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Top 5 ways to make your resume stand out

As part of the Talent Acquisition team, we are often asked ways to improve resumes or ways to grab a hiring manager’s attention. In today’s competitive job market, this is not always an easy task, but it is key to moving forward in a job search. We polled a panel of experts (our own team) and came up with some tips and tricks to make resumes stand out, as well as some key things to avoid.

Do This

  • Ensure that font type and size are readable (no “script” font in 6-point type, please!) both in digital and print form.
  • Include quantitative measurables in accomplishments (i.e., numbers and/or percentages).
  • Be consistent with formatting, clearly organize education and experience and use the same tense throughout.
  • Use bulleted format, rather than a paragraph-style narrative format.
  • Keep information concise (brief but comprehensive).

Don’t Do That

  • Use a functional resume (in determining if candidates meet minimum requirements, recruiters are required to determine length of time spent at jobs – this is much easier with a chronological format)
  • Use first- or third- person narrative
  • List “references available upon request” at the bottom of the resume – this is assumed and can take up valuable space that can be used for other things

If you want to learn more, check out the Purdue Careers blog at There is great information on all different topics, and there’s specific information on resumes. And while you’re at it, check out all our social media sites – we are on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

And for even more resume assistance, consider enrolling in the next Moving Forward In Four series. We plan on offering another series in October – be on the lookout for an invitation to sign up!

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