How to write a resume, the key to success: 9 Resume writing tips

30 Apr 2024
Creating the perfect resume is like making a custom suit: both need careful attention to detail, a good understanding of who it's for, and a mix of creativity and professionalism.

A resume is your first opportunity to make a great impression. Here are 9 essential steps to ensure your resume not only catches the eye of potential employers but also tells a compelling story of your professional journey.

1. Understand Your Audience
Before you begin typing, take a moment to consider who will be reading your resume. Different industries value different attributes. A graphic design resume might flaunt creative flair with unique fonts and layouts, whereas a legal resume demands conservative professionalism. Tailor your resume to reflect the ethos and expectations of your desired field.

2. Keep It Concise Yet Comprehensive
A resume should be a highlight reel, not a comprehensive biography. Aim for a single-page resume if you’re in the early stages of your career. However, if your experience is more extensive, expanding to two pages is recommended. Start with your most recent role and work backward, focusing on achievements and responsibilities that align with the job you're applying for. Use bullet points to break up text and make your accomplishments easily digestible.

3. Begin with a Bang
Start with a brief, punchy summary that highlights your professional expertise. Avoid calling yourself a "hard worker" or "team player." Instead, focus on what sets you apart.

4. Showcase Achievements, Not Just Duties
Highlighting your responsibilities is important, but what truly makes a resume shine is the inclusion of achievements. Quantify your successes wherever possible. Did you boost sales, reduce expenses, or improve customer satisfaction scores? Concrete numbers provide evidence of your effectiveness.

5. Tailor Your Experience
As you list your professional experiences, remember that not all your job responsibilities will be relevant to the position you're applying for. Focus on experiences and skills that demonstrate your suitability for the job. This might mean emphasizing certain roles over others or even omitting less relevant positions altogether.

6. Skills and Education: Keep It Relevant
Underneath your professional experience, include a section dedicated to skills and education. Highlight technical skills, languages, and any certifications that are pertinent to the job.  Regarding education, mention your degree, the institution, and graduation year. If you're further along in your career, it's okay to leave out the graduation year to avoid age bias.

7. A Personal Touch: Hobbies and Interests
While primarily professional, your resume can also reflect a bit of your personality through a short section on hobbies and interests. This is especially valuable if your extracurricular activities have honed skills relevant to the job or demonstrate leadership and teamwork.

8. Proofread, Then Proofread Again
Typos and grammatical errors can ruin even the most impressive resume. Proofread meticulously, and then have someone else look it over too. Fresh eyes might catch mistakes you've overlooked.

9. Formatting Matters
The visual layout of your resume can significantly impact its readability. Use a clean, professional font like Arial or Calibri, and keep the font size between 10 and 12 points. Margins should be uniform, and white space should be used strategically to separate different sections.

Final Thought: Your Resume Is Your Story
Remember, your resume is more than a list of jobs and educational achievements.
It's the narrative of your professional life. Craft it with care, and make every word count. In doing so, you'll create not just a document, but a testament to your potential as a candidate.


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