Does my resume need to stand out?

Welcome back to resume chats! Does your resume need to stand out?

The simplest would be when a company has little to no process or system in place (this is not best practice but every company starts here). In this instance, it's more a question of connecting with the team than the resume. The best resume in the world might slip through the cracks if you present it to You should still craft an effective and clear resume, but in this instance getting your resume in front of the decision-maker or makers is paramount.

The answer seems a simple "yes" but it is slightly more complicated than that. It depends greatly on the systems and processes that a company (or companies) have in place for hiring.

Conversely, the most complex would be the systems and processes put in place by the government. There are specific guidelines around procurement (hiring/awarding businesses) and recruitment (hiring/awarding employees) at the federal and provincial levels in Canada.

However, when it comes to government systems, there is usually a system in place for reviewing said resumes. If a crown corporation or government entity has an "open bid" and anyone and everyone can approach it. These are often found on
If everyone and anyone can apply, there is a greater chance for competition and your resume may need to stand out.

Concurrently, the need to stand out does not supersede the rules of procurement. The crown corp or government will outline exactly what the bid needs to look like. And the bid will be judged both on substance and how well it followed the guidelines.

If you're wondering about the middle ground between an early stage startup and a government contract, the answer is no less simple. Yes, your resume should stand out. No, style is not more important than substance.

When an applications being reviewed, it is not the ATS that decides whether or not someone moves forward. The "T" stands for tracking, and that is what the system does. It tracks. And eventually a human opens the resume. If it is a role that is related to technology or a specific skillset, the person reviewing will most likely hit "CTRL-F" and then search the resume. Thus keywords should be present and thoroughly documented.

Private sector procurement (contract jobs) and employment recruitment (full-time employment) are defined by the private corporation. Some use an ATS or ERP system to track everything, some do not. Tracking is useful but tends to slow things down. Not tracking is risky as information will be lost, but allows for more flexibility.

In short, making your resume detailed and clear allows you to modify and reuse it. For tips on technical resume writing, check here.