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4 Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out from The Crowd

A red headed woman looks enthralled.

No one grows up being completely comfortable with speaking highly of themselves. Even still, it is up to you to share with your colleagues, managers, and decision-makers details about the great job you have been doing. It’s not their responsibility to notice or inquire, even if they should be, so try not to depend on them to notice or ask.

Do you want to be right on principle or do you want to advance in your career? Do you want to leave your career in your hands or someone else’s hands? Of course not!

Writing an achievement-based resume focuses a hiring manager, boss or colleague on what you accomplished. This type of resume gives concrete examples of what you can do for your next potential employer or next promotion. Writing achievement-based bullets are a sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of being called in for an interview. Use the tips below to make the most of your resume by highlighting your accomplishments.

1. Focus on CAR or STAR formats.

Using well-respected interview techniques can make your resume writing process a lot easier when trying to focus on achievements. CAR, for instance, stands for Context, Action, Result. The objective is to introduce a problem that you solved by providing the story behind it. STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is similar insofar as you are also telling a story and highlighting how you are the hero in a situation.

As you’re writing your resume, you can call upon these two techniques to help you find content. Obviously you don’t have room to go into all the details on your resume (save that for the interview!), but you can draw from that story to help you find the achievements.

2.Ask yourself key questions while you write.

For every bullet point on your resume, you should ask yourself “How do I know I did a good job?” or “What did that good job look like?” Look for opportunities to quantify your results.

This helps you focus on the results you achieved while at work. Ultimately, by painting this picture for yourself, you can then do the same for the person reviewing your resume. Win-win!

It’s important to note that the numbers you use to quantify your results do not have to be focused on revenue or funding goals. For example, if you are a Program Manager, you may have helped expand the organization’s initiatives to new groups of constituents. That may read like this: “Initiated program growth to include services for veterans, which expanded its reach from 200 participants in four states to 570 participants in six states.”

3.Focus on size and scope of environments worked.

When it comes to resumes, numbers talk. As I started explaining above, figures can be extremely telling of the kind of environment you worked in and what results you accomplished.

For instance, strategic planning for an institution with a $5 million endowment is a different job than strategic planning for a $20 million division of an organization that has raised $200 million in donations. So be specific- mention the size of budgets, number of employees and how much in funding an organization raises in a given years.

4.Don’t forget to tell them what you want. 

At the top of your resume, don’t use the word “Summary” to start off your efforts. Instead of stating the obvious, use that space to clearly direct the reader to the position you want. Job seekers who do not give the reader an idea of the job they are targeting have a greater risk of their resume ending up in the “no call” pile…why? Most recruiters won’t take the time to figure out where the candidate fits. Make it easy for them.

When you take ownership of your job search and stand up for what you want, you start to get noticed. Speak up for what you want. Promote the wins you have. Make it easy for hiring managers to see how great you are. 

About the Author: Lisa Rangel is an Executive Resume Writer and Official LinkedIn Moderator at, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website. She has been featured on BBC, Investor’s Business Daily,, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, US News, and so many more reputable media outlets. She is the creator of

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