Resume Writing Best Practices
Improve your resume writing skills with the advice from our recruiters. With over 45 years of combined experience, they have seen it all! Here are some of their key tips to building a strong resume:
1. Analyze job descriptions and industry keywords to attract recruiters who are looking for someone with your experience. Don’t overdo it by highlighting or bolding the keywords. (^^see how annoying that is?)
2. Make sure that your resume looks clean. Use bullet points, sections, and be concise. Make it easier for the recruiter to read, and fully understand your expertise.
3. Although there is no set rule on how long it should be, quality is better than quantity. Make sure that you provide enough detail and examples without going on for 5 pages. It also varies on what point of your career you are at. If you are a recent grad, one page may be enough.
4. With employers receiving hundreds of resumes, make sure that your resume hooks an employer’s attention within a 5-second glance. A great way to do this is to use job titles and skill headings that relate to and match the jobs you want.
5. Skip the objectives. These tend to be repetitive and quite obvious as we all have the same objective: to get a job in our field. Objective statements are unnecessary and may even limit your opportunities.
6. Keep your resume up to date and always have it ready to send in case an opportunity presents itself.
7. If there are any gaps in your resume, be prepared to talk about them if necessary. Don’t explain them on your resume unless they are relevant to the job. Were you volunteering? Were you taking a class?
8. Remember, resumes are intended to show off the highlights of your career and training, not to be an autobiography. When detailing projects, positions or experience avoid using words like I, my and we.
9. When listing your current and past employers, don’t explain what the company specializes in. Simply detail your experience and accomplishments. If the interviewer is interested, they will ask, which can then lead to interesting conversation.
10. Under the education section, you can detail your major, courses, and projects if they are relevant to the position or industry. Be sure to write out the name of the course, don’t just say “ACC 200”. This information is vague and useless to the recruiter if they don’t know which course it is.
11. Talk numbers! Many times people have great accomplishments, but fail to communicate just how great they were. Instead of saying “Managed budget successfully”, say “Managed a $1 million budget, and reduced costs by 10%”.
12. It’s acceptable and encouraged to have several versions of your resume. Resumes are bendable, flexible instruments that you can use to your professional advantage. Make it fit and relate to the job you are applying for.
Check out a variety of resume samples according to your industry to guide you in the process. These will help you get started, but don’t forget to make it your own for it to stand out from the rest.