4 Tips to Differentiate your Resume in 2017

It’s 2017 and time to make some changes to achieve your career aspirations. Differentiate yourself in the competitive job market with these 4 tips that will revive your resume and make you look amazing to employers.


1. What is your Professional Brand Personality?

You need to identify who you are as a professional before you can create a standout resume and land your dream job. It is 2017 – a day in age where differentiating yourself through thought leadership and detail is imperative to stand out from the crowd. Creating a personal brand story includes identifying a distinct look and point of view for all of your career materials that will be shared with employers.

Are you driven? Hard-working? Creative? What value will you bring to an employer if selected for an opportunity? Make a list of illustrative words that describe your persona, professional goals, and skills to incorporate in your resume. Pair these words with action verbs. Oakland University provides a full list of action verbs in its Resume Guide for ideas.

2. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords

Do not apply to every job you see using the same resume – this is not doing yourself any favors. When you come across a job that grabs your interest, input the job description into a keyword density tool such as SEO Book’s Keyword Density Analyzer. It will show you the most used keywords in the job description. Make sure to utilize these keywords throughout your resume.

You’re probably wondering what SEO has to do with resumes? More than you think. Most applications get processed through an employer’s applicant tracking system before getting seen by a human. The system checks for keyword usage in relation to the job opportunity being sought, so always modify your resume to fit the employer’s needs.

3. List Skills the Right Way

Employers do not want to see a list of skills such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, social media, and data analysis on your resume without an explanation of how you can use them to deliver value. You need to get creative in the way you communicate your skills to the audience and showcase your application of them. For example, the skill “data analysis” can be transformed into “Experienced utilizing data analysis to build strategic projects plans for business development.” Business Daily’s 35+ Creative Ways to List Job Skills on Your Resume lists many examples of this concept.

4. Formatting

You need to amplify your resume so it matches the trends of time. Since it is 2017, most resume submissions are done electronically. When formatting your resume, it is important to keep it concise and limited to one page. Think “hierarchy” as if you were writing a paper. Use bold colors to highlight headings such as your education and experience throughout your resume; this will make it is visual and easy to read.

Stick with body font sizes between 10 – 12 point and slightly larger sizes can be used for headings. Use fonts that are universal to all, so the appearance stays intact. Employers may request a Microsoft Word copy of your resume, so it is good to have both PDF and Word versions on hand. Give up the Times New Roman and try a more modern looking font like Calibri or Cambria.



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