Back To Career News

3 Tips to Make Your Online Resume Stand Out


Submitting a resume to an online database feels like sending it into a black hole. Some never get read, and some get noticed — but not for the right reasons. While half the battle might be simply getting the hiring manager to see your resume, the other half is making sure that you come across as professional, savvy, and the perfect candidate for the job.

1. Use Keywords and Live Hyperlinks

Read over the job description several times. Ask yourself what keywords or phrases seem to stand out the most in the advertisement. Incorporate these words or phrases into your resume. Read over your resume a few times before submitting it. The wording of your resume should still sound natural after you include keywords.

If you are submitting a resume online, make sure any hyperlinks are live. You might link to a page you designed for a former employer, or your own web page. Make your email address a live hyperlink.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

A link that goes to the wrong address or one that no longer works will make you look as if you don’t know how to use the Internet, and could cost you an interview.

2. Cut the Clutter and Be Brief

An online resume should be no longer than a paper resume: one page. Include the same amount of information in an online resume as you would if sending a hard copy.

Cutting clutter makes your resume reader-friendly. A clean, easy-to-read font is better than a fancy font. Make sure there is white space on your resume; a page of text will come across as overwhelming and might not get read.

Get rid of extraneous information in order to improve readability and get to the point. Extraneous information includes multiple emails or addresses, addresses of former supervisors and even the phrase, “references upon request.” If they want references, they will ask you.

3. Use Action Verbs to Showcase Achievements

This cannot be said often enough: It’s boring to read a list of responsibilities, interesting to read about specific achievements. To that end, use strong action words at the beginning of each sentence. Words such as “built,” “directed,” or “supervised” are strong. “Implemented new advertising plan” and “generated five percent growth” are so much more intriguing than “was responsible for advertising plan that generated growth.”

Tell Us What You Think

Have you gotten a job from an online resume? Leave us a comment or join the conversation on Twitter.

More From PayScale

Send a Not-So-Boring Thank You Note

Negotiate Salary in a Seller’s Market

3 Ways to Capitalize on Your Genius at Work

(Photo Credit: espensorvik/Flickr)

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.