20 Tips for a Killer Resume

5 minute

Importance of a Well-written Resume 

A professional career is quite analogous to a ladder. From one rung to the other, there is progression. If you want to make it big, you’ve got to walk the talk. A summary of your skills on paper isn’t going to help. If you want the phone to ring and finally get that interview call you’ve been waiting for, you need a well-tailored resume.

Whether you’ve just graduated from college or looking to get to the top of the ladder in your career, an effective resume is always going to be your frontline fighter. 

If you’ve got quite a few achievements to showcase, putting it all together on a single piece of paper is going to be a daunting task. 

You obviously want your resume to make the cut and impress the hiring manager or recruiter. 

20 Effective Resume Writing Tips

Resume writing may seem like a cakewalk but in reality, it is far from being one. From the start to the finish, creating a good resume is an arduous journey. Even before you start making a resume, there are two routes you can take. You can either do it yourself or outsource it to a company that has expertise in professional resume writing services.

However, since a resume is a document that speaks about your personal achievements, giving a personal touch will enhance your chances of being hired. 

If you’re hitting the wall drafting a resume, fret not because we have some fool-proof tips that will up your resume game.

1. Layout

The layout or template you choose for your resume has to be visually-appealing and eye-catching. Pay attention to design, spacing, fonts, and bold and italic commands. Readability is the key to a perfect CV. It should look good both on screen as well as on paper. 

2. Reverse Chronological Order

Your resume should be short, straightforward and relevant. Start with your recent position and work backward. Your educational qualification can come at the bottom. Have a maximum of three items. Not more than that.

3. Professional Summary

Remember, you have 15 seconds to catch the recruiter’s attention. Do it wisely by including a professional summary at the top of the document. In four to five bulleted sentences explain why you’re the perfect fit for the job.

4. Avoid Buzzwords

Another common mistake most candidates make in resume preparation is stuffing it with buzzwords such as “managed teams” or “great leadership qualities”. These words don’t mean anything. Instead, depict how you added value to a particular project in your past role. 

5. Keywords Matter

Most large companies don’t have the time to skim through hundreds of resumes every day. Bots do it for them. Therefore, ensure your achievements and work experience have relevant, job-specific keywords. You could also research popular keywords that will enhance the visibility of your resume. 

6. Focus on the Skill the Company Needs

As an individual, you may be good at many things. However, don’t blow your own trumpet. Focus on the skill the company is looking for. Be selective with what you add. 

7. Include Links to your Online Presence

Today, online presence has become an important part of the job search. Potential employers want to see the websites of your past employers, your LinkedIn profile and the work you’ve done, especially if it carries your name. 

8. List your Skills & Achievements

The best resume is that which has a balance of work and non-work-related skills. Once you’re done boasting about your work experience and qualification, list your skills and achievements. If you’re proficient at using a particular software or have any language skills, mention them. Your potential employer wants to see how you’re going to be a value-addition to their firm. 

9. CSR Work

In your past position if you’ve actively contributed to the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, make sure you mention them in your CV. Volunteer work can go a long way in securing you the job.

10. Include Testimonials

If you’ve received any positive reviews from your previous boss or HR manager, include it in your CV. As proof, you can also attach the recommendation letter or performance review letter to demonstrate your skills.

11. Your Resume Headline Should Stand Out

Have an interesting tagline right at the beginning. Don’t include the usual, boring and old-fashioned statements. Your tagline should ignite the curiosity of the hiring manager. 

12. Use the Right Language

A professional CV must sound professional. Lackluster descriptions won’t take you anywhere. Use strong action words that will make you sound confident. However, refrain from using complicated words. 

13. Market Yourself

It may sound absurd but resume writing is actually marketing. In the first one-third of your resume, go all out and market yourself. If you’re able to catch the attention of the recruiter here, you’ve won half the battle.

14. Highlight your Contact Information

If you’ve been successful enough in impressing the hiring manager, they’d obviously want to take you through the next step. For them to do that, your contact information must be visible. Make it easy for them to reach out to you. Include your name, mobile number, email address and postal address. 

15. Custom Resume for Every Job

Resume Writing is not a one-size-fits-all deal. It takes some effort but can pay off in the long-run. Create a unique resume for every different job profile you apply for. A resume for a marketing role will be different from a coding one. 

16. Look for Errors

A resume with typos and grammatical errors can be extremely unflattering. Triple-check your work to make sure it is error-free.

17. Highlight Transferable Skills

If you’re preparing a resume without work experience, don’t worry. Instead, capitalise on skills that you’ve learned at your previous job and will be of a certain value in your potential one. 

18. One-Page vs Two-Page Resume

The verdict – if you’re a college graduate or entry-level worker, a one-page resume is enough while if you’ve been in an industry for over five years, a two-page resume is ideal. 

19. Review, Revise & Reiterate

As we mentioned at the beginning, resume writing is a hard job. That’s the reason resume building services exist. If you’re doing it on your own, you may not get it right the first time. Therefore, it’s important to review, revise and reiterate your CV before sending it to HR. 

20. The Saved File must have your Name

Finally, make sure you include your full name in the file name of the resume document. Just naming it as “CV” or “resume” will result in the file getting lost in a clutter of other job applications. 

Resume writing may seem like a lot of work but once you’ve mastered these tips, you’ll be well on your way to securing that dream job. 

A perfect CV is within reach. Get started now!

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