S To Writing The Perfect Resume
Your resume is only as good as the information you provide. Make sure you’re prepared with this list.
Are you struggling with writing the perfect resume? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. According to a recent TopResume study, only 24 percent of professionals described themselves as confident in their resume-writing ability. This means that 76 percent of professionals are insecure about their resume and resume-writing skills as a whole.
With that said, whether you’re planning to use a professional resume-writing service or give it a go on your own, it’s important to take some time to prepare for your resume rewrite. Your resume will only be as good as the information you or your writer has to work with. Gather the following details ahead of time to craft a powerful document that effectively tells your story and markets your qualifications to help you land your dream job.
Proofread Your Resume And Finish Strong
Once youve written your resume and cover letter, youre in pretty good shape to send out that first application. However, youre not quite done yet.
The most important step before sending out any resume is to read it over and make sure that there are no issues that could get your application discarded.
To help make that process easier, heres a checklist you can go through to make sure your resume is looking spotless:
The Resume Genius Resume Checklist
Is your contact information accurate?
Does your resume NOT include details like headshots or sensitive personal information?
Does your resume fit on one page ?
Is your information easy to read ?
Is the design of your resume appropriate for the position youre applying for?
Did you include all relevant sections on your resume?
Did you include quantified achievements in your work experience section?
Does your resume address the requirements stated in the job ad?
Is your resume free of typos and grammatical errors?
Is all of your information clearly formatted and professional?
Feel free to use our on-page checklist, or and begin reviewing your resume.
Explain Your Achievements And Awards
Employers may be more impressed if you can prove that your abilities have been tested and that you have found success despite challenges. You can emphasize your victories by including a brief section in your resume that outlines your relevant achievements and awards. Maybe you received Employee of the Month three times in your previous job, or maybe you received an award for generating the most sales on your team in one quarter. These awards can set you apart from other candidates with similar experience.
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Pick The Best Resume Fonts
Comic Sans, Papyrus, Neuland Inline. None of those should end up on your resume. Not even if you go for the most creative resume layout. So what resume fonts to use? Simple and legible. Your resume is a professional document, so dont spoil it with a theme park font thats difficult to read.
Also, you need to strike the right balance between the font size and document length. Dont make the font look minuscule to be able to fit in as much as you can on a single page . For body text use the font size of 1112pts. For section headings, use 24pts larger fonts.
Expert Hint: Studies reveal that its recommended to avoid extremes when it comes to line spacing. So stick to single-line and if your text looks too dense increase the spacing to 1.15. But avoid double-spaced lines.
Whats A Resume Objective & When To Use It
A resume objective is, in a nutshell, the goal of your resume. It communicates your motivation for getting into a new field. As with a resume summary, a resume objective should be around 2-3 sentences.
As weve mentioned before, a resume objective is the go-to for anyone that either has no work experience or is going through a career change.
Formula to Create Your Resume Objective:
Looking to apply my at
to help .
Examples of Resume Objectives
1) So, heres how that would look like if youre a student:
- Hard-working recent graduate with a B.A. in Graphic Design from New York State University seeking new opportunities. 3+ years of practical experience working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, creating illustrations & designing UX / UI. Looking to grow as a designer, as well as perfect my art, at the XYZ Design Studio.
2) Or, on the other hand, if youre going through a career change:
- IT project manager with 5+ years of experience in software development. Managed a team of developers to create products for several industries, such as FinTech and HR tech. Looking to leverage my experience in managing outsourced products as a Product Owner at XYZ.
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Tips For Writing An Effective Resume
Hiring managers and recruiters alike say they’ve seen more poorly written resumes cross their desks recently than ever before. Attract more interview offers and ensure your resume doesn’t eliminate you from consideration by following these six key tips:
1. Format Your Resume Wisely “Do the Hiring Managers” Work for Them
No matter how well written, your resume won’t get a thorough reading the first time through. Generally a resume gets scanned for 25 seconds. Scanning is more difficult if it is hard to read, poorly organized or exceeds two pages.
- Use a logical format and wide margins, clean type and clear headings
- Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader’s eye
- Use bullets to call attention to important points
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2. Identify Accomplishments not Just Job Descriptions
Hiring managers, especially in technical fields like engineering, seek candidates that can help them solve a problem or satisfy a need within their company. Consequently, you can’t be a solution to their problems without stating how you solved similar problems in other companies and situations.
Editor’s 2019 Top Pick:Young Engineer Takes Great Strides with Prosthetic Foot3. Quantify Your Accomplishments
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4. Cater Your Resume for the Industry
5. Replace your Objective” with a “Career Summary”
6. Network. Network. Network.
Why Does It Matter If Your Resume Looks Good
It’s important for your resume to look good because your resume is a reflection of your professional qualifications. It can show potential employers that you are a valuable job candidate, which can help you get jobs. Creating a clean, visually appealing resume can help you appear more professional, and it can also make it easier for recruiters to quickly read through your credentials.
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Set The Right Limits On Length
Einstein famously said everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. As to the length of a resume, it should be as long as necessary, but not longer. Dont try to squeeze everything into a single page and dont write a novel. Two pages should be more than enough to present your expertise.
The Most Popular: A Reverse Chronological Resume
As previously mentioned, a reverse chronological resume is preferred by many coaches and HR experts, mainly because its super readable. When everythings in a clear order, its easy to skim and even easier to draw lines between experiences.
Who its good for: Just about everyonefrom students applying to internships all the way up to senior-level executives
Polish Up Your Grammar And Formatting
Resume writing is a unique style. It can be tricky to remember which tense to use or when to omit pronouns. How can you use language to tell a more compelling story? Which fonts and formats are ATS-friendly? Lets take a look.
Its important to use a font that is easy to read on screen, ATS-compatible, and commonly available. A few traditional resume fonts to consider include Helvetica, Garamond, or Georgia. Avoid using script fonts or custom fonts unless you are a designer. Dont use a font size below 10.
Tense and Pronouns
Use past tense when talking about jobs in the past, and present tense when describing the work you are currently doing. Traditional resume writing leaves out personal pronouns and gets right to the action. Ex. Spearheaded a new email marketing initiative that increased revenue by 10 percent.
Resume Action Words
Action verbs help liven up your writing, making your resume more readable for recruiters and hiring managers. Consider beginning each bullet point on your resume with an action verb and replacing generic verbs like managed or led with more engaging words like mentored or accelerated.
Emphasize Results Rather Than Responsibilities
Instead of just listing your past responsibilities, make your CV stand out by emphasizing your results, using quantifiable data to show your accomplishments. So for example, instead of saying I helped to increase social media engagement for Company X, write I increased social media engagement by 38% for Company X.
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Add Your Name And Contact Information
The top of your resume should include the following information:
- Email Address
- LinkedIn profile URL
It might seem obvious, but job seekers sometimes forget a key piece of contact information in this section. Double check and make it as easy as possible for recruiters to contact you for a job interview.
List Any Awards You’ve Won And When You Won Them
When you’ve been recognized by someone else, you should let potential employers know about it. But you shouldn’t worry if you haven’t received any awards just skip this section.
Richmond County National Essay Contest, Honorable Mention, May 2006.
Honor Roll, South Satchewan High School, Junior and Senior Years, 20082010.
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Tailor Your Resume For Each Position
Its important to revise your resume to tailor it to each position you apply for. For each job, adjust the keywords in the skills section so that its a great fit for what the employer needs. You should also change what you emphasize in the professional history and educational experiences sections depending on whats listed in the job description.
Highlight Your Relevant Job Skills
Hiring managers are on the lookout for candidates who have relevant, job-specific skills. While listing a heap of skills on your resume doesnt actually prove youre skilled, incorporating your various skills into different sections will catch the eye of whoever is vetting your application.
For instance, you can showcase your hard and soft skills in your introduction and work experience section. And of course, you should also list your most valuable abilities in your resumes skills section.
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What Is The First Thing Someone Should Do Prior To Preparing Their Resume
Before writing your resume, you should consider doing a few things first.
Add Your Work Experience
The work experience section of your resume should be more than a simple list of your previous positions. It should also effectively describe your work experience to enhance your candidacy. Some of the information you will provide in this section is self-explanatory, such as job title, company location and dates employed. Where you can distinguish yourself in this section is with the descriptions of your previous positions.
In each position description, you should explain your previous responsibilities, noteworthy achievements and keywords that will make you appear right for the job. As with your summary statement or objective, be concrete about both your responsibilities and accomplishments and emphasize items that are relevant to the prospective employer. Rather than saying that you worked on a team, describe how you coordinated with team members to develop over 30 software updates tailored to consumer needs.
Many companies use software to sort through large numbers of resumes and identify more promising applicants using keyword algorithms. You can supplement your resume with keywords in the job description. If a company is looking for someone who can develop products that guarantee a high return on investment, you could mention in a previous job summary that you consistently increased ROI by guaranteeing high productivity on my team.
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Rule : Ditch Your Career Objective
A resume objective is typically a 3-4 sentence statement that provides a high-level overview of your ambitions. Its also, frankly, a load of rubbish by virtue of the fact that its typically filled with nauseating cliches and self-serving propaganda.
It will also be promptly ignored by recruiters and hiring managers.
Dont waste valuable resume real estate on the career objective. Its a relic of the 1990s and will not contribute to your job application in any meaningful way.
What Is The Best Resume Layout
The first thing a job recruiter notices about any resume is the layout.
Does it look organized or cluttered? Is it too short or too long? Is it boring and easy to ignore, or does it scream out Read me!?
Here are some of the best practices when it comes to your resume layout:
Resume Layout Must-Haves
1. One page in length. You should only go for 2 pages if you really, really believe that itll add significant value. HR managers in big firms get around 1,000+ resumes per month. Theyre not going to spend their valuable time reading your life story!
2. Clear section headings. Pick a heading and use it for all the section headers.
3. Ample white-space, especially around the margins.
4. Easy-to-read font. Wed recommend sticking to what stands out, but not too much. Do: Ubuntu, Roboto, Overpass, etc. Dont : Comic Sans
5. Pick the right font size. As a rule of thumb, go for 11 – 12 pt for normal text, and 14 – 16 pt for section titles.
6. As a rule of thumb, save your resume as PDF. Word is a popular alternative, but it has a good chance of messing up your resume formatting.
One more thing you need to consider in terms of resume layout is whether youre going for a traditional-looking free resume template or something a bit more modern:
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Resume Contact Information Tips:
- Include a personal phone number, never a work number.
- You dont need to include your full address but do add your city, state, and zip code. Recruiters often search for local candidates first.
- Use a professional sounding email address. Consider creating a free Gmail account for your job search if you currently use a more outdated email service like Hotmail or AOL.
- Create a strong LinkedIn profile and be sure to include the URL on your resume.
Make Your Resum Look Professional
Make it easy for a potential employer to read your resumé and learn about you. These tips can help:
- Keep it simple and short1 to 2 pages at most.
- Format your resumé as requested in the job posting.
- Choose a font size and type that is easy to read, such as Calibri, Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, or Courier.
- Use wide margins and put information in point form to create lots of white space.
- Use bold text to highlight specific information, such as special awards or achievements.
- For print resumés, use good-quality white or off-white paper that is a bit thicker than normal paper.
- Submit your resumé in a Word or file format. Some resumé tracking software cannot read PDF documents.
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How To Write A Good Resume
Your resume must clearly, concisely and strategically present your qualifications to get a recruiter interested in meeting you. It should convey your skills, work experience and assets. The resume is used to describe what you can accomplish professionally in a manner that also illustrates what you can do for an employer. Job opportunities can arise unexpectedly. An updated modern resume is the key to a successful job search. Here are some do’s and don’ts of how to write a good resume and what to include.
What Is A Cover Letter
A cover letter is a one-page document that introduces a job seekers work history, professional skills, and personal interest in applying for a job.
The main purpose of a cover letter is to support the content of your resume. Your resume focuses on your qualifications and achievements, and your cover letter expands on those achievements, showcases your personality, and explains why youd be a good fit for the company.
Although they might seem old-fashioned today, cover letters are still necessary. High unemployment rates in 2021 mean there are more job seekers than in the past, and writing a cover letter helps your application stand out when applying for competitive positions.
Attach an effective cover letter to your well-written resume, and your job application will quickly show managers and recruiters youre both qualified and a great fit for the role.
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Rule : Exclude Irrelevant Information
Youve probably noticed that theres a lot of debate about which details belong on your resume. After writing thousands of resumes, and speaking with dozens of recruiters, we can confidently recommend the following:
- Your name.
- Your mobile phone number .
- Your email address .
- The URL of your LinkedIn Profile.
Its NOT necessary to include:
- Your gender.
- Your date of birth .
- Your address.
- Your references .
By the way, did you know that a CV and a resume require you to include different details?