Get Creative, Get Quantitative: 8 Resume Writing Tips to Help You Stand Out
Your resume is the most important document regarding your job search. Think of a resume as a first impression. If you don’t show up on the hiring manager’s desk declaring that you’re the right person for the position, they’ll pass you up for someone else, even if you truly are the best fit.
Your resume can make or break your future prospects, but it can be difficult to draft this document without going over or underwhelming a potential employer. However, with our incredible resume writing tips, you’ll stand out from the crowd and bypass any AI program.
How to Write Resumes That Impress Recruiters
Impressing recruiters is an uphill battle, but by using these examples of how to write a resume as well as our tips, you’ll be landing incredible job opportunities in no time.
1. Make a One-Page Resumes
There are a few exceptions to this rule, but most recruiters aren’t interested in reading your entire job history, especially if the experience isn’t relevant. Keeping your resume short will also allow you to maximize your space with stronger word choices and an active voice.
2. Write The Most Important Details First
Recruits rarely read until the end of your resume unless they really like what they see. If you write your resume like a newspaper article (aka, writing the most important details first), you’ll entice them to read further. Knowing which details belong in the first section depends on you.
If you’re a recent college graduate, place your education in the first section, followed by your related internships in the next. Mid-level professionals should put a summary of their skills and accomplishments at the top of the page, followed by their most recent job/experience.
3. Don’t Add an Objective Summary
No matter where you are in your career, never add an objective summary at the top of the page. Recruits don’t care that you’re “looking for a position that involves speaking with the public” because they already know you are. You applied to the position, which tells them enough.
4. Optimize Your Text With Keywords
98% of Fortune 500 companies, 66% of large companies, and 35% of small companies use Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS. ATS scans resumes to decide whether you’re right for a position before a human looks at it. Without keywords, your resume isn’t likely to pass the test.
Applicants should adapt their resume to the position by reading the job posting and scanning for keywords. You can also copy and paste the job description into a word-cloud generator to identify frequently used terms, but you shouldn’t leave out hard or soft skills in your resume.
5. Use the Right Word Choice
Journalists aren’t the only professionals that should have a way with words. A lackluster description won’t do your resume any favors, so use bombastic words like “designed,” “improved,” “achieved,” and “established” to describe your projects and your roles.
6. Don’t Just List Your Job Duties
Most hiring managers are aware that a banker banks and an accountant runs accounts, so listing your job duties plainly isn’t the right move. Instead, provide concrete examples of how you made a difference in your last position. Specific merits are more engaging to readers.
For example, if a marketing campaign you were a part of improved your company’s sales acquisition rate by 67%, show that off in your experience section. Employers want to know you’re able to get things done. Providing actionable examples proves you can.
7. Use Standard Fonts and Margins
Customizing your resume is generally a big no-no unless you work in a creative field. It’s in your best interest to use common fonts, such as Calibri or Arial, in font size 11 or 12. Along with standard fonts, 2.5 cm margins make your resume easy to read for humans and ATS tools.
8. List Your Social Media Pages
All recruiters look up your social media presence before scheduling you in for an interview. If you have no presence at all, that could signal a red flag that you have something to hide. If you have a presence, but it isn’t professional, you may be a potential PR problem waiting to happen.
Since recruiters check on your social media presence anyway, create a professional LinkedIn account that presents you as a leader in your industry and list it on your resume. Private all other personal use accounts or scrub them clean of anything that could be incriminating.
Writing The Perfect Resume Doesn’t Have to be Hard
The job market has changed drastically over the years, but adjusting to its new rules can make your job search less harrowing. Due to ATS software, candidates need to use words and phrases found in the employer’s posting in order to get past the first hiring hurdle.
As a positive, wrestling with the ATS AI is the most challenging part of the process. Once your resume hits the recruiters desk, our tips will make it more likely you’ll earn that interview.