Whether you’re a first-time job searcher, long-time professional looking for a career change, or simply in need of a resume update, these 12 resume writing tips can help you make your experience stand out to companies and interviewers!
Keep It to One Page
Recruiters and hiring managers may be looking at hundreds of resumes for one job listing. Keeping your career experience to one page can make your resume easier to read and understand quickly. A concise resume also shows your potential employer that you can communicate efficiently.
Target the Job You’re Applying for
Creating a resume for the specific job you’re applying for can help you stand out from other candidates. Generic resumes may not match the requirements recruiters or hiring agents are looking for. Use the job description as a guide for which experiences, qualifications, and relevant skills to include.
Use Keywords from the Job Description
Carefully review the job listing and pay attention to what words or phrases appear. Hiring managers and recruiters often look for these keywords when reviewing resumes, so including them in descriptions or headers can help you stand out as an applicant.
Prioritize Name & Contact Information
If your resume and application are impressive enough for a phone, virtual, or in-person interview, you want your name and contact information prominently displayed. Don’t make the recruiter or hiring manager search for your information—otherwise, they may move on to another qualified candidate.
Include Soft & Hard Skills
Both soft and hard skills should be displayed on your resume to demonstrate how you work and your workplace capabilities. Soft skills include your communication skills and time management, while hard skills include more specific job-related tasks (e.g., coding, foreign language proficiency, Adobe Creative Cloud).
Share Relevant Websites & Social Media
Depending on the industry, websites and social media handles may be important to share with hiring managers. This can include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, professional portfolios, and personal blogs. Keep in mind that whatever platforms you share should be job appropriate. Avoid sharing anything that could reflect poorly on your professional expertise.
Choose a Professional Font
The font you use on your resume can make an impression with your future employer. Select a basic, easy-to-read font like Helvetica, Arial, or Times New Roman to make your resume clear, readable, and professional. It’s best to shy away from fonts like Papyrus or Comic Sans because they’re more difficult to read.
Opt for Reverse Chronological Order
Formatting your resume in reverse chronological order places your most recent and relevant experience near the top where recruiters or future employees can easily notice them. Additionally, listing your recent education on the top of your resume allows hiring managers to see your highest level of completed or ongoing study.
Name Your File Competently
If you send your job application and resume electronically, it’s important to name your file clearly. Simply naming the file “resume” could mean it gets lost in the crowd or easily overlooked during the review process. Use your name in a format like “John_Doe_Resume” or “John Doe Resume” to help your file stand out.
Utilize Simple Headers
Make your resume easy to read by adding simple headers for each section. Each header should relate to the content below it, such as “Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills.” Organizing your resume like this can make specific information easier to find. Additionally, keep your font type and font size consistent for each header.
Take Advantage of Action Verbs
When describing your job duties and accomplishments, be sure to use active voice instead of passive voice. Verbs like achieved, improved, led, and guided can add energy to your sentences. Additionally, try steering clear of overused phrases like “responsible for” to help differentiate your resume.
Update Your Resume Consistently
Keep your resume up-to-date with new skills, experiences, awards, or certificates as you learn or achieve them. Even if you’re not actively job searching, your updated resume will be ready for when opportunity strikes. Also, keeping a master list of all of your relevant experience and skills will make it easier to create a job-specific resume in the future!
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