Student Success Blog For Educators


July 06, 2017

4 Ways to Standout in the Resume Pile

During a one-year period, a former Google recruiter for its network operations division said the company received three million resumes. THREE. MILLION. And you can bet not every resume gets read. But don’t get discouraged. There are easy ways you can make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves.

Six Seconds to Shine

An often widely-cited statistic is that your resume has six seconds to grab a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention. To make sure your resume doesn’t find its way to the recycle bin, keep these four guidelines in mind:


Formatting Fail: People often discount how important formatting is to the hiring process. It is literally the first thing a recruiter will notice before he/she has read a word. So, don’t clutter the page with big blocks. Instead, put your most relevant information near the top left corner of the page, where the eye goes to first. Name and contact info are best placed here. Put the companies you worked for, title, and dates to the right.


Laundry List: Simply itemizing all the responsibilities you’ve had at different jobs will make your resume sound like a job description, which doesn’t give the recruiter much insight into what you actually did in each position. Instead, use one line for responsibilities and two lines for accomplishments, and consider including specific metrics or listing special projects. Not only will this set you apart from the pack, but it will also demonstrate your ability to succeed.

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PDF Predicament: Most people assume submitting a PDF resume is the proper way since it can’t be altered. To those folks, we have three words: Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Companies use these software systems to develop their own candidate database, and to search through past resumes when they have openings. The problem is, most systems struggle with accurately reading PDF resumes because they assume they’re great big pictures. Submit your resume via .doc or .txt format since ATS programs read editable text best.


One and Done: No matter how fantastic you think your credentials are, keep your resume to one page. In fact, resumes that exceed one page may automatically be thrown out. Start by eliminating irrelevant info like outdated skills or jobs that don’t show why you’re a rock star for the role you’re applying for.

Final Words of Advice

Always make sure your resume and ePortfolio are connected. An ePortfolio allows you to take a deeper dive into the jobs, items, and skills you highlight on your resume. Just remember that unlike your resume, it is not a static product and needs to be updated each time you complete a project, add a skill, or have anything that could enhance your employability. And don’t forget to promote it. Put the web address on your LinkedIn profile, at the bottom of your email signature, and on your resume. As you promote yourself, continue to update your resume and ePortfolio at the same time. Getting in the habit of maintaining these job-seeking tools will make it easier to be ready when opportunity comes along.


Share in the comments steps you've taken to ensure your resume gets noticed.


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Photo Courtesy of: Sebastien Wiertz

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