"The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn't simply tell a story about what you want to be, but it's a story about who you want to be." -- Oprah Winfrey

You've heard that you need an eye-catching resume, but do you know, exactly, how much time you have to make a great first impression on a potential employer before attention is directed towards another candidate?

In a study by career site Ladders, it was revealed that you have less than 10 seconds. To be more precise, you have 7.4 seconds, which is not a lot of time to make a good first impression. In fact, it's hardly anything at all.

But even if you are pressed for time, there are a number of unique ways to ensure that your resume stands out from the crowd. Here are a few tried and true ideas.

1. Declare your achievements.

Rather than typing up excessive paragraphs, you should craft short, declarative sentences that are able to list your accomplishments.

2. Eliminate layout clutter.

The worst-performing resumes have multiple columns and long sentences, fit into an entirely cluttered layout. Avoid this at all cost.

3. Put real numbers to your success.

Can you quantify your achievements? Are you emphasizing your responsibilities? Bring attention to your resume by putting in impressive facts and figures from past employment experiences. These can include profit margins, donations generated, expense savings, subscriptions secured, and more.

4. Organize for better text flow.

Is your text organized in a way that draws the eye down the page? Have you added headers or titles to your sections?

5. Show evidence of eagerness for self-improvement.

Are you consistently working to upgrade your skills? Include a category that emphasizes leadership roles, certifications, or professional development.

6. Use a fresh font.

Your goal is to communicate professionalism. Use a modern font with an executive feel, like Arial Narrow or Calibri.

7. Try a mindful aesthetic.

Could you add a bold or minimalist line between sections? Are there opportunities to add subtle splashes of color? Update your resume's visuals to keep things interesting and engaging.

Don't sell yourself short. By using these tips, you will be able to let any hiring manager know just how much you deserve a seat at the employment table.

Published on: Jun 24, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.