10 Expert Resume Writers Share How To Stand Out In 2016

10 Expert Resume Writers Share How To Stand Out In 2016

The New Year is fast approaching, and the job market is as competitive as ever! It's more important for job hunters to go the extra mile to stand out in the job search as the recruiting and staffing industry is changing.


We collaborated with the top resume writers and career coaches to provide the best resume writing tips and job search strategies so you can start 2016 off right. Read on as these experts reveal how to stand out and land your dream job in 2016!

"If you want to be on top of the job search in 2016, then you need a resume that isn't from 2006! Keywords-are you using "today's" terminology in your resume? New terms and phrases are always popping up in almost every industry-be sure you're not using outdated ones. Format-an old-style block format will NOT get you noticed! You can be creative with font styles and color-just not too over the top. Marketing-did you meet your sales quotas? Drive revenue to new heights? Add a graph to your resume. With recruiters and hiring managers only taking seconds to review your resume, having information that pops off of the page will help them to see the value you can offer in a snapshot!"



Erin Kennedy, MCD, CERW, CMRW, CEMC, CPRW, BS/HR, is a Certified Executive Resume Writer & Career Consultant, and the CEO of Professional Resume Services. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 14 best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. She is also one of only a few professionals worldwide to achieve the coveted “Certified Master Resume Writer” distinction. With over 15 years of writing experience behind her, Erin has written thousands of resumes for every career level and every industry.

Learn more about Erin Kennedy and Professional Resume Services: http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com

"As the hiring process evolves in 2016, successful applicants will completely understand the culture of the companies they have targeted for employment.

The Ladders™ confirmed applicants have only six seconds before a fit/no fit decision is made. This means demonstrating your value in a way the interviewer understands. Successful applicants will:

  • Make it all about the employer.
  • Read the job posting and demonstrate how they meet or exceed the requirements.

By doing this in their cover letter, their resume, and during the interview, these candidates will stand out as the best choice to hire, because they have demonstrated they are exactly what the company is looking for."


Joel Quass, CPRW, CEIP

Joel Quass, CPRW, CEIP, is a 5 Steps To Rapid Employment Master Coach, Certified Professional Resume Writer and Employment Interview Professional. He has reviewed over 5,000 resumes, conducted thousands of interviews, facilitated workshops, and authored two books since launching Good Management Is Not LLC in 2010.  As a keynote speaker, Joel covers pressing issues facing job seekers and management professionals including interview skills, leadership skills, stress management, personal branding, and customer service.

Learn more about Joel Quass: http://six-second-resumes.com

"Our brains adapt to new ways of absorbing content, and a prime example is how we interact with the Internet. Twitter makes us share thoughts in 140 characters or fewer. Now you’re forced to keep your point short and sweet. For a person like me who loves the details, condensing my thoughts into short bite-sized sentences is difficult; but it really has become necessary in our society. With decreasing attention spans, writing tweet-sized resume sentences is a right-on-time strategy. It’s not a trend I see fading away in the coming years either—but it is one I see making it increasingly more difficult to adhere to. The next time you write a sentence for your resume, see how many characters are included and whether you can get it down to 140 characters or fewer without losing impact."


Jessica Hernandez, Executive Resume Writer

A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. Leveraging more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, Jessica's innovative and brand-driven resume development strategies have secured a 99.6% interview-winning success rate for her clients. As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted numerous times throughout CNN.com, The Chicago Tribune, Monster.com, Local Job Network Radio, International Business Times, and more.

Learn more about Jessica H. Hernandez and Great Resumes Fast: http://www.greatresumesfast.com

"A key component of differentiating one's self from other job seekers is learning how to focus on achievements in all aspects of a job search. From the resume/cover letter and LinkedIn components to networking conversations, informational interviews, and real interviews, highlighting how one played a key role in previous accomplishments allows the other party to more easily grasp, "This person gets stuff done and we need to talk."

Think about what would not have happened without your involvement and connect that back to the role or job search when in conversation. Good luck and here's to a great 2016!"

Emily Kapit, MS, MRW, ACRW, CPRW

Emily Kapit, MS, MRW, ACRW, CPRW, is a triple certified Master Resume Writer and the founder, lead writer, and head career strategist at ReFresh Your Step, LLC, a career advisory firm based in Miami, Florida with clients located nationally and internationally. She and her team of highly certified writers and career advisors with extensively with clients on all facets of their career progression, including resumes/cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, job search strategies, mock interviews, career guidance, and more. Although much of her company's work focuses on career success, she believes wholeheartedly that a life well-lived is one that is in balance; as such Emily ensures that each client is on a path to life fulfillment. She partners extensively with each client, regardless of education level, background, sector, and goals, to identify opportunities for life fulfillment and balance.

Connect with Emily on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/EmilyKapit

"In your resume use plain language to clearly explain who you are, what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished. Bear in mind, the first pair of eyes to read your resume isn’t usually the hiring manager – it’s often somebody in Human Resources. And they may not know all the lingo or acronyms you might be used to using in your line of business.

Language that is to the point and in plain English (or any other language) will help the recruiter properly interpret who you are, and how best to apply your talents."


Scott Singer, CPRW

Scott Singer, CPRW is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Adviser, and President of Insider Career Strategies. He has almost two decades of experience as an in-house recruiter, hiring people at blue-chip companies, as well as working with people at staffing agencies and Fortune 500 firms. He also provides career coaching and guidance to MBA students at the University Of Miami School Of Business.

Learn more about Scott and Insider Career Strategies: http://www.insidercs.com/

"Employers continue to be bombarded with résumés and are looking for ways to filter you OUT. These little corrections on your résumé could make all the difference!

1.  Email Address: Make sure your email address is professional and "neutral". Using your name is best. Don't give any clues as to age, politics, religion, sexuality, health status or anything too personal.

2.  Typos: There are no excuses for spelling mistakes. Use a dictionary, use spell check and proofread several times. Then give it to someone else to do the same. A second pair of eyes will catch errors.

3.  Personal Information: Don't include any hobbies or interests unless they are relevant to the job requirements, otherwise you could be judged as "weird" or "not the right fit".

4.  Location: Not disclosing where you live can backfire. Best to be transparent. It is what it is. It's up to the Employer to decide if the commute is reasonable or not.

5.  References: Never put your references on the résumé. Your "referees" need to be prepped first before anyone calls so they don't say something that could be perceived as a negative.


Diana Foster

Leveraging over 10 years of recruitment, sales and marketing experience, Diana Foster offers customized resume writing, personal branding and coaching services that help individuals get over all of the job search hurdles and onto the "must call" list, bringing them closer to hired.

Download Diana's "20 Quick Fixes To Common Résumé Fails That Might Hurt Your Job Search": http://www.perfectfitresume.com/20-quick-fixes/

"Job Seekers can stand out from their competitors through active networking and continual research. By using people you know to get to the people you don't know, by making sure you are a person in the room with the people who matter, by productive (and not necessarily frequent) follow-up, candidates can ensure that they are meeting and connecting with those who can get the candidate closer to the coveted position. By staying current on one's target companies and function, a candidate will always have something to talk about and be considered knowledgeable."


Jim Kelly, CPRW

Jim Kelly, CPRW is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Certified Career Coach through Lee Hecht Harrison. His coaching and resume writing have landed new jobs for all levels of professionals, from recent college graduates looking for their first professional job to well-established senior executives.

Connect with Jim Kelly on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesekelly

"Here are my top strategies:

•   Connect with the right people. (Leverage introductions through the side door to key decision makers.)

•   Differentiate by showing real proof of performance. (Demonstrate clear, quantified, and specific outcomes. No fluff.)

•   Understand and succinctly convey value proposition. (How will you make a difference? What do you have to offer that’s game-changing? What will you deliver in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?)

•   Own your accomplishments and tell your story. (Practice, role-play, then practice some more.)

You’ve typically got one chance to nail it—and advance to the next stage. Don’t squander it."


Jan Melnik, M.A., MRW, CMM, CPRW

Jan Melnik, M.A., MRW, CMM, CPRW helps clients with career strategies, resumes, and coaching services. The author of seven career/business books and a new novel, “Telling Tales: On Merlin’s Island,” she founded Absolute Advantage in 1983. She has been featured in numerous publications, is NBC's career expert, and speaks frequently at universities, conferences, and libraries nationwide. She is a charter board member with Career Thought Leaders and the CMO coach working with sales and marketing executives through C-Suite Career Catalysts. An adjunct professor of business at Bay Path University, she holds two undergraduate degrees in business and a master’s degree from Wesleyan University.

Learn more about Jan Melnik: http://www.janmelnik.com

"The successful job search relies on a strong marketing campaign, consisting of written and verbal communications that brands the job seeker. The resume and cover letter are the job seeker’s first examples of his written communication skills. In a nutshell, they must sell him with job-related accomplishments and experience. Another example of his written communication skills is a strong LinkedIn profile, which contrary to what many believe is not a rehash of his resume. The profile is one component of the job seeker’s online networking; thus it is a networking document.

On the verbal side, the job seeker must connect with whomever can be of mutual assistance. This doesn't necessarily mean that she attends organized networking events; she can connect with people in the community. The job seeker must also communicate effectively on the telephone, while demonstrating a professional demeanor. The job search culminates with an interview, the big dance. It's at the interview that the job seeker must be prepared by doing research on the position and company. She must be able to answer the difficult questions, further demonstrating her verbal communication skills."


Bob McIntosh, CPRW

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer who leads more than 15 job search workshops at an urban career center. Jobseekers and staff look to him for advice on the job search. In addition, Bob has gained a reputation as a LinkedIn authority in the community. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market.

Read more of Bob's job search advice: http://www.thingscareerrelated.com

"It's not enough to just upload or email a resume anymore.

Job seekers can stand out in 2016 by going the extra mile to develop their personal brand and use it to attack the competitive job market on all fronts. Once you have polished your branded resume and cover letter, start marketing yourself across social media profiles. Job seekers can also affordably create personal but professional websites, online portfolios, and blogs to broadcast the same message to employers.

Job seekers, YOU need to make it easy for employers to see that YOU have the knowledge, skill, and experience to solve their problem."

Steph Kruger, CPRW

Steph Cartwright, CPRW is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and LinkedIn Profile Specialist. She is the founder and lead writer of Off The Clock Resumes and has tailored hundreds of resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles since 2014.



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