Without a good resume, you’re not getting the job you want. It’s that simple. The good news is, it’s also simple to create a professional, well-written resume. The following sections provide a comprehensive list of resume writing tips and the advice you’ll need to write an effective resume.
1. Colored paper and fancy fonts don’t mean a thing.
Way too many job hunters think that a bold font placed on brightly colored paper will be a guaranteed way to get a hiring manager's attention. The truth is the flashy paper will hurt the hiring manager's eyes and the bold print will make it hard to scan your resume. Use a neutral-colored, bond paper and use a standard font that’s easy to read.
2. Make sure your header has all of your important contact information.
We live in the digital age, but most all employers still prefer a telephone to contact potential candidates. When you put your resume together , put all of your contact information at the top. Your complete contact information includes:
It’s fine to use a P.O. box for your mailing address if you choose, but understand that you’ll have to give your address when you fill out the application. Always use a professional sounding email address that has your first and last name.
3. Make sure that your resume is search engine optimized.
These days, everything eventually comes back to the internet , including your resume. You need to include keywords in the content of your resume so that employers can find it via major search engines. Don't overdo it with the keywords, because that will get your resume kicked off the results pages. Your keywords should be variations of the terms used in your career field that will catch a hiring manager's eye.
4. Always start with the good stuff.
Did you know that your resume has about four seconds to impress the hiring manager? The hiring manager will place your resume on his desk and start scanning your content from the top down. If he gets to the middle of the page and still doesn't see anything he likes, then your resume will be moved to another pile.
Put your accomplishments, certifications, awards, educational background, and your most pertinent professional experience in the top half of the resume if you want it to be read.
5. Check for typos and bad grammar before finalizing your resume.
Bad spelling and poor grammar drive hiring managers crazy. A hiring manager doesn’t want to waste time trying to decipher what you’re trying to say. Have a friend or a trusted colleague proofread your resume before you finalize it to make sure that it reads smoothly and makes sense.
Use your word processor's spell check feature to make sure everything’s spelled properly. Remember that a spell checker doesn’t guarantee that you’re using the right words—it only checks the spelling. If you typed "there" but meant to type "their," then spell check cannot help you.
6. Consider using a professional service.
A professional resume service, or an online resume program, can do wonders for helping you create the ideal resume. If you really want your resume to impress hiring managers, then have it crafted by a professional.