Applying for work is not like it used to be. What was once a face-to-face request for employment is now an automated system filled with hundreds, even thousands, of resumes per position. A simple Google search will bring up an endless string of resume tips and tricks, each designed to make your resume or cover letter shine out against the mass of others in front of the hiring manager. Imagine a thousand shining resumes- pictures, graphs, wild color schemes, and stories about “why I’m the perfect candidate”. How does anyone truly stand out?

The answer is simple: Clear communication.
In this article, we are focusing on two key features of your resume: verb tense and skill placement. These two features will help explain clearly to the hiring manager what you are capable of.

Verb Tense

I review dozens of resumes per week. The NUMBER ONE overlooked item is verb tense. Your resume is the timeline of your career. It highlights what you’ve done in the past and what you are doing now, and it is important for any hiring manager to know the difference.

Here is an example:

The items in yellow indicate that the candidate is actively doing these things.

“I (currently) edit various publications.”

                                                                                    “I (currently) develop marketing content.”

The items in blue indicate that the candidate did these things in the past.

                “I coordinated programs (in the past).”

                                                                                      “I communicated effectively (in the past).”

Perfecting your verb tense helps you communicate clearly, and excellent communication skill is a key requirement from nearly every one of our clients.

Skill Placement

Proper skill placement is very simple.

Dedicate a section of your resume to skills. Be sure to include anything relevant to the position you’re seeking. However, do not stop there. Be sure to include each of these skills in the employment section as well.
In all, each skill should be listed at least twice.

See the example below:

The candidate has clearly listed their skills and, through use of the employment section, demonstrated how each of these skills was used at a professional level. Again, the formatting is all about clear and accurate communication.

There are endless ways to make your resumes stand out, but clear communication is crucial in making even the most basic resume appealing to hiring managers! So before you submit, make sure to follow these simple guidelines to make things clear and concise. Detail your past and present accurately, and place your skills strategically.