My Top 10 Writing Resume Tips

If you think you can quickly write your resume by copying and pasting your duties and responsibilities from your job posting onto your resume and call it quits, boy you are wrong.

You want to take your time on your resume because a resume can be one of the most important documents you will ever own. It can make the difference between landing the job of your dreams or never even getting an interview. 

There is not quick fix. A good resume takes time and effort. Even if you hire me to write your resume, you still need to do the legwork. I cannot read your mind, and therefore don’t know what you have achieved. Only you do.

After reviewing hundreds of resumes and helping clients land their dream job, I have put together a compilation of my Top 10 Resume Tips.

1. Forget any Resume Length "Rules"

The length of your resume is not as important as you may think. Even though employers don’t have a lot time reviewing entire resumes, what’s on your resume is more important than its length. Your resume needs to showcase your most relevant skills, while ensuring it has good page design and consistent and adequate spacing.

This might mean your resume will have two spaced out pages instead of one difficult to read page in size 8 font, and that’s perfectly fine. 

2. Don't get the free Word Template 

Make it visually appealing it. Make your own or buy one, because everyone is using those free Word templates and hiring managers are tired of looking at the same ones. 

3. Use Keywords from the Job Posting 

Most hiring employers use keywords to search for potential candidates. 

For example, if you have managed people in previous jobs and want to stay in the same management field, your resume should include the keyword manager or management in its heading. 

4. Include the Most Relevant and Impressive Skills on the First Page

Like I said before, hiring managers don’t have a lot of time to review entire resumes, so make it easy for them and include the most important information on page 1.(specifically, the top two-thirds).

5. Be Mindful of Your Audience 

While you think about how to translate your skills, you should also think about your audience. 

For example, if you have a military background and want to apply to a civilian job, avoid using military jargon or acronyms. Break your skills down and explain them in simple terms. This will show the employer that you know how to communicate effectively. 

6. Don't Use an Objective Statement

Objective statements are outdated! This area should be used to sell yourself, because unfortunately employers don’t really care about what you want in a job, but what they can gain from hiring you. Make sure you create a Career Summary instead and list what you can do for the company (save time, money, increase productivity, etc). 

7. Don't Use a Passive Voice, Be Assertive 

You want to display confidence and actually convince the reader how amazing you are. You can work on improving your assertiveness by considering your word choices. 

8. Upload Your Resume in a PDF format, NOT a Word document

Word files never look exactly as they should when you upload them onto an employers website, but a PDF file looks exactly the same on any computer. 

Most ATS programs can read PDF files really good, and as long as PDF is listed as one of the accepted formats when you’re uploading your resume to the job posting, you will be fine.

9. Keep Your Work Experience Recent and Relevant 

Employers are only interested in what you did most recently, in the past 10-15 years. No one really cares about you did 20 years ago. Only include work experience that is relevant to the position you are applying to. If you don’t have work experience that is relevant, then focus your resume on your most transferable and relevant skills, and then make sure to attach a strong cover letter explaining why you think you’re ideal for the job.

10. Show - Don't Tell 

Soft skills such as, good communicator or strong leader, should be demonstrated in your bullet points instead of just being told on your resume. You want the employer to really believe that you possess these characteristics. You can do that by talking about a time when you have shown to use those skills.