Resumes That Sell: What Sets them Apart

By Jeremy Cyrus 01/09/2014
Resumes That Sell: What Sets them Apart

In one sense, a resume is just a straightforward document, a kind of report or dossier on each candidate who applies for an open position. Resumes contain simple, point-by-point lists of information that help managers compare candidates and distinguish one from another. But resumes are also a sales pitch. They're a dynamic, engaging document that gives each applicant an opportunity to set herself apart from the other competitors in the pool.

Which resumes accomplish this most effectively? Here are some of the identifying features of resumes that sell.

1. They tell a story.

Your resume (and your cover letter as well) should present you as the protagonist of a well-told and interesting story. Your progression from each chapter of your career to the next should be clearly presented and formatted in a logical way that's easy to follow. Your resume should provide some insight into what drives you as a person—not just where you've been, but where you're headed.

2. They keep the message in front of the medium.

If reviewers are too busy deciphering your tiny font and confusing sentences, they'll probably miss the core argument that you're trying to deliver. Make sure your writing style and layout fade smoothly into the background so your message can take center stage. Visit Free Resume builder for help with this step.

3. They say things that other resumes don't, can't, or won't.

Of course, it helps your chances if your resume can list accomplishments and awards that other candidates don't have. But even if you lack exceptional achievements or experience, you can still make specific statements about your background, special talents, and ambitions that few others will share.

4. They're easy to remember.

If you use words and specific phrases that your reader will latch onto, they'll be more likely to remember your information after they put your resume down and walk away. For insights into the words that might work, re-read the job post and visit the company website for a little research.

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