Did you know a good 40% of hiring managers and recruiters spend less than a minute reviewing a resume? You’ve got little time to make a positive impression on a recruiter. Follow our tips to increase the likelihood of landing a job and not end up in the leaning tower of “no” resumes.

Here are 8 key resume writing tips that will help you organize and design your resume.

Look for keywords in the job postings
The best place to start when preparing to write a resume is at the job posting. Carefully read the job postings that you are interested in applying to. As you apply for different jobs, you should study each job description for keywords that show what the employer wants in a candidate. Capture those keywords and include them on your resume where it makes sense.

1. Review resume examples for your industry
It’s a great idea to review resume examples from your industry and look for best practices. Keep in mind that you should not copy sample resumes exactly, but they are a great resource to help kick start yours. While the web has hundreds of sample resumes, there are three main best practices you should look for

  • Straightforward – Because employers have a minimal amount of time to review your resume. Make sure each section of your resume labeled and bolded. Use bullet points and short skimmable powerful sentences.  Readability is key.
  • Brief – Employers are looking for resumes that are short, to the point, and include only key information. This allows the reviewer to quickly gather what they need.

2. Include numbers – Including metrics on a resume is a must. Employers are highly responsive to measurable, proven value. Numbers allow them to better understand the value you will bring to a position.

3. Use active language
Write your resume using POWER WORDS. Using active language such as “achieved”, “earned”, “completed”, or “accomplished” will help keep your resume to be straightforward and will reduce the number of words. Using these words also helps demonstrate your strengths and highlights why you are right for the job.

4. Keep it professional
Because hiring managers only spend a whopping 60 seconds reviewing each resume they receive, it should be visually pleasing, allowing then to scan quickly. You should use a professional basic font like Times New Roman or Arial and eliminate any extraneous whitespace. If a recruiter or hiring manager notices too much white space, they may think you’re not qualified for the job. One way to eliminate white space is by increasing the font size to 12-point, and by adding a section for references, awards, and skills.

5. Proofread multiple times
Though hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time reading resumes, glaring errors have a sneaky way of making themselves obvious, even during a quick scan. An estimated 77% of hiring managers immediately disqualify resumes because of grammatical mistakes or typos. 

If you’re worried you won’t catch everything, run a spell-check, read it out loud, ask a friend to review your resume. Having a second set of eyes on your resume could mean the difference between losing out on a great opportunity or landing an interview.

6. Include the most relevant information
While you might have extensive work or educational experience, it’s important to keep your resume as short as possible without leaving out key information. A resume that’s longer than two pages is a deal-breaker for 17% of hiring managers.  If your resume includes old or irrelevant information, such as jobs held over 10 years ago, or minor degrees and achievements, it may distract from key information. Remember, you don’t need to list every single job or responsibility you’ve ever had on your resume; you just need to include those that are the most pertinent to the job in question.

7. Create a custom resume for every job you apply to
Instead of casting a wide net and applying to multiple jobs at once, narrow your selection to focus on the jobs you truly want and feel like you have a good shot at landing. Then, tailor your resume to that specific job so that you’re featuring the skills that align. This will showcase that you’re an ideal fit for the specific role in question

8. Be honest
It’s not unheard of to exaggerate a bit on a resume, but flat-out lying is a major no-no. 75% of HR managers have caught a lie on a resume. Rather than misrepresent your education or experience, focus on the things that make you a strong candidate for the jobs you’re applying to.

Following these tips will help you master a resume that will land you a job. Knowing how to make a resume that stands out is the first step in proving your value to an HR manager.  

If you’ve mastered your resume and you are ready to find the right opportunity, reach out to our team today and they will help you on your career journey today!  Get started here!