Thanks to the emergence of the internet and new media, job-seekers have the ability to present their resume in a variety of unique and interesting ways.
Depending on the industry and position you are applying to, you may be able to incorporate or use a variety of multimedia elements like video, QR codes, social media profiles, infographics, or even a Power Point presentation.
With that in mind, most employers still prefer traditional paper resumes to other creative presentations. This is because they don't necessarily have a lot of time to review each resume, and they still need to be able to find key information quickly. In addition, resumes may be reviewed by people who are not creative or tech savvy.
Presented here are several other ways you can stand out, even if you are using a standard resume format.
1. Use Common Fonts
Instead of using multiple fonts or even using unusual fonts, standardize your resume by using one common font throughout.
Your inclination might be to do the opposite if you want to stand out. However, for most documents and web articles, people are used to looking at standard and default fonts (like Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman).
Using common fonts will make your resume easy to read, and it will make it tighter and more focused too.
2. Use Unusual Terms And Sentences
This is where you can get a little creative. After all, as an employer looks through dozens of applications, they're going to begin to find many common elements from one resume to the next (terms and sentences) and grow tired of them.
While looking for creative ways to form your sentences, you should still use language that others can easily understand. However, if you can catch readers a little off-guard, that is what you are after.
You may also want to do a web search on 'power verbs' and learn more about words that can make your resume unique.
3. Present Important Information At The Beginning
A few years back, web designers often talked about presenting the most information before or above 'the fold'. What this meant was that not all users scroll after landing on a website, so the key functions of the website had to be immediately available and visible.
Things have changed a little bit in that realm, but it is a good technique to remember with your resume. Make sure the most important information is available 'above the fold'.
4. Take Extra Time To Edit
Take some time to read through your resume. Make sure to correct any spelling or grammatical efforts. Trim unnecessary or extraneous words, sentences and paragraphs. Do not spare any effort in carefully editing every part of your resume until it is just right.
5. Use Keywords, Not Buzzwords
Some people are in the habit of using adjectives and buzzwords ('fantastic', 'wonderful', 'unique', 'innovative', etc.) in their resume. Whatever you find in the aforementioned 'power verb' list is fair game, but any words that don't add to a sentence should be purged.
Instead, focus on adding relevant keywords that were mentioned in the job description. Make sure to concentrate a fair number of these keywords at the beginning (see previous point on presenting important information at the start).
Image: Zach Klein