Resume Writing Tips

Here are the top ten resume writing tips:

1. Use an Easy to Read, Easy to Convert Font

• Make sure the font you use is not smaller than 10 point.
• Avoid fonts that are difficult to read.

In some instances, converting intricate fonts is impossible when converting from PC to MAC. Conversion problems also exist between program versions (i.e. Microsoft Word). Make sure your resume transfers effectively: use standard, easily converted fonts such as serif or sans serif.

2. Choose the Resume Format that Best Fits Your Strengths

Most people choose to use the reverse chronology format because they do not realize there are other resume writing formats that might be more advantageous to use. Using the wrong format can disqualify you from a job opportunity. There are four main resume formats to consider:

• Reverse chronological
• Functional
• Combination
• Modified letter

Each of these formats offer unique advantages to job seekers. While resume writing, choose the format that highlights your muscles and diminishes your Achilles’ heel.

3. Use Bullet Points

Human Resources professionals will tell you they read resumes quickly; lengthy paragraphs are overlooked. Using bullet points with short, effective statements creates a browse-able resume. Accomplishments stand out more when presented as a bulleted list.

4. Use Power Words

Use resume writing power words that make your resume stand out. Power words are words that when used correctly to demonstrate your accomplishments impress employers.

5. Avoid Listing Job Tasks. Focus on Accomplishments.

To show a potential employer that you are the answer to their problems, you should show how you have solved problems similar to those you might face while working at the new company. You need to focus on what you achieved at previous positions. Do not focus on job title. Once you have created a bulleted list of accomplishments, ask yourself, “How did the company benefit from what I did?”

6. Make a Master List of Your Accomplishments

Since you will be tailoring your resume to fit the needs of each position (see tip 9 for more details), you should make a master list of your accomplishments. Not every accomplishment will be used on every resume you write. Effective resumes only provide information relevant to the job.

When you are in the resume writing process, go back to your master list every time you write a new resume.

7. Measure Your Accomplishments

Help the employer understand the extent of your responsibilities in quantifiable measurement.

If available, provide:

• Dollar amounts (saved or earned)
• Units of production
• Percentages

As in resume tip two, ask yourself: “What would have happened if I had not done X,Y,Z?” For example, if you had not developed a new set of classroom rules, how would that impact classroom behavior?

Instead of: Account manager for insurance broker
Write: Managed 10 insurance accounts billing in excess of eight million dollars annually.

8. Gear Your Resume Format to the Industry

Some industries do not appreciate distinct or creatively designed resumes. Industries like banking, insurance, and accounting are more conservative and are turned off by unusual paper or unique layouts. Fields like advertising and design encourage more creativity.

9. Match the Employer’s Needs With Keywords

Use job postings to your benefit. Job postings advertise necessary skills and education requirements in the job description. Inside of the description, you will find keywords the company is using to explain the position. There are programs employers use to scan your resume, looking for these keywords and phrases. If your resume does not contain specific power words the scanner (or personnel) is looking for, you might not be selected for an interview.  Use these keywords in your resume. By using these keywords, you are one step ahead of other applicants and employers will see you as a better match for the position.

10. Fix Typos and Grammatical Errors

Typographical and grammatical errors on your resume will destroy any chance you have for an interview. Human Resources professionals receive hundreds of resumes for each job opening; applicants who took the time to edit their resume will earn an interview.

Once you are done with your resume writing, proofread your resume several times. You should also have someone else proofread your resume. Contact a professional proofreader or an acquaintance with a degree in English.

Avoiding resume writing pitfalls allows even the novice applicant to appear experienced and the professional or experienced candidate to avoid being eliminated.


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Published by maxresumes