DO YOU know that a typical executive job advertisement in The Straits Times Recruit section can easily attract an average of more than 100 job applications?

You have to stand out among the crowd to be selected for a job interview.

As a HR professional and certified resumé writer, I have vetted thousands of resumés and sat in on several recruitment interviews.

What is obvious is that outstanding resumés usually get the attention of the HR manager faster, and the candidates they profile are given priority for interviews, the next crucial step to landing the job.

But what makes a resumé outstanding?

Basically, it answers the following questions, which most resumés, in my experience, do not:

* Why should we hire you?"

* What value can you add to our organisation"?

* How can you best contribute to our company?"

Here are some tips that you may wish to consider before you submit another resumé.

1. Summarise your qualifications

Start your resumé with a summary of qualifications, which consist of three to five statements about your career experience.

Unless you are a fresh graduate or intend to switch careers, do highlight your industry experience. I have observed that many executives, including senior managers, tend to overlook this, and miss out on the opportunity to highlight their most marketable attributes right upfront. For example, state that you have "15 years of product marketing experience".

2. List your professional strengths

Don't just give general statements but use keywords or buzzwords that companies and recruiters need to see, for example, "marketing management", "cost controls", and "product training".

3. Highlight your achievements

Be clear and specific about what you have accomplished under different job positions or titles. Don't just state your job duties and responsibilities but go a step further to show the impact or results of what you have accomplished for the organisation.

Wherever possible, quantify your achievements, for instance, "increased sales turnover by 80 per cent through new product launch and innovative pricing strategies".

4. List your academic qualifications

Having written about your job responsibilities and achievements, you should then present your educational qualifications and training.

The most common practice is to state the degree earned, name of university and year of graduation. Be true to what you say. For example, if you completed a three-year course but did not graduate, do not say that you have the qualification.

5. Pay attention to style

Put in some effort to make sure the overall layout or presentation of your resumé has a good visual appeal.

Format your resumé well. Choose the correct font size and layout to avoid too much white space. Also avoid cramming too much on one page. The overall effect you want is for your resumé to project a touch of class and professionalism.

Do remember that your resumé ought to be a "marketing masterpiece" and not just a mere collection of past job histories.

Your resumé is the first point of contact that determines if you should be granted an interview. It is therefore really important to create a good first impression.