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10 tips from a recruiter to create a standout resume

We have some amazing roles that we are currently recruiting for. Today, one of our top Direct Search Consultants, Danielle Watkins, is sharing her top tips on how to create a resume that stands out to recruiters in executive search and direct placement.

  1. Create a strong summary or objective statement: This is the first thing recruiters will see so craft a compelling summary or objective statement that succinctly summarizes your professional background, top 2-3 skills, and career goals.
  2. Tailor your resume to the job description: Customize your resume for each job application. Highlight relevant skills and experiences that align with the specific job requirements. Don’t be afraid to take right from the job description you’re applying for.
  3. Quantify achievements: Use numbers, percentages, or other quantifiable metrics wherever possible to showcase your accomplishments. This helps employers understand the impact you’ve had in previous roles. For example, instead of “answered the phone & responded to emails” try “answered 20-30 incoming phone calls & responded to 15-20 emails per day.”
  4. Ensure you’re clarifying your impact: In each of your past roles, employers want to see the impact you made during your time there and proof that your work benefited the company in some way, no matter how big or small. Maybe you updated their filing system to improve efficiency, fixed an inventory issue that saved the company money, or exceeded an annual fundraising goal.
  5. Use action verbs: Start bullet points with strong action verbs to describe your responsibilities and achievements. This makes your resume more dynamic and engaging. Make sure to use the correct tense too – present participles for your current role (filing) and past tense for your previous role (filed). For example, instead of “helped write financial reports” try “organized and documented all relevant financial information into comprehensive reports.”
  6. Showcase transferable skills: Highlight transferable skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for, even if they were acquired in a different industry or role. Not everyone follows a linear career path in one specific field, and that’s okay! The skills you developed in other industries can help you stand out, as long as you highlight them in a way that is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  7. Include relevant keywords: Incorporate keywords from the job description into your resume. Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for relevant keywords before human eyes even see them. One thing to note, make sure the resume still reads well and isn’t just a jumbled list of keywords because hiring managers can tell the difference.
  8. Include additional information: Include additional sections such as certifications, volunteer work, or languages spoken to help strengthen your candidacy. Having a section dedicated to skills is also a great place to list specific software or platforms you’ve used to demonstrate the unique skills you possess. You may also want to include links to your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio, or personal website if applicable. This allows recruiters to learn more about you beyond what’s on your resume.
  9. Create visual appeal: Make sure your resume is easy to read and visually appealing. Use a clean, professional layout with consistent fonts & formatting. Consider using bold text, bullet points, and minimal white space. If you choose to use color, consider neutral, muted tones that still allow your information to be read if printed in black & white. We recommend having an editable Word document version and a standard PDF format copy used for uploading.
  10. Proofread and edit your resume: Finally, proofread your resume carefully to catch any typos or grammatical errors. Consider asking a friend or mentor to review it as well for feedback. A polished, error-free resume demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism.

Interested in learning more about the roles we are currently hiring for here at M3 Placement and Partnership? Please go to our candidate page to learn more.