5 Magic Phrases That Will Make Your Resume Stand Out

In All, The Job Hunter by Ethan Smith2 Comments

Some HR managers believe there is no such thing as “magical phrases” in a resume and applicants should just write honestly and accurately. Others believe that resumes should be beautified.

Why not both? There’s nothing wrong with trying to make your resume stand out yet in an honest fashion.

On average, HR managers look at over 75 resumes for each job opening. Therefore it’s safe to assume that a HR manager is not going to read through every resume but, rather, find ones that stand out.

With that being said, it’s vital for your resume to stick out from the rest and here are 5 simple tips that may aid you.

1. “Value to an organisation” rather than “Objective” or “Career Summary”

You should put this right at the beginning of your resume. Your introductory description (whichever title you use) is often the first thing a hiring manager looks for and if he doesn’t find it, he will be disappointed.

They like to read your concise summary instead of meticulously scanning the finer details.

Impress the hiring manager by telling them straight up what assets and benefits you offer. Some hiring managers would be fed up reading the clique “Objective” section.

Putting your “Summary” or “Profile” at the beginning of your resume is good and better than leaving nothing but it’s important to let them know your best qualities and why they should hire you.

Having a less clique title may lead you to more interview opportunities.


2. I “applied” the following skills (rather than “I learned” these skills)

A potential employer is more interested in knowing if you are able and qualified to execute results rather than simply knowing facts. He’s less impressed about if, where or how you’ve learned skills compared to if you’ve actually applied those particular skills from experience.

Saying that you learned computer science at so-and-so prestigious institute is not as meaningful as saying you have five years experience as a programmer and have achieved top performer two years running.

Emphasise what you can bring to the table proactively, not merely head knowledge.


3. I’m always efficient and hardworking

Our day and age of cellphones, gadgets, movies and social media makes this generation even lazier. It’s tough for a company to find a hardworking and efficient employee. If an applicant leaves “hardworking” off their resume, a shrewd hiring manager may think something’s wrong.

Now it might be true that you’re a bum and you’d feel guilty writing that you’re hardworking. That’s fine. Emphasise similar qualities in your resume and give examples of how you’ve demonstrated this in your previous employment.

You can write that you’re reliable and proved this by turning up to work on time everyday for a year.

4. Beginning sentences with ‘All’

‘All of the following sentences are important’ is naturally more effective and emphatic than ‘The following sentences are all important.’

Likewise, putting the word ‘All’ at the beginning of a description or job responsibility in your resume can attract more attention than in the middle a sentence.

For example, ‘All financial records in the business were managed by me’ instead of ‘Being in charge of all financial records in the business.’


5. “Thank you”

A simple thank you or sign of appreciation/courtesy can go a long way and many applicants forget this.

Hiring managers are humans too and we all desire acknowledgment and appreciation. So leave them feeling good. No need to have a wooden resume. Express your thanks in a formal way in your resume and/or cover letter.

For example, “Thank you for posting the job ad for project manager and being clear about what the role involves. I appreciate you taking the time to read my resume.”
Please see our article on how to beat resume-reading bots and comment below your experiences and opinions. Happy job hunting!

Ethan Smith
Ethan is quite a strange individual. He wishes to become a theologian one day and yet he bursts into song at any moment he pleases.

He is currently employed as a Virtual Assistant, born and raised in New Zealand, he is an ex-model turned bald. He has a Bachelor’s degree but is now studying towards his Masters in Divinity.

“Being part of the Workible team has been a blast! The people are ridiculously kind haha.”

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "5 Magic Phrases That Will Make Your Resume Stand Out"

Leave a Reply

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
3 years 4 months ago
Good piece of advice. Yet, when it comes to making a difference, even the best wording and “magic” keywords may not work. I had a case where I sent a resume and application (purely for admin/process purposes) after chatting with the hiring manager who wanted me on his team. Yet, the “HR” department sent me a note within less than 10 minutes to let me know that my application had been denied. To which I did reply with context and the fact that I was already part of the company, was just changing countries, had been doing the job for… Read more »
Rebecca Pham
Rebecca Pham
3 years 4 months ago

I completely agree. In fact, more often than not, the person behind the HR system receiving the application may not even be a ‘person’. Companies that get inundated with applications typically use an ATS to read over resumes. Seeing that you heard back fairly quickly from the HR department, they could have potentially been using an ATS? You may want to check out this article and see if it helps. http://blog.workible.com.au/beating-applicant-tracking-systems-ats-aka-resume-reading-robots/