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8 Resume Writing Tips for 2022
Are you sitting down to write your resume for a 2022 job search and you’re not quite sure where to start? No worries—I can help. Every year I put together a list of my top resume writing tips. It includes the tips, strategies, techniques, and trends that will be most effective in helping you in your job search in the coming year. This year’s list includes eight different practical strategies with examples and lots of actionable advice that you can implement right away. I’ve included strategies for writing better accomplishment bullets and giving your resume more “wow” and impact, and I’ve also pointed out lots of things you definitely want to avoid. My favorite is the list of 10 cringeworthy words that repel recruiters. Check out this year’s list of eight resume writing tips for 2022.
2022 Resume Writing Tip #1: Answer These 5 Questions Before You Start
Before sitting down to update your resume, ask yourself the following five questions. They’ll help you to zero in on what matters as you write about your accomplishments and focus on the future role you’re targeting.
What role am I targeting?
Your resume needs to be geared towards one specific position. Employers want to hire specialists, not generalists.
What companies am I targeting?
Knowing the type of company you are targeting helps to narrow down your research and be more specific in your writing. You can speak to the company’s pain points when you’ve researched them and know what they need.
What challenges are they facing?
Write resume bullets that show you’ve faced and overcome similar challenges. Include the results.
What skills are critical to success?
The answer to this question tells you exactly what keywords and hard skills you need to include on your resume. If you don’t know where to look, start by searching for the position on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will give you the top 15 skills/keywords needed for the role.
How do I add value?
Your resume must show how you can add value in a way that means something to the employer. Focus on accomplishments that will resonate with the company you’re targeting and meet their needs.
2022 Resume Writing Tip #2: Write to the Future
Before updating your resume, make sure you’re positioning yourself correctly for the job you’re targeting. That’s why the above questions are so critical to your success.
Your experience, achievements, and qualifications are all a part of your resume but equally important is what information you include, how, where, and why—all of which are based on your goals for your next career move.
When you write your resume, you’re not just writing about your past. You’re writing to the future. You’re positioning yourself for your next career move.
A resume is not a historical career narrative. It’s a marketing tool. The content on your resume needs to point to where you want to be, not simply where you are right now.
To do this:
- Review job postings to gather data and insights. Where do you have related skills, experiences, or educational qualifications?
- Identify your top skills that match the opportunities that you’re interested in.
- Reweight your skills and accomplishments. Put the emphasis on the professional, technical, and academic skills that align with your goal for your next career move.
- When you write about your accomplishments, give a prominent position to those that are relevant to the role you’re targeting now.
- Integrate critical keywords, specifically the professional, technical, and academic hard skills that are essential to the role you’re targeting.
- Do not be vague in your objective. I don’t even recommend including an objective on your resume. Instead put the target position title at the top of your resume in bold. It’s specific and leaves no question about the role you want.
2022 Resume Writing Tip #3: Avoid Cringeworthy Words
One of the quickest ways you can improve your resume is to replace passive language with active language. This top-ten list of cringeworthy words and phrases includes mostly passive phrases or terms that don’t show the employer the value and contribution you can make, thereby lessening the impact of your resume on hiring managers. If you want your resume to make a good first impression, swap out these useless words with more meaningful alternatives.
- Demonstrated success in . . .
- Proven results . . .
- Excellent communication skills
- Responsible for . . .
- Duties included
- Worked with / served as
And lastly, I strongly advise that you use this term with caution: team player. Studies have shown that including the phrase—or its synonyms—once in your resume is okay, but to use it or similar phrases more than once can actually give employers a negative impression.
What Words and Phrases to Use Instead
Instead of “demonstrated success in” or “proven results ,” show the employer the results using data, numbers, and metrics. You can do this by writing bulleted statements about your accomplishments using the CAR formula.
CAR stands for Challenge, Action, Result.
Share the challenge that you faced, the action you took to address the challenge, and the data/numbers that go with the result. This provides proof to the employer of the value you can add and is much more specific than saying you have proven results.
The same goes for using the term successful, success, results-oriented, or results-driven. Instead of using these vague terms, simply tell the story of the results you’ve achieved using the CAR formula.
Replace the phrases “excellent communication skills” and “team player” with examples of how you’ve used your communication skills and how you’ve been a team player. Words that can help you lead into these examples might be “influenced,” “empowered,” “negotiated,” “advocated,” “advised,” or “enabled.” You always want to show—not tell. Paint a picture for the employer of what you’ve achieved in the past by giving them examples just like you would in an interview.
Instead of the phrases “responsible for” and “duties included,” focus on sharing accomplishments. Look at the job description you’re applying to. What are the main requirements of the role? Contract negotiation? Budget management?
Replace “responsible for budget management” with “managed $3M annual budget.” That way you’re showing the employer not just what you can do, but you’re giving them concrete examples of what you have done.
“Seasoned” and “accomplished” are two very overused resume phrases that are often interpreted negatively. These terms can be construed as over-experienced, out-of-date, or worse, implicit age bias takes over and the candidate is assumed to be too old. I’m not condoning this, and I rather abhor that it even exists, but I bring it up because it’s out there, it happens, and I see it way too often. So, until things change and companies come up with progressive ways to guard against bias in the hiring process, safeguard your resume by avoiding these terms.
It’s more effective to discuss the areas you’re experienced in, listing industries, hard skills, functions of the role, professional or technical skills, academic credentials, etc. These terms are specific and communicate with more clarity than a general statement like seasoned sales executive or accomplished professional. Both of which I see on a great deal of resumes but which tell me little about who you are or what you’re capable of doing.
I’m also not a fan of “worked with” or “served as.” Both are passive terms. If you collaborated on a project or headed the budget committee, be specific about who you worked with and what you accomplished as part of your work with them.
Improve Your Resume with Action Verbs
Action verbs are one of the quickest and easiest ways you can improve your resume. Starting each bullet with an action verb not only communicates achievement, action, etc., but it also opens the sentence to lead right into the challenge you faced and the result you achieved. It’s hard to start a sentence with “transformed,” “increased,” or “achieved” without following it up with something specific, measurable, and relevant.
You can download a complete list of 170+ action verbs and high-impact phrases for your resume here . It’s a free PDF that I created to help you sharpen your resume, remove overused phrases, and convey your performance and achievements to potential employers.
2022 Resume Writing Tip #4: Write Better Accomplishment Bullets
The number one challenge I hear from job seekers when it comes to writing their resumes is how much they struggle to write about their accomplishments.
Being able to tell your story to potential employers in a way that conveys what you’re capable of achieving is not easy.
Most people struggle to write about themselves. To help you make the process of writing about accomplishments easier, there’s a formula that I encourage you to use (and that I mentioned in the above tip as well). It’s called the CAR formula and it stands for Challenge, Action, Result.
- Start with an action verb that describes the steps you took to resolve a specific problem or challenge. (For a downloadable list of 170+ action verbs and high-impact phrases you can use visit this page. )
- Describe the challenge you faced using industry-specific keywords. Think professional, technical, and academic hard skills.
- Share the quantifiable or measurable results of the action you took to resolve the problem that you faced.
If you’re struggling to find quantifiable data that you can use, try comparing and contrasting past and present performance—either your own, a competitor’s, or the company’s previous numbers.
Ask yourself questions like how much, how many, when, before/after, to what end . . . these questions will help you discover data you can use.
2022 Resume Writing Tip #5: Give the Reader Context
Providing the reader with background information will help them to understand and appreciate your accomplishments. It simply makes your achievements even more impressive.
You could say that you increased annual revenue 32% but when you give the situation context:
Increased annual revenue 32%, in spite of the 2020 economic downturn.
Now, the reader can understand the depth of the accomplishment and how truly impactful it was.
It’s also a good idea to let them know if you were recruited into a role for a specific reason. Perhaps you were recruited into the role to reverse declining sales, improve company culture, or revamp the operational processes. Add meaning and impact to your resume by sharing the context of the situation that existed when you were brought on board.
2022 Resume Writing Tip #6: Give Your Resume More Wow
We’ve all been there . . . the place where you want employers to read your resume and say “Wow.” But what exactly is a wow factor and how do you give your resume a striking wow factor ? Your wow factor is the most important, impressive, and valuable information about you as a candidate. It’s the top two or three things you want the employer to immediately know about you so they’ll be impressed and keen to learn more.
Your wow factor is part of your personal brand. It’s what distinguishes you from other similarly qualified candidates. It must be prominent throughout your resume, especially at the top so that it won’t be missed and will instantly put your best foot forward.
Your wow factor or personal brand statement must include a few specific elements to ensure it’s memorable and impressive.
It must be specific. Your wow factor must tell about what you’ve achieved, not what you were responsible for or might have done. Include quantifiable or measurable data, if possible.
Here’s an example of a vague statement:
- Responsible for contract closings and revenue growth.
Here’s an example of a specific statement:
- Grew contract closings 68% and increased gross revenue 40% for 2019.
It needs to show action. The easiest way to do this is to replace passive language like “responsible for” and “duties included” with action verbs like “grew,” “developed,” “pioneered,” or “transformed.”
You can download a list of 170+ resume action verbs to help you craft better resume bullets here.
Where to Include Your Wow Factor
You can include wow content throughout your resume. It can go anywhere, but here are a few specific places to include it:
I’ve never been a big fan of a bland, generic resume summary. I’m a huge proponent of what I call a career snapshot. It’s basically a snapshot of two to three of your wow statements. The most impressive and noteworthy information about you as a candidate. It gives readers a quick glance at what you’ve accomplished.
I recommend limiting it to two to three wow statements for your summary. You don’t want to overdo it, but you also want to grab the reader’s attention and impress them. Alternatively, you can include one wow statement at the top of your resume as part of your personal branding statement and then add one or two into your summary. That way you’re giving them three memorable pieces of data about the value you can create.
When writing your wow statements, be concise. It’s easy to be verbose, it’s harder to say what you mean in the fewest words possible. However, fewer words make a bigger impact. You’re giving them a quick snapshot of content—you’re not giving them the full story quite yet. You can go into the details further down in the work experience section of your resume.
Don’t forget to incorporate hard skills. These are the industry-specific keywords that hiring managers will be scanning your resume for, and including them in your wow statements is a great way to capture attention.
Here are three examples of wow statements we used on a client’s resume who was a CEO, board member, and chairman.
✓ Transformed the MRC Companies’ operating model into a technology-enabled global contact services company with 30 locations in 7 countries.
✓ Defined the strategies to grow revenue from $20M to $400M+ and EBITDA from $500K to $42M+.
✓ Co-founded and built a dedicated customer service business model that reached 3K employees in 3 years.
Instead of listing out the responsibilities for the role, jump straight into your top accomplishment in the position. You’re immediately conveying success in the role when you start with your top achievement.
I recommend including at least two to three major wins under each role. If you’re struggling to come up with impressive content for a certain role, ask yourself when you have been first or best in relation to the role. You can also think about the number one thing you achieved in the position. Make these answers to these two questions your first two to three bullets.
Here are examples of bullets from the same CEO client’s resume under the experience section:
- Established a value-added board of directions that were fully aligned with the mission and vision of the organization and primed to take the business into the future.
- Produced consistent gains across NPS and customer service, sales conversion, and quality with a largely Fortune 500 client base.
- Navigated the sale of the organization to a private equity group—creating a successful exit for investors with a return of 3.5x investment.
Education, Honors, Awards
I recommend including honors and awards at the top of your resume if they’re relevant to the role you’re targeting. We’ve worked with many sales executives who were recognized in President’s Club but had never included this at the forefront of their resume. Prominently position your honors and awards. If you have a collection of accolades, create a section to show them off. It can be a powerful wow factor to impress hiring managers. Employers love hiring winners.
If you’re seeking a role that requires an MBA or certain type of degree or certification, don’t bury the information at the bottom of your resume. Reference it at the top of your resume, then give the details in the education section at the end of your resume or in a separate technical skills section if you’re in a tech-related field.
Additional Wow Information to Consider
Other content that might be relevant to include on your resume that would be impressive for hiring managers to see:
- Media mentions
- High-profile clients
- Board positions
- Public speaking engagements
- Special affiliations
If you’re struggling to uncover content for your wow statements here are some questions to help you get started:
- When have I contributed to a business’s success? What were the results?
- How have I been publicly recognized? What do people come to me for?
- Which of my accomplishments have quantifiable data?
- Have I turned around a difficult situation or made a failure into a success?
- What am I most proud of in this role?
- What am I most proud of in my career?
For examples of resumes written with personal branding and wow factor statements, head over to our resume samples page on our website. There you’ll find examples of client resumes that we’ve created that include wow statements.
2022 Resume Writing Tip #7: Be Specific
It’s really easy to use the words “accomplished” and “proven track record.” The problem is that these overused words are generalities that do not provide credible or distinctive information to a prospective employer.
Here’s an example of bullets that are specific:
- Boosted employee satisfaction 15% despite headcount reductions—transformed the team culture with renewed focus on training and professional development while breaking down barriers and silos.
- Produced $4M in annual cost savings—deep dived into cost and risk assessment to balance the area’s cost and risk profile and devise forward-action strategies.
This resume is for an accomplished vice president of operations, but now we have a clearer picture of what she’s accomplished and how. Two things that will distinguish her from other candidates.
When you’re tempted to use phrases like “accomplished,” “results-driven,” or “proven track record,” instead, stop and gather the data about your accomplishments, results, and track record and share that information instead. It will have more meaning and impact on hiring managers—which means you’ll get more interviews.
2022 Resume Writing Tip #8: Avoid Common Pitfalls
Before I wrap up this post, I want to touch on a few common resume mistakes that I see repeated on far too many resumes.
Write in first person without the use of “I” statements. Resume writing is a form of concise writing. It’s written in implied first person. You get the personal tone without the “I” statements. So instead of writing “I directed the hiring practices for three major Fortune 500 companies,” you would say “Directed hiring practices for three Fortune 500 companies.” It’s an abbreviated form of writing.
Proofread your resume. Use Grammarly and get a wordsmith friend to review your resume or—even better—hire a professional copyeditor to proof your documents. You do not want to send off a resume that includes grammar or spelling errors.
I’ve talked a lot about overused phrases in this post. That’s because it’s serious and a resume killer. Avoid overused terms and opt for high-impact phrases instead.
Leave out objective statements. They’re outdated and useless. A generic objective will not tell the hiring manager why they should interview you over another candidate. Instead, show them what you’re able to accomplish.
Don’t use the phrase “team player” more than once. It’s overkill and recent studies have shown it can have a detrimental effect on your chances for an interview. Most employers want to hire team players. Instead use an accomplishment statement to show them you’re a team player vs. using the phrase “team player.”
Soft skills are important so don’t forget to include them. I’m not advising you to list excellent communication skills front and center on your resume. However, employers are finally catching on to how critical EI is in the workplace. Share the soft skill within the context of an accomplishment. Then you’re knocking out two birds with one stone. If you incorporate each of these strategies into your resume, you’ll have a strong and effective marketing tool for your job search.
Thanks for reading! Want more job search and resume tips? Check out these 6 free resources on my website that have helped more than 25,000 job seekers land their next job.
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About the author
Jessica hernandez, president, ceo & founder of great resumes fast.
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
Great advice! As a Career Coach, I constantly seek out the latest and greatest information regarding resume writing. Much gratitude for your experienced suggestions. Best regards.
Thank you for more information about the tips of resume……..
Thank you for pointing out that it’s a good idea to be specific when writing up your resume. I’ve been thinking it’s time to update my resume. It’s been a while and I don’t really know where to start, so I’ll be sure to use your advice.
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How to Write a Resume in 2023 That Gets Results
A new year always brings with it new changes and the hiring market is no exception. Writing a resume in 2022 requires a different approach to previous years for a number of reasons.
If you are looking for a new job this year, a refreshed resume is a must. This is true no matter when and why you’re re-entering the job market. However, if a long period of time has passed since your last application, it’s a good idea to get up-to-date with the latest trends .
This article explains what your resume should include in 2022. It looks in detail at all tips and tricks you’ll need to keep your profile relevant and to navigate some of the new quirks of the hiring process in this new decade.
Use a Resume Statement Instead of An Objective
Resume Objectives were once the mainstay of successful resumes. However, times change and fashions wane. An objective simply doesn’t pack the same punch that it used to in the past.
Indeed, it’s out with objectives and instead in with Resume Statements .
A resume statement differs from an objective as it focuses more on where you’ve been rather than where you’re going. It provides a quick summary of the candidate and allows you to signpost some of your most impressive features front and center.
Objectives differ slightly from this as they examine your goals and explain why you’re eager to get the job. This can have some value, especially if you’re a more inexperienced candidate. However, it focuses too much on what you want rather than the needs of the company .
A summary statement, on the other hand, gives the recruiter the information they want and need upfront . It details the most important work you’ve done, your background and one or two noteworthy skills that you have.
Optimize Your Document for Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence’s role in the hiring process is very much a fact of life in today’s world. According to Forbes, around 98% of Fortune 500 companies and 75% of employers self-report using Applicant Tracking Software (ATS).
When you write your resume, you must prepare for the fact that it will be assessed by an algorithm before it even reaches a human hiring manager. If you fail to optimize properly you will get cut from the process immediately.
There are only a few important tricks to beating ATS , these include:
- Using a good number (but not too many) keywords on the page
- Avoiding spelling and grammar mistakes
- Not cluttering the template with custom graphics and fonts
- Submitting your document in the right file format
It’s because of this many of our templates are designed the way they are. They have been created to get around these filters and to be easily machine-readable . They also can be downloaded in optimized PDF and .TXT formats to give you the best chance of getting to the interview stage.
Keep The Template Design Clean and Simple
As we’ve just seen, keeping things simpler is important. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add a little touch of flair to the design.
The critical thing to remember is that less is more . You shouldn’t overdesign the document as this will make it harder to read and could also make it harder for machines to process.
Some of the best tips to follow include:
- Using neutral colors
- Writing in size 12 text
- Choosing an easy-to-read font like Times New Roman or Arial
- Balancing the text-to-white-space ratio
- Sticking to 1-2 pages in length
- Replacing long paragraphs with bullet-point lists
Show off Your Most Up-To-Date Certifications
If 2022 is the year that you finally go for your ideal job, adding some of your new and improved skills will be essential . As workers, we’re always developing and in some industries not having the right and most recent certifications can be a real set-back.
This will be especially important if you work in a technology-driven industry like IT, Web Development or if you have a career in public health or pharmaceuticals. These sectors need candidates to show that they’ve been keeping up with development trends and new discoveries.
Make sure examples of these appear in the resume’s education section . If possible, ensure to show that they are in date and fully cover the necessities of the job at the present time. You may need to provide evidence of these certifications later.
KPIs are the not-so-hidden gems of an effective resume. When you’re applying for a new job remember to back all your work experience and skills up with evidence.
Writing KPIs on your resume is a particularly important step to quantifying your performance over the years. These will show the employer reading your document how your abilities turned into measurable results .
This can be either as percentages, revenue numbers or simply numbers of units made or sold. However, they need to be on the page if you want to see results from your document.
As you can see, building a resume for the 2022 job market is about smaller optimizations rather than a grand overhaul. However, putting time, as well as care and attention to your document is worthwhile in the long run.
ResumeCoach can help you take some of the effort and time out of creating an amazing personal profile. Choose from optimized templates and take advantage of user-friendly design tools to take your application to the next level.
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Experts warn never put this on your résumé—regardless of what job you’re applying for
It’s hard to find a workplace norm the pandemic hasn’t upended. It’s increasingly rare for white-collar workers to go into the office five days a week. The definition of “workwear” is up for debate. Job-hopping no longer sets off alarm bells. And, as of right now, it’s decidedly a job seeker’s market .
But while change is everywhere in the workplace, there’s one holdout that hasn’t been updated during these unprecedented times: the résumé.
There’s no shortage of advice and services to help people condense—or in some cases expand—their work experience into a single document. Googling “how to write a résumé” yields 3.98 billion results. Even pre-pandemic, it was difficult to write a résumé. It can be hard to know where to start, and that question may feel more urgent for recent college graduates , whose relevant work experience might be short—or nonexistent.
New grads shouldn’t worry too much, says Jim Beirne, a career center adviser at Washington University in St. Louis: “The students have had such strange experiences over the past couple years, they can’t really appreciate [the strong job market].” A lack of in-person experience isn’t going to stop employers from snapping up fresh talent. But a bad résumé might.
Back to basics
The good news for entry-level employees: Résumé best practices are pretty straightforward, regardless of what kind of job you’re applying for.
Marc Cenedella, founder of Leet Résumés , a résumé writing service, gives every young person he works with three tips for putting together a résumé.
1. The simpler, the better
No matter how artistically inclined you are, you shouldn’t opt for a busy, complicated format. Stick with one column; avoid photos (including headshots), colors, or bar charts; and use a default font like Arial or Times New Roman, Cenedella advises. A résumé is not the place to show off your creativity.
2. Spare the details
Don’t include lots of information that’s irrelevant to the job you’re applying for. “Sure, you’ve got hobbies, interests, languages, favorite bands, and ambitions,” Cenedella says. “But keep the information that doesn’t address your ability to be responsible, accountable, and a hard worker to a reasonable level.”
3. Be honest.
Don’t fudge your college major or minor, any of your certifications or degrees, or relevant work experience. “One of the few things employers check is to confirm the name and date of your degree,” he says.
Cenedella references one famous example: In 2012, Scott Thompson stepped down as CEO of Yahoo after just four months when it was uncovered that he lied about majoring in computer science in college, when he actually majored in accounting.
“The résumé is no place for wishful thinking,” Cenedella says.
The most frequent mistakes
While résumés are fairly straightforward documents, it’s still easy to screw them up.
Beth Hendler-Grunt, founder of the career coaching service Next Great Step , can rattle off a list of errors she sees new grads make time and again. You don’t need to include totally irrelevant high school experiences. Don’t forget to include your email at the top—and it better be professional, with your first and last name. This is not the place for your BTSforever55@ or RaiderzFan74@.
Some of Hendler-Grunt’s best practices are more granular. She advises against saying “responsible for” at the beginning of each sentence—as in, “I’m responsible for the office filing system.” Instead, use past-tense action verbs, like “built,” “created,” or “developed,” like, “I developed a filing system that streamlined the office organizational flow.”
Don’t forget to triple-check grammar and spelling. And when listing out education—particularly if you don’t have much work experience—flesh out what you accomplished in your classes, and how they’ve prepared you for the working world.
If you didn’t have any internships, Hendler-Grunt says, focus on what you did do. “Many people don’t have internships, but you had to have done something,” she says. “Was it a club, babysitting, a class project, or just something to fill your time? Find the story behind the skills you have.”
That said, leave most of the storytelling to the cover letter. “Your résumé and cover letter shouldn’t look the same; that’s pointless,” Christine Cruzvergara, chief education strategy officer at Handshake , a career network for recent grads, tells Fortune. “Your résumé should show your breadth of experience while your cover letter shows depth.”
While the exact line-by-line format can vary, Cruzvergara sets some ground rules. “Your résumé should very clearly highlight your education and work experience, and then experiences that are relevant to whatever industry you’re trying to break into,” she says. “It’s OK if that experience is just from volunteering or a class project. What’s important is using action verbs to show what you accomplished.”
The students Cruzvergara work with often underplay their non-job experiences. “They think they’ve only worked in retail or babysat,” she says. “But the reality is, those experiences have so many transferable skills.”
Finding advice on social media
Companies might be hiring more new grads this year , but college students and recent grads still may be feeling equal parts directionless and restless.
“I think they’re just confused and following what their friends do,” Hendler-Grunt says. “That’s the challenge of this demographic. They don’t want to listen to their parents. And why should they? Often their parents are too far out of the game.”
Hendler-Grunt has found success reaching a younger audience where they are: on TikTok. She regularly posts videos like “3 Reasons Why Your Résumé Isn’t Getting Noticed” and “4 Tips to Prepare for a Virtual Interview,” in an effort to connect with young people and set the record straight about the most effective ways to find a job.
@next_great_step Resume Revamp: The 3 reasons your resume is not getting noticed! #resumetips #resumehelp #resume #resumerevamp #careercoach #nextgreatstep ♬ original sound – beth
Hendler-Grunt is still getting used to TikTok, where she has to truncate her detailed thoughts and recommendations to fit the form. But she hopes the videos keep her viewers from submitting a garish, out-of-touch résumé—whether or not they ever click follow.
The job market might be hot, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t competition for the top jobs. Sure, it’s a little old-fashioned that hiring managers are still relying on these one-sheets when deciding whether to set up an interview with a potential candidate (and some companies are trying to do away with them altogether ). But a good résumé can help you get your foot in the door. Next step will be nailing that video interview.
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This article is part of Money's January 2022 digital cover, which features 22 ways to make 2022 the best money year of your life. Browse all 22 articles here .
The job search landscape today is almost unrecognizable from what we’ve seen before.
So many people work from home these days that many companies now consider remote work a standard operating procedure. Others are struggling to bounce back from layoffs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or belong to the growing number of workers who have quit their jobs in recent months — a group sizable enough to make the term “the Great Resignation” stick.
No matter which boat you’re in, it’s probably high time to give your resume a refresh. But be forewarned: Now, more than ever, hiring managers aren’t going to suffer fools.
“Everyone is fatigued, and attention spans are low,” says Dana Leavy-Detrick, founder of Brooklyn Resume Studio. “It’s that much more important to be concise and impactful.”
Money teamed up with Leavy-Detrick to create an effective resume for the year ahead. Whether you’re starting over completely or want to see what kind of new opportunities are available in your field, here’s how to write a resume worthy of your dream job — and a free resume template to boot.
(Resume design courtesy of Dana Leavy-Detrick; click here for a free downloadable template )
1. Pick a classic resume format and font
When it comes to resume format and design, opt for a clean layout. A 2018 study from the job site Ladders found that resumes with so-called F-pattern and E-pattern layouts, which mimic how our eyes scan web pages, hold a recruiter’s attention for longer than those aligned down the center, or from right to left.
A word on font: There’s no specific "best" font for resumes, but you should use the same font style throughout, Leavy-Detrick says. Play with different weights and sizes to draw a recruiter’s eye to key parts of your resume (check out the bolded figures on our resume template for ideas). Sans serif fonts like Arial or Calibri are usually good bets.
2. Don’t be afraid to go bold
If you’re applying for an investment banking job, a hot-pink resume probably won’t do you any favors. But subtle pops of color, like the orange used here, will work for just about everyone.
Another strategy for making your resume stand out is, of course, with the content you put on it. In 2022, you’ll get extra credit for highlighting your resilience. How have you dealt with change and managed your time over the strangest two-year period most of us have experienced? Kept your team engaged and mitigated turnover? Shaped company culture in a hybrid work environment — where coworkers are now living in different cities, and maybe even different time zones?
“The work environment has changed,” Leavy-Detrick says. “Employers have had to adjust.” Prove that you can too.
3. Add a skills section with bullet points
Skip the resume objective (nobody cares what you’re "searching for") and lead with the good stuff instead. The top of your resume should include "critical keywords and a quick snapshot of your core strengths,” Leavy-Detrick says. Bullet points are a solid choice — they stand out even if someone is just skimming your resume.
Hard skills (tangible attributes that can easily be measured) also take precedence here, so highlight them accordingly. If you’re in a tech-driven field, software and programming expertise is what employers want to see on your resume. If you’re in a creative industry, design and communication skills might be your best bet.
This is another opportunity to show how you’ve helped your company “disperse change,” since the onset of the pandemic, Leavy-Detrick says. Tech skills that prove you’ve got some new digital know-how, even if it’s just with Zoom and Slack, are fair game.
4. Show how you make an impact
List your relevant work experience in reverse chronological order, and use action verbs (“generated,” “spearheaded,” “executed”) where appropriate.
Don’t just list your old job titles. To prove you’re worth a hiring manager’s time, you’ll need to highlight some concrete “wins.” Statistics that build upon your skills section are most impactful — bonus points if they show a track record of growth, revenue, and profitability, Leavy-Detrick says.
If you’re drawing a blank, she suggests adding resume skills that can help solve a “problem area” for the company you’re applying to.
“Impact doesn’t always have to be measured by metrics,” she says. “Cultural improvements, special projects, customer growth … anything that shows success can work.”
Keep things short and sweet — don’t try to list as many projects and responsibilities as you possibly can, Leavy-Detrick advises.
“Focus on a couple of key takeaways,” she says. “Really try to make it a ‘best of’ document.”
5. Add and tweak critical keywords
Don’t make the mistake of answering each job application with the same generic resume. Instead, take a few extra minutes to mirror it to the keywords and phrases within the ad. You’ll be much more likely to make it to the next round of hiring, especially if an applicant tracking system (a computer program designed to weed out candidates out) has anything to do with it.
Avoid cramming in as many keywords as you can, or repeating the same words over and over — you’ll end up sounding like a bot yourself. But do “get as close as you can to the language of the job description,” Leavy-Detrick says. On our example resume, we’ve peppered in keywords from job postings—“marketing deliverables,” “compliance,” “corporate communications”—in a way that sounds natural. (“Make sure you’re speaking to those robots, but also humans,” Leavy-Detrick says.)
Here’s another tip: If you plan to cast a wide net by uploading a general resume to your LinkedIn or Indeed profile, make sure it’s tailored to the primary job you want — then update your keywords when applying to positions that deviate from the norm.
6. Know what to leave off your resume
Millions of workers lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, and many are still trying to find gainful employment today.
The silver lining, Leavy-Detrick says, is that employers have had to relax some outdated hiring practices as a result. Most noteworthy? Job seekers with a large employment gap on their resume—once seen as a major red flag—are getting a pass.
If your job was a casualty of COVID layoffs, it’s worth showing how you’ve stayed active and kept your skills fresh in the interim — by getting a professional certification, attending virtual webinars, or otherwise.
Be discerning with the rest of the content: Don’t add salary requirements, infographics or photographs. You can also leave off your home address, especially if you’re applying for a remote role, or are hoping to convince a hiring manager to consider a remote candidate.
Lastly, avoid the temptation to tick off every job you’ve ever had.
“The resume is a high-level snapshot of your skills, experience, and accomplishments,” Leavy-Detrick says. If a hiring manager has to scan through a really bulky one, “they’re more likely to miss key responsibilities.”
Anything beyond that is best left for the cover letter .
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32 Resume Tips & Tricks for 2023
Wondering how to write a resume in 2023? We’ve got you covered with 32 of the best resume writing tips and tricks to take advantage of current hiring trends.
2 years ago • 12 min read
The past couple of years have seen more changes in the job market than ever before. The result has been more opportunities than ever for many job seekers — and, of course, the need to update your resume to take advantage of them. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch! In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of 32 actionable resume tips for writing a resume in 2023, including information on up-to-date trends and what hiring managers are really looking for.
Browse this guide for tips on formatting and keywords, navigating a career change, targeting your resume, addressing employment gaps, optimizing your online resume and more.
The trend in 2023: Remote work
As companies continue embrace the move towards working from home , highlighting your experience with remote work can be a major asset to your resume in 2023.
Resume tip: Highlight remote work experience
Working from home offers its own challenges, so companies love to see candidates who already understand the skills required for remote work. When describing your experience in a remote position , list specific remote platforms you worked with, such as Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, or Trello, and include these in your hard skills section .
The rise in remote opportunities also means there is a real market for people with remote management experience. If you’re applying for a company that offers remote work, whether your position is in-person or not, make sure to highlight accomplishments related to managing employees or teams remotely.
Here’s a few examples of resume bullet points that highlight remote work accomplishments:
- Managed a remote, 5-member cross-functional team and coordinated with six senior business partners toward the successful launch of an e-commerce platform, using Trello, Slack and Google Workspace
- Identified, assessed and onboarded 12 mid-level remote employees in <6 months
- Led over 12 software sales pilots remotely, generating $500K+ total revenue in license and consulting service fees in 2020-21
The trend in 2023: Applicant Tracking Systems
Applicant Tracking systems (ATS) are here to stay in 2023, with 75% of employers now using ATS to partially automate the hiring process. This means it’s more important than ever to ensure your resume is reader-friendly, whether that reader is a human or a machine.
Resume tip: Make your resume ATS-friendly
To make sure your resume can be easily read by ATS software, don’t use special downloaded fonts or special characters , but stick with traditional fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman instead. Use simple formatting in Word or Google Docs . When creating your resume, stick to a one column format, or download a free ATS-ready resume template . For more detailed tips, read our guide on how to beat ATS .
Resume tip: Use relevant keywords
ATS are programmed to scan your resume for important keywords, so make sure they’re in there! Read the job description carefully to pick out key requirements, browse for common skills and keywords by industry and job title, or use our job description keyword finder to generate competitive keywords based on the job posting.
The trend in 2023: Targeted resumes
Gone are the days when you can send the same resume with every application. Now, the expectation is that you tailor your resume to the specific job so a recruiter can easily see why you are the right candidate for the position.
Resume tip: Tailor your resume content
While your experience remains the same no matter what job you’re applying for, your resume shouldn’t. Writing a targeted resume involves including keywords and skills, listing your accomplishments in order of relevance, and removing previous experience if it’s no longer relevant.
The easiest way to tailor your resume to a specific position is to use our Targeted Resume Tool . This tool analyzes the job description, identifies keywords and skills missing from your resume and provides actionable advice on how your resume can be improved.
Resume tip: Include the specific job title
Ensure the title of the job you are applying for appears at least once on your resume. For example, if you are applying for a Data Analyst position, refer to yourself as a Data Analyst in your resume summary, resume header, or work experience section. Including the exact job title won’t just help you get past ATS, it’ll also signal to a hiring manager that you’re the perfect fit for the role.
Resume tip: Start with a resume summary
Begin your resume with a resume summary . This brief section should include your most significant achievements, essential skills, and career aspirations, as well as your targeted job title, as explained above. While resume summaries aren’t always necessary, they’re great if you’re changing careers , can help you catch a recruiter's attention, and are common for high-level executive resumes.
The trend in 2023: Online resumes
The trend of online resumes continues to grow in 2023, especially in tech-focused and creative industries, with sites like LinkedIn fast becoming many recruiters’ first choice for posting positions and finding suitable candidates.
Resume tip: Embrace online resumes and portfolios
Online resumes and portfolios aren't just for creative professionals anymore. Platforms like LinkedIn and Monster allow applicants to showcase their resumes, include links to previous projects, advertise testimonials from employers, and connect directly with recruiters . Many of these platforms are free and easy to use, and you should be utilizing them for a job search in 2023.
Resume tip: Optimize your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn remains a crucial platform for online resumes. In fact, many employers today will expect to find a comprehensive LinkedIn profile attached to your application.
Make sure to keep your profile up-to-date and optimized for the platform. Use LinkedIn's features to your advantage – include a professional headshot, craft a compelling headline , use the LinkedIn summary section to express your career aspirations, and fill in all the details of your work experiences. Use our LinkedIn Optimization Tool for further tips and feedback on optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
Resume tip: Include your LinkedIn profile on your regular resume
Include the address of your LinkedIn profile on your regular resume under contact information or in your resume header . You can make this address a clickable link on a PDF or Word document, or as part of your email signature when corresponding with recruiters.
The trend in 2023: Bullet points and power phrases
The key to writing a powerful resume is keeping your statements concise, memorable and to the point. The less a recruiter has to read, the better.
Resume tip: Use bullet points
Whenever possible, use bullet points instead of long paragraphs to keep your resume short and easy to scan. Choose accomplishments from your work history that reflect the duties mentioned in the job description, and use a resume bullet point builder to help construct your bullet points. Aim for 3-6 bullet points for more recent jobs, or 1-2 for older positions.
Resume tip: Start with an action verb
The most reliable way to keep your resume focused on accomplishments is to start every bullet point with an action verb. This keeps the spotlight firmly on what you did and helps frame your achievements in a positive, proactive light.
Use our comprehensive action verb database to choose from 200+ action verbs broken down by category. Vary your word choice by using synonyms of the most common resume power verbs , and remember to use the past tense in your action verbs . For example, use Managed instead of Manage or Manages .
Resume tip: Include metrics
Listing what you accomplished at previous jobs is good, but highlighting the end result or benefit to the company is even better. Using numbers and metrics to quantify your accomplishments makes it easier for recruiters to see what skills you’re bringing to the table and visualize how you’re likely to perform in the new role, bringing you one step closer to getting hired.
Resume tip: Use resume power phrases
Combining a strong action verb with a quantifiable result and metric is known as a power phrase , as they add power to your statements and help make your resume memorable to a recruiter. Use this formula throughout your resume, summary, and work experience to create an impactful resume.
Resume tip: Highlights the right skills
When it comes to listing past experience on your resume, focus on highlighting accomplishments and transferable skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Find out if your resume includes the right accomplishments and transferable skills by uploading your resume to the tool below . It’ll let you know if you’ve chosen the right skills, used enough numbers or metrics to quantify your accomplishments and also if you’ve chosen strong action verbs.
The trend in 2023: Avoid buzzwords and soft skills
It feels like just yesterday that candidates were encouraged to add buzzwords to their resumes, but in 2023, the verdict is in, and buzzwords are out!
Resume tip: Avoid meaningless buzzwords
Buzzwords are overused, subjective phrases that provide no quantifiable proof of your experience and can actually make a recruiter less likely to read your resume. Examples of buzzwords include hard worker, team player, motivated or goal-orientated. Replace these terms with action verbs and quantified metrics to exemplify your skills and experience in a way that a recruiter can understand.
Resume tip: Emphasize soft skills via your accomplishments
Soft skills are just below buzzwords when it comes to things not to list on your resume. Anyone can claim to be a great leader or have excellent communication skills; the trick is to prove it. The best way to do this is through your work experience bullet points; for example, by detailing the size of the teams you’ve led, or highlighting a conference you presented at or a paper you wrote. To read more, check out our guide on how to include soft skills on your resume .
The trend in 2023: Focus on accomplishments
If you’re still listing duties or responsibilities on your resume in 2023, it’s time to put an end to that. Potential employers want to know what you’re likely to achieve in the job they’re hiring for, and the best way to do that is to look at what you’ve accomplished in similar roles in the past.
Resume tip: List accomplishments over roles and responsibilities
When listing your previous work history, describe achievements, qualifications and accomplishments instead of a list of roles and responsibilities. A potential employer wants to know what you did, not what you were supposed to do.
Resume tip: Focus on hard skills
Focus on the hard skills you gained during your previous employment, and exemplify each skill with a quantifiable accomplishment. This helps show a recruiter the skills you gained in each previous job and how those skills are relevant to their industry and position.
Use the tool below to find out the hard skills and keywords recruiters in your industry look for in a resume.
The trend in 2023: Simple formatting
Recruiters only spend a few minutes scanning your resume, which means that making your resume easy to skim should be one of your top priorities in 2023.
Resume tip: Stick to one page
Try to keep your resume to one to two pages . Any longer, and a reciter will likely stop reading, making any subsequent pages all but useless. To help trim your resume to one page, remember to be concise with your descriptions, cut irrelevant experience, use short power phrases, and focus on recent accomplishments within the last 15 years.
Resume tip: Steer clear of complex formatting
Fancy resume templates may look enticing, but complicated formatting, graphics and images can distort when sent to an employer or saved in a different file format . To be safe, stick to simple layouts and avoid adding graphs, colours or images to your resume. Text-based resumes also look more professional and are easier for ATS software to scan.
Resume tip: Use reverse chronological order
The most common way to list your work experience is in reverse chronological order, with your current or most recent job at the top. This is how modern recruiters will expect your resume to be formatted.
However, if your most recent experience is not your most relevant experience for the job you are applying for, you can separate your work history into a ‘Relevant Experience’ and ‘Other Experience’, but every job should have your job title, company, and dates of employment clearly listed .
Resume tip: List your sections in order of importance
As we have mentioned, many recruiters only scan your resume and stop reading when they lose interest. This means your resume should be formatted in order of importance. Your work experience section should be at the top of your resume, and less important sections (like education, projects, and other information) at the bottom.
There are exceptions to this rule — if you’re a current student or recent graduate, you can list your education section first. If you’re changing careers, you can prioritize relevant experience or more recent qualifications .
Resume tip: Use white space
Ever heard the expression “less is more”? It applies to your resume, too. Instead of filling your resume with as many skills as you can, focus on the quality of the experience you choose to list over quantity, and leave white space (space not filled with words) to give your words room to breathe.
Use standard margins and font sizes, and leave space between the different sections of your resume. This will make your resume easier to skim and help the most important information stand out.
Resume tip: Polish your resume
With so many options for spell-checking your resume, there’s no excuse for typos. Always thoroughly proofread your resume, as even a single mistake could cause a recruiter to move on to another candidate. If you don’t want to leave anything to chance, use a free resume checker to proofread your resume and offer suggestions on areas to improve before you hit Submit.
The trend in 2023: Navigating career changes
Career changes have become more common than ever before due to the global pandemic's effects on various industries. Here's how you can make your resume reflect a successful career pivot and optimize your past experience for applications in new industries.
Resume tip: Highlight transferable skills
The first step when changing careers is to identify which skills from your previous roles are transferable to your new industry. These can include soft skills like leadership and communication or hard skills that can apply across industries, like project management or data analysis.
When you list these skills on your resume, it’s not enough to simply state that you possess them. Instead, include specific examples of when and how you used these skills professionally. Remember, hard skills will be listed in your skills section, while soft skills should be exemplified in your work experience.
Resume tip: Consider gaining new qualifications
In some cases, you might need to go back to school or gain new qualifications to make a career switch. Online learning platforms like Google Career Certificates make this process easy and are a great addition to your resume. Don't be shy about listing relevant courses or certifications on your resume; it demonstrates a commitment to your new field, and you can even include courses you are enrolled in or yet to complete, to show that you are actively improving your skills.
Resume tip: Rebrand your job descriptions
Another strategy for navigating career changes is to revise your past job descriptions and titles . Of course, you should always be truthful on your resume, but you can tweak how you present your past roles to make them more relevant to your new field. Focus on the responsibilities and achievements from your past positions that align with your new career path. This can help prospective employers see how your experience is valuable, even if it’s in a different field.
The trend in 2023: Addressing gaps in your employment history
Having gaps in your employment history is quite common, particularly following the recent pandemic. However, it's important to address these gaps appropriately on your resume.
Resume tip: Be honest but concise
First and foremost, honesty is crucial. Don’t try to hide employment gaps by altering the dates of previous employment. Dishonesty is much more harmful to your application than an employment gap.
That being said, it's not necessary to provide a detailed explanation about the gap in your resume. Your resume should be a concise summary of your professional history, so if you took time off for personal reasons, you can simply note the time period and leave it at that.
Resume tip: Highlight productive activities during the gap
If you took part in education or activities during your employment gap that enhanced your skills or knowledge, mention this on your resume. This can include volunteer work , freelance projects , courses or certifications, or even self-taught learning. For example, if you were unemployed for six months but during that time you completed a project management certification, you can include this in the education or professional development section of your resume.
Resume tip: Employment gaps aren’t that big a deal
You don’t have to go into too much detail about your employment gap on your resume. You can expand on your gap in your cover letter or during an interview, where you can explain the reasons for the gap in a positive light and emphasize how you used the time productively to prepare for your return to the workforce.
Remember, an employment gap does not automatically disqualify you from consideration for a job. Many recruiters understand that life happens, and as long as you can demonstrate that you're ready to jump back into work, they will consider your application seriously.
The trend in 2023: Networking
Okay, so networking isn’t exactly a new trend, but in 2023, it’s more important than ever — here are networking tips for 2023 . Even with hundreds of job boards available at your fingertips , sometimes it’s the personal touch that can really push your application over the edge.
Resume tip: Follow up with the hiring manager
If you haven’t heard back from a job application, it’s time to follow up. Even a quick email can help establish that all-important personal connection and prevent your resume from slipping through the cracks. If you’re unsure exactly how to go about it, check out our guide to following up on a job application , including email templates you can copy and paste.
Related : Banish Boring Subject Lines With These Key Email Tips
The trend in 2023: Modern expectations
Not all resume tips are created equal. Some resume trends haven't been current in years, and some have never aligned with what hiring managers actually want to see.
Resume tip: What trends recruiters don’t want to see
Here's a brief (but non-exhaustive) list of things recruiters don't want to see on your resume:
- A functional resume format: There are better ways to make up for a lack of work history than leaving off dates and job titles. Instead, focus on accomplishments and highlight transferable skills.
- Resume objectives : A resume objective typically focuses on what you're looking for rather than on what you can bring to the role. Switch this section for a targeted resume summary.
- A full street address: Under contact information, list your City, State, and/or Country, instead of a complete street address. Email is a far more common mode of communication, so a street address is no longer needed on a modern resume.
- Career Advice
- Career Changers
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How to Make a Resume in 2023 | Beginner's Guide
For most job-seekers, a good resume is what stands between a dream job and Choice D. Get your resume right, and you’ll be getting replies from every other company you apply to.
If your resume game is weak, though, you’ll end up sitting around for weeks, maybe even months, before you even get a single response.
So you’re probably wondering how you can write a resume that leads to HR managers inviting you to interviews daily.
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
In this guide, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about how to make a resume, including:
- Pick the Right Resume Format & Layout
- Mention Your Personal Details & Contact Information
- Use a Resume Summary or Objective
- List Your Work Experience & Achievements
- Mention Your Top Soft & Hard Skills
- Include Additional Resume Sections (Languages, Hobbies, etc.)
- Tailor Your Information For the Job Ad
- Craft a Convincing Cover Letter
- Proofread Your Resume and Cover Letter
So, let’s dive right in!
New to resume-making? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!
How to Make a Resume (The Right Way!)
Before we go into detail about how you should make a resume, here’s a summary of the most important steps and tips to keep in mind:
- Choose a resume format carefully. In 99% of the cases, we recommend the chronological format.
- Add the right contact details. Leave your headshot out and make sure to include your job title , a professional email address, and relevant links (e.g. your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio, website, etc.).
- Write an impactful resume summary. Unless you’re an entry-level professional, always go for a resume summary (also known as a career summary). Done right, it’s your chance to get hiring managers to go through the rest of your resume in detail.
- Pay attention to your work experience section. Take your work experience section from OK-ish to exceptional by tailoring it to the job ad, making your achievements quantifiable, and using action verbs and power words.
- Add the right skills for the job. Keep this important section relevant by only including soft and hard skills that are required for the position. Deeper into the article, we’ll show you just how to do that!
- Keep your education short and to the point. Your most recent and highest degree is more than enough for a strong education section. We recommend making a more detailed education section only if you’re a recent graduate with barely any work experience.
- Take advantage of optional resume sections . Optional sections like languages, hobbies, certifications, independent projects, and the sorts, can be what sets you apart from other candidates with similar skills and experience.
- Don’t forget about the cover letter. Cover letters do matter in 2023 so you should definitely include one. To make the most out of your cover letter, check out this detailed guide on how to write a cover letter .
To get the most out of our tips, you can head over to the resume builder and start building your resume on the go as you read this guide.
#1. Pick the Right Resume Format
Before you start filling in your resume, you’ve got to make sure it will look good.
After all, recruiters first notice how your resume looks, rather than what it contains. So, this is your best chance to make a great first impression.
This includes picking the right resume format and doing the layout .
So, first things first - how should you format your resume?
There are three types of resume formats out there:
- Reverse chronological resume format. This is the most popular resume format among recruiters and, as such, the right format for most job-seekers.
- Functional resume format . This format focuses more on skills rather than work experience and is useful if you’re just getting started with your career and have little-to-no experience in the field.
- Combination resume format . The combination resume is a great choice for experienced job-seekers with a very diverse skill set. It’s useful if you’re applying for a role that requires expertise in 3-4 different fields and you want to show all that in your resume. Say, for example, you’re applying for a senior management role, and the requirements are expertise in Management, Sales, and Software Development.
So, which one do you go for?
As we already mentioned, in 99% of cases, you’d want to stick to the reverse-chronological resume format . It’s the most popular format, and most HR managers are used to it. Hence, in this guide, we’re going to focus on teaching you how to make a reverse-chronological resume.
Fix Your Resume Layout
With formatting out of the way, let’s discuss your resume’s layout . After all, the layout is the first thing a job recruiter notices about your resume.
Does it look organized or cluttered? Is it too short or too long? Is it boring and easy to ignore, or is it reader-friendly and attention-grabbing?
Here are some of the best practices when it comes to your resume layout:
- One page in length . You should only go for 2 pages if you really , really believe that it’ll add significant value. HR managers in big firms get around 1,000+ resumes per month. They’re not going to spend their valuable time reading your life story!
- Clear section headings. Pick a heading (H2, for example) and use it for all the section headers.
- Ample white space , especially around the margins. Without the right amount of white space, your resume will end up looking overcrowded with information
- Easy-to-read font. We’d recommend sticking to what stands out, but not too much. Do: Ubuntu, Roboto, Overpass, etc. Don’t ( ever ): Comic Sans
- Readable font size . As a rule of thumb, go for 11-12 pt for normal text and 14-16 pt for section titles.
- PDF file type. Always save your resume as a PDF file. Although Word is a popular alternative , it has a good chance of messing up your resume formatting.
One more thing you need to consider in terms of resume layout is whether you’re going for a traditional-looking resume template or something a bit more modern :
If you’re pursuing a career in a more traditional industry - legal , banking , finance , etc. - you might want to stick to the first.
If you’re applying to a tech company, though, where imagination and innovation are valued, you can go for a more creative template .
Want to Save Time? Use a (Free) Resume Template
Anyone who’s ever tried creating a resume from scratch knows how boring the formatting can be.
Before you can even start filling in the contents, you need to tweak the margins, adjust font sizes, make sure everything fits into one page WHILE also looking good, and so on.
Want to skip past that AND create a very compelling resume?
Try one of our free resume templates. They’re pre-formatted, so all you have to do is fill in the contents.
They’re also created in collaboration with recruiters from around the globe, ensuring that the templates are visually appealing and ATS-friendly!
See for yourself how it compares to a resume created in a text editor:
#2. Add Your Contact Information
Now that we’ve got all the formatting out of the way, let’s talk about what’s really important: your resume content .
The first thing you want to do when filling out the contents of your resume is to add your contact information .
This is a straightforward, yet critical section.
Even if you get everything else right, you’re not going to go far if the HR manager can’t get in touch with you because you misspelled your email, right?
So, double-check, and even triple-check your contact information section and make sure everything is correct and up-to-date.
- First Name / Last Name.
- Phone Number.
- Email Address.
- Location - are you located in the area, or will the company have to sponsor relocation?
- Profesional Title - Your professional title. It can be your position, word-for-word, or your desired job. Think “Digital Marketing Specialist” or “Junior Data Scientist.”
- LinkedIn URL - If you have an up-to-date profile that can add value to your application, make sure to include the link.
- Relevant Social Media - Do you have a published portfolio online? For developers, this would be your GitHub, for a designer Behance or Dribble. For a writer, it could be your personal blog.
- Website / Blog - Do you have an online presence? Maybe a blog that positions you as an expert in your field? If you do, make sure to mention it!
- Date of Birth (unless specifically required in the job ad) - The HR manager doesn’t need to know how old you are. It’s not important for their decision-making, and at worst, it might lead to discrimination based on age.
- Unprofessional Email Address - Do: [email protected] Don’t: [email protected]
- Headshot in USA, UK or Ireland. Consider including one in Europe & Asia, but always check the regulations for each specific country or industry.
All clear? Good! Now, let’s examine what a successful example of the contact section looks like:
#3. Write a Resume Headline (Summary or Objective)
It's no secret that recruiters spend less than ten seconds on a resume on average.
When you receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications daily, it's physically impossible to spend too much time on each.
So, in order for the hiring manager to go through the resumes effectively (without spending an entire day), they scan through the resume real quick, and if it catches their interest, they get into it in more detail.
And the first thing that the hiring manager looks at is the resume headline .
Depending on your professional standing, a resume headline can be either a resume summary or a resume objective .
Both are placed at the top of your resume, right below or next to the contact information section. For example:
Now, you might be wondering whether you should use a resume summary or an objective, and how to write one effectively.
Well, that brings us to our next section:
What’s a Resume Summary & When to Use it
A resume summary is a 2-3 sentence summary of your career. You should use a resume summary in basically any situation, unless you’re a recent university graduate or switching careers (in that case, you use a resume objective. More on that later!).
In your resume summary, you need to mention:
- Your job and years of experience. E.g.: Customer support representative with 5+ years of experience in the IT industry.
- 1 or 2 top achievements (or core responsibilities). E.g.: Specialized in technical support, customer care, and user retention.
- Desired goal (generally, passion for working at a specific company). E.g.: Looking for new opportunities as a support lead for a SaaS company.
Here’s an example of a well-written resume summary:
What’s a Resume Objective & When to Use it
A resume objective is, in a nutshell, the goal of your resume. It communicates your motivation for getting into a new field. As with a resume summary, a resume objective should be around 2-3 sentences.
As we’ve mentioned before, a resume objective is the go-to for anyone who either has no work experience or is going through a career change .
So, here’s what that would look like if you’re a student :
- Hard-working recent graduate with a B.A. in Graphic Design from New York State University seeking new opportunities. 3+ years of practical experience working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, creating illustrations & designing UX / UI. Looking to grow as a designer, as well as perfect my art, at the XYZ Design Studio.
Or, on the other hand, if you’re going through a career change:
- IT project manager with 5+ years of experience in software development. Managed a team of developers to create products for several industries, such as FinTech and HR tech. Looking to leverage my experience in managing outsourced products as a Product Owner at XYZ.
#4. Prioritize Your Work Experience
The most important part of your resume is your work experience.
This is where you really get to sell yourself, displaying your past accomplishments and responsibilities.
If you manage to master this section alone, you’ll know 80%+ of all there is to know about how to make a resume.
There are plenty of best practices for writing your work experience. Before we dive into all the nits and grits, though, let’s start with the basics...
How to List Work Experience in a Resume
The standard format for your work experience is as follows:
- Job Title/Position - Your job title goes on top of each work experience entry. When the HR manager scans your resume, you want them to know, at a glance, that you have relevant work experience for the job.
- Company Name / Location / Description - Then, you mention the name of the relevant employer, as well as the location of the office you work/have worked in. In some cases, you may also want to briefly describe the company, if the organization is not a famous household name.
- Dates Employed - The timeframe of your employment in each company. Not sure about the exact dates you worked somewhere? Don’t worry - you don’t have to be accurate by the day, as long as it’s close. The standard format expected by recruiters and employers is mm/yyyy (this is especially important when your job application will be parsed by an Applicant Tracking System).
- Achievements and Responsibilities - This is the core of each work experience entry. Depending on your field, you want to list either your achievements or responsibilities. We’ll get more into the hows and whys of this in a bit.
Here’s a real-life example:
As you can see, the work experience listings should be mentioned in reverse-chronological order - starting with the most recent job and going all the way back into the past.
Now that you know how to list your experience, we’re going to talk about how to write about your experience in such a way that you stand out from the competition.
Are you a student with no work experience? We’ve got you covered. Check out our guide to writing a resume with no experience here.
List Achievements When Possible
One of the most common resume mistakes is listing only responsibilities in your work experience section.
Here’s the thing - in most cases, the hiring manager knows exactly what your responsibilities were. Let’s say you’re a sales manager, for example. Your responsibilities would be:
- Reach out to potential clients over the phone or email.
- Maintain relationships with existing company clients and upsell relevant products.
- Tracking and reporting on leads in CRM.
- Coincidently, this is exactly the same list of responsibilities for every sales manager. 90% of all other resumes probably mention just about the same thing.
So, to stand out, you want to focus on mentioning achievements in your resume instead. Or in simple terms, how exactly you helped the company grow, reach quarterly quotas, and so on.
- Exceeded sales team KPIs by 30%+ for 3 months straight.
- Generated over $24,000 in sales in 1 month.
- Generated leads through cold-calling
- Managed existing company clients
Keep in mind, though, that in some fields, there aren’t that many achievements you can mention. Let’s say you work in a warehouse. Your day-to-day responsibilities probably involve:
- Loading, unloading and setting up equipment on a daily basis.
- Package finished product and get it ready for shipping.
- Assist in opening and closing the warehouse.
In such fields, it’s pretty hard to distinguish yourself, so it’s totally OK to stick to responsibilities instead.
Tailor Your Resume to the Job
Tailoring is what sets an amazing resume apart from the “ OK ” one.
Hiring managers don’t want to know every single job you’ve worked, or every single skill that you possess.
They specifically want to know about your jobs, experiences, or skills that are somehow related to the role you’re applying for .
For example, if you’re applying for a job doing Google Ads , you don’t really need to talk about your SEO internship from 8 years ago.
By focusing your resume on whatever is important for a given role, you’re a LOT more likely to stand out and catch the hiring manager’s attention!
So, let’s cover a simple example of how to do this. Let’s say that after reading the following job ad for the position of a digital marketer, you discover that the most critical requirements for the job are:
- 5+ years of experience in online marketing
- Social media marketing experience, with good knowledge of Facebook advertising
- B.A. in Marketing or Business Administration
- Experience managing a 20,000 USD monthly advertising budget on Facebook
Now, to tailor your resume to these requirements, simply mention each in your resume, as long as you have the relevant achievements and qualifications!
For example, you can use:
- Your resume summary to mention your years of experience,
- Your achievements in previous jobs to prove you’ve got social media marketing experience
- Your education section to let the hiring manager know you have the degree they’re looking for
Include the Right Amount of Work Experience
If you’ve got over a decade’s worth of work experience, you’re probably confused about how much of it you mention in your resume. After all, If you had to list everything you’ve ever done, you’d end up writing a mini-novella.
Or, on the other hand, if you’re a newcomer to the job market, you probably don’t have any experience and are wondering what you could even mention.
Here’s how much information you’d mention in your resume depending on your level of experience:
- Job hunters with no experience - If you don’t have any experience, it might be a bit hard to fill in your work experience section. You can either keep it empty and focus on all the other sections, or fill it up with work experience in student organizations, non-profits, etc.
- Entry-level candidates - List all the work you’ve done up to today. While some of it won’t be relevant, it will still show the hiring manager that you do have practical work experience.
- Mid-level professionals - ONLY mention work experience relevant to the position you’re applying for.
- Senior professionals - List up to 15 years of relevant work experience MAX. If your recent experience is as a CEO, no one cares about how you started your career as a junior marketing specialist.
Consider Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Software
Did you know that over 70% of resumes don’t even make it to the hiring manager ?
Most companies these days use applicant tracking software to evaluate hundreds of resumes instantaneously and filter out the ones that don’t fit certain criteria. For example, if the resume doesn’t mention a specific skill, or if the resume is not formatted the right way.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to make your resume ATS-friendly :
- Check the job description for resume keywords. Tailoring your resume to the job also helps a lot with beating the ATS software. So, scan the job description carefully for hints and, whenever you find keywords related to your responsibilities and achievements, make sure to include them in your work experience section.
- Don’t make your resume longer than two pages. Sometimes, for whatever reason, employers set a limit on how long a resume should be. Meaning, if your resume is longer than one page, it might get automatically disqualified.
- Always use an active voice when describing your achievements. Passive voice is vague and unclear. Make sure to use active voice as much as possible when adding bullet points under your job entries (e.g. “managed a team of ten people” instead of “a team of ten people was managed by me”).
- Take advantage of action verbs and power words . Instead of starting each of your sentences with “was responsible for,” make your work experience impactful by taking advantage of words that can grab attention (e.g. spearheaded or facilitated).
Want to make sure your resume formatting passes the ATS test? Choose one of our ATS-friendly resume templates and you’ll be good to go!
#5. List Your Education
The next section we’re going to cover is your education . Let’s start with the basics - how to format the education section & what to mention there. Then, we’ll move on to tips & tricks that’ll help you stand out…
- Program Name. E.g.: “B.A. in Business Administration”
- University Name. E.g.: “New York State University”
- Years Attended. E.g.: “08/2008 - 06/2012”
- (Optional) GPA. E.g.: “3.9 GPA”
- (Optional) Honors. E.g.: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude.
- (Optional) Academic achievements. Any interesting papers you’ve written, courses you’ve excelled in, etc.
- (Optional) Minor. “Minor in Psychology”
Here's an example:
- If you don’t have any work experience, mention your education section first.
- Mention your latest educational entry on top.
- If you have a university degree, don’t mention your high school at all.
- ONLY mention GPA if you had a very impressive academic career (3.5 GPA plus).
#6. Emphasize Your Know-How with the Skills Section
Another must-have section in your resume is the skills section. Here, you want to mention all your know-how that makes you the perfect candidate for the job.
There are two types of skills you can include when writing your resume:
- Hard Skills (Measurable abilities). This can be anything from coding in Python to knowing how to cook Thai cuisine.
- Soft Skills (Personal skills). These are a mix of social skills, communication skills , personal traits, career attributes, and so on. Leadership, critical thinking, time management , and organization , just to name a few.
A good resume should cover both.
How to List Skills in Your Resume
Regarding how to list skills on your resume, there are three essential steps to follow:
Step #1 - List Hard Skills with Experience Levels. For each hard skill you list, you want to mention your proficiency level:
Here’s how you can categorize your hard skills:
- Beginner - You have some experience with the skill, whether it’s from some entry-level practice or classroom education.
- Intermediate - You’ve used the skill in a work environment with a good level of understanding.
- Advanced - You’re the go-to person for the skill in your office. You can coach other employees, and understand the skill on a high level.
- Expert - You’ve applied this skill in more than a handful of different projects & organizations. You’re the go-to person for advice about the skill, not just in your office, but even amongst some of the best professionals in your field.
Make sure to NEVER lie about your skill levels. Otherwise, it’s going to be pretty awkward both for you and your employer.
Step #2 - Tailor Your Skills to the Job. You might have some awesome skills, but probably not all of them will come handy for the job. For example, it’s awesome that you know how to cook, but would you really need it at your new job as an accountant? Exactly!
To tailor your skills to the job, take a look at the job ad and list 2-3 essential skills required for the job.
- University Degree
- Tech-savvy, with some background in CMS systems such as WordPress
- Thrives in a stressful environment & manages to juggle multiple tasks and deadlines
- Organizational and time management skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Self-reliant, with the ability to manage their own work
- Can-do attitude and an outside-the-box thinker
- Proficient in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Keynote and Pages
- Basic understanding of Office software - Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook
As you can see, the must-have skills here are Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Keynote and Pages. A good-to-have is WordPress. You can also mention Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook, but it’s pretty much assumed that you know how to use them, as they’re required for most office jobs.
If you’re qualified, make sure to mention all relevant skills with respective proficiency levels in your “Hard Skills” section.
Step #3 - Include Some Transferable Skills . These are the type of skills that are useful for almost any job out there. They are both soft skills (leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, etc.) and hard skills (Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop, writing, etc.). Whatever job you’re applying to, chances are, these skills will in one way or another come in handy, so feel free to include them, even if they’re not specifically required for the position.
Not sure which skills to mention for your field? It might be one of these 100+ essential skills to put on any resume!
#7. Include Other Important Resume Sections
The sections we’ve covered so far are must-haves for any resume. They’re the bread-and-butter for any job application, and if you get them right, you’ll land any job you apply to.
The following optional sections, though, can also give your resume a boost!
Are you bi-lingual? Or better, multi-lingual? You should ALWAYS mention that on your resume!
Even if the position doesn’t require you to know the specific language, it can still come in handy at some point. At the end of the day, it’s always better to know more languages than less.
To list languages in your resume , simply write them down and assign them the appropriate level:
- Proficient (Enough knowledge to pass by in a professional environment)
As a given, you should never lie about your language skills. You never know, your interviewer might turn out to be fluent in the language, or even be a native speaker!
Hobbies & Interests
Want to add some spice to your resume? The hobbies and interests section , while not a game-changer, can help show who YOU are as an individual. Who knows, maybe you and your interviewee have some hobbies in common!
If you end up with some extra space in your resume, don’t hesitate to show off your personality with a hobbies/interests section.
If you’re the type of person who uses your free time helping others, while expecting nothing in return, chances are that you’re the type of employee who’s in it for more than just the money. It leaves the impression that you’re a devoted, loyal employee.
Several studies show that you can boost your chances of getting hired simply by listing your volunteering experience . This holds especially true if you’re a student with next to no work experience.
Certifications & Awards
Do you have any awards that make you stand out in your field? How about certifications from industry experts?
Whichever the case is, as long as it’s relevant for the position you’re applying for, feel free to add it to your resume.
Let’s say, for example, you’re a Microsoft Cloud Engineer. Assuming you specialize in Microsoft Technologies, you’d definitely want to include all essential certifications, such as the Azure Solutions Architect Expert one.
Are you a freelance writer? Maybe a distinguished academic?
If you have any published works (online, or in an academic journal), you might want to include them in your resume. Make sure to include a URL, so the HR manager knows where to check your work!
Working on side projects can really show off your passion for your field. Whether they’re university class projects or part-time entrepreneurial endeavors, they’re both equally relevant.
Let’s say, for example, you worked on a mock software product as part of a competition in university. You went through every step of product creation, from ideation to creating a marketing strategy.
You can mention the project in your resume and stand a better chance at landing that business internship!
Or on the other hand, maybe you manage an Etsy store, selling hand-made arts & crafts to customers online. Mention all of it!
Hiring managers love employees who do cool work in their free time.
Perfecting Your Resume - FREE Checklist
Already done with your resume? Interested in seeing how it holds up? Go through our checklist for perfecting your resume and see where you stand!
If you ☑’d all the points? Congrats! You’ve mastered all there is to know about how to write a resume, and you’re good-to-go to move on with your job search! If you missed some points, though, just go through your resume one more time and perfect it as much as possible.
Wondering how to write a CV instead of a resume? Check out our step-by-step guide on how to write a CV (31+ examples included)!
5+ Effective Resume Examples for Different Jobs
Knowing how to write a resume is one thing, actually creating a resume that stands out is something else entirely. Without inspiration, even top career experts might stumble on a roadblock or two.
Check out the following effective resume examples for different job positions to get a better sense of what a good resume looks like...
#1. Architect Resume Example
#2. Data Analyst Resume Example
#3. Web Developer Resume Example
#4. Remote Job Resume Example
#5. Sales Associate Resume Example
#6. Receptionist Resume Example
Want to see more examples? Check out our compilation of 80+ resume examples for different fields.
- Administrative Assistant Resume
- Bartender Resume
- DevOps Engineer Resume
- Executive Assistant Resume
- Flight Attendant Resume
- Graphic Designer Resume
- Paralegal Resume
- Pharmacist Resume
- Recruiter Resume
- Supervisor Resume
5+ Resume Templates for Different Industries
#1. traditional resume template.
Good for traditional industries like finance, banking, manufacturing, etc.
#2. Modern Resume Template
Good for both contemporary and forward-looking industries, including entrepreneurship, Medical Technology, engineering , etc.
#3. Creative Resume Template
Good for creative industries, including arts, design, architecture, and the sorts.
#4. Minimalistic Resume Template
Good for experienced professionals in basically any industry who want to let their achievements do the talking.
#5. IT Resume Template
Good for any IT-related profession.
#6. Tech Resume Template
Good for the tech industry and everything it encompasses.
Next Steps After Your Resume
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about how to create a resume, let’s talk about cover letters and interviews.
After all, your resume is only the first step in your job search. To really land that job you deserve, you also need to craft a killer cover letter, and ace that upcoming interview.
How to Write a Convincing Cover Letter
Every job application consists of 2 parts - the resume and the cover letter. Now that we’ve covered the first, let’s briefly explain the latter.
Most job-seekers flinch when they hear that they have to write a cover letter. What do you even mention in a cover letter, anyway? If you were good at writing cover letters, you’d be applying for a writing job!
In reality, though, writing a cover letter is pretty simple, if you know its purpose.
You should think of a cover letter as a direct message to the hiring manager. You get to briefly explain why you’re such an awesome fit for the position. When we put it that way, it doesn’t sound as hard, does it?
Here’s a format you could follow:
- Start by introducing yourself (and leave an impression) - As a start, give a brief run-down on your work experience and mention why you’re interested in working for the company you’re applying for. You can also mention 1-2 of your top professional achievements to leave a good first impression.
- Explain how you’d excel at the job - Identify the top three requirements in the job ad. Then, dedicate one paragraph to explaining how you fulfill each requirement. So for example, if the requirement is “Facebook Advertising Experience,” mention how you have done Facebook ads in the past and how you’ve excelled at it.
- Conclude by expressing gratitude - Thank the hiring manager for reading your cover letter and make a call to action. For example, “If you’d like to know more about my experience with Project XYZ, I’d love to chat!”
All clear? Just in case, you can also check out a real-life example below:
Does writing a cover letter still seem a bit complicated? Doesn't have to be. Our guides on cover letter tips and common cover letter mistakes will take your cover letter to the next level.
How to Ace Your Next Interview
You’ve perfected both your resume & cover letter. Now, it’s time for the next (and final) step - the dreaded job interview.
Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, you probably hate the interviewing process. After all, sitting there while someone’s prodding into your past experiences and judging the hell out of you isn’t the most fun experience.
Did you know, though, that most interviewers ask the same questions? Yep - all you have to do is learn how to answer some of the most common interview questions, and you’ll be an interview away from landing your dream job!
Want to learn more? Check out our complete guide to Job Interview Questions and Answers .
Frequently Asked Questions on How to Make a Resume
Do you still have some questions about making a resume? Check out the FAQ below!
1. What does a good resume look like in 2023?
For your resume to look good in 2023, make sure it’s organized and clean, and isn’t longer than one page. Furthermore, be sure to include information that adds value to your application - so, leave out the redundancies and focus on your work experience, skills that you can prove, and on listing as many achievements as possible.
If you’re using a template, choose based on your industry. Conservative industries require more traditional resume templates, but if you’re into arts, design, architecture, marketing, etc., you can go for a more creative resume template.
Last but not least - remote work is big in 2023, so if that’s what you’re seeking, then consider creating a remote job resume .
2. How do you make a resume in Word?
The best way to create a resume in Word is to use a pre-customized Microsoft Word template. To access them, you should:
- Open MS Word
- Click “ file ” from the menu bar
- Type resume templates in the search bar
That said , Word resume templates are generic , hard to personalize , and overall not very standoffish. Want a template that looks good AND is extremely easy to make? Check out ours!
3. How do I write a resume for my first job?
If you’re writing your first resume for an entry-level position, the hiring manager won’t expect you to have any work experience. However, you can make up for your lack of experience with your skills and academic achievements.
For example, you can take advantage of extracurricular activities , internships , volunteering experience, and other such experiences.
As such, for your first job, you should include a resume objective to your resume, emphasize your education, and replace your work experience section with one of the following: internships, volunteering, independent projects, etc.
4. How to make a resume on Google Docs?
The easiest way to make a resume on Google Docs is to choose one of their templates and fill it in on the go. All you have to do is go to your Google Drive’s template gallery, choose your favorite template, fill in your information, and voila - your Google Docs resume is ready to go!
That said, Google Docs templates are not the most user-friendly choice. You don’t have much flexibility with the layout and formatting is not their strong point. You tweak a section to the slightest, and the whole thing gets messed up.
If you want an easier option, check out our resume builder !
5. What kind of resume do employers prefer?
Typically, employers prefer one-page-long resumes that follow the reverse chronological format.
Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes every day, so they don't have the time to read 3-page resumes.
Meanwhile, the reverse chronological format is the most popular because it draws attention to your most recent jobs and professional achievements, which is the #1 most important thing hiring managers look at when evaluating a resume.
6. How many jobs should you put on your resume?
You should only include relevant job positions on your resume.
This means that your work experience section should be tailored to the job you are applying for. If you’ve worked five different jobs and they can all add value to your current application, then you should include all five.
If, on the other hand, you’re applying for, say, a customer service position and some of your past jobs have
to do with customer service, your resume can probably do without them.
7. Should I put my address on my resume?
You can put your location (city, state, or country) on your resume, but you don’t need to put your entire physical address.
Putting a physical address on a resume was the norm back when companies would contact you via mail. In today’s world, everyone communicates via email, which is why adding a correct and professional email address to your contact information section is far more important than putting your physical address.
So, just include your location or – if you’re a remote worker – specify you prefer to work remotely by writing “working remotely from [location].”
8. What information should I leave out of my resume?
You shouldn’t include your birthday or your headshot on your resume.
If you have plenty of achievements to list under your work experience, then you can leave your basic work responsibilities out of your resume, as well.
In your education section, you should only include your highest and most recent degree. So, if you hold a Ph.D., you can list that and your Masters degree and leave your Bachelor’s degree and high school diploma out.
Finally, leave out any skills that are not relevant to the job you’re applying for.
And let’s wrap it all up!
If you’ve followed all of our advice until now, congrats! You’re probably an expert on how to make a resume.
To wrap it all up, let’s brush up on some of the most important lessons we’ve learned so far...
- Use the right resume builder. You don’t want to mess around with formatting for hours before even starting to work on your resume!
- Focus on achievements. Mention your achievements instead of responsibilities, so that you stand out from all the other applicants.
- Include the must-have sections. That is, resume summary, work experience, education, and skills.
- Tailor for the job. Everything listed on your resume should be relevant for the job you’re applying for.
- Perfect your cover letter. It’s as important as your resume, so make sure you pay as much attention to it!
Resume Best Practices for 2022: Survey of Career Experts
Must-haves and must-gos, how in-depth should your resume be, limit yourself to 15 years of relevant experience, use up to 6 bullet points per position, do use bullet points, avoid paragraphs, explain your career gaps, if you have any, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, submit a one-page resume only if you have less than 5 years of experience, unless the job ad says otherwise, submit a pdf file, pick one of the standard fonts, don’t get overly creative, one final piece of advice that deserves a separate heading so that you notice.
Ensure that you customize your resume according to the position you are applying for. Richard Radbil CPRW
Target every resume at the position you’re after and include strong metrics that prove relevant achievements from the past. Nancy Segal Federal Resume Writer
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to resumes, you really need to tailor it to the job ad. Anna Cappelli CPRW
Methodology and Limitations
Fair use statement , about resumelab’s editorial process, was it interesting here are similar articles.
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Communication Skills for a Resume: Examples & Definition
Best Resume Writing Tips
When it comes to applying for jobs in 2022, writing a good resume is the key to career success. Your Resume is an essential part of the hiring process.
In writing a good resume, it’s important to:
- Develop your Resume using the structure that recruiters and hiring managers in Australia want to see;
- Customize your Resume to suit the role you’re applying for, and;
- Understand that your resume is a marketing document. A good resume sells your key skills and strengths that relate to the tasks of the job being advertised.
However, writing a good resume that will guarantee you the job isn’t as easy as it sounds.
According to an article by GetFive, only 30% of Resumes are read by employers.
Everyone wants to be part of that 30%. The question is, “How?”
After reading this short article on Resume Writing Tips, whether you’re a student, a recent graduate, a professional, or new to Australia, your job search in 2022 is guaranteed to be a breeze!
Analyze the Job Description
When you wrote essays in university, what was your first step before starting?
Research, of course!
The same applies to writing a Good Resume. Before you can write a good resume, you need to do research. So, read the job description carefully. Pick out the keywords and add them to your resume to make it stand out.
Why is it an important tip to add keywords to your Resume?
Answer: the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
So what’s an ATS?
If you’re not familiar with the ATS, it is essentially the first hurdle you face when applying for a job. The ATS scans your Resume and searches for specific keywords from your Resume to match with the job description.
Job descriptions often come with a list of required skills and responsibilities for the role, previous experience and employment history, and achievements. So, a good Resume writing tip is to tailor your resume to match the job description.
Fonts matter for ATS approval!
Be aware that the ATS will only be able to scan a readable font. If the ATS is unable to scan your Resume due to your font and size, it is likely that your Resume will receive a low keyword score. For example, fonts such as Calibri and Arial at an 11-point font size are ideal. At the end of the day, you’re trying to demonstrate to the employer that you’re a great fit for the role. Therefore, it’s wise to align your experiences with the job description of the job you are applying for.
Identify key phrases used in the job description and even on the company’s website to add the right type of detail to your Resume.
By using the language that is in the job advertisement, your Resume will be ATS-approved and the hiring manager will favor your Resume over others.
The Difference Between “Technical Skills” and “Professional Skills”
A valuable Resume tip for 2022 is understanding the difference between technical skills and professional skills.
Technical skills are often industry-specific. An example of technical skill for a Digital Marketer might be the development of online content for social media tied in with their experience using social media.
In fact, technical skills are often covered in the job description, so if you haven’t already, please add the necessary technical skills to your Resume.
On the other hand, a professional skill (or a soft skill) encompasses who you are as a potential employee. These skills make up your work ethic and how you interact with others.
Some examples of professional skills are:
- Time Management
- Taking initiative
Why are we including professional skills in our Resume writing tips for 2022?
Simple. They look good on your Resume.
Employers look for people who have the right professional skills to match their company culture and values.
If you would like to know more about professional skills, read: Top 5 Skills Employers want.
Quantifying Your Achievements
A good Resume writing tip has always been to include outcome-focused achievements in your Resume.
Have you achieved something remarkable? Are you proud of something you’ve done?
Employers want to know what you’ve achieved during your previous employment and what you’ve accomplished.
A shortlist of achievements can really make your Resume shine brighter than the Resumes of other candidates applying for the same job.
If you’re not sure what to add to this list, ask yourself a few questions:
- What do you think is your greatest achievement?
- What are you most proud of?
- What did you do in your previous role that made processes more efficient or productive?
- How did you add value to your team or the customer’s experience?
- Did you save time or money?
- Did you develop something innovative, or fix a major issue?
But, it’s even better if your achievements can be quantified.
Numbers speak louder than words.
Remember to quantify the value you created in your past roles. This is vital in demonstrating the impact you can bring to the next organisation that is considering hiring you.
Resume Achievements example!
Instead of just saying that you “managed a team”, include the number of people you managed too, i.e. “Led a team of six technical support analysts to deliver 10 major IT implementation projects for clients such as HP between June 2016-December 2016.”
But, if you cannot quantify your work accurately, don’t panic — you can describe your work by showing the value you brought to a company.
Identify ways you made operations run better, faster, cheaper, more smoothly, more profitably, or safer. Phrases like ‘exceeded quota’, ‘under budget’ or ‘on time’ really help to demonstrate your value to the role.
I’m sure you understand by now, the power of words. Or in this case, the power of verbs.
The language you use in writing a good resume is extremely important as you are using it to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the job!
Make sure you use distinct verbs to illustrate the responsibilities you held and the accomplishments you achieved in a role.
However, some verbs are better than others. Tired verbs such as ‘actioned’, ‘handled’, and ‘assisted’ can be detrimental to accurately showing what you can do.
Yet, power verbs such as ‘achieved’, ‘created’, ‘improved’, ‘launched’, and ‘trained’ can help to portray you as powerful and confident!
Here are some examples of Power Verbs:
Examples of sentences that include power verbs are:
- Managed and analysed data to identify trends for monthly sales analysis and reporting.
- Designed software programs to meet the needs of consumers for e-commerce websites.
- Developed digital marketing strategies and created online content to boost traffic by 28% in 2022.
We see many people seeking work in Australia often weakening their skills and experiences with verbs that miss the truth of what they’re truly capable of.
The worst word to start a bullet in your resume is ‘responsible for’. People tend to do this when talking about themselves as part of a team working on a project.
However, the truth may be that you single-handedly “Led, Coordinated, Developer or Manager” a project that generated significant profit or success for their company.
It’s always best to use phrases that accurately represent your level of involvement in a project. Otherwise, you will be selling yourself short to the hiring manager.
Other Resume Writing Tips:
- Job title : Use the job title of the role you’re applying for in the professional profile section of your Resume.
- Email your resume : Find out who the hiring manager is for the role and email your resume to them – as well as apply online!
- Keywords : Scan the job advertisement for keywords and make sure to address these keywords in your Resume.
- Showcase relevant skills : Make sure to include a section for your core job-relevant skills – it’s useful to show what you can do, as well as include quantifiable evidence of how you’ve done it.
- Headlines : A useful strategy is to capitalize section headers – (‘TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND NETWORKS SPECIALIST’, ‘EMPLOYMENT HISTORY’) – this helps application tracking systems to categorize your information.
- Key sections : A Resume that lacks the right information won’t get the same results as one that includes all the right information. Australian recruiters and hiring managers want to see a profile summary, key skills list, employment history (responsibilities and achievements), and qualifications. Depending on your professional background, you can also include technical skills and/or professional skills, as well as key projects.
- Bullet points : Use short and sharp bullet points (no more than seven in any section) and action words like ‘developing’, ‘managing’, ‘coordinating’, ‘preparing’, and ‘designing’.
- Months : When giving dates for your employment/qualifications, you should include the beginning and ending months.
- Page one : If you are a fresh graduate, list your qualifications on page one. If you have a significant amount of experience, consider an employment summary table on page one and qualifications later on.
- Include page numbers, your residential address (if you’re in Australia), a professional email and name your file in this style: First name Surname – Resume – Date – Position, Company.
- Use a stock Resume : Customise each application to target the specific needs of each job.
- Makeup skills or accomplishments to impress the recruiter/hiring manager – this kind of deception is easily discovered either in your interview or a skill-based test, and will very likely result in you losing the position.
- Personal info : Don’t include DOB, overseas address, marital status or details of your visa.
- Files : Don’t just upload a PDF version of your resume – tables and formatting can break without being noticed, undermining your professional image. Word documents are most effective when submitting an online application. PDFs are best suited to applications sent via email.
Now that you have our Best Resume Writing Tips for 2022 under your belt, your high-quality Resume will beat those ATS systems and be seen by employers!
Contact us if you aren’t getting interviews – we’ll help you create a powerful resume that grabs the reader’s attention.
Here at Career Success Australia, we specialise in Resume Writing Services to help you create the perfect Master Resume and give you a competitive edge against other candidates.
Our expert Resume Writers will help you craft a resume so impressive that when it’s seen by a prospective employer, it’ll encourage them to call you for an interview.
We wish you well in your job search!
Our Career Counsellors have helped more than 3000+ Job seekers to get their Dream Job in Australia.
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