Career Corner: Unusual Yet Effective Ways to Make Your Résumé Stand Out

Everyone wants to stand out in their résumé, and yet we generally pass down the same rules for what to include on one. That contradiction sends a muddled message that leaves people unsure if being unique in your résumé is a good thing or not.

Courtesy of John Spooner of CNBC, being different is good, but only if you know what you are doing. So here are some new rules you can attempt to help you distinguish yourself from the crowd in a positive way.

Incorporate Adjectives

Naturally, you don’t want your résumé to start sounding like a poem, but a few choice adjectives can add power to your sentences. If it paints a more accurate description of what you do it can absolutely be justified to include the details provided by an adjective. Just don’t go overboard with adding them everywhere.

Tie in Your Hobbies

What you enjoy doing in your leisure time speaks to who you really are as a person. So if one of your hobbies demonstrates a trait that’s desirable in a career, it could be worth mentioning. If you play in a band that shows teamwork, that you’re comfortable presenting yourself in public, and event organizing skills. Don’t shy away from mentioning your passions.

Show Some Creativity

Don’t sacrifice the readability of your résumé with whacky fonts and designs, but be willing to try something new. There was a news story in recent years about one man who sent companies he was interested in free boxes of doughnuts, but the box also contained a copy of his résumé. The unusual strategy actually started getting the man some interviews, perhaps if nothing else just out of curiosity about what type of person would think to try something like that.

Mention Something Unusual

Being professional is frequently interpreted as being bland and downplaying your personality. However, you can still offer a glimpse of who you are without coming across as unprofessional. If you are a writer and discuss your published work in your résumé, you don’t have to stick to mentioning the dry topics you worked on. If you wrote something unusual you are proud of it could be worth including if it genuinely showcases both your skill as well as your interests.

Familiarize Yourself with the Hiring Manager

You can bet any serious hiring manager is researching who you are, so why wouldn’t you take that same preparation about them? People always say it’s all about who you know. Maybe you’ll find a common connection or interest with the manager that you can naturally mention when sending them your résumé. That shared experience could be the first step towards you standing out.

Obviously, there is no trick that can replace hard work and preparation, but these strategies could be that extra little push that gives you the edge.

For further clarification about how you can spice up your résumé, be sure to read CNBC’s article here.


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