The resume tips in this section are intended to bring your resume to the next level by making it more compelling. Your resume is the single most important document in your arsenal as you apply for a job. Take your time to write a resume that you can be proud of.
Before Discussing Resume Tips, Let’s Start With the Basics
A resume is a self-promotional document that makes the case for an interview. It normally accompanies a cover letter and presents your background in the most “objective” light possible. Your cover letter is your introduction to the employer and your resume is the document that “supports” that introduction. For instance, your cover letter may state that you have extensive experience in forensic accounting. Your resume is the document that will support that statement with specifics.
Resume Tip #1: Slow Down
Writing a resume is a lot of work, but if you break down the process in stages, it will be easier. The first step in writing a resume is to reflect. Don’t rush to your computer yet. Answer these few basic questions:
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- How can I present my qualifications in a way that is compelling?
- What makes me different?
- How can I convey to the employer that I am the best candidate for the job?
Resume Tip #2: Your Resume Needs to Be Targeted
It’s not just your cover letter. Your resume also needs to be tailored to the specific position you are applying to. Look at the job posting and do your research to know what to emphasize or elaborate. Tailoring your cover letter and resume to the specific position you are applying to will indicate to the reader that you are a good fit.
Everything that you write in your resume has to serve a purpose. Screen out all the non-essentials. As you work on your resume, ask yourself whether the information that you are including is relevant. If the answer is no, leave it out. Including irrelevant information just dilutes your resume and distracts the reader’s attention away from what’s important.
Resume Tip #3: Presentation Makes a Big Difference
Once you know what to say, sit down and think of the best way to say it. What resume format to use? What headings to use? How to phrase your work experience? What to emphasize? Don’t stop at the first draft, but work through many. When you are done with a draft, let it rest and come back on it a few hours or a day later. Read it out loud. Ask friends and family members for their feedback.
Resume Tip #4: Be Clear
Your resume needs to be clear. Many recruiters will just skim through your resume during the initial screening round. You don’t want to be discarded then.
Keep your sentences short and to the point. The reader must understand what you are trying to convey the first time around. If he or she has to read your sentence twice, there’s something wrong.
Beyond having the right sentence structure, your resume must clearly highlight the key qualifications that make you a serious contender for the position. Don’t expect the reader to do the job for you. You must highlight why you deserve to be called in for an interview.
The resume tips above lay out the key aspects of a good resume. You have more resume tips below.
Remember that your resume’s role is to get you an interview. Once you get the interview, no matter how impressive your resume looks compared to others, you will be put on an equal footing. From thereon, the decision to hire you will be based mainly on how you perform at the interview.
With that in mind, don’t forget that a resume is a promotional tool, so don’t be modest. At the same time, don’t lie or exaggerate your qualifications if you cannot support them.
Articles on resume tips:
- Is Your Resume on Deck?
- How a Professional Narrative Can Simplify Your Job Search
- The 5 P’s of a Successful Resume
- Be Resume Ready
- Resumes and Blind Dates… More Alike Than You Think!
- Resume Rules
- How to Accept Feedback on Your Resume in a Constructive Way
- Writing Your Resume? Focus on These 3 Zones
- 50 Resume Tips to Propel Your Job Search to the Next Level
- The Federal Resume
Articles on resume customization:
- Generic Resumes
- Customize Your Resume for the Best Results
- Don’t Be a Resume Copy Cat
- Customize Your Resume
Articles on resume keywords:
- How to Format Your Resume for Electronic Job Applications (What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You. Is That So?)
- How to Make Sure That Your Resume Gets Through the Applicant Tracking System?
- Resume Keywords Are the Key to Be Found
- How to Find the Right Keywords to Use in Your Resume
- Resume Keywords and How to Use Them
Articles on how to improve your resume:
- Simple Tips to Revamp Your Resume
- How to Make Your Resume More Effective
- What to Do When Your Resume Is a Dud?
- It Is the Resume That Is Holding You Back
- 10 Things to Clean Up Your Resume
- Your Resume Shouldn’t Take a Vacation
- Resume Resolution for the New Year
- Happy New Year! Happy New Resume!
- New Resume for the New Year
- Is Your Resume Ready for the New Year?
Articles on personal branding:
Articles on special features to add to your resume:
- How to Leverage Your Social Media Presence on Your Resume
- Using Quotes on Your Resume
- Seven Ways to Get Great Testimonials
Articles on resume wording:
- How Non-Sales Professionals Can Quantify Their Achievements
- What Gender Is Your Resume?
- If You’re Only Telling It, You’re Not Selling It
- On Your Resume, Less Is More
- Lose the Details on Your Resume
Articles on where and how to submit your resume:
- Make an Informed Decision About Resume Distribution
- How to Avoid Formatting Problems When Sending Your Resume Electronically
- Sending Your Resume Via Email