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Tips for Resume Writing

Having a rock-solid resume is critical to landing any job. It is important that you know what to put on a resume so it does not get thrown into a “no” pile before the hiring manager can review it. 

The following tips will help you create a flawless resume that gets you through the screening process. 

1. Summary: 
Always begin with a professional summary, about 4-5 lines, highlighting your accomplishments and skills.
Your summary is the very first thing an employer reads on your resume, so make sure that the summary is concise and mention hard facts such as industry experience, software knowledge and technical skills. Use terms such as hard-working, motivated, team player, dynamic and strong communication. 

2. Look for keywords in the job posting:
Read each job posting for keywords that show what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate and include those keywords in your resume (where relevant). Many companies use online recruitment tools to sift through resumes. Use LinkedIn’s skills section to find the keywords that are most likely to be used in a company’s search query database. Click on the “More” tab in your LinkedIn profile and enter a type of skill or description into the search box. This will result in a list of related skills that you can use as keywords on your resume.

3. Experience relevant to job posting:
Include only relevant experience in your resume. The hiring manager has to go through several resumes and research shows that they tend to spend only 6 seconds per resume. Keep your resume brief without leaving out key information. Avoid including old or irrelevant information, such as jobs held over 10 years ago. ⠀

4. Numbers that quantify accomplishments:
Your resume should include metrics, for instance, increased sales by 60% within 4 months. Hiring managers are looking for what you have accomplished at work, for example, how many contracts or bids you’ve achieved, the amount of money you saved for the company, a percentage by which you’ve improved efficiency and examples of awards that you have won. When you include these achievements, it serves as a powerful negotiation tool when the topic of salary arises.  

5. Use power words:
Your resume should include active language. Use power words, such as “achieved”, “earned”, “completed” or “accomplished”. It helps keep your description short and powerful. ⠀

6. Pages and format:
The length of your resume depends on a number of factors. It is also based on how much experience you have. If you are an entry-level candidate, you should not have more than one page of your resume. If you are an experienced candidate, you may have a longer resume, ideally two full pages where you can add your experience, technical skills, certifications, and education.

The shorter the resume, the better. You must communicate your most important and relevant information as briefly as possible. For every position that you have held, include two to three bullet points of quantified achievements, if it’s possible to do so. 

Avoid using filler words like “that”, “the”, “a”, or “like”. Moreover, phrases such as “duties included,” or “has experience in,” and “was responsible for” should be avoided because it suggests something that’s already implied.

If your experience is not relevant to the position you are applying for, consider removing them. 

Ensure “content over length”. Recruiters would rather read two well-organized pages of relevant information and consider keeping your font size between 10 – 12 pt.

Choose the best resume format depending on your professional circumstances. Look at templates online to decide what resume format is right for your application, such as reverse-chronological, functional, and combination. It should best fit your work experience, educational background, and skill set. 

7. Certifications and training:
Certificates and extra qualifications demonstrate a passion for the industry and show evidence of specific expertise and skills. Include licenses and certifications, publications, professional affiliations, memberships, and award recognitions. Each certification can potentially make your application more convincing, however, make sure that these certifications are applicable to the position you are applying.

8. Proofread:
This final tip is the most important. Proofread and edit. Go through your resume several times to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Check for repeated words, messy formatting, and contact detail errors. It helps to also ask your friends or family to look at your resume. Once you’ve finished writing, double-check, and then triple-check your resume for small errors. It only takes one mistake for employers to begin doubting your credibility so make sure that you proofread your resume thoroughly. 

Hope these tips help you in finding a job!

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