Top 50 Resume Writing Tips

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To get the interview calls, your resume needs to pass through the two main gateways – Application Tracking System & the hiring manager. To pass through your resume from these two gateways, make your resume impressive and informative with the help of the given below tips, here, you will get to know the effective ways to order your resume content with all necessary information.

Choose the appropriate resume format

There are four main traditional resume formats – “reverse chronological, functional, combination, and targeted”. Apart from these four resume formats, there are many other - video resume, social resume, mini resume, infographical resume, LinkedIn resume, Online portfolio, etc… Choose the appropriate format for your resume as per your needs, situation and circumstances.

Use a basic and simple Font

Write your resume with a simple and basic font that hiring manager and application tracking system can understand and read easily. These are a few basic fonts that can be chosen while writing a resume – Arial, Arial Narrow, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Cambria, and Calibri.
The standard size of a font should be 10 – 12, but you can increase the font of your name, heading, sub-heading, company name for which you’ve worked, and for other necessary stuffs to make your resume readable and understandable.
Apart from all these changes, you can do rest necessary changes in the font style if required - avoid using “bold” and “Italic” style until and unless, you are not applying for the creative jobs.
Standard margins all around the resume
Use the standard margins length .1” all around your resume, not less than 0.5”.
Include your contact detail
Including necessary contact details in a resume are important to help employers to easily get in touch with you. Those important details are,
  • Your Name (First name + last name)
  • Address (Street, City, State, Zip Code)
  • Phone number (Landline/Mobile)
  • E-mail Address (Personal)

Although, this is very important section that helps employers to contact you – very carefully mention all details without doing any spelling mistakes. For example: if your name is “Rohit Joy”, but by mistakenly you have written “Rahit Joy”, it is considered as a very big mistake. Also, in the place of your name, write the name that you have written everywhere in your legal documents, not your nickname.

Resume Objective

After your name on your resume, resume objective is the first section that a hiring manager looks over, if it is well-written and convincing, a hiring manager keeps on reading your resume. Adding this section is optional, inclusion depends on what stage your career is in - whether you are an entry-level candidate, a professional, in the midst of a career change, or in any other career phase, when you include this on your resume, make sure, an objective should be relevant to the job you have at hand.

The level of your experience decides which objective will be best match for your profile – Career objective, Qualification summary, or professional profile (or profile). Choose any one among three to list it in your resume.

Career Objective should not sound selfish

The “Career Objective” of your resume should not sound that you want to be employed just for your career growth and development. It should sound that you want to be employed to learn something and to take different challenges for the company growth & development. For example,

Don’t write in the Career Objective – “Software Engineer with 5+ years of experience want to be employed to sharpen my career”

Write - “Software Engineer with 5+ years of experience looking to avail in-depth advance techniques to take up to the company at the top in the international market.

Use Resume Keywords

As we know, Application Tracking System (ATS) is a popular tool that search for resume keywords and key phrases match to the job description. Many companies use ATS to screen-out thousands of resumes relevant to the position they are hiring for.

If you want your resume to pass through the ATS to get an interview call of the job you are interested in, use the keywords in your resume that match to the job requirement.

Prioritize Your Resume Content

While writing and prioritizing your resume content, keep two things into the consideration - your strengthen areas and the number of years of experiences you have. For example;

If you are an entry level candidate (or, fresher) with less experience – first, give more attention towards highlighting your skills, strength, award and honor in your resume, and then move to the experience part (if you have).

If you are an experienced professional – first, give more attention towards highlighting your relevant work history, and then move to the rest other parts.

Custom Resume

Write a Custom resume with respect of the job description. Doing this is not an easy task, this can only be done when your pass experiences match to the job you are applying for. To write this type of resume,

  • First, you need to read the job description to understand the job requirement 
  • Next, match your skills, experiences, and the education with the job description.
  • And then, write a custom resume using keywords perfectly match to the job requirement

Make use of a Resume Template

If you are not very good in writing and customizing your resume using a simple MS word page, you can use a resume template that is best fitted to the overall abilities you have. Once you have selected the template, edit all sections with the information you like to highlight.

Additional Important Sections of a resume

Here, you will see many entities that you can add to your resume to make your resume more persuasive. The importance of these entities in a resume varies from company to company, to get an interview call of certain companies, these entities do miracle by putting into a resume. Few of these entities are,

  • Licenses and/or Certifications
  • Certified Affiliations/Memberships
  • Publications
  • Awards and/or Honors
  • Online Portfolio
  • LinkedIn Profile Link
  • Instagram links
  • Social Media Link (Google+, Facebook, and/or Twitter)

Grammar and spelling check

Your resume should not contain any grammar, spelling and error mistakes because your resume becomes a first resource for the hiring managers to know you and to take decision about you that whether he (hiring manager) can step forward your resume in the interview process or not.

To make your resume perfect, once you are done, including everything in your resume, review your resume twice or thrice. Or say, any of your friend or someone else to recheck the resume written by you again and again.

Use of action verbs

The Resumes that don’t contain action very – don’t consider as a bad resume. But, using “action verbs” in a resume come under good practice – reason, the software that many companies use to screen-out the best resumes relevant to the job the company is hiring for can easily match the resume content with the job description. Also, good resumes using action verbs can easily convenience hiring managers for the interviews. These are some action verbs,

  • Absorb, Access, Accomplish, Acquire
  • Bring, Brief, Broadcast, Build, Budget
  • Calculate, Chaired, Certify, Change
  • Determine, Develop, Depreciate
  • Establish, Investigate, Join, Justify, Introduce
  • Launch, Lessen, Measure, Mobilize

Correct uses of bullet points

Formatting the content of each section (experiences, educations, skills, achievements, etc…) of a resume using bullet points can describe the content appropriately. Using bullet points, you can create the difference between each paragraph that explains different meaning from one another.

Try not to exceed more than 5-6 bullet points at a particular place, for example; to mention the work history of a job position of your previous company, try to explain everything by using 5-6 bullet points. The most important thing to the bullet point is,

  • Use the bullet point “” which has been considered as a standard one for the professional docs, not the hollow bullet points “”.
  • You should use the same type of bullet point at all around your resume.

Maintain consistency using periods or without periods

If you are ending one bullet sentence without a period (.), end all bullet sentences in the same manner. But, if you are ending a bullet point sentence with a period, maintain consistency by ending all bullet sentences with periods.

Uses of Adjectives and adverbs in a resume

Adjectives and adverbs describe things and actions of the sentences more accurately – means, using adjectives and adverbs in a resume clearly describe “what you have done and what you are doing at present?”. But, overuse of adjectives and adverbs, may weaken the phrase. For example,

  • The sentence without adjectives and adverbs – “Worked with the project managers” 
  • The sentence with adjectives and adverbs – “Worked sincerely and effectively with the project managers”

In the given above two sentences, the second sentence is more convincing than the first one.

Resume length

A standard resume length should be of a page, more than that is considered exclusively for some higher profiles. To accumulate everything in a page - first, plan and understand the job requirement where you are interested in, then, write your resume accordingly. If your one page of a resume is enough to receive the interview calls, no need to write two or three pages of resume.

List only relevant and recent experiences

Stretching resume up-to two to three pages with unnecessary experiences which are not relevant to the job you are applying for look childish or can become boring for readers to read everything written on your resume.

List only the experiences in your resume those are relevant to the job you are applying for to make the reader to read and screen-out your resume for the interview in less time.

If your current experiences are that much strong enough to get the interview calls, there is no use of mentioning detail of 15+ years back experiences or mentioning the detail of collage and school experiences.

Reverse-chronological order

It is a most popular format of a resume that most of the job seekers like and most of the hiring managers recommend. In your resume, especially, the two sections “work experience and qualification” should be in reverse-chronological order - the order makes hiring managers to begin reading your resume in the same order.

Resume according to Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Every day, many companies short thousands of resumes with the help of the software “Application Tracking System (ATS). Your resume should also be written by considering the “ATS”, because, the software (ATS) recognizes the resume files and search for keywords and key phrases from the resume that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Avoid including images, photos and other objects

ATS software is basically developed to match the content of a resume to the requirement of the job. A software confuses when a resume contains images, photos and different objects - resultant, the software doesn’t function properly with a particular resume.

The best thing needs to be done while writing a resume – instead of creating an unprofessional resume with images, photo and objects, better to create a clear, simple, and understandable resume without including any type of creative images and graphs. Also, don’t use word art, clipart, or colored backgrounds in your resume until and unless these are not a part of the job description.

Mostly, a professional resume includes photos when you are applying for modeling/acting profile and images when you are applying for a graphic designer profile, where you need to show your creative work via your resume.

Avoid over formatting and under formatting your resume

Some people are very creative, they design and format their resume excessively by changing font size, color, and style for every new header, sub-header, and texts by adding needless horizontal/vertical colored lines, shading, parenthesis, brackets, underlining boxes, different types of bullet points, and/or other stuffs that can make your resume messy.

On the other hand, some people create their resume with less formatting features which also look messy and make difficult for hiring managers to understand the different sections of your resume.

Avoid over formatting and under formatting your resume, format of your resume should be in a manner that can clearly display and categorize every section of your resume to impress hiring manager at first glance.

Clear and exact job titles

At a first look, employers clearly want to know the job position you held in your previous companies, and your current job position (if you are working at present). Clearly, write the job title of your previous companies that employer can easily understand the exact job title you were holding with numbers of responsibilities.

For example,

  • The job title = Writer (it is an unclear job title)
  • The job title = Content Writer (Correct job title, clarify about your job position)

Avoid listing several job positions within the same company

Many of the job seekers think – their resume will be more convincing and admirable if they list many different experiences (job titles) within the same company, but their this phenomenon is not always right, this is only good to showcase your talent and hard-work in multiple direction, not your interest in a specific position.

If you are really interested to be employed in a job position for which the company is hiring for – write your resume by mentioning single profile details with each previous company that is relevant to the job profile you are applying for.

Enough white space between texts, paragraphs, and different sections

If you are concerned for formatting of a resume text, you should also be concerned for consistence spacing between the texts, paragraphs, and different sections. While writing your resume, the number of space you start giving between two texts, paragraphs, and sections, the same rule you should follow until and unless your resume gets over.

Color of the text in a resume

You can use a few different colors to color the text of your resume, especially, headings and subheadings of your resume, but it is better if you can use a single color to all texts of your resume. There are two standard and professional colors for the resumes and other professional documents – black and gray.

Quantify your Achievements

Highlighting achievements in your resume by saying only “you have given your big contribution in raising the income/moving up the process efficiency for the company betterment” is not enough if you really want to stand out against participant. The best thing can be done – if possible, add the numerical value to the achievements you showcase on your resume. For example,

  • The better way to write the achievements are – “You raised the profit over $30,000 per annum or raised the process efficiency approx 43%” 
  • Listing the numerical value with the achievements sounds much better than simply saying about your achievements.

Fill the employment gap

As you know, if you mention the gaps between the jobs in your resume, you are surely going to come under the hiring managers/interviewers/employers questions - “what was the reason behind leaving your jobs? Or what was the reason behind maintaining this much gaps in your jobs”.

The worst thing is; the hiring managers may think – you are not trustworthy and reliable person for the current opening.

The best solution is - understand the techniques to write a resume in this scenario to fill-up the employment gaps that can make the hiring manager to think those gaps were genuine.

Professional Email address

The email address of your resume should look professional, not childish/unprofessional. Also, don’t mention the email address that is given by the collage, university, or your previous company because when you leave those places your email address may get removed from their after six months or one year of your release. For example,

This is the difference between professional and unprofessional/childish email address,

  • Unprofessional email address – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • Professional email address – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When to put high school details

Putting detail of high school is worth,

  • When your higher education is high school
  • When you are in first year of college and applied for a part-time/night shift call center jobs
  • Left the collage after doing two semesters
  • If you have successfully graduated with good percentage, no need to mention the high school details.

Don’t employ lots of personal pronouns and articles

Limit the use of personal pronouns (I, me, you, yours, myself, etc….) and articles (A and An) in your personal professional resume, your resume should be written in a telegraphic manner. For example,

  • Information with the personal pronouns - I have written many documents that have been published on the web.
  • Information without the personal pronouns - have written many documents that have been published on the web.

In the given above example, “the information without the personal pronouns” is a standard way to write your personal professional resume.

Don’t give negative messages

You should not give any negative message to the hiring manager through your resume. For example,

  • Tried to clear the Java certification exam, but didn’t get success.
  • Have attempted only two semesters of the collage.
  • Have left my previous job due to …………. reason
  • Have been fired from my previous job due to ……….. reason
  • Due to ………… reason, have a gap in the work experience

As like all above examples, don’t give any negative message through your resume that can make the hiring managers to think – you are not the correct one for the employment. Therefore, write your resume by taking care of neatness, cleanness, and positivity.

Very older or younger applicants hide your age

If you are more than 55 years (older age) or less than 20 years (younger age) in both the cases, try to hide your age on your resume, because, if you are too older than hiring manager may be in a drought - whether your body will allow you to stand for the job or not, also, till when you can handle and take your responsibility.

If you are too young, hiring manager may think – whether you are reliable, mature, experienced in the post or not.

Consistency between resume, cover letter, and job application

To apply for certain jobs, a job seeker needs to go through a few initial steps,

  • Submit your resume and cover letter
  • Fill the job application form

If the job requires these three things initially before the interview, take care of the relevancy between data in all three documents (resume, cover letter, and job application form). Irrelevancy in data between all three docs may consider you as a fake one for the job.

For example – if in your resume, your highest education is MBA, your cover letter and job application form should also contain the same.

Includes References Upon Request

You can include references in your resume if it is strictly requested through the job description (the job you are applying for), otherwise no need to fill the space of your resume. If you are including professional references at the bottom of your resume,

  • Include minimum two references 
  • Name of the references should not be from your family members (like; wife, son, husband, grandfather, mother, father, or grandmother), better if 
  • you can include the name of two office employees from your previous company in the place of references

Don’t include expired licenses/certificates

For some professions, licensing/certification is must and to hire candidates for those professions, hiring managers specifically check and verify this section of your resume.

To work under these professions, carefully check, whether you have correct licensing/certification relevant to the job profile or not, if you have then whether it is updated or expired.

Include technical skills upon requirement

To work in some industries, applicants should be technically sound, especially in IT industries.

There are many different technologies and specialization, get an idea of your strongest technical skills to write down in your resume, match your skill with the industry demands and apply for the vacant job positions.

Don’t make a video resume

Don’t make a video resume unless and until you are very good in - speaking, writing, video editing skills, lightning, and acting skills, because, in your video resume, the viewers will not only focus on your job abilities, also will focus on you to see how you have presented yourself.

Don’t mention your gender and marital status

In your resume, there is no need to mention your gender (male or female) and marital status unless and until these are not a part of the job requirement.

Address – local or permanent

There are many job vacancies in the international market, outer state, and city, to apply for those jobs you need to give your correct address proof, many are confused by putting the address on their resume, means, which address will be the most suitable one for the resume - Local address or permanent residence address?

To apply for those jobs preferably try to put a permanent residence address in your resume which never change wherever you move from a place to another.

Don’t hire an unprofessional/a non-certified writer for resuming

If you are unaware of writing your resume, don’t hire the one who get agree to write your resume in little money, because, may be you are professionally sound, but your unprofessional resume can become barer in your future career growth.

While hiring a resume writer, you need to check whether he/she is specialized/certified in his/her profession or not. This is the way you can give care to your resume.

Keep your resume up-to date

As and when you get achievements in your jobs or you learnt some industry useful skills, don’t forget to update this in your resume. A habit of frequently updating and uploading your resume becomes a great resource of the interview calls.

Don’t include excessive irrelevant information

Filling just the pages of a resume by including excessive irrelevant information is not a good idea. These irrelevant information are,

  • “Hobbies” that are never being used with respect to the job you are applying for, 
  • “Political background details”, don’t list on your resume until and unless you are applying for the same kind of job 
  • Extra “skills or certification”, no need to include the extra skills and certification that are no longer will be useful for the job. For example; not necessary to include the cooking skills and certification to apply to the software engineer profile.

Make your first resume without stress

Many of the job seekers who are first time looking for a job - get confused while filling the page of their resume. They really don’t know, what to include in a resume with less experience and skills.

Don’t take stress while making your first resume, because, hiring manager knows he can’t expect a professional resume from you. And, sometime, for some professions, you can apply online for the job by filling the company form. For those companies, the information you give via form matters more than your resume.

Take Backup of your Resume

Creating the best resume is difficult, but if you have done it beautifully, take the backup of your resume. If your resume is in MS word, take the backup in the form of CD or copy it on a hard drive. If it is on hard paper, take two - three prints of your resume.

Don’t forget to upload your resume over the internet

Now, it is a generation of internet, has become the most convenience resource to search everything all over the world. Your resume should also be there on the internet to make convenient for everyone to look over it easily. Especially, upload your resume to job portals, LinkedIn, and social media for easy approach.

Don’t disclose the personal information

Don’t list the personal information on your resume until and unless it is not a demand of the job requirement. The personal information like; your interest, bate of birth, height, weight, and many other personal information.

Don’t include salary related information

Your resume should not include the information about your current/previous jobs salary and your expectation for the salary.

Don’t include Hours of part-time work 

If you are doing part-time job, don’t include in your resume - the numbers of hours you work in a day.

Best Practices

The best resume can only be developed by the best practices and by reading all above tips. Read all above tips carefully to plan, analyze, and to write your resume on a paper clearly, orderly, and positively to impress hiring manager at first glance.

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