44 Resume Writing Tips
Your Resume is Your Introduction to the Employer
You will have better results when applying for a job you really want if you have a well-written and effective resume. It is your introduction to the human resources manager of the company you would like to work for. How can you be assured that your resume is of excellent quality and represents your abilities in the best light? You can find a few websites with limited tips but they are scarce. Here, we have gathered all the best tips for you to read conveniently in one place. We offer the following 44 resume-writing tips to enhance your introduction to all companies.
1. Your Resume Introduces You to the Employer
Do not write your resume as if it was for the sole purpose of landing a job. If you compile a long, boring, laundry list of your employment history and qualifications, it will make you appear desperate. What you want to achieve is an introduction to your abilities and personality that will encourage the HR manager to give you an interview. In person, you have a better chance of getting the job.
2. Back Up Your Qualities and Strengths
Rather than writing the information in list form that details your qualifications, instead relate some real-life, on-the-job experiences you have had. If you are creative, disciplined, and know how to prioritize, connect those facts to the jobs you held in the past. Be specific about what you have done to exhibit your abilities.
3. Be Sure to Include the Correct Keywords
Keywords come into play when companies search for potential candidates to employ. They use digital databases to look for the right person for the job. The HR manager runs searches in those databases using specific keywords that relate to the position. You may be highly qualified, yet overlooked because you do not come up in the search results. Those keywords are usually nouns.
4. Use Effective Titles
The employer may be going through a stack of resumes. They will make a judgment that is likely based on your opening paragraph. Your title must grab the attention of your potential employer in five seconds. Scanning the page, the titles will either be interesting or not. If they are, it will encourage them to read to the end.
A title should be descriptive. Consider the following:
Bad title: Graphic Arts Department
Good title: Team Leader in Graphic Arts Department
5. Proofread It At Least Twice
It is not that perfection in punctuation, grammar, and spelling are the most important of your skills. However, if those things are not 100 percent perfect, it presents you in a very bad light. Imagine what the HR manager will think your day to day work will be like if you do not even care enough to send a meticulously executed resume. Proofread it twice. Ask a friend to proofread it. Read it out loud and then proofread it one last time before mailing it.
6. Use Bullet Points
To make the resume pop and easy to scan by the HR manager, use bullet points. Shorter sentences are good for detailing your education and employment history. List some of your most productive work experiences and what you aspire to do in the future.
7. What Do You Aspire To Be?
When you list professional goals, it lets the employer know you are not going to sit in one position. You are going to be someone with ideas and goals who can contribute more than the basic tasks involved with the job. Do not be afraid to express the passion you have for your chosen field. Most HR managers would prefer an animated employee who truly cares about the position they are applying for.
8. Important Information Comes First
This will result in an orderly progression of facts. Past jobs should be listed in chronological order. In many cases, work experience is the primary concern. List your skills by putting the best ones at the top of the list.
9. Typography Should Be Standard
Use a font size that is comfortable for the average person to read. Twelve points is optimal. Never capitalize a whole word or a title. Arial and Times are excellent font choices. Your goal is good communication to encourage the HR manager to invite you in for an interview. Well-written communication usually indicates good oral communication, a very attractive skill.
10. Do Not Make Useless Statements
Never state obvious facts. The employer knows you are available for an interview or that you have references to present. It's like saying, I will wear a business suit rather than jeans and a T-shirt to the interview. Of course! That goes without saying.
11. Explain How Your Skills Will Benefit the Company
Explain how your experience and skills will be a valuable addition to the company. Describe one of your former job duties and explain how you completed that task and how you will hone that skill in the company if hired.
12. Negativity Should Not Be Included
Negative information about yourself or a past employer will not benefit you. You will only make a bad impression. If you disliked your last boss, keep that fact to yourself. If you felt that you were superior to your co-workers, do not mention that in your resume.
13. List Achievements Instead of Responsibilities
Always describe professional achievements rather than responsibilities. A prospective employer will expect you to fulfill your basic responsibilities. Achievements, on the other hand, are above and beyond the things you are required to do. Resumes that include the things that were in addition to responsibilities are more interesting.
14. Do Not Send Pictures
Unless you are applying for a position as a model or actor, do not include a picture in your resume. The employer is not judging a beauty contest but is looking for a solid, well-educated professional to fill the position. You can be a striking blond or plain, well-groomed individual as long as you can handle the job.
15. Say It With Numbers
When you describe your professional achievements, do it as solidly as you can by using numbers. Instead of relating that you increased the annual revenue in your department, detail the amount or percentage of that increase. Numbers are an objective statement of what you accomplished.
16. Individualize Your Resume for Each Employer
Some people create a one-size-fits-all resume and send it to all the companies they are applying to. It is far better to create a unique version to fit the parameters of the position you are hoping to fill. It is not a waste of time. You can replicate the facts about previous employment and educational histories. Simply stress the facts that are related to the specific job at each company. Do this on your cover letters as well.
17. Show that You Understand the Company's Problems
You may want to let a specific employer know that you are aware of problems within their company. Show that you have an understanding of the company and the industry it is part of. Be sure to address how your particular skills will help resolve those issues.
18. Age Discrimination Can Be Avoided
Employers are required by law not to discriminate against applicants for a variety of reasons. Some examples are race, religion, sex, or ethnicity. The law states that age cannot be a factor. However, employers cannot entirely set aside their prejudices. Get judged by your merits alone. Do not include your age on the resume. Why risk being passed over for an interview because you are a few years too old or too young?
19. Omit Some of Your Work Experiences
You may have had that one job in your early working years that did not receive your best effort. Flipping hamburgers on the floor rather than on the plate at the age of sixteen is irrelevant. It is not important in view of your current professional status.
20. Use What You Have
You may have little, relevant work experience. Therefore, include any volunteer work that you have done. If you have not finished earning a degree, mention the one you are pursuing. Include the title, such as Accounting, and when you expect to graduate. If you have finished four years of a five-year CPA degree, it may be related to the position you are applying for. If you have been accepted into the major, it means your grades are good.
21. Sell Yourself
You are the attractive product to market to potential employers. If you have it, do not be afraid to flaunt it a little. Show your suitability for the position and all the qualities you possess to show you are a candidate who outshines the others.
22. Do Not Add Irrelevant Personal Information
Political affiliation, religion, and/or sexual preference have no place in a professional resume. These are factors an employer is restricted from considering in evaluating you for a job.
23. Use Mr. and Ms. When Appropriate
Your name may be Sydney or Alex so you should include the Mr. or Ms. prefix to alert the HR manager of your gender. It is not a factor in your suitability. It is simply a courtesy to avoid confusing the employer.
24. No Lies On Your Resume
It goes without saying that you should not lie on your resume. However, there are numerous people who do. Even if you do not consider it wrong, consider that you are likely to be caught. HR departments usually do a background check. Your integrity on your resume is what an employer expects from you as an employee. Your credibility is at stake, so do not lie.
25. The Resume Should Match the Salary
We hear of people being rejected for a job because they are overqualified. You may think you will have the advantage due to your credentials. In some cases, it will work against you. It is difficult to gauge the expectations the company has with the salary they are offering.
26. Analyze Job Ads
If you read all the employment ads for the industry that the company you are applying to is in, you will find useful information to use in crafting an impressive resume. Try to identify what they are looking for in the person to fill their position.
27. Get Someone You Trust to Review Your Resume
You may be an excellent writer but you cannot be reasonably objective when it comes to analyzing your own work. Find a friend who is not going to going to flatter but will offer you constructive criticism. You may even want to find a second opinion. The individuals you ask to critique your resume should be impartial.
28. Length of Resume
When crafting your resume, keep it under two pages in length. HR mangers and employers consider one or two pages the ideal length. If one page can hold all pertinent information, it is sufficient. Never add extraneous details just to fill space. It will be obvious to the employer reading it. Generally, the shorter your resume is the better.
29. Use Action Verbs
Job applicants are advised to use action verbs when writing a resume. An action verb is one that describes what someone did. Examples are solicited, promoted, publicized, and recruited. They showcase your educational and work experiences. Communication is key to a successful resume. You might say you were educated, someone referred you, or you were promoted.
30. Use a Good Printer
You may be sending your resume over the Internet. But if you are mailing hard copies, make sure to use a printer that gives your document a professional look. Use plain white paper and a laser printer for the best results.
31. Hobbies Do Not Belong On a Resume
Hobbies are off-topic on a professional resume. Regardless of your pride in an amateur sports team or scrapbooking skill, discuss them on your own time. Potential employers want to focus on the skills that make you a suitable candidate for the position.
32. Update Your Resume Regularly
Your resume may need to be updated from time to time. Add any courses, training programs, or other academic achievements earned since you created it. Not everyone will have to do this. However, if you have accomplished something recently, you should include them.
33. Mention Who You Worked With
If you worked directly under a high-ranking executive or someone well-known in the industry, it would be to your benefit to mention them in your resume. This could be someone in charge of your department or the company vice president.
34. No Scattered Information
Your resume should follow a logical sequence of education and employment. It is not beneficial to have been an art or a math major and then received a degree in history. The way you progressed should be towards the goal of a position in the industry you are applying for. You want to represent yourself as someone who is decisive and will bring that quality to the company.
35. Make Sure that the Resume Has Adequate White Space
If the amount of information is too extensive to fit on one sheet of paper, allow it to continue on a second page. It should appear organized and easy to read. A pleasant appearance is going to be noticeable even before the employer begins to read it. If it looks sloppy, you have one strike against you before they even read your name.
36. List All Your Positions and/or Promotions
You may have worked for a number of years at the same company. This is admirable and even more so if you have received a series of promotions during your employment. You can mention any special projects you were assigned to work on. Elucidate the many responsibilities you had while working there.
37. No Jargon or Slang
There is no place for jargon or slang on a professional resume. Do not use fancy words for the purpose of impressing the HR manager with your literary prowess. If an impressive word fits into a sentence without disturbing the natural flow, by all means use it. Do not build a sentence around a word you want to show off with. It will be obvious to most employers who read it.
38. Be Careful with Sample Resume Templates
You may be tempted to use one of the free resume templates. It is useful to look at them for ideas on how to set up your resume. However, you should not produce a resume that is set up like ten others and, obviously, not your original format. It is preferable to stand out in the crowd of applicants then blend in with them.
39. Create Email-Proof Formatting
It is common to submit your resume to companies by email. Your Word Document should be perfectly formatted and sent as an attachment. Attachments are sometimes blocked by spam filters. Some companies ask that the resume be sent in the body of an email. This way they don't have to open it as an attachment. You will need a text version of the resume that will fit comfortably in an email. It must look as neatly formatted as the original Word Document.
40. Remove your Older Work Experiences
You may have an extensive list of jobs if you have been working for twenty or more years. If so, you do not have to list them all. You should go back for a maximum of fifteen years. Select the ones where you did some of your best work. Leave out that one where the boss did not really appreciate you.
41. Fancy Designs are Inappropriate
Use white paper. Do not use a color, however good it looks. Do not use a font that looks like calligraphy or add a designed border. It will offend a businessperson in many cases. The HR manager might toss it in the wastebasket for being inappropriate.
42. No Pronouns
Do not write from the first person's perspective. No resume should include the pronouns I or me. The fact that it is a resume indicates that it is about you. Therefore, using pronouns is redundant.
43. Don't Forget the Basics
Your name should appear before anything else on your resume. Type it in a larger font than in the following text in bold letters. Your contact information should also be clear. If you have a second page, your name and contact details should be included on that page as well.
44. Consider Getting Professional Resume-Writing Help
If you have any doubts that you can produce a professional looking resume, hire a professional writer to do it for you. If you are being ignored by the companies you are sending resumes to, it may be beneficial to have it prepared professionally. It is a valuable investment in your future.