How to add your unique flair to get that interview
The job market is as competitive as it’s ever been, and it’s getting harder and harder to stand out in a sea of great applicants. That being said, no two people are the same. Even if you and someone else have held the exact same jobs and have similar skills, no two resumes should be the same either. Your resume is a one-page version of not only your skills and accomplishments, but also your personality - so don’t be afraid to stand out!
First, let’s start off with the most visual aspect of your resume: the font and formatting. If you tend to be efficient, organized, and stick to the rules, a more traditional format and a Times New Roman-like font will best reflect that. If you’re a more eccentric person going into marketing or a similarly creative field, maybe try something different with your formatting like putting your name in big, bold letters down the side of your resume. In addition to that, you can definitely stray from the typical Times New Roman-like fonts and go for something that more reflects you! Be careful though, because different industries have different standards with regards to formatting and fonts.
As you might expect, more traditional jobs in financial services or other fields of business require that applicants follow strict formatting standards. On the other end of the spectrum in industries like marketing and graphic design, you can get away with a very unorthodox looking resume - in fact, it might actually be recommended in those fields, since recruiters in those industries are looking for creative, unique people who aren’t afraid to stray from the crowd.
You can think similarly if you’re applying to work at a startup too - that’s a fledgling industry but very popular at the moment and there don’t seem to be many rules with regards to the recruitment process. Any industry in between allows you flexibility, in all honesty. Industries like retail, communications, human resources, and most entry-level jobs allow you to be creative to certain extents - just use your best judgement!
Now on to the most important aspect of your resume - the content. We surveyed students at a top-15 university in the country, and 83.8% of those surveyed stated that the wording and phrasing on their resume is what they struggled with the most, and 51.4% of students surveyed think that their wording and phrasing is still the weakest part of their resume. What does that tell you? Everyone struggles with trying to phrase their past experiences in a way that differentiates them from someone else who has had similar experiences.
On that note, you have to think about your past experiences and accomplishments through a unique lens - how do these past experiences apply to you and you only? Sounds like a funky question because there are only so many ways to say you “Evaluated a company’s financial statements,” but you don’t necessarily need to say that! You must ask yourself - “What did I do that my coworkers/peers didn’t do?” For example, if everyone “Evaluated a company’s financial statements,” you can differentiate yourself by including information about the company that you did analysis on - their cash flows, size, etc.
Not only that, but if you worked on a special project or went above and beyond in some aspect of your job description, you need to emphasize that. If you worked more closely with an executive than is normal for someone in your position, talk about it! Whenever you do something significant that is not typically associated with your job description, put it on your resume - those things are what will differentiate you from people who have held the same positions that you have. Portray your true value to recruiters - show them what makes you unique and different by talking about what you did differently from your peers and coworkers.
It’s all in the wording and phrasing at this point. People who have completed the same exact tasks can have entirely different resumes depending on how they phrase their accomplishments. Tell me who would get the job: someone who “Oversaw the creation and development of new client accounts” or someone who “Exceeded account creation goals by 200% monthly and established 14 accounts of over $50,000.” Those two bullet points could easily be the same person, but the second example sounds far more impressive than someone who simply “oversaw” something.
Why does it sound so much better? There’s one main difference, and this applies to all resumes and all people, regardless of industry or experience. QUANTIFY YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Never just simply regurgitate your job description or talk about what you did in a vague sense, try to have numbers and data all over your resume. In order to truly differentiate yourself and impress recruiters, you need to quantify your accomplishments by giving actual metrics for what goals you achieved or ideally, surpassed.
No two people will achieve the exact same goals regardless of their assignments. It’ll take a lot of time - in our survey of top university students, 79.7% stated that it took them up to four weeks to finish a work-ready resume. I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like a very long time. You need to think very critically about your past experiences and analyze what you did differently - and sometimes that’s really hard to do.
If you don’t want to spend up to four weeks poring over all your past experiences and pulling your hair out, let us take care of it for you! We use artificial intelligence to optimize your resume to make it as strong as possible and then have people well-versed in resume optimization and human resources review it to fine tune the details. We know it’s a real pain to build a resume from scratch, and now you don’t have to - feel free to browse the rest of our site and see what we have to offer! We have templates for all kinds of industries, all levels of experience, and all types of people! We promise we’ll be able to truly illuminate your accomplishments.