/ Asked by Geoff
So if you are looking at a pile of resumes and all seem to be around the same age and basic mix of education and experience for an entry level job, what makes one stand out? Wondering if I should do a "summary of qualifications" at the top? Someone suggested I use a "skills" or "strengths" based resume listing my jobs in terms of what I learned or did instead of a chronological one but that seems confusing to me. What do you prefer? Thanks.
Answered by Kellie, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on Thursday, March 20, 2014
You asked a lot of good questions! I’ll try to answer all of them the best that I can.
First, the main item that will stand out on a resume is your experience or involvement in activities. These are places on your resume where you can elaborate on the skills you’ve gained through past experiences. In one bullet point you should be able to describe one task you completed and why it was important. You should be able to list about 3-4 bullets per work experience. Look up resume examples online and you too may be able to identify a ‘good’ work history description versus one that may need improvement.  
Second, to really set your work experiences apart from the rest, I suggest starting your bullet points with action verbs (e.g. Coordinated, Maintained, etc.) This will allow you to clearly articulate the responsibility/skill that was required for each position. (Remember to accurately describe your past experiences and not exaggerate!)
Finally, I would suggest a chronological listing of work experiences so it is easier to understand your work history.
I hope this helps!
Answered by Nicole, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Thursday, March 20, 2014
I know resumes can be overwhelming, and there are so many different versions out there! My opinion for someone looking for an entry level position, or newer in their career the chronological resume format would be preferred. It is the one I usually recommend unless you have been out of the job market for some time or have held a variety of un-related jobs, in which case I would recommend a functional resume. The chronological resume is the most widely accepted resume format. It is organized by job title and presents your work experience and accomplishments in reverse chronological order. It is easy to read and can be quickly scanned for employment or relevant experience. Keep in mind a recruiter will spend approximately 10 – 15 seconds quickly scanning your resume so you want it to be appealing to the eye. Make sure it is formatted correctly with consistent font. Use bullet points instead of long paragraphs. Be sure to use exciting action verbs to describe yourself, your responsibilities and accomplishments. These verbs are powerful attention grabbers that will make us come back and spend more time reading the resume in its entirety.
I always think of the top of a resume as the most valuable real estate on the paper! It is the first place we look so you want to put something exciting up there, not that you are just looking for a long term career. You can use this space to list some of your key strengths and skills. Make sure though they are relevant to the positions you are applying too.
Think of your resume as your first impression and as your marketing piece to get someone to call you. It does not need to be your life story, but enough relevant information to grab our interest and make us want to call you!
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, March 21, 2014
It is often the case when a recruiter or hiring manager has several candidates who are similar in the level of education and experience.  What factors become differentiating at this point are those that determine a candidate's cultural fit for the company and the work group.  It is here when a candidate's activities outside of work and the classroom can set you apart.  I would encourage you emphasize your community and charitable activities on your resume.  These can provide the recruiter insight about your character and the type of person that you are, which in many cases, is what pushes a candidate over the top.
Answered by Heather, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on Thursday, October 23, 2014
Great questions!  Standing out in a pile of resumes is hard to say exactly what that would be. We all view “standing out” differently. Here are some suggestions that I like: Catering your resume (if you can) in regards to the job, industry and/or the audience. Put your strengths on your resume. Under each position and/or internship add your accolades and accomplishments.
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