Posted By: Kristen Brownholtz

Job listings by recruiters and hiring managers often draw in a sea of resume submissions due to how easily accessible the listings are digitally. Because of this, you may wonder when submitting your resume whether it's going to stand out among the others or slip under the radar. The solution to this? Give yourself a competitive edge with a high-quality resume! Here are some tips on how to optimize the effectiveness of your resume:

Make sure that your formatting is consistent and clean.
While the written information is ultimately the most important element of your resume, you should never underestimate the power of visuals. It's important to carefully maintain consistency in areas such as bolding and italicizing, font selection and size, s p a c i n g, and • bullet positioning. Think of these visual aspects as a "first" first impression: what the recruiters will see prior to diving into any of the details within. A cleanly formatted resume is a happy resume.

Use keywords throughout your resume to increase SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. The more of an SEO approach you take with your resume, the more likely you are to be in the running for a position. Many companies utilize software that scans documents for specific words that match up with the content in their job listings to narrow resumes down to those that fit the open position's criteria. Reading the job listing, pinpointing these keywords, and including them in your resume accordingly could mean the difference between an opportunity and a closed door.

Don't slack on spelling and grammar.
Be sure that you're keeping an eye out for obvious spelling mistakes and typos when reviewing your resume. Some mistakes will jump right out of you, but others may be more subtle errors that you could possibly overlook should you not proofread thoroughly (ex: using "lead" when you mean "led"). Being consistent with the tenses you're using as well; be sure that your bullet points are in the past tense (ending in –d or –ed) if you no longer hold the position and that your bullet points are in the present tense if you currently hold the position.* If possible, have a second pair of eyes proofread your resume as well.

*Do not use the present participle tense (ending in –ing) when describing a currently-held position.

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