7 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out — MedCerts

Here at MedCerts, we love preparing students for real-world careers. Part of that process includes career exploration and finding the perfect job position to apply to once you have your new skills. And, if you're planning for a new career path in 2021, now is the time to start getting your professional documents in order.

The first place to make changes? Your resume.

Taking time to edit your resume and add relevant experience can put your application on the top of the candidate pile. Since you won't be there in person to share all of your marketable attributes the first time a hiring manager sees it, your resume has to do the talking.

Here are seven tips to make sure your resume stands out:

1. Highlight Relevant Work Experience

While this seems like common sense, you don’t need to list every accomplishment or job you’ve had. This may be a helpful time to create a couple of different versions of your resume. Whatever position you're applying for, highlight only your most relevant skills and experience.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Customize your resume to reflect the specific job you’re applying for
  • Outline skills you have that make you the perfect candidate
  • Talk about projects or successes you’ve had that are relatable

Resume booster: If you've had a lot of different work experiences, you can always create a highlighted skills section. This is where you might include project management, customer service, or administrative skills you’ve picked up.

2. Demonstrate Your Worth With Numbers

Hiring managers and human resources personnel love numbers. If you can highlight specific results with percentages throughout your resume, do so. If there's any particular story or relevant experience that you can expand upon, your cover letter is the ideal place to do it. Consider your resume a sneak preview into your cover letter details.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Add numbers and percentages where you can
  • Expand upon impressive results in a cover letter
  • Don’t forget volunteer work (i.e. hours and experience)

Resume booster: When offering specific percentages or numbers to show off your results, be as specific as possible. For example, you might cover how you implemented a new system that improved data accuracy by 30% during a 12-week experiential learning opportunity.

3. Update Experience With Online Certifications

In certain fields, like healthcare and IT, certifications can be everything. It proves to hiring managers that you’re motivated to learn as much as you can about an industry. Keeping up with renewing your online certifications proves you’re willing to stay updated on industry trends, too.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Share details of any certifications you hold
  • Be prepared to show proof, if necessary
  • Consider getting certified before or during your job hunt

For some ideas, here’s a partial list of certifications by industry:

Project Management

Healthcare Certifications

*At MedCerts, we offer three different online Medical Assistant programs.

IT Certifications

Business and General

  • Six Sigma Belts
  • Public Notary
  • PHR® (Professional in Human Resources)
  • FEMA Certification (Emergency Management)

Resume booster: Certifications demonstrate skills, knowledge, and dedication, even if it’s not required for your field. For example, healthcare certifications can give your resume a boost over other applicants. If you don’t currently have certifications, check out the MedCerts certification options.

4. Format Correctly

If your resume is a cluttered mess, it will end up in the trash. Showcase your professionalism and organization by formatting it correctly. Make it easy to read with increased line spacing, proper grammar, and organized sections relevant to your past work experience.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Use easy-to-read fonts
  • Make all hyperlinks live
  • Double-check spelling, grammar
  • Watch for spacing issues
  • Save as a PDF to prevent formatting issues

Resume booster: A quick Google search of resume templates (click images) offers a ton of resources to help you find a template that works best for you. Remember, clean and organized is key to getting to the top of the pile!

5. Focus on The Top of the Resume

Whenever you read content whether it's on your phone, in an email, or even in a newsletter, you probably just glance at the first few lines, right? Same with recruiters and HR managers. Make sure what they see at the top of your resume is eye-catching and makes them want to read more.

Here’s how to do it:

  • The top ⅓ of the document should grab attention
  • Add a summary or clever headline
  • Write to-the-point descriptions
  • Start with your most relevant experience

Resume booster: Most hiring managers and recruiters are busy folks who want to get the resume’s key points straight away. Give them the best details at the top!

6. Use Relevant Keywords

To get past an applicant tracking system or snag a hiring manager’s attention, use keywords from the job posting. By doing so, you make it clear you're the perfect person for this position. It also shows that you read the full job description. Companies may use software to sort through applications. Both software and hiring managers tend to skim through resumes for job-specific keywords.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Review the job posting for relevant keywords
  • Stick to shorter, attention-grabbing keyword phrases
  • Some keywords to consider: chaired, directed, networked, joined, etc.

Resume booster: Use multiple versions of the same keyword and add keywords throughout the resume in all sections including the text, headers, qualifications, certifications, etc.

7. Keep Your Resume to One Page

Again, recruiters and hiring managers are strapped for time. Even if you have a full 10 years of job experience, nobody has time to go through that large of a resume!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Keep your resume one page in length
  • Have someone edit it
  • Cut out irrelevant points
  • Eliminate words like “very” or “a lot”

Resume booster: Have too much information? Adjust your margins and be sure to keep it specific to the position. You can also use numbers instead of spelling the words out to cut down on length! Need more info to fill up the page? Don’t forget volunteer work and side hustles.

Want to learn more about MedCerts and how our team preps students for real-world careers? Keep up with all the latest news on healthcare certifications and IT Certifications and more on our blog!

Portrait of MedCerts Team
Written by MedCerts Team
Education Specialist

There isn’t just one kind of person so there shouldn’t be just one way to a better future and career. We’re pioneering higher education and the workforce system to create better opportunities for everyone.

Published on January 8, 2021