Standing Out: Getting Employers to Look at Your Resume

With Canada’s record 8% unemployment rate, our highest level in 7 years, Canadian job seekers face greater competition for limited jobs. A recent survey showed that 27% of 360 human resources managers stated that they received over 100 resumes for a single open job vacancy. The pressure is on for job seekers to stand out from the crowd. Your primary tool to remain competitive and distinctive while looking for a job, is a first-class, high impact resume.

You resume is your most important resource in your career marketing toolkit, and if written effectively it should highlight how you meet or exceed the requirements of the employer. A well-written resume dramatically increases your chances of landing an interview, and eventually, a job. Research demonstrates that recruiters spend less than 30 seconds scanning your resume, it is paramount that you prepare a powerful document to capture their interest.

Here are some tips to help you write a resume that stands out from the crowd

  1. 1. Write a qualification summary at the top of your resume

A qualification summary, sometimes called a profile, is a listing of your core skills geared towards impressing the recruiter with the professional experience, leadership and interpersonal skills you bring to the table. Remember that you only have a few seconds to impress the recruiter, so make it count with an effective snapshot of your qualifications and personal attributes on your resume.

  1. 2. Update your resume frequently


As a “careerist”, you should always ensure that you have an up-to-date resume and career portfolio. A 2009 survey by CareerBuilder showed that 50% of employees surveyed said that they did not maintain a current resume. Create an accomplishment journal to track and record of your achievements. This can be quickly transferred to your resume in the event of job vacancy that piques your interest or an unexpected call from a recruiter. It will also prevent you from forgetting meaningful accomplishments and ensure you keep all the details accurate. You never know when you may need to provide a resume, so make sure that you continually update it.

  1. 3. Include keywords in your resume

New technologies have greatly changed the way resumes and cover letters are written, and the way that employers recruit. Employers now expect more from job applicants’ resumes and cover letters, both in style and tone. The surge in internet job boards and recruiting software that scans resumes requires that job seekers optimize their applications by including comprehensive keywords from job vacancies in their resumes to ensure that their documents rise to top of the pile.

  1. Accomplishments, accomplishments and more accomplishments

Do not write a resume with terms and phrases such as “responsible for” or “duties included” that will sound more like a generic job description rather than a record of achievement. Instead, focus on highlighting your quantifiable achievements using action verbs and specific results.


Once you have made these changes to your resume, do not just mass mail out and cross your fingers. Take the initiative to utilize all the career resources that are available to you such as Surcorp Career Solutions job search coaching to develop stellar job search skills and Job Board to search jobs and increase your visibility to potential hiring companies. 

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3 Responses

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