5 Secrets to Guarantee a Stand Out Professional Resume

Nicole Whitney
Posted: April 10, 2019

Resumes are a first impression – words on a page that illustrate what YOU bring to the table. Whether you’re an employee or a freelancer, your resume is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. Here are some professional resume tips and tricks to help guarantee a stand out resume.

#1: Update Your Resume Regularly

Regularly updating your resume ensures that it is recent, relevant and reliable.

Updating your resume? Remember the 3 R’s: recent, relevant, reliable! Click To Tweet

All too often, resumes are swept under the rug for another time and generally kept near the bottom of our to-do list. As a self-employed contractor, you are constantly wrapping up a project and jumping into the next, all the while picking up new skills, working in new industries, and learning about the latest innovative tools. It’s so easy to forget the details of any given project, so make it a priority to update your resume after each project or even set a reminder for every three months to do a quick refresh. Keeping your resume up to date ensures hiring teams have a recent and reliable picture of your experience.

Another reason to update your resume regularly is that the world of training is constantly evolving, and your resume needs to stay relevant to keep up with industry pace. One way to do this is by using the language of today. If the language on your resume isn’t current, it can be a clear indication to recruiting and hiring teams that you may lack attention to detail or aren’t keeping up with the times. For example, the acronym “CBT” (computer-based training) has been widely replaced within the L&D industry with the term “eLearning.” The organization ASTD is now ATD. Even platforms and tool names are constantly changing – GoAnimate is now referred to as Vyond. So always be sure your resume is relevant.

If your resume is not evolving with you and your experience, you are doing it wrong. Click To Tweet

#2: Have a (Great) Summary

Don’t underestimate the importance of a great summary. Your summary is a chance to catch the attention of a hiring team and provide a glimpse of what is to follow. Take the time to craft a paragraph that really showcases your skill set and experience. Be concise and accurate.

Shy away from objectives in your summary. Instead, focus on your experience, your strengths, and how you align to the organization or the role you are applying for. A resume without a summary is a missed opportunity!

#3: Highlight Your Accomplishments

Too frequently, resumes are copy-and-paste job descriptions that miss the mark on demonstrating actual accomplishments. Hiring teams want to see what you are truly capable of, so try to showcase specific achievements and quantify whenever possible.

Here are a couple examples of how quantifying achievements can make an impact:

  • Instead of “Implemented onboarding training,” try “Cut onboarding time by 50% by implementing…”
  • Instead of “Improved employee retention rates,” try “Increased employee retention rates by 20% over a 2-year period by…”

Don’t be afraid to quantify and use action verbs – your resume is a platform to feature your accomplishments and get noticed!

#4: Align Yourself to the Role

Resumes are not one size fits all. Every project, every job, every Innovators on Demand™ opportunity is unique and will require different skill sets and experience.

Your resume should be tailored to the role for which you are applying. Let me be clear though: This does mean you should embellish your skill set to sound more qualified. I repeat, do notoverstate your experience. But do take the time to recognize how you align to the role and be sure your resume reflects that alignment. It may be as simple as reordering bullet points or calling out a specific project in your summary. It may be helpful to create a resume template that you can tweak and adjust depending on the type of role you are applying for. To help get you started, download our customizable resume template here!

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If you don’t align yourself to the role, who will?

#5: Proofread

The last resume tip is to proofread (no, but really)! Take the time to read your resume line by line and double-check your contact details before sending. If interested in putting your resume to the test, take a look at our careers page to see our current opportunities.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Neglect Your LinkedIn Profile

Don’t forget to update the digitalversion of your resume, AKA your LinkedIn profile. Here are 5 Reasons You Need to Update Your LinkedIn Profile Today, plus a handful of tips to get started updating now!

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