The most well-guarded resume secrets are up for grabs.
Are you ready?
We know how important it is for you to get that job. However, that coveted job you have been eyeballing for months or years is not that attainable.
The most-in-demand jobs come crippled with the fiercest competition.
This means that you need to put your best foot forward. From perfecting your resume to nailing the interview - you have to conquer it all.
Using the best resume tips can get you shortlisted for your dream job.
And in this blog, we have covered the best resume tips and tricks for jobseekers across the world.
Years of resume strategy and curating resumes have left us with an ocean of knowledge. We are sharing this information with you all for free, right here right now!
Here's a list of the top 10 resume tips to write that perfect resume:
- Draft a one-page resume
- Pick a suitable resume format
- Break down your resume into distinct sections
- Customize your resume for each job application
- Draft one-liner points to communicate your professional experience
- Use power verbs to begin each point
- Add achievement figures to highlight your accomplishments
- Place relevant keywords in your resume
- Avoid charts/graphics or visual elements in your resume
- Use the right fonts and spacing in your resume
Give it a read, and tell us all about it later.
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Limit Your Resume to One Page
A resume should ideally be one-page long!
But it does not mean that a resume cannot be 2-3 pages long.
You need to ensure that your resume exceeds a page only if you have extensive years of professional experience to showcase during a job application.
Doing so will preserve the authenticity and appearance of your resume.
A single-page resume is encouraged to ensure that it contains only the most significant pieces of information and is easier for the recruiters to scan through within a limited period of time.
Hiration Pro Tip: If your resume is 1.5 pages long, write a detailed resume that is either two whole pages long or trimmed down to a single page.
Draft Your Resume in the Reverse Chronological Order
Presenting your details on a resume in reverse chronological order can give you the advantage to highlight your most recent work experience and relevant job profile upfront.
The recruiters are more interested in what you are currently doing or have recently accomplished rather than what you have done 5/10 years ago.
Therefore you should always draft your resume in the reverse chronological format by mapping your professional journey from current to past experience.
Create Distinct Sections to Classify Your Details on Resume
You probably know that you should compile your personal and professional information in your resume under relevant sections.
But did you know what they are?
Here's a list of the 7 must-have sections of your resume:
- Personal Information
- Profile Title
- Key Skills
- Professional Experience
In addition to this, you can also incorporate the following optional sections in your resume:
- Certifications or Training
- Volunteering Experience
- Hobbies or Interests
The right resume sections can help you demonstrate your credibility to the recruiters in the most persuasive manner.
Resume Header, Contact Details & Profile Title
The top section of your resume should contain your name, contact details, and profile title.
Header: The header of a resume should display your name as it gives a resume its unique identity and hence helps the recruiters keep an easier track during job applications.
Contact Details: Your contact details should be limited to your contact number, email address, current location, and links to your professional or personal websites.
Profile Title: Mention your current or latest profile title that specifies your professional status. This can help you stay relevant to the targeted job profile.
Resume Summary or Objective
Resume Summary: Summarize your resume in 3-4 lines to give the recruiters an insight into the details highlighted in your resume. A resume summary should emphasize your professional experience and profile to grasp the attention of the recruiters right away.
Resume Objective: Include a resume objective if you are a fresher, changing career, or in need of covering career gaps. Focus on your skills and career goals under the shadow of what the potential employers are looking for in a candidate.
Skills on Resume
The skills section of your resume should draw the attention of the recruiters to your competency in fulfilling the professional duties that come with the targeted job profile.
Include both technical and non-technical skills (Hard & Soft skills) to give an idea of what you excel at as a professional.
While doing so you need to make sure that the skills you mention are valid and relevant to the targeted job profile.
Professional Experience on Resume
One of the main highlights of a resume is the professional experience section.
Always include the following details while drafting the work section of your resume:
- Provide the name and location of the company that you have been/are involved with along with the employment dates and the profile title you held/hold.
- Create a brief list of your roles and responsibilities in the respective company to communicate your contributions and achievements.
While including your education details make sure to add only your highest degrees.
You can add your high school degree if you do not have a college degree or only when you are a fresher applying for entry-level profiles.
GPAs are important only if they are high or if you have fewer years of work experience.
The additional section on a resume is where you can add your relevant accomplishments or contributions.
Focus on details that may be of interest to the recruiters and relate to the targeted job profile. And avoid irrelevant details that may divert the recruiter's interest away from your main points.
There is more to crafting the perfect resume section so keep on reading!
Customize Your Resume for Each Job Application
A common resume blunder that professionals tend to make at a universal level is this:
They use the same resume for all their job applications.
What's wrong with this?
On the outside, it seems acceptable to curate one perfect resume and use the same resume over and over.
However, this is the worst thing that you can do in terms of a job application because it leaves you exposed to rejection by recruiters.
This is why you should not write a single generic resume or use it repeatedly.
Each job has a unique set of criteria, even when you're applying for the same job title. Why?
Because different organizations will have their unique understanding of the ideal candidate for that particular job. This is why you should curate a unique resume for each job application.
Every single resume should be relevant to every single one of your target jobs. You can do this by tailoring it to suit the job description of that particular job.
To learn more about writing a tailored resume, read our Guide to writing a job-tailored resume.
Compose One-liner Points (Not Paragraphs)
There are two types of professionals when it comes to making a resume:
- Those who use paragraphs
- Those who use one-line points
We bet that no one told you that you should strictly avoid paragraphs to communicate your work responsibilities.
Because it makes your resume hard to read.
A reader-friendly resume also has the added advantage of getting parsed by the ATS software which enhances your chances of getting shortlisted.
To conclude: Do not use bulky paragraphs to communicate the details of your professional engagements. Instead, use one-liner points.
Doing this makes your resume reader-friendly and shortlist-worthy.
Start Each Point Using a Power Verb
Now that you know the importance of using one-liner points, you need to further optimize each point. A great way to do this is through power verbs.
When you begin each point, do not use words like 'did' or 'made'.
Using such informal words or terminology can backfire as it'll end up clubbing you with pretty much every other applicant out there. No recruiter will take the extra time to unearth your resume to see if you're the one.
Here are some of the top resume power verbs you can use in your resume:
Provide Achievement Figures to Emphasize Your Accomplishments
Here's one of the best resume tips that you probably never heard of:
Use achievement figures to highlight your accomplishments wherever possible.
Do not give a bland account of your everyday work responsibilities in your resume. Nobody wants to read that. No recruiter wants to read that either.
If a recruiter is sourcing candidates for a marketing role, the applicant is expected to have basic marketing functions such as:
- email marketing
- digital marketing
- campaign planning
Stating the obvious will not get you anywhere close to a shortlist.
If you are making a resume for a marketing position, do not talk about your work responsibilities in the given format:
- Responsible for email marketing
- Planned marketing campaigns
- Did digital marketing
Instead of curating your work responsibilities in the above-mentioned format, give more depth to it using numbers or achievement figures.
Here's how you can present the same information effectively:
- Spearheaded the content calendar for weekly email marketing campaigns
- Planned & executed 5+ marketing campaigns for top 3 priority clients
- Deployed digital marketing tools to increase brand awareness by 50%
Formulating information in the above-mentioned format helps you effectively outline your achievements to the hiring organization.
Doing this helps you showcase the relevance of your skills.
This is one of the lesser-known resume tips and tricks.
Now that you know it, make use of it already!
Incorporate Suitable Keywords in Your Resume
Did you know that using keywords in your resume can enhance your shortlist chances?
Using keywords in your resume is one of the best-known resume tips and tricks. And yet, not many professionals use keywords in their resumes.
Hiration Pro Tip: Try to incorporate industry-relevant keywords related to your target job in your resume. This helps you get filtered through the ATS easily.
The problem lies with the vagueness that is associated with the term.
What is a keyword to begin with?
A keyword is a job-specific qualification. It is unique for each job posting.
There are mainly 3 types of resume keywords:
- Skill criteria
- Education criteria
- Work experience criteria
A skill criterion is a skill-based resume keyword. A hiring organization uses this type of keyword to outline a list of the basic + ideal skill sets needed for a particular job vacancy.
An education criterion is an education-based resume keyword. Most recruiters and headhunters use this keyword to outline the basic educational qualification that an applicant must possess to be considered eligible for the job.
This is why some jobs are open to undergraduates while others are exclusively available to graduates.
A work experience criteria is an experience-based resume keyword. Most employers look for professionals who already have past experience in a given job. They do this to minimize micro-managing. Another reason is knowledge building.
Experienced professionals have something new to contribute to the table. They also need minimal supervision as they are already abreast of company ethics.
On the contrary, you will find that some jobs are open to fresh graduates too.
Keywords in a Job Description
Now that you know what keywords are, here's a LinkedIn job posting for a marketing job:
Here, the hiring organization has provided 2 keywords:
- Experience-based keyword
- Skill-based keyword
The job posting is for mid-senior level professionals. This implies that the job applicant must have past work experience. However, it does not specify the no of work experience needed.
If you are a marketing professional with relevant work experience, you can apply for this job.
This half of the job posting also highlights some skill qualifications needed in the ideal candidate. If you are applying for this job, incorporate these skill-based keywords in your resume if you possess these skills.
Since this job advertisement does not have education-based criteria, feel free to apply for it as long as you are an experienced marketing professional.
Skip Charts or Visual Elements from Your Resume
Most professionals have started using charts and graphics in their resumes to showcase important points like their career trajectory.
Skill-based bar diagrams showcasing your efficiency in each skill is one of the most frequently used charts/diagrams in a resume.
While visually appealing and effective in communicating the extent of your skillsets, they might not be the best thing you can do for your resume. Why?
Because they are hard to read.
Most software is not compatible with a chart or graph-heavy resume. They are not able to read them, and as a result, these resumes don't get parsed.
If your resume does not get parsed, your resume will never reach a human recruiter. This means that you will not get shortlisted either.
Secondly, if you come to think of it, including bars and graphs is not that important. It's a nice-to-have add-on, not a crucial component.
Your resume is not a PowerPoint presentation, which is to say that you can make-do without graphics.
The best part?
A text-only resume is more reader-friendly than a chart or graph-heavy resume.
Use Professional Resume Fonts & Spacings
Enhance the readability of your resume by using the right fonts and spacings.
To get on the radar of recruiters, your resume needs to rank high on the ATS (Applicant Tracking System).
The below-given tips can help you in crafting a resume that is easy to read for recruiters and scan by the ATS:
- Opt for 1.5 line spacing
- Leave at least 0.5 inch margins
- Draft your resume in ~ 16 pts for heading, ~ 14 pts for subheadings, and ~ 11-12 pts for text
Top 7 Resume Writing Tips
Everyone needs professional assistance in curating a perfect resume.
While making a resume is not difficult, perfecting one can be a little tricky.
Our goal here is to make a perfect resume. Once you do that, you will get the shortlist you deserve in the company of your dreams.
Now that you know the do's and don'ts of a resume, we will now provide you with the best resume tips to give you the resume help you need.
Here is the top 7 resume writing tips in detail with examples:
- Resume summary tips
- Resume formatting tips
- Resume skill tips
- Resume personal information tips
- Resume work experience tips
- Resume education section tips
- Resume extra section tips
Refer to the examples and tips provided to curate a resume that can help you land the targeted job interview.
Resume Summary Tips
If you don't know how to write a professional resume, then the summary is a good place to start.
The summary is not just an outline of your career trajectory. On the contrary, it is your one shot at keeping the recruiter interested in your resume.
It gives a quick overview of your profile-specific skills, work experience, and achievements. When put together and served with perfection, it helps you make a great resume.
It is a no-brainer that you need to perfect this section at all costs.
So here are some easy-to-implement resume summary tips:
- Think of the summary as a sales pitch and pitch yourself. Include job-specific keywords that highlight your competence in your line of work.
- Keep your resume neat and concise. Stick to a 3-4 lines to effectively summarize your career trajectory.
- Use resume power verbs and action words within the summary. Using them can add a tone of professionalism to your resume summary.
- Present your strengths and highlight your achievements. It all boils down to what you can do for the company. Think along these lines and frame your resume summary accordingly. Bottom line is that the employer must know how hiring you will benefit the company.
Read on to learn some more resume summary tips.
- Do not talk about what the company/hiring organization can do for you. Instead, focus on what you can do for the hiring organization.
- Do not write an excessively long summary exceeding the 5 lines paragraph limit. 2-3 action-packed sentences are enough.
- First-person pronouns "I" and "my" are considered unprofessional. Do not use this tone in your resume summary.
- Do not include sentences like: “Looking forward to advancing my career/ interview with you/ working with your company/ taking your company to new heights.
Long story short, your summary must leave a lasting impression on the employer.
Here's a resume sample illustrating the perfect summary for a marketing job profile:
*"20+ years experienced Marketing Head highly proficient in developing & executing marketing campaigns to catapult brand visibility and directly impact bottom line. Adept at developing strategic relationships and engineering partnerships with proven success in acquiring & retaining clients like BCG & Goldman Sachs".
Resume Formatting Tips
Here's a valuable tip for resume writing that you probably weren't aware of.
There are three types of resume formats that you can use to make a resume. The ideal resume format for you depends on the nature of your career trajectory.
Hiration Pro Tip: The reverse chronological resume format and the mixed/combination resume format are ATS-compatible. Use them if they fit your work experience & career trajectory.
Here is a list of the top 3 resume formats and who should ideally use them:
- Reverse Chronological Resume Format
- Functional Resume Format
- Mixed/Combination Resume Format
The Reverse Chronological Resume Format is the most well-known and widely-used type of resume format. It is recruiter-friendly. It also helps you write a relevant resume as it shows your career trajectory in a reverse timeline order.
It is ideal for professionals with decent work experience. It is also ideal for professionals who have experience of working in 2 or more places.
The Functional Resume Format is skill-based. The skill-based approach focuses on your skills, not your work experience timeline. As such, it does a fantastic job of hiding the timeline of your work experience.
This resume format is ideal for professionals with career gaps. It is also seen as the preferred format for professionals who switch jobs too often.
The Mixed/Combination Resume Format is a combination of both resume formats outlined above. It follows a skill+timeline approach.
This resume format is ideal for mid-senior level professionals with several years of work experience to their name.
To get a better understanding of resume formats, read Hiration's Blog on choosing the right resume format.
It consists of resume formatting tips that you can easily implement. It also has many resume writing tips and samples that you can read and learn to curate a perfectly optimized resume.
Resume Skill Tips
The skills section is one of the most important sections of your resume.
Your skills matter. They give you a professional identity and make you the professional that you are today.
You need them to execute the demands of your job. You need to cultivate them to get a job. You need to specialize in them to get a promotion.
Read on to learn the do's and don'ts of our resume skill tips:
- Make a distinct 'key skills' section in your resume. Make a 'technical skills' subsection within it to present your tool-based & technology-driven skills.
- Cultivate the most-wanted skills in your niche and present them in your resume.
- Comb through the skill criteria of your target job listing and incorporate those skills that you are adept at in your resume. This will help you get filtered through the ATS.
- Incorporate those skills you may have picked up in the duration of your work. Example: Recruiting, Onboarding, Team Management, etc.
- Stay updated with the latest industry-relevant skills.
DON'T DO IT:
- Do not list every single skill you may have. Customize it according to the job.
- Example: list out those skills that are not relevant to your target job.
- Do not list commonly universal skills like MS Word. These skills are mostly a necessity and are expected by default from everyone.
- Avoid bragging. Leave out phrases like “best of” or “exceptional”. Instead, keep it compact. Example: Instead of saying 'exceptional at retaining clients', write 'Client Retention' in your resume.
Here's a sample showcasing what the skills section should ideally look like in your resume after correctly implementing all resume skill tips.
Resume Tips: Personal Information Section
Here are some of the best resume tips for writing a resume personal information section:
Hiration Pro Tip: The personal information section consists of basic contact details such as your email ID and mobile number. Without this section, you will miss out on potential job offers as recruiters won't be able to get in touch with you.
This just proves that the personal information section is important. While it is an under-rated section, it is extremely relevant.
As such, you need to perfect this section at all costs.
Here are the best resume tips for the resume personal information section:
- List the basics only. Example: phone number, email id, and location information.
- Use a clean and professional email address. A good example would be: email@example.com
- Give a mobile number on which you are available 24x7.
- Include a profile photo only if your job profile requires it.
- Give a link to your LinkedIn profile and online portfolio.
- Provide a link to your blog or your website, if any. This is recommended for creative professionals or freelancers.
DON'T DO IT:
- Do not add your home phone number. Your phone number must be accessible during office hours.
- Don't add more than one email ID or phone number to your resume. Stick to one in which you are available for correspondence round the clock.
- Do not use a cringy email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do not add extremely personal details as they might lead to biased hiring. Example: age, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, etc.
- Do not give a link to your social media handle unless explicitly stated.
Resume Tips: Professional Experience Section
Here's a valuable tip for the professional experience section of a resume:
Hiration Pro Tip: Strictly avoid using paragraphs to communicate the details of your professional engagements. Instead, use one-liner points as they are reader-friendly, thus making your resume recruiter-friendly + ATS-compliant.
If you don't know how to write a good resume, dive deeper into the professional experience section. This is where the gold lies.
If a professional summary is an appetizer, work experience is the main course of your resume. Your work history section shows potential employers the kind of work you have done in the past.
It also gives a glimpse into the kind of roles you can be delegated.
Read on to uncover the best resume tips for the work experience section:
- Get experience. Do some freelance work, volunteer, or do an internship.
- Draft the professional experience section in the beginning.
- Use the reverse chronological resume format if you don't have any career gap.
- Use the combination resume format if you have a career gap + if you have switched jobs too frequently.
- Use one-liner points to communicate your roles & responsibilities.
- Arrange similar one-liner points under unique headings or buckets.
- Optimize each point by using the cause-effect relation. In other words, show the results of your work instead of blandly stating your work responsibilities.
- Mark relevant career highlights and important words in bold. Doing this helps you divert the recruiter's attention to your key career highlights.
- Begin each one-liner point with a power verb.
- Use consistent tense throughout each listing.
- Use achievements or numbers to demonstrate the result of your professional contributions.
DON'T DO IT:
- Do not worry about the “right” experience. Everyone had no experience at one point.
- Do not use bulky paragraphs to communicate the nature of your everyday work responsibilities. Why? because paragraphs make your resume less readable. It can thus act as a deterrent and discourage a potential employer from evaluating your resume in its totality.
- Do not use the wrong verb tenses or switch between tenses.
- Do not give a bland testament of your roles & responsibilities. Focus on how well you performed them.
- Do not use jargon, clichés, or meaningless buzzword- it is unprofessional.
Here's an example of an ideal professional experience section for a Data Scientist:
Resume Tips: Education Section
Here are some valuable resume tips for writing a resume education section:
Hiration Pro Tip: Write your GPA only if you have a good GPA. If you don't, simply mentioning basic education details such as course name, school name, location, and dates of enrolment & graduation are enough.
Follow some of the best resume tips on resume writing below.
- Arrange your degrees in reverse chronological order.
- Add your GPA if you have a good GPA or if it is required by the employer.
- Add your high school details only if it is your highest educational qualification.
- Make sure that this section is placed either right after the work experience section. In case you have a relevant internship, include this section after the internships section.
DON'T DO IT:
- Do not list a GPA that is low as it does not give you a job advantage.
- Do not add a GPA if you have many years of work experience.
- Do not give the details of your high school education if you have university degrees.
Here's what a sample education section can look like:
Resume Tips: Extra Sections
Here are the top resume tips for incorporating extra sections.
- Add a certification section if you have updated your skills. It is perfect for professionals looking for a new job or a career change as it demonstrates industry relevance.
- Add a hobbies section or interests section only if it benefits your job application.
- Add the internships section only if you are a fresh graduate, have negligible work experience, or are targeting a job in a different industry.
- Add a co-curricular/extra-curricular activities section if you have good achievements + no relevant work experience.
- Add other sections to your resume if you think they are relevant to your job. This is very essential to get an interview call.
DON'T DO IT:
- Do not include a references section unless necessary. Check out when and how to add references to a resume here
- Do not write “references available upon request.”
- Do not add an internship experience section if you have lots of work experience in the past.
The Final Touch
Now that you know all the great resume tips and tricks, give it a final touch.
Do not press SEND right away.
Read these amazing resume tips to learn what to put on a resume and how to make it more personalized.
DO IT :
- Optimize your resume according to the ATS (applicant tracking system).
- Include a .DOC or PDF version, as required by the recruiter.
- If nothing is mentioned, send a PDF resume as it helps to retain the formatting.
- Personalize your resume email. Use a good email provider and a decent email ID.
- Use a powerful subject line to effectively address the recipient of your email.
- To learn the correct way of sending job application emails, take a look at our blog on emailing a resume to a recruiter.
- Label your resume and cover letter with your full name. This prevents your resume from getting lost in hundreds of resumes.
- Run your final mail and documents through a spell check. Use Grammarly for free grammar and spelling checks.
- Send your mail to the personal email address of the hiring manager. This increases your chances of getting the job.
- Make sure that your contact information is correct and all your facts are accurate.
DON'T DO IT :
- Do not flood your resume with irrelevant details.
- Do not put information that is not relevant to your target industry/niche.
- Do not write a generic resume. Write a targeted resume that is relevant to the job you are targeting.
- Do not compose a resume that does not have keywords. Make sure you incorporate them strategically into your resume.
- Do not use a generic subject line in your job application email.
- Do not incorrectly label your resume. Use a name that prevents it from getting lost.
You have reached the end of our Blog on resume tips. We hope that this blog was successful at giving you the resume help you need.
Here are some key takeaways of our Resume Tips 2022 Blog:
- Tip for resume #1: Customization is key. Do not write a generic resume. Make a unique resume for each job application. To achieve this, identify keywords used in the job description of your target job and use them strategically in your resume.
- Tip for resume #2: Your resume should have important contact details that are accurately written without spelling errors. Additionally, leave out extremely personal details such as race, gender, or marital status, etc. It may lead to biased hiring.
- Tip for resume #3: PDF resume formats retain the structure and design. Word resume formats are easy to read. Use the appropriate resume format for your resume.
- Tip for resume #4: Readability is key to getting parsed by the ATS. Your resume will not reach a recruiter if your resume is not reader-friendly. To make a readable resume, organize information using relevant sections. Moreover, try to avoid charts and graphs as much as possible as they reduce the readability of your resume.
- Tip for resume #5: You can make a perfect resume if each section is perfect. [Click here to go back to our top 7 section-wise resume tips.]
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