How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Many architecture firms are now using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes. If you want yours to even make it into the hands of a hiring manager, then it requires just the right format and contextual keywords. Here are a few ways to make your resume stand out when the system is automated.

Some Basics

  • Customize your resume to the specific design job for which you are applying, using the same words and language as the job posting.
  • Keep the file size less than 5 MB.
  • Allow a colleague to proofread your resume, misspelling are blocked.
  • Add a cover letter to explain how you helped your previous firm make or save money by including quantifiable outcomes.

Your Resume is a Chance to Be Creative

You can make your resume stand out through your use of typography and layout. You can also add some modern touches, like a QR code that links directly to your portfolio. You could also incorporate infographics or even make your resume an interactive experience. Whatever you do, remember your brand. Ensure the same look and feel are in your portfolio. Rather than simply listing what you’ve accomplished in the past on paper, you can really showcase who you are to recruiters by harnessing technology and thinking outside of the box. The key is to choose one or two ways to be creative on your resume and not go overboard with too many different variables.

Don’t Overuse Lingo

Instead of littering your resume with industry jargon or acronyms, focus on nailing the correct keywords. Include specific skills and verb phrases that appear in architecture job descriptions. If you are unsure of which keywords to use, then we suggest using an online service like TagCrowd to help determine what keywords to include on your resume. Don’t stuff your resume with keywords; thoughtfully choose a few that reflect your true experience. A strong balance of skills-related keywords, and minimal lingo, will help your resume to stand out.

Make It Easy to Read and Also Aesthetically Pleasing

Don’t compromise getting your key information across to hiring managers just to be more visually appealing. You still want to highlight your qualifications, professional experience, education, and skills in a manner that is easy to understand. Save the more aggressive design for your portfolio.

Add Certifications and Licenses

From increasing your bargaining power for a better salary to giving you an advantage over other candidates, there are several advantages to listing these on your resume for architecture jobs. Just remember to create a list of them and to keep it separated from other sections on your resume like education. Make sure to include the certifying authority to enhance value.

Although you might have all of the right certificates and skills for most retail design jobs, you still have to explain to hiring managers why you are a better fit than other candidates. Your resume is step one toward highlighting your experience for the hiring manager.


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