5 Tips To Improve Your Resume (Tip 5 is a must!)

In today’s competitive market, a job seeker needs to take advantage of every opportunity to stand out among the crowd. A resume is an essential tool for getting a foot in the door and landing that dream job. Hiring managers may only give your resume a quick glance before making a decision to call for an interview or toss into the “maybe” pile. Following are some handy tips for creating a successful resume that gets noticed:

1. Exchange an Objective for a Summary

An Objective is a one to two sentence opening statement that explains what the jobseeker is looking for in a new position. The major problem with an Objective is that a jobseeker should be thinking about what the Hiring Manager is looking for. Trade in the Objective for a brief Summary of your experience, skills, and professional attributes. This Summary provides a strong opening statement of what you will offer your potential employer.

2. Create an Achievement-Driven Resume

Hiring Managers will see 100-1000 applications during the recruitment. A common mistake is to simply list all of your responsibilities for each job position. However, effective resumes explain what type of impact you had on each of your former roles. By quantifying your achievements, you show a hiring manager that you were a vital contribution to the company.

3. Stick with Professional Font and Colors

It may be tempting to stray from the norm with creative fonts and colors. Resist this urge as these tend to distract more than help. As mentioned, a hiring manager may only have a few minutes to devote to your resume. By utilizing more traditional fonts, you communicate a professional message. Black color as well as 10pt to 12pt  are recommended, or a slightly more contemporary version.

4. Use Chronological Format

The most effective format for a professional resume is the chronological format. This format highlights a jobseeker’s experience with the most recent job position listed first and moving backwards. As mentioned, open with a strong Summary. Professional Experience will be next, followed by any relevant Volunteer Experience. Finally, Education will follow Experience. If you offer any unique Language Skills or Technical Skills, these can be listed at the end of a resume.

5. Utilize White Space & Simplicity

When creating an effective professional resume, less is more. Try to avoid dense text with overly wordy sentences. Allow plenty of space between headings, job titles, and achievement bullet points. More white space on a page allows a reader to easily navigate through the resume and avoid squinting or confusion. If debating between adding or omitting that extra sentence or bullet point, remember that your resume is simply a tool to land an interview. Leave the reader with a desire to call you for an interview to discuss your experience and skills in more depth. Not every detail needs to be portrayed on paper.

The final “age-old” question to be answered is, “How long should my resume be?” The simple answer: as long as it needs to be. Avoid wordiness, but also don’t feel the need to restrict yourself to one page. A one-page resume is common for an entry-level position, and a two-page resume is appropriate for mid-level or senior-level roles. Utilize these tips and your resume will shine among the rest.

Do you have any tips we should know about? Share them below!!

  • Steve
  • Updated January 13, 2023