Top 10 Resume Writing Tips

  1. Your resume should be designed to catch the attention of the potential hiring manager, not to explain in detail every aspect of your entire work history.
  2. Define your skill sets without ambiguously describing them. You should tell the reader what you have done with minimal adjectives. Remember that the goal of the resume is to entice the hiring manager into wanting to interview you, not to convince them of the quality of your expertise.
  3. Pick your words carefully. You want to make sure that you include any and all buzzwords that will grab the attention of the reader. Most importantly is the effect of key words on the search ability of the resume in electronic databases. In today’s job market, all resumes get logged in databases and then searched, without the proper key words the resume will never even be seen by potential employers.
  4. Purpose statements. If the resume is being sent directly to an employer, the purpose statement should be written specifically for the job in which you are sending the resume. For resumes being sent to generic job boards or HR departments, these statements should be made as generically as possible. This is the first impression a hiring manager will have of you, and if your purpose statement says you want a job even slightly different than the hiring manager’s position, your resume will be passed over.
  5. Proofread! Have someone else read over the resume and help with looking for grammatical and typographical errors. Nothing will get a resume discarded faster than the impression of carelessness with spelling and grammatical errors.
  6. Use company size appropriate titles. Titles from a smaller firm tend to be higher than that of a larger company. Make sure that your titles match your actual job duties. This could give the false impression of being over-qualified.
  7. Awards grab attention. Be sure to list any award or acknowledgement awarded to you from previous employers as this is the only way to give a potential employer an impression of the quality of your experience.
  8. Avoid time gaps in the resume. Any gaps that are left unexplained leave the reader to come up with their own assumptions.
  9. No more than 2 pages in length. All resumes, no matter how extensive the background, should never exceed 2 pages. Hiring managers like resumes that they can scan at first to get interested but if the resume is too long they will never scan it enough to get interested. If a resume is too long it will only discourage the reader.
  10. Avoid personal information. If it is not relevant to your job experience then leave it out. Hobbies, photos, etc are not pertinent and should be left out of the resume.