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Explore top-notch resume tips and strategies. Examine practical examples that can boost your chances of securing a job.

Navigating the job search can be overwhelming, leading to oversight in crucial details. Whether you’ve just completed your resume or are just commencing, valuable resume tips can make a significant difference. This guide aims to provide the most effective tips to ensure you excel in every aspect. Discover the best resume writing tips below, and you’ll be on your way to crafting a flawless resume in no time!

 

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Resume Formatting

 

Maintain ATS Compatibility in Your Resume

Believe a standout resume is synonymous with bold design? Considering unconventional formatting, visuals, or unique fonts to make an impression? Think twice.

In the contemporary job market, many companies employ Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). This implies that your creatively designed resume might not even be seen by the recruiter as the software could screen it out. There are more effective ways to showcase creativity. Focus on adhering to the appropriate resume ATS format, as discussed in the subsequent sections.

Select a Resume Format Suited to Your Needs

What constitutes the optimal resume format? Well, that varies. There are three primary types of resume formats:

  • Reverse-chronological resume
  • Combination resume
  • Functional resume

Determining the most appropriate resume format is a crucial initial decision.

The reverse-chronological format is a popular choice among candidates. It’s the most prevalent, offering flexibility in layout. This format is versatile and accommodates a range of resumes, from those for first-time job seekers to experienced professionals and those in technical fields.

Adjust Font Size to 10-12 Points

While selecting an appropriate font is crucial, ensuring the correct size is even more significant.

Maintain your resume font size within the range of 10–12 points to ensure that a hiring manager can read it comfortably without straining their eyes.

Employ Bold, Caps, and Italics Strategically

Maintain consistency in your choices. If you’ve emphasized one subheading by making it bold, apply the same formatting to all subheadings. Avoid excessive use of these formatting elements; the objective is to enhance the visibility of crucial information.

Regularly Revise Your Resume

Reiterating the need for a tailored and concise resume may be unnecessary, but an equally important aspect is keeping it up-to-date.

If you’ve experienced promotions, acquired new responsibilities, or undergone additional training, make sure to routinely incorporate these updates into your resume. Your future self will appreciate the effort. Being proactive about updating your resume ensures that when an ideal opportunity arises, you’ll be prepared to submit an impressive resume promptly, giving you a significant edge over the competition.

Explore our resume dos and don’ts to steer clear of more mistakes!

Seek guidance from an expert

Are you familiar with the designation “CPRW” alongside a writer’s name?

Indeed, Certified Professional Resume Writer is a recognized credential! If you find yourself grappling with the task or facing high stakes, consider seeking assistance in crafting your resume.

While not obligatory, such services often come with a significant cost. If you’re not inclined to invest heavily, there’s an excellent alternative on the horizon. Stay tuned for the promised bonus!

Omit the statement “References Available Upon Request.”

You no longer need to include “references available upon request” at the end of your resume, as hiring managers are aware they can request your reference list. Including it only utilizes valuable space that could be used for other relevant information.

Think about saving a duplicate of your resume in PDF format.

Saving your resume as a PDF has the advantage of preserving the formatting consistently, regardless of the device or operating system used to open it.

Give Your Resume File a Appropriate Name

In a crowded inbox with numerous resumes, naming yours “resume” diminishes the likelihood of it standing out. Therefore, a crucial piece of resume advice is to ensure your resume files are appropriately named.

Use Reverse-Chronological Order

In your education section, start with your most recent and highest degree, then proceed in reverse chronological order.

Incorporate Continuing Education and Online Learning

The shift to remote work has created numerous opportunities, particularly for ongoing education and skill development. Platforms like Coursera provide certificates, and others offer similar credentials. It’s essential to highlight any additional qualifications you’ve obtained, particularly if they address a professional gap in your profile.

Create Additional Sections

We’ve emphasized the importance of avoiding resume overload. Nevertheless, incorporating supplementary information could enhance the value of your application, capturing attention and standing out.

Consider the following additional sections for your resume:

  • Certifications
  • Awards
  • Volunteering
  • Languages
  • Memberships
  • Licenses 

Describe Your Coursework

Here’s a top-notch resume tip for students: Including a description of relevant coursework is an excellent strategy when crafting a student resume.

Even for professionals transitioning careers, this approach can prove beneficial. Describing coursework demonstrates that you possess pertinent knowledge extending beyond your previous work experience. Your education section remains a powerful asset, showcasing skills related to the job.

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Offset With Passion What You Lack in Experience

If you’re navigating the intricate process of job hunting as a novice, you might be anxious about creating an impressive resume when you lack experience.

Fear not! Everyone begins from square one.

It may be surprising, but an effective resume is one that aligns with the company’s requirements.

To craft a compelling resume without experience:

  • Thoroughly examine the job description to identify how your past experiences align with the job requirements.
  • Conduct extensive research on the company, familiarizing yourself with its projects and values, and incorporate that knowledge.
  • Highlight transferable skills that are applicable to the position.

 

Forget the Placeholders

Time is valuable, and so is the space on your resume.

Visualize each line as a paid ad space in an upscale magazine. Every word should have a clear purpose.

Avoid squandering space on generic duty descriptions; recruiters are already familiar with the typical responsibilities of a profession. Refrain from adding a random Skills section simply for the sake of inclusion—qualities like responsibility, detail-oriented, and positive team player should be substantiated by relevant sections in your resume and directly applicable to the job.

Write Explanations for Large Gaps in Your Career History

Mitigate noticeable gaps in your employment history by providing concise explanations adjacent to the periods in question.

Gaps in employment can arise for various reasons. Offering a brief explanation will reassure recruiters that such gaps were either unintended or held a purpose, such as a layoff, a hiatus for parenting, or pursuing further education.

Insert Action Verbs Wherever Possible

Give your resume a swift review. How frequently have you employed the term “responsible for”?

If it’s numerous times, don’t worry; it’s a common occurrence. The great news is that it takes just five minutes to substitute that lackluster phrase with dynamic, action-packed verbs.

Incorporating impactful resume action verbs and steering clear of overused resume buzzwords stands as one of the most valuable resume tips. Keep in mind that not all verbs convey action, so strive to steer clear of weak choices like “managed” or “communicated.”

Here are some alternatives:

Wrong: Managed

Right: Orchestrated

Wrong: Communicated 

Right: Persuaded

Add a Link to Your Portfolio

The relevance of this guidance significantly differs across industries, but it holds particular merit in creative professions.

Avoid attempting to fit everything into your resume; an image within your portfolio can convey more than a thousand words.

Channel your resume to highlight your educational background, professional training, participation in art residencies or conferences, awards, and other pertinent details.

Only Add Jobs You’ve Had in the Past 10-15 Years

There’s no requirement to include every job you’ve held in your resume’s work experience section. Limit the retrospective scope of your resume to the past 10 or 15 years.

Remember All Your Jobs, Eliminate Those That Don’t Matter

Indeed, while it’s logical not to delve too far back into the past when detailing your work experience, it’s equally important to maintain context. If you held a series of short-term jobs during college or spent a brief period at a particular workplace before pursuing better opportunities, it might be prudent to exclude such instances from your professional history.

Ultimately, the most effective resume for securing a job is one that emphasizes relevant experience.

Make Sure Your Contact Information Is Up-To-Date

After updating your email address, carefully verify that the remaining contact information on your resume is accurate. It’s crucial not to overlook this step to avoid missing out on potential interviews due to an incorrect phone number.

Additionally, refrain from including details such as your birthdate or marital status. You are not obligated to respond to inquiries about religion, race, or gender in an application, as U.S. employers cannot take these factors into consideration when evaluating candidates.

Consider excluding your current address on your resume, particularly if you are applying for a position outside of your current state or country. This helps prevent any confusion regarding your understanding of the job’s location by the hiring manager.

Include URLs to Social Media Profiles, Personal Websites, and Your Blog

If you possess a professional website or blog, incorporate the URL into your contact section. Also, include relevant social media handles; commonly, professionals include their Twitter handle and LinkedIn URL on their resumes. Creative professionals may also contemplate adding pertinent links to their Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest profiles.

Invest a few additional minutes to verify that your URLs are functional, and hyperlink them in the text for easy accessibility.

Try to Find the Personal Email Address of the Hiring Manager

You have the option of attaching your resume to a generic email and sending it to a generic inbox. Alternatively, you can attach your resume to a personalized email and send it directly to the hiring manager.

While some hiring managers might not welcome unsolicited resumes, knowing how to email a resume to an employer correctly ensures that you are not sending it without prior notice.

A suggested solution is to establish contact through a referral or LinkedIn before forwarding your resume.

Frame Your Resume Content Using the Correct Margin Size

Proper resume margins play a crucial role. Resumes with cramped text at the edges appear disorganized and unprofessional.

Messy resumes are unlikely to find their way onto the hiring manager’s desk.

If you require a bit more space, it’s acceptable to reduce your bottom and top margins to 0.5″ and your side margins to 0.75″—but exceeding these limits is not advisable.

Align Your Content to the Left to Make It Easy to Skim

A hiring manager will initially glance through your resume for pertinent keywords mentioned in the job description. Left-aligning your text facilitates this process, making it easier for them.

Balance Your Text and White Space

For a visually appealing resume, cleanliness and easy skimming are essential. Striking a balance between text and white space is akin to incorporating margins. This enhances the aesthetic appeal and readability of your resume. Avoid compromising white space just to fit everything onto a single page.

Don’t Worry About 

Making Your Resume One Page Long

You’re likely familiar with the notion that a resume should ideally be a single page. However, for seasoned candidates, many employers anticipate receiving resumes that are at least two pages long.

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