There are plenty of books, articles, courses, and tools out there that provide guidance about how to write your resume--truth is, there are too many.
So, how do you know which tips are most important, for you?
Well, you could spend days researching the essential tips to writing--or you can just read this article.
There are some articles out there about how to make your resume perfect, but no matter where you are in your career, it is essential to have these basics down.
We have other resources to get your resume to an expert level resume (linked), but before that, you should be able to check each of these items off on every resume you write: 1. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
This one may be obvious, but if you haven’t checked you resume a tenth-time, now is your reminder. See list of the most common grammatical errors here. There are few things worse than clouding relevant experience, with a fixable error.
Are some mistakes worse than others? Yes! Some mistakes definitely are more damning than others, a misplaced identifier or extra semicolon is not great, but understandable. Misspelling keywords, incomplete sentences, and mislabeling institutions are among the worst. If you check anything, that is the first place to start-up
Read your resume in all directions. When proofreading a resume most people start at the top, and then fatigue sets-in. The cure? Start from the top, start from the bottom, start from the 5th bullet...
2. Grammar Matters
There are two major grammatical pitfalls resume-writers run into.
There is no “I” in Resume: as difficult as it may be to do, it is best to avoid personal pronouns.
Keep your tenses consistent: the general consensus is also to keep everything as a past-tense.
I used to lead a team of 15 salespeople
I am leading a team of 15 salespeople
Lead a team of 15 salespeople
Luckily, there is a pretty agreed upon format for resumes that all employers look for. This takes the guesswork out of your hands and an easy way to score points with your employer. There are also dozens of fancy tools out there to make your resume colorful, skill map, and hobby diagrams. For now, the consensus for most employers is that they prefer a professional resume, unless you are in a creative arts field or applying for a unique position.
Keep it to 1 Page: 6 seconds. That is the average time spent reading each resume submitted to an employer. While there are exceptions for technical resumes and those with very extensive experience, for almost all others the industry-standard is to keep your resume to one-page. Think about if you had only 6 seconds to read a resume, would you turn the page? Make sure to be succinct with your accomplishments and highlight your achievements
PDF or DOCX: When submitting a document in, almost all employers look for PDF or DOCX. If it is not in that format, you run the risk of your resume not even being read. Most ATS systems require it and it makes sure all the beautiful formatting and experience lists is not ruined by a different word processor.
File-labeling: This is a common mistake for applicants--check what your file is named before submitting, your employer will see that! Common mistakes include Resume Draft 6, or Rez2020. Less common, but funnier mistakes include, INeedAJob.PDF, MathHomework.PDF...you get the drift. Keep it simple, but make sure they know it is you (e.g. John Smith - Account Manager Resume).
4. Contact Info Available and Up To Date
Your employer has read your resume, thinks you are a perfect fit, and dials the number on your resume to give you a call.
Only problem? That phone number is long gone thanks to your pup Fido’s confusion of phones and tennis balls.
Your best chance to avoid an employer moving on or thinking you are non-responsive is to make sure this information is correct, and the first thing that you see when looking at a resume.
How should you organize your resume and achievements? The basic answer here is fairly simple.
Your resume should read like a story of your past experiences starting with your most recent, up to the latest relevant experience.
Of the course of resume-edits, new experiences, and all the life lived in-between, we recommend you follow these 5 tips before submitting your resume.
Want us to take a look? For a limited-time we are still offering free resume-reviews.