How to Make Your Resume Stand Out in 2022

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out in 2022

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1. Pick a classic resume format and font

When it comes to resume format and design, opt for a clean layout.  A 2018 study from the job site Ladders found that resumes with so-called F-pattern and E-pattern layouts, which mimic how our eyes scan web pages, hold a recruiter’s attention for longer than those aligned down the center, or from right to left. A word on font: 

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1. Pick a classic resume format and font

There’s no specific "best" font for resumes, but you should use the same font style throughout, Leavy-Detrick says. Play with different weights and sizes to draw a recruiter’s eye to key parts of your resume (check out the bolded figures on our resume template for ideas). Sans serif fonts like Arial or Calibri are usually good bets.

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2. Don’t be afraid to go bold

If you’re applying for an investment banking job, a hot-pink resume probably won’t do you any favors. But subtle pops of color, like the orange used here, will work for just about everyone. Another strategy for making your resume stand out is, of course, with the content you put on it. In 2022, you’ll get extra credit for highlighting your 

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2. Don’t be afraid to go bold

resilience. How have you dealt with change and managed your time over the strangest two-year period most of us have experienced?  Kept your team engaged and mitigated turnover? Shaped company culture in a hybrid work environment — where coworkers are now living in different cities, and maybe even different time zones?

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3. Add a skills section with bullet points

Skip the resume objective (nobody cares what you’re "searching for") and lead with the good stuff instead.  The top of your resume should include "critical keywords and a quick snapshot of your core strengths,” Leavy-Detrick says. Bullet points are a solid choice — they stand out even if someone is just skimming your resume.

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3. Add a skills section with bullet points

Hard skills (tangible attributes that can easily be measured) also take precedence here, so highlight them accordingly.  If you’re in a tech-driven field, software and programming expertise is what employers want to see on your resume. If you’re in a creative industry, design and communication skills might be your best bet.This is another opportunity 

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3. Add a skills section with bullet points

to show how you’ve helped your company “disperse change,” since the onset of the pandemic, Leavy-Detrick says. Tech skills that prove you’ve got some new digital know-how, even if it’s just with Zoom and Slack, are fair game.

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4. Show how you make an impact

List your relevant work experience in reverse chronological order, and use action verbs (“generated,” “spearheaded,” “executed”) where appropriate. Don’t just list your old job titles. To prove you’re worth a hiring manager’s time, you’ll need to highlight some concrete “wins.” Statistics that build upon your skills section are most 

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4. Show how you make an impact

impactful — bonus points if they show a track record of growth, revenue, and profitability, Leavy-Detrick says. If you’re drawing a blank, she suggests adding resume skills that can help solve a “problem area” for the company you’re applying to.

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5. Add and tweak critical keywords

Don’t make the mistake of answering each job application with the same generic resume. Instead, take a few extra minutes to mirror it to the keywords and phrases within the ad.  You’ll be much more likely to make it to the next round of hiring, especially if an applicant tracking system (a computer program designed to weed out 

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5. Add and tweak critical keywords

candidates out) has anything to do with it. Avoid cramming in as many keywords as you can, or repeating the same words over and over — you’ll end up sounding like a bot yourself. But do “get as close as you can to the language of the job description,” Leavy-Detrick says. On our example resume, we’ve peppered in keywords 

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5. Add and tweak critical keywords

from job postings—“marketing deliverables,” “compliance,” “corporate communications”—in a way that sounds natural. (“Make sure you’re speaking to those robots, but also humans,” Leavy-Detrick says.)

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6. Know what to leave off your resume

Millions of workers lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, and many are still trying to find gainful employment today. The silver lining, Leavy-Detrick says, is that employers have had to relax some outdated hiring practices as a result. Most noteworthy? Job seekers with a large employment gap on their resume—once seen 

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6. Know what to leave off your resume

as a major red flag—are getting a pass. If your job was a casualty of COVID layoffs, it’s worth showing how you’ve stayed active and kept your skills fresh in the interim — by getting a professional certification, attending virtual webinars, or otherwise.

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