So, you’re sitting down to write or revise your resume. But you are unsure as to whether you’re doing it right. Does it include all the needed information? Does it look professional? How can I make my resume stand out?
Worry no more – we’ve got the top 5 resume writing tips for you. You can use these resume writing tips to create a resume you can be proud of – and one that will land you the job you seek.
Top 5 Resume Writing Tips
Resume writing doesn’t have to be hard! While it can be intimidating to craft a document that may decide your career future, writing your resume is easy when you follow this step-by-step process.
Tip 1: Design for Readability
You want your resume to look appealing and professional at first glance. One easy way to do this is to use a resume builder or online resume templates. These resumes have been created by professional designers. There are lots of different templates out there, so you can find one that fits your industry and personal style.
If you are designing your own resume or selecting a template, keep the following in mind.
- Your font should be easy to read. Think Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri, 12 points. Avoid tiny fonts, large fonts, unusual fonts, or “fancy” fonts. You can use capital letters for headings, but never write your whole resume in all caps.
- Your resume sections – contact information, employment, education, and skills – should be skimmable and easy to find.
- Avoid creating a solid block of text. Bullet points and spaces are a good thing.
- You can use colors, blocks, and dividers to enhance your resume, but don’t go overboard. Avoid using clipart or fanciful borders.
Tip 2: Keep It Recent and Relevant
Tailor your resume to the position to which you are applying. You don’t have to list every job you’ve ever had. Include jobs only from the last 10 to 15 years, and focus on those that are relevant to your application. Typically, you should list your experience in reverse chronological order. If there are gaps in your history, you can list years only (without listing months) or simply state how many years you were employed there. If your past experience isn’t a perfect fit for the new position, don’t worry! Highlight transferable skills.
If you’ve been at your current job for a period of time, your duties and accomplishments may comprise a long list. But don’t exceed five or six bullet points. Again, highlight only the most relevant skills.
Though you won’t include them all on your resume, you can keep a master list of all your past jobs, responsibilities, internships, education, and training. Then, you can copy the most relevant portions to your resume each time you apply to a new position. In this way, every resume you submit is tailor-made.
Tip 3: Limit Your Length
There was a time when two or more pages were acceptable. But in the fast-paced world in which we live, it is best to limit your resume to one page in length. How can you do this? One way is by keeping your experiences recent and relevant as discussed above.
You can also omit certain unnecessary sections of your resume. These include the objective statement (your objective to land the job is assumed), references with contact information (the hiring manager will request references if needed), and miscellaneous information, such as hobbies, travel, and interests.
Tip 4: Proofread Your Resume
Proofread your resume, and proofread it again. Have a trusted colleague proofread it for you. Misspelled words, incorrect grammar, or typographical errors can undermine even the most impressive resume. You can use a proofreading application like Grammarly to double-check your document.
Tip 5: Save and Submit as a PDF
If you are emailing your resume or submitting it online, always save it as a PDF file. Since technology is constantly changing, other file types like .doc files can lose their formatting when opened on a different device. When you attach the PDF to the email, open it to check the formatting one last time.
Writing your resume is easy when you know the correct steps to follow. Format your resume in an appealing and professional manner. Online resume builders can make this process as easy as plugging in your information. Speaking of information, don’t include too much of it – keep your resume recent, relevant, and in reverse chronological order. Limit your resume to one page. Don’t forget to proofread it thoroughly and save it as a PDF file.