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What Makes A Resume Stand Out?

Bringing all the details together that you will put on your resume is only part of the resume writing task. Making those details stand out is the other half of the equation and crucial if you are to convince a hiring manager that they should call you in for an interview.

Whether you are a recent graduate or seasoned professional, we take you through what makes a resume stand out.

A personalized introduction

A personalized introduction makes an excellent first impression and should be leveraged to say who you are and why you are a good fit for the job. We recommend personalizing your introduction for each job application. Highlight skills, achievements, experience, or personal attributes similar to those mentioned in the employer’s job advert.

Your personalized introduction should be two or three sentences, equating to 150-200 words. Evidence, figures, and achievements can add weight to any claim you make.

A unique selling point (USP)

The US job market is unquestionably competitive, so in addition to saying you have the skills the recruiter seeks, add a USP. A unique selling point might be volunteer work, an interest, a blog you curate, a portfolio of projects, or having an active professional social media network. All of these can be used to show you are a subject expert or possess commercial awareness.


Recruiters and hiring managers often use software (applicant tracking system) to scan resumes for keywords, especially when they have many applicants. Take the time to read the job description carefully, pull out keywords or phrases, and use them in your resume. Even your previous job titles can be tweaked to reflect the experience requested, as long as they remain truthful and appropriate.


Researching the company and visiting the careers website page will give you insights into their culture, values, and mission. Your resume can then be personalized, providing even greater relevance. For example, if a company conducts significant charitable work, it can be advantageous to mention any volunteer experience you might have.


Your professional network can return significant value by giving you feedback on your resume. You can ask for general feedback from someone in the industry or pose specific questions if you are unsure whether something is a worthy inclusion or phrased in the best way.


Readability is crucial, and this means creating a concise resume that the recruiter can divulge quickly and without straining their eyes. A modern resume should use a professional font such as Calibri, Arial, or Helvetica. A size 10 to 12 font should suffice.

A third color can create an attractive resume and works well for titles and subtitles. Graphics, icons, and headshots should be avoided because they use up valuable space and are not always ATS scan-friendly.

Resume templates

Our resume examples bring together the critical information that make a resume stand out. Feel free to view, edit, and use our career-based resume templates: