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5 Tips for a Stand Out Resume

September 2018 By Kim Tang



Resumes. Everyone needs to write one, but where do you begin? While you can definitely check out our Resumes page or drop in during our Resume Hours for advice, here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Don’t use a template

If you’re just starting out with your first resume, a template might seem like good idea. After all, they’re typically professional in appearance and formatted well. The downside is: employers can spot a template from miles away. There’s a strong chance that if you used a template found online, at least 20 other people did as well. By creating your own resume, you can adjust spacing, font, margins and more without restriction, and avoid having your resume look like everyone else’s.

2. Use strong headings

An employer can be looking at dozens of resumes a day, so it’s important to have your resume stand out and catch their eye. For example, “Marketing Experience” is a more descriptive heading than just “Relevant Experience”. The more descriptive and relevant the heading is, the more likely it is the employer will take the time to read what you wrote versus skimming over it.

3. Quantify whenever you can

Use numbers and statistics whenever possible. By quantifying your work, you can put greater emphasis on your role, your responsibilities, and your impact. Writing “worked with over 50 clients in five different departments” is more meaningful than just saying “worked with clients in several different departments”.

4. Keep your resume to one page

While in some instances it may be acceptable for your resume to be over a page, a good rule of thumb is to keep your resume one page long. Keep the information on your resume relevant and concise, which leads into…

5. Make sure your resume is relevant to the position you’re applying to

Examine the language used in the job description and include those keywords in your resume. If the position calls for strong communication skills, highlight communication in one (or more) of your points. You should edit your resume to fit the position; that might mean adding things in or taking things out to fit the position. Having multiple resumes is common, and encouraged so that you’re tailoring your resume to best fit the job.

Remember, everyone starts somewhere with their resume! Once you get started, you can always swing by the Career Center during our open hours to get it reviewed, or schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor on Handshake!



The Career Center
Roscoe West Library, Room 102
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

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Office and Resumé Open Hours