Home > Job Search > Essential Resume Tips

Essential Resume Tips

Writing a resume is often a daunting task. While a great resume won’t necessarily get the job, a poor one stops you dead in your tracks. Understand the process from a hiring manager’s point of view, put in some work upfront, set yourself apart from the herd and take that first step toward the offer letter.

General Guidelines

1. Keep in mind that a hiring manager will spend less than 20 seconds scanning your resume.

2. The ONLY thing a resume will get you, is a phone call from a recruiter, HR, or, at best, the hiring manager. Don’t expect any more, and be prepared to sell yourself over the phone when the call comes.

3. Don’t think in terms of “This is what I’ve done.” Write from the perspective of “This is how I will bring value to your company.”

Skip the Objective

Objectives on a resume are worthless. Your objective is to get the job. That’s why you sent your resume. Anything written here is fluff, and fluff is a killer. Leave out anything that doesn’t immediately speak to your ability to provide value in that specific role.

Provide a Bullet-Point Summary

Place this at the top of the first page, centered, underneath your contact information. Remember, you have less than 20 seconds to get the reader to see your value, and you are competing against a stack of hundreds of other resumes. Use this section to highlight your career. Great achievements, quantifiable results, awards, etc. Keep it short, no more than a third of the page. Make sure the bullet-points speak to the position you are applying for. You will go into more detail in the next section.

Use Keywords and Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description

Point of note here: Be honest. Period. Dishonesty is a waste of time for everyone. With that out of the way, it is absolutely essential to understand the job description and requirements, and show that your experience matches up. If this is too difficult, you are applying for the wrong position. Notice key words in the description and use them appropriately in your resume. This allows resume parsing technology to grab your resume from the stack when applying online.

**TIP** A good tip here is to keep a master, functional resume that lists your entire work history in great detail. When applying for a specific position, take the relevant parts from the master, and whittle it down to display results specific to the job.

Provide Quantifiable Results

A typical resume displays the job-seeker’s past responsibilities. A great resume displays the job-seeker’s past results. This is easy for sales professionals, slightly more difficult for others. However, results are always quantifiable and you need to be able to articulate yours.

End with Education

Unless you’ve just graduated from college and have no work experience, save this section for last. Hiring managers want to see relevant experience first and education is always secondary. Forget the GPA, too. Too much can be read into your GPA, good or bad, and it is a question you can answer in the interview.


The big picture here is that a great resume is a powerful sales tool and first foot in the door. Managers are overwhelmed by resumes. Many are bad, some are good, few are great. Results speak for themselves, and putting yours in an easy-to-read format will pay dividends.

Additional Tips

Use a cover letter as an extra sales tool. (Most people don’t bother to send a cover letter. Set yourself apart).

Keep the format clean and simple. Results should stand out, not fonts, templates, colored paper, pictures, etc.

Have someone proofread for you. Don’t let spelling or grammar mistakes overshadow solid experience.

Categories: Job Search Tags: ,
  1. December 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you for posting this tips. I was able to create a new resume with out an error. This is a great help.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: