This post was last updated in November 2019. 

Great resumes stand out from the rest, get noticed and demand attention from employers. Whether it's through optimizing your headline or doing research to make sure your resume targets the job you want, creating an effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing that dream job, so you want to put your best foot forward with the space you've got and the things you want to say.

Our Getting Started With Your Indeed Smart Sourcing post showed how to create an Indeed Smart Sourcing so that you’ll be visible to employers searching for candidates on Indeed. But what about the content of your resume? Here are three ways to make your Indeed Smart Sourcing shine.

1. Make a great first impression through your headline and summary

Effective resumes quickly show a clear picture of the value you’ll bring to an employer. The Headline and Summary sections of your resume are a good place to start creating this picture. Indeed Smart Sourcing users who have a Headline are more than twice as likely to be contacted by an employer than those who don't have one.

Think of the Headline as a professional tagline that includes:

  • The type of job you’re targeting and a description of your experience level
    Tip: If your previous or current title is unfamiliar to most employers, craft a title that accurately describes your expertise
  • Specific qualifications or attributes that relevant employers will value

The Summary section can be used to further capture the reader’s attention by highlighting notable achievements, skills and professional attributes. Users who include a Summary are nearly twice as likely to be contacted than those who don't. This section should be more extensive than the Headline, but keep it brief and focused.

Here’s an example of an effective Headline and Summary section:

  • Headline: Senior-level Interior Designer with expertise in 3D modeling 
  • Summary: Senior-level Interior Designer with 8 years experience in space planning, remodeling and renovations for residential and commercial properties. Expert in 3D modeling and Computer-aided design (CAD).

If you have specialized training or certifications that are commonly described with acronyms, don’t assume that recruiters will know their meaning. Put acronyms in parentheses after the spelled out version to ensure these qualifications aren’t overlooked.

It should go without saying, but resumes with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors are likely to cause recruiters and hiring managers to stop reading. After carefully proofreading your resume, have a friend or colleague review it to help catch errors you may have missed.

2. Do your homework to target the job you want

To make your resume stand out to relevant employers, it’s helpful to review job postings for the types of positions you’re qualified for and take note of:

  • The desired skills and experience cited by the employer
  • The responsibilities of the position
  • The words/phrases used to describe the ideal candidate

This upfront research will reveal what details relevant employers will look for on your resume. For example, if the jobs you’re pursuing commonly cite public speaking experience as a desired skilled, make sure your resume includes examples of your public speaking history.

Studying resumes of people who hold, or have held the type of job you’re pursuing, is also useful. What skills and accomplishments do they emphasize? What does their career progression look like?  The answers should provide actionable ideas for how to showcase your experience. Click to search and view resumes.

3. Demonstrate success with details

To illustrate the value you’ll bring to a prospective employer, your resume’s "Work Experience" section should emphasize the results you’ve delivered with specific examples that show how you did it and what measurable results you achieved. Use concise sentences and bullets to make these results stand out.

General claims make it difficult for employers to assess the value you provided to previous employers. Whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments. “Exceeded sales quota for seven straight quarters, growing new business by an average of 10% each quarter” is more impactful than “consistently met sales quotas.”

When notable contributions can’t be quantified, present them with details that describe results. Vague words and phrases like oversaw and successfully developed mean little unless they are substantiated.

Every day, thousands of employers search for candidates on Indeed Smart Sourcing. Taking the time to create a resume that clearly communicates the benefits they’ll gain by hiring you can pay big dividends. Get started today!