10 Resume Writing Tips

Created On: 13 July, 2017 Created By: Amber Travis-Ballinas, Career Coach at Career Creators

The resume is a personal marketing document that provides a compelling reason for the hiring manager to decide if they want to meet with you for an interview -- or not. Without an appropriate resume that contains information that the employer needs you will not secure an interview or the desired position. Studies show that hiring managers spend less than fifteen seconds reviewing a resume before deciding if they will continue reading. If the resume does not include the required content or is not packaged in a professional and user-friendly layout, it will be discarded within a matter of seconds. Your resume is a valuable asset. When you invest time, effort, and focus into creating a targeted document; you are guaranteed the maximum return on your investment.

Follow these ‘10 Resume Writing Tips’ to design an effective resume that includes all the information an employer needs to make the decision to invite you to interview.

1. Keep It Professional Your resume is no place for bright colors, graphics, photos, or quirky e-mail addresses. Include only professional and factual information. Do not include irrelevant or personal information such as your age, marital status, hobbies or anything that refers to political, ethnic, or religious affiliations.

2. Avoid the “one-size fits all” resume. Target your resume for each position. Use key words. Employers want to know exactly what you can do for their company. It is important you tailor each resume to each job. The more targeted your resume is, the better chance you have securing an interview. Change a few words / sentences to do reflect the key words and phrases used in the job description or company profile. All content should be relevant and clearly demonstrates how and why you fit into the company and match the position requirements.

3. Include a profile summary and a list of core competencies at the beginning of the document. Think of this section like the list of ingredients of what makes you uniquely qualified for the position. Make your resume user-friendly and include a profile that summarizes your relevant experience, a list of core skills, and areas of specialization and expertise.

4. Self-Promote. Your resume is a marketing document used to highlight your skills, accomplishments, experience, and capabilities. It is a tool used to ‘sell yourself’ to potential employers. Focus on what you can offer in terms of features and benefits and emphasize the skills and experience that match the job requirements.

5. Highlight accomplishments and tangible results – not duties and responsibilities. Employers only care what you have accomplished that makes money and saves time or money. Provide quantifiable data to demonstrate your ability to create results.

6. Use impactful, descriptive action verbs to explain how you achieved goals, created tangible results, contributed to the bottom line, and made significant improvements positively affecting efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

7. Choose the best format to demonstrate your relevant skills and experience. Depending on your personal circumstances, choose the resume type (a reverse chronological, a functional, or a targeted resume) most appropriate to demonstrate and highlight your knowledge, skills, and experience.

8. Avoid Typos and grammatical errors. Use Spellcheck and have someone proofread your document before sending to an employer. Poor spelling and incorrect grammar usage will automatically disqualify you from consideration. Be sure to spell and grammar-check your documents. Have someone else review them.

9. Be concise. Keep the resume length to 2 pages maximum. (Not including cover letter or references.)

10. Include correct contact information. Include your full name (no nicknames), your personal cell phone number, your email address, and the city where you reside. Also include a link to your professional website or social media profile page.


If you follow these basic resume-writing guidelines, you will significantly increase your chances of being selected for an interview.

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