General Question

shego's avatar

What is a really good way to get my resume to stand out?

Asked by shego (11083points) April 5th, 2011 from iPhone

I’ve been out of a job since the summer of 2009, and I’m really frustrated that I have yet to find something. I thought that volunteering my time would add work experience, but so far nobody has bitten.
I had a friend who writes resumes, do mine so it looks good and stands out.

What more can I do?

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19 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

If your friend writes resumes, then you should be fine. Don’t do anything silly like print it on fluorescent pink paper. Stick to white or off white paper. Let the words speak for themselves.

One thing you can try to do, and this isn’t always possible, try to find the manager of the department where you want to work and mail your resume directly to that person, bypassing the HR department. It will end up in the HR department, but the manager will get to look at it and HR will take notice of it more.

I wish you the best of luck in your search.

mrrich724's avatar

The BEST way to make it stand out is to call the hiring person (HR or whoever) a couple days after you put in the application. In a sea of 100+ applications, this is THE way to make it stand out . . .

Coming from an HR person.

marinelife's avatar

If you have a contact in a company who will hand carry your resume to HR that is the best thing that you can do.

shego's avatar

@mrrich724 I have done that, but it seems like I’m bothering them. I have been told when I get to it, I’ll let you know.

@hawaii_jake that’s a good idea

@marinelife I do have friends who work at a company that is hiring, who are taking my resume in tomorrow.

funkdaddy's avatar

I think a title is an underutilized resume item….

When I was looking for customer service jobs my resume started out

Funkdaddy
customer service superstar

Like it was my title right at the top… for other positions I tried to identify a quality I thought I had that would be desirable and hard to find

For entry level web design positions it was

Funkdaddy
experienced and friendly web design professional

There’s no magic, but if they at least give your resume the full minute rather than an instant “no” you’re past the first step.

mrrich724's avatar

He @shego I hate to be the bearer of POSSIBLY bad news, but if you are applying for things online, they can pull up your application instantly. If they are to cowardly to tell you “No thanks” to your experience whehn you called them, that sounds like it could be there way of avoiding saying no.

Unless you keep calling really lazy HR people.

It could be the truth though if you are applying the old fashioned paper way. B/C then they have to sift through stuff to find it!

Did that just make sense? I know it’s kinda wordy.

shego's avatar

@mrrich724 I spend 4 days a week out and about. Many places that I have stopped at have told me I have to apply online. I have had more interviews from companies that accept my resume in hand.
But then again the only other thing I’ve been told is “you don’t have enough experience”.
I’m trying everything in my power to gain experience.
I even quit smoking because many companies frown upon it out here.

bolwerk's avatar

Resumes don’t help much. It’s better that they not stand out, because when they do it’s often because you lied, messed something up, or whatever. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write the best resume you can, but what’s more important is writing a bang-up cover letter.

shego's avatar

@bolwerk just curious, but if that’s the case, why have I always been told you want both to stand-out?

YARNLADY's avatar

I am of the opinion that knowing someone at the company who will carry your resume in for you is the best way. Everything else is pure luck.

mrrich724's avatar

@shego good job and just keep going. It’s hard to get that initial experience, it really is. But keep working at it and you’ll get a break sometime. Open your mind up to different things. Sit down and think about what you are doing, b/c it sounds like you are saying it isn’t working. Then try and attack it a different way. Look up different online job boards, expand the list of jobs you are willing to take.

It’ll happen ;)

bolwerk's avatar

@shego: resumes almost never stand out, and the rare exceptions are usually when you do something stupid. H.R. cretins go through stacks of them by the hundreds or thousands and the first thing they do is find a reason to toss them. Cover letters actually give you a shot at speaking to a hiring manager. Don’t screw up your resume, and tailor it to the job you’re applying to, but don’t think it’s of primary importance either. It’s enough to screw you.

weeveeship's avatar

Include an “interests” section. Part of networking and/or getting a job is creating some sort of common bond with the interviewer, and sharing some of your interests on your resume should help.

mrrich724's avatar

I personally would say to skip the cover letter . . . when there are 150 resumes to go through, do you think I sit there and read 150 paragraphs? LOL, NOOOOO WAY.

I will usually skip straight to the facts (EXPERIENCE), and if they meet the basic requirements, THEN I will decide it’s worth it to go back and look at the “extra.”

bolwerk's avatar

Skipping the cover letter is probably the worst thing you can do, unless you’re applying for a job where you’re expected to be illiterate.

YARNLADY's avatar

@bolwerk Is that not outdated? I recently read the cover letter is old-fashioned

bolwerk's avatar

@YARNLADY: The cover letter is sometimes the only opportunity to have to say what you can do for the company. Passing it up ain’t a good idea.

mrrich724's avatar

@bolwerk All I do all day is look at resumes to fill positions for my company. I personally don’t know anyone who will go through that many cover letters, but hey, to each his own.

And a cover letter has never persuaded me to give someone a call. A well endowed and well formatted resume however, does it all the time.

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