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Essential Writing Tips for Composing a Great Resume

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Resumes are designed to help employers learn more about applicants and decide if they might be a good fit. Here are several effective resume writing tips.

Find keywords in the job postings

Begin working on your resume by thoroughly reading the job postings you are interested in. Look for keywords in job descriptions that can help you understand what the employer wants to see in a perfect candidate. Further, you will use these words in your own resume.

Look through multiple resume examples for your field

You can get inspired by many of them. Here are the main points to pay attention to:

  • They are simple. You will likely find a lot of straightforward samples. This is because hiring managers do not dedicate too much time to reading each resume.
  • They are short. Each section of the best examples is brief and to-the-point. By providing only the essential and relevant details, you let employers learn more about you.
  • They provide numbers. Metrics are frequently added in the experience section. The reason is that hiring managers are highly responsive to measurable proven value.

Provide only the most relevant information and prioritize the most meaningful information first

A common mistake is to write about all the extensive work or educational experience. According to the research, employers tend to spend only about 6 seconds per resume. If you include old or irrelevant information, it will distract the hiring manager from the important information. Instead, you should keep the resume as short as possible and include only the crucial information about work experience, accomplishments, education, and skills most relevant to the position. Put the essential information higher on the resume.

Use active language and avoid irrelevant words

Include power words, among which “accomplished,” “achieved,” “completed,” etc. If your resume is too long or hard to read, cut down the sentences and express yourself more concisely.

Be attentive to meaningful details

Do not simply list your job duties. Instead, pick your top three accomplishments in each position you have held. Do not forget to provide numbers that measure your success for every single achievement.

Include only sections you need

While looking through resume samples, you will see that there are specific sections you do not actually need. For example, if you have just graduated from university and have no professional experience yet, you should not include an empty work history section. However, you might include the information about relevant coursework, academic accomplishments, internships, or extracurricular projects under the experience section.

Use a professional font

Since hiring managers have a short time for reading each resume, make sure yours is clear and easy-to-read. Use a basic font such as Times New Roman. Choose the font size between 10 and 12 points. Also, avoid any extraneous whitespace that distracts the reader.

Choose appropriate margins

Usually, a one-inch margin size on all sides and single spaces between the lines are recommended. If you have too much white space, you may want to make your lines spaced by 1.15 or 1.5. Margins can be increased if it is difficult for you to fill the resume, but make sure to leave them below two inches.

Proofread and edit

Make sure to proofread your resume several times. Consider using proofreading programs and tools to eliminate any errors. Additionally, you can ask someone you trust to review your resume. It is useful to take a look at it from an employer’s point of view to find ways it can be corrected or improved.

Decide if you should come up with a unique resume for different jobs

Before you submit an application, ensure you have made it as easy as possible for the employer to see that you are a good fit for this position. If you are applying for a job with specific requirements, there is a probability that you should come up with another version of the resume. Choose on a case by case basis which resume will be more effective.

Make sure to provide only the most appropriate information in your resume, organize it to emphasize the most significant information, and proofread it thoroughly. A polished resume brings much more callbacks and job offers.