5 Tips for Resume Writing Success

Resume Tips

It’s all about first impressions. Your resume should capture who you are as a professional. It makes a crucial first impression on your potential new boss and will usually determine whether or not you land that all-important interview.

Your resume needs to provide a summary of your work history, education, credentials, and other accomplishments and skills. A resume should get to the point quickly and be as concise as possible; most recruiters will only spend a minute or two glancing at it. Typically, a resume is one to two pages long and it needs to provide a snapshot of your ability to fill the advertised position you are applying for.

Make sure your resume is saying the right things about you with these tips.

Match the words used in your resume to those used in the job ad.  Many companies will use computer software to scan your resume for relevant information. But – don’t go overboard, a human will eventually read your resume, so will pick up on any overuse.

Language also plays an important role, so ensure you use active words, not passive, for example, “I did” rather than “I was a part of”.

Throughout your resume, focus on your achievements in current or past roles – not your duties.  Make sure you’re highlighting your success at achieving your responsibilities.  Show any awards you’ve received or relevant recognition.

People also love numbers! If you can include facts or figures, like uplift in sales or efficiency increases, this will definitely be noticed. 

Most job ads will list duties and responsibilities as well as skills and experience.  While you should address these in the cover letter, tailoring your resume to include these may increase your chances of remaining a contender during the selection process.

Your resume structure should include the following in order, and be made obvious using subheadings:

  • Name and contact information – including your phone number and email address, and even LinkedIn profile link
  • Summary statement – who you are and what you do
  • Professional experience – in reverse chronological order, that is from most recent experience
  • Education
  • Additional skills and strengths
  • Awards and recognition, and
  • References (optional)

Choose a clean, easy-to-read font such as Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, or Calibri. Keep your font size from 10 to 12 points so that it can be easy to read on a computer or hardcopy. Align your content to the left so it’s easy to skim the page.

Keep your resume short and to the point so it’s easy to follow when an employer takes a glance at it.  Ideally, your resume should range from two to four pages in length.

Don’t include:

  • personal information such as religion, age, or marital status
  • photos or graphics
  • roles more than 10 years ago
  • salary expectations

Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors before you send it off. Use your spellchecker, and have someone else (human) proofread your resume.

 

You might need to test and learn with what to include in your resume, but the main point is to clearly show your prospective employer that you have already undertaken what’s required so you can ‘hit the ground running’ if you successfully gain the position.

 

Once you’re happy with your resume, read through our interview tips to prepare for the next step in landing your dream job.