry Needs

To write a standout resume, it is essential to adapt to the specific needs of the industry you are applying to. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Research the industry: Familiarize yourself with the latest trends, technologies, and skills relevant to your target field.
  2. Tailor your resume content: Highlight experiences, achievements, and qualifications that align with the requirements of the industry.
  3. Use industry-specific language: Incorporate keywords and terminology commonly used in your desired field to demonstrate your understanding and proficiency.
  4. Showcase relevant certifications: Include any certifications or training programs related to the industry that can enhance your credibility.
  5. Emphasize transferable skills: Identify skills that are applicable across industries, such as communication, problem-solving, or leadership abilities.
  6. Highlight relevant projects: Detail any projects or initiatives you have worked on that directly relate to the industry you are targeting.
  7. Customize your resume format: Choose a resume layout that is common in the industry and showcases information in a way that hiring managers expect.

Using Keywords from Job Postings

Using keywords from job postings is a crucial step in writing a standout resume. By incorporating industry-specific terms and phrases, you can demonstrate your knowledge and align yourself with the hiring manager's needs. Here are some tips for effectively using keywords:

  • Identify relevant keywords: Carefully review the job posting and make note of any keywords or buzzwords used. These may include specific skills, certifications, software, or industry terminology.
  • Integrate keywords throughout: Strategically incorporate these keywords throughout your resume, including in your summary, work experience bullet points, and skills section. This will help ensure that your resume passes through applicant tracking systems (ATS) by matching the desired criteria.
  • Showcase accomplishments with keywords: When describing your work experience and achievements, use the identified keywords to highlight your accomplishments rather than just listing responsibilities. This shows how you have successfully applied those skills in previous roles.
  • Customize for each application: Tailor your resume to each job application by adjusting the keyword usage based on the specific requirements of the role. Take note of any additional keywords mentioned in the job description and make sure to include them in your resume.
  • Maintain readability: While it's important to include relevant keywords, be mindful of not overstuffing your resume with excessive jargon. Balance keyword usage with clear and concise language to ensure that your qualifications are easily understood by hiring managers.

Highlighting Remote-Working Skills

Remote-working skills have become highly valuable in today's workplace. When crafting your standout resume, be sure to highlight your proficiency in remote-working software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. This will demonstrate your ability to adapt to virtual environments and work effectively from anywhere. Additionally, emphasize any experience you have with remote collaboration tools and maintaining productivity while working remotely. 

Lastly, showcase your excellent communication skills, as effective virtual communication is crucial in remote work settings.

  • Proficiency in remote - working software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams
  • Experience with remote collaboration tools
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain productivity while working remotely
  • Excellent communication skills for effective virtual communication

Seek Feedback

Following these tips for writing a standout resume will increase your chances of catching the attention of hiring managers. By including relevant information, highlighting accomplishments, and keeping it concise, you'll create a professional and impressive document.

Remember to proofread thoroughly and seek feedback from trusted individuals to ensure your resume is error-free and optimized for success.

Related Topics: You may also be interested in learning about how to write a powerful resume objective, the role of keywords in resumes and cover letters and how to write a compelling cover letter.

Crystal Rose

Crystal Rose is a spirited digital nomad and lifestyle blogger, advocating for remote work and independent living. A bold dream chaser, Crystal swapped the traditional 9-5 grind for a laptop and a worldwide adventure. She passionately shares her insights on work-life balance, productivity, and travel through her blog. Known for her feisty writing and honest advice, she empowers readers to embrace freedom and create their own dream life.

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