Three Ways to Make Your Resume’ Stand Out

Over the last couple of months I have come to realize how important it is to be very specific on your resume’. I have read hundreds of resume’s as I attempt to fill some open positions in my department across the country. Clearly there are some that stand out to me and others that I stop reading very quickly.

It is critical that you be specific in your writing and in how you describe yourself, your experience and your work history. (more details below) You see, I need to decide if you are someone that I can use on my team. I need to know if you have the skills I am looking for, and more important, I hope to learn about you as a person.

When I see a resume’ full of general statements like; “familiar with Microsoft Office software”, “looking for an opportunity that will be mutually beneficial”, or “I am a great team player”, it tells me very little about the person. If you want to be hired by me, you need to help me get to know you fast! General statements don’t get the job done.

Let me get more specific: (practicing what I preach)

Tell me What You are Looking For

It is refreshing to see a summary section at the top of a resume’. This is not very common, but it is very helpful. A summary section should not be about the applicant’s objective to find a meaningful career. This is a waste of words and of space. Your summary section should tell me exactly what you are looking for in a job.I need to know what your target is.

I am currently hiring Maintenance Technicians in about six markets across the country.  It really catches my eye when I see the words “industrial maintenance technician” or “maintenance mechanic” or “production technician” or “maintenance electrician” in the summary section at the beginning of the resume’. It always takes longer to scrub my way through a person’s work history.

Tell me More About You

Share this info right away in the summary section. Again, stay away from general descriptions like, “team player” or “fast learner”. Instead, get specific about who you are in the work place. Tell me something that will set you apart from the other 150 resume’s that are out there in your market.

Here is an example. “I work very well independently, but I have also successfully managed teams of up to 8 employees.” Or how about this, “I have a strong aptitude for troubleshooting electrical systems, I have three years of welding and fabrication experience and I have maintained 25 different types of industrial machines for the past six years.

I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the idea. Describe the package that you are offering to potential employers.

Tell me What You Have Done

This is important. You need to be specific, but don’t get too technical. I need to know the kinds of work that you can do. I need to quickly be able to see that you have the necessary experience to do the job that I am offering. Many people just list the places that they worked and their job titles. This is not enough.

Here are some ideas. If you are looking for an admin position, I would describe your work experience that has prepared you for such a job. Tell me about your current and former job functions, whether it was processing payroll and for how many employees. Did you handle marketing? Did you post jobs? Did you process billing or accounts receivable. What software are you familiar with? What were your wins, and what did you learn?

If you work in the trades, give me specifics about what you worked on. List the types of machinery and the kinds of daily functions that you performed.

If you get specific on your resume’, it is going to be easier for hiring managers to pick you out as a leading contender for their open position. Give it a shot. It will make a difference!

Got some questions? Leave them in the comments below. Let’s connect on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading!


About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!

  • Piggybanknomics

    I enjoyed this post. I have been applying to various positions for 11 months now. I have done countless interviews, have had several job offers (which I turned down, I am not going from one bad situation to another), and I continually question where I am going wrong. My resume is up-to-date, I am educated (MBA), have about 5 years of experience etc. I often hear that “companies can’t afford me” (however, I believe that is just an excuse, given why would they waste both of our times knowing what I currently make). Thank you for posting this. I will take all the tips I can get!

    • Thanks for your comment. This may sound like “tough love”, but if you are getting many interviews and still not getting the right offers, you may need to consider that you are doing something in the interview process to turn them off. When I am interviewing a great candidate, there comes a point when I say to myself, “I hope I can afford this person”. Usually it’s something about their personality and skill set that make me really want them. Do you represent yourself well? I really recommend the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It’s a classic. It may help you identify something that is tripping you up and keeping you from getting the offer that you are looking for. I wish you the best!!

      • Piggybanknomics

        Thank you for your reply and for the book recommendation!

      • Piggybanknomics

        Thank you! I actually just accepted a position on Monday! I have been extremely picky this past year and turned down multiple sub-ideal offers. Sites/posts like yours helped encourage me along the way! Thank you!

        • That’s wonderful news! You made my day. Glad to help in a small way. I wish you the best in your new role!