Tips on Mastering the Perfect Resume

If you’re looking for the perfect resume, there are many ways to achieve it. Here’s what you should do to create the perfect resume for your job applications.

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How to Create the Perfect Resume

Each job has different responsibilities and requirements, which means that the perfect resume for each job search will be different. This is why you should always seek to customize your resume to ensure that it showcases your skills and qualities in the best way possible. These are the elements of a perfect resume:

1. Professional formatting
Choosing a resume format that presents your skills, certifications and work experience in the best possible light is crucial. The perfect resume will highlight your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses. You can find examples and explanations of the main resume formats on ResumeHelp’s blog. Be sure to have contact information, such as your phone number, at the top, and take the time to proofread your resume when you are done.

2. A bit of your personality
Your resume should be professional, but it doesn’t have to be dry or bland. Let a little of your personality shine through. It will certainly help you to stand out. Adding links to your social media profiles — for example, your LinkedIn profile — could also make it unique and appealing (especially if you are applying to a creative industry).

3. The right keywords
Thanks to applicant tracking systems, keywords have become very important in resume writing. When hiring managers and recruiters place a job advert, they will have a list of skills, qualifications and suitable previous job titles in mind. Creating the perfect resume means integrating these keywords from the job description in your resume, targeting the job you’re applying for.

4. Tailored content
Mirroring the language in the job description for the role that you are applying for is a good way to help your resume through the companies’ applicant tracking system. Tailor your resume content to each application if you want to make sure it’s perfect.

5. A good cover letter
Including a good, personalized cover letter with your resume is one of the easiest ways to catch recruiters’ attention because it shows you have gone to the effort of supporting your resume with more details about your strengths and how you can contribute to a company. ResumeHelp has many tips for writing a good cover letter if you are unsure of how to start.

If you take steps to ensure that your resume meets these criteria, you will have a much higher chance of passing applicant tracking systems and ending up on a recruiter’s desk.


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What Recruiters Are Looking for in a Resume

Job seekers who want to impress recruiters during their job search should try to think like a recruiter themselves. By paying attention to what your resume says about your skills, personality, and work history you can get an idea of how a recruiter might view it. Here’s what recruiters look for in a resume:

1. Clarity
Recruiters are looking for job seekers who can communicate effectively. Keep your resume sections clear and concise to make a good first impression and land your dream job.

2. The right work experience or qualifications
Whether you have undertaken volunteer work, internships or professional jobs, recruiters want to know you have relevant experience. It’s better to highlight short-term positions that perfectly match the requirements of the role than to focus on long-term experience that only partially fits the requirements of the new job you are applying for.

3. Skills that are suitable for the role
Experience is only half the battle. Recruiters want to know that you have the basic skills and certifications needed to do the job, but they are also interested in skills that will help you excel. Whether these are certified hard skills or relevant soft skills, be sure to highlight them.

These relatively simple factors make a great difference to how recruiters view your resume and your job application. Of course, how you present your skills and certifications in your resume is also important.

Presenting Your Strengths and Skills Effectively

The skills section of a resume can be critical for recruiters (and even to the applicant tracking system) so it pays to give it special attention. Listing the right skills and strengths and presenting that list effectively are equally important.

1. Create a defined skills section
Many resumes feature skills sections that are broken out into categories (e.g., “Soft Skills,” “Computer Skills”). As you’ll see from our resume templates, categorizing skills results in resumes that are easy for recruiters to scan, and will quickly give them a good idea of your qualifications as a candidate. Use bullet points to list your skills, aiming for 8-10 major skills.

2. Choose only relevant skills and strengths
While you may be a highly educated person with diverse skills, a resume is supposed to be a snapshot of the qualities that best match you with a specific job. As such, you should only list skills and strengths that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

3. Follow the STAR method to give examples
While it is best to keep your resume brief, giving one or two examples of your most applicable skills in action can be helpful. In your work history section, be sure to follow the STAR method (situation, task, action and result) to give some examples of how you’ve used your top skills.

If you follow all of these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating a great resume and increasing your chances of having a successful job search.


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FAQ: Perfect Resume

Q: Is there a universally perfect resume?

There is no such thing as a universally perfect “one size fits all” resume, but there are individual resumes that are perfect for specific jobs. All you have to do is focus on ensuring that you submit the best resume for the role you are applying for, by paying close attention to what the job requires and matching your skills and experiences to those requirements.

Q: How can I make sure my resume reads well for ATS?

In order to ensure that your resume reads well for ATS, you should make sure you utilize the right keywords throughout your resume, based on keywords you find in the job posting, choose and a straightforward resume layout, including simple and professional fonts.

Q: How can I improve my resume?

If you find resume writing troublesome there are plenty of resources available to help you. For example, use our professional resume templates and resume builder to get you started. We also recommend using action verbs to describe your previous responsibilities and achievements, and short, concise phrases and bullet points to create a vibrant resume.

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