Top 10 Resume Tips
These 10 resume writing tips will help you stand out from the crowd, make it through an ATS scan and impress the all-important recruiter.
1. Choose the right resume format
Whether you opt for a chronological resume format or a functional one, it is important that your resume format showcases your strengths, skills and work experience. If you have a spotty work history, for example, a functional resume may do you more justice than a chronological one. For more on choosing the right resume format, visit our resume formats page.
2. Double-check your contact information
You can write the best resume in the world and still be undermined by out-of-date contact information. Make sure your email and phone number are current before you submit your resume.
3. Limit your work experience to the past 10 years
We recommend that you limit yourself to the last 10 years to ensure you are discussing relatively recent and relevant work experience and achievements. Adding jobs from further back also runs the risk of creating a lengthier resume that employers will be less inclined to read.
4. Use keywords from the job description
Mirroring the language used in the job description of the position – the skills and experiences that the role requires – in your resume is a great way to make sure you have a good chance of getting past applicant tracking systems. Just match the skills and experiences you possess with the keywords. For example, if a job posting stresses “project management” and you can claim that skill, list it in your resume and provide a work history example or two where you displayed good project management.
5. Use action verbs to avoid passivity
Passive language is one of the most common resume mistakes. Phrases like “I was responsible for” do not tell recruiters anything about how you actually did the job. Instead, try to use action verbs like “oversaw” or “achieved.”
6. List relevant internships
Internships are an excellent way to distinguish yourself from other applicants if you are a recent graduate with limited professional work experience. Don’t be afraid to list them (especially if you were with a well-known company such as Microsoft or Google). You can also list volunteer work.
7. Create a robust skills section
Recruiters are often just as interested in your skills and qualifications as they are in the jobs you’ve held, so even if you choose a chronological format, you should create a robust skills section. Mention all of your relevant hard and soft skills and be sure to note any certifications, awards or notable achievements.
8.List your old job title properly
Job titles are as important for recruiters as they are for job seekers. Your previous job titles act as keywords for ATS and hiring managers who are scanning your resume, so make sure you have the most accurate title for your previous roles.
9. Include social media URLs
If you have a LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to provide it in your resume so hiring managers can get more insight on your qualifications and connections. Depending on your industry, it may also be a good idea to include links to any professional websites or blogs you have.
10. Proofread (seriously)
Nothing will ruin the hard work you have put into creating your resume quite like typos. Carelessness is off-putting for recruiters, so taking the time to proofread your resume is always a good idea. If you use our resume builder to construct your resume, our built-in tools will help do the proofreading for you.
In short, these 10 resume tips are easy to implement, and they will ensure your resume is professional and eye-catching while retaining readability.
How To Present Your Accomplishments on Your Resume
Creating the Right Look for Your Resume
The appearance of your resume is not just important for creating a professional feel; it can also impact readability and impact how ATS-friendly it is. Give your resume a good amount of white space rather than packing it wall-to-wall with text, choose a standard professional font, and use simple but bold headers. Make sure the skills and experience that make you most suitable for the role you are applying for are prioritized.
FAQ: Resume Tips
Q: What fonts and font sizes should I use on my resume?
Above all else, you should focus on a straightforward, professional look. Go with 11 or 12-point font for your text, and 14-16 font sizes for headings. Stick with a font that you would commonly find in a Microsoft Word document, such as Arial, Times Roman or Garamond
Q: Can I use italics, bold and caps in a resume?
Yes, using italics, bold and bullet points can be a very effective way to create distinct sections and draw attention to important information in your resume. Opt for these over using graphics or icons that run the risk of confusing recruiters or ATS.
Q: Can a resume builder help me create a better resume?
If you are uncertain about how to go about resume writing and want to make sure your resume doesn’t hold back your job search, a resume builder can help. ResumeHelp has a free resume builder tool you can use to help you create the best resume for your job application. Our builder provides job-specific suggestions to fill out your resume, and takes care of the layout and organization of your document for you. Even better, it’s simple to create, save and download numerous versions of your resume for different job opportunities.