Dec 08, 2021

The Best Advice on How to Write a Resume

If you’re job hunting currently, one of the things you might be wondering about is how to write a good resume. Landing your dream job can be a stressful process, especially with the tough competition existing in the current job market. But a good resume is a great way to set yourself apart and make a good first impression on the hiring manager.

Maybe you’ve already written a stellar resume, maybe you’re just starting out. Whatever be the case, you could probably benefit from getting some resume tips and suggestions on how to avoid certain resume mistakes. Let’s give you some tips on how to avoid making those dreaded resume mistakes and create a memorable first impression!

How to write a good resume and resume mistakes to avoid

1. Keep your resume design simple

Keep your resume clean and to the point. You are not privy to how the hiring manager is viewing your resume, they could be pulling it up on their phone or looking at it through an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Ensure that your resume is legible across multiple platforms: one way to do this would be to hyperlink your various profiles to the resume instead of copying and pasting the link directly onto the resume. Avoid using complicated designs, shading or boarders on your resume and stick to a basic format if you can. You can always use specific designs when you share your resume directly with the hiring manager over email or in person during the interview.

2. Keep it professional & update your contact information

This is the most basic, but mostly overlooked resume mistake that people usually make. Are you still using that email you created when you were in high school? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to take a good look at your email ID and change it to something that sounds more professional. You don’t need to include details like your marital status or your age on a resume, and you definitely don’t need to divulge information you’re not comfortable giving out, such as, your religion, race, or gender pronouns.

3. Take another look at your summary

Another resume mistake to avoid is to avoid using self-descriptors in the summary section. We often forget how important the summary section on the resume is, and use generic words like “creative” or “excellent time management” when writing the summary. Remember that the summary section is the hiring manager’s introduction to YOU, it occupies the most valuable spot on your resume and most of us waste this space on self-descriptors. So, what should you do instead? Summarize your achievements instead of describing yourself. Think about your most recent achievement at work and use that in the summary to introduce yourself to the hiring manager.

4. Use reverse chronological order

This means, starting with your most recent experience and working backwards. List your current job first in the work experience section and start with your most recent or highest degree first in the education section. It’s easier for hiring managers to read a chronological resume quickly and it’s also easier for an automatic resume scanning software to scan. A chronological resume is especially beneficial for professionals who have a few years of work experience in their industries.

5. Keep your work experience relevant

As a rule of thumb, only include relevant experience or the most recent 5-10 years of your career history on your resume. Remember to include the experience relevant to the position that you’re applying for. This may sound like a negative, but if you have a section on your resume that talks about that debate competition you won in high school, then you need to delete it now! Talk about relevant achievements instead of padding your resume with details that may backfire on you. If you’re a new graduate, we encourage you to show off a little with your achievements at the university. But if you’re a senior professional, take that tidbit about being the team captain at college off your resume.

6. Use data to back up your achievements

There is no better way to establish credibility through your resume than to quantify your achievements. How many candidates did you place at your current role? How much product did you sell? How much money did you help the company save? Talk about it in your resume and it’s a great way to ensure that you get on the shortlist for an interview.

7. Add keywords from the job description

Another great resume tip to make sure that you stand out compared to other applicants, is to include key words from the original job posting into your resume. Use the job post as a guide when you are writing your resume and incorporate some of the words you see in the job posting. Some companies even conduct keyword searches when they are sorting through resumes if they have received an overwhelming number of applications. This should be motivation enough to customize your resume to secure that coveted interview spot and avoid getting lost in the clutter.

8. Curate your bullet points

No matter how long you’ve been at your current job, don’t add more than five or six bullet points in a section. You may end up losing the attention of your recruiter or the hiring manager if you drone on about unnecessary details, that are not relevant to the position you’re applying for.

9. Proofread, double check, and make corrections!

Remember to keep your resume error free. Do a thorough quality check and make sure that there are no typos, and that the grammar is on point before you send it out. There is nothing worse than being rejected for a job because you didn’t do a proofread before sending out that job application.

10. Customize your resume

The number 1 tip to follow while sending out your resume for job applications would be to avoid sending generic resumes when the role has asked for specific skills on the job profile. However, this does not mean adding skills you don’t currently possess to the resume, but it’s about making sure that you elaborate on the skillsets that you do have and how transferrable they are to the job that you are applying for. Tailor those resumes and see how fast those interviews and job offers come rolling in!