Resume Writing Tips
Include a Summary
Everyone wants to make a good first impression. Carefully read the job application summary, highlight keywords and phrases, then think of how you meet or exceed the job expectations and required skills. Tailor your summary for each job you apply for. Don’t make your resume “one size fits all.” You might think it’s more efficient and less time consuming, but employers might think you’re lazy and not ambitious enough to address each position you apply for individually. Also, employers will think you went the extra mile — it will demonstrate initiative and that you really do want this job.
Choose a Template
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Browse hundreds of free template options online and choose one that catches your eye. If you can’t find a free template that suits your fancy, you can also purchase several options from various websites. Choose a template that you find attractive and that suits your personality, but don’t try to be too unique or stand out from the crowd too much because — while your resume will surely get noticed — you might get the “wrong” kind of attention. The trick is to express your personality in a subtle way; it’s all about balance.
Use the Active Voice
Show power, confidence, and that you mean what you say. Speak like you know what you’re talking about to grab your potential employers’ attention and maintain their interest. The passive voice, while appropriate in many cases, often conveys a sense of hesitancy and is much less powerful.
Get to the point and don’t beat around the bush. Also, don’t try to sound too smart or sophisticated by using long, complex words. Employers are more interested in your skills, experience, and what you can offer them rather than your extensive vocabulary and sophisticated understanding of the English language.
Avoid the First Person Pronoun
Yes, this is about you—but what it’s really about is getting you a job, so avoid using “I” and “me” in your resume. The third person conveys a sense of professionalism, while the first person is too personal and informal for resume writing.
Less is More
Make your words and sentences pack a punch. Also, make your resume easy-to-read for the often impatient and overworked person viewing your resume. Avoid flowery language like the plague and don’t embellish your words. Although it might be counter-intuitive, you’ll actually be more convincing if you use less dramatic and descriptive language. Your point can get lost if it’s surrounded by too many adjectives and long, ornate words.
Don’t use fancy font. A sans serif-style font is most appropriate and attractive looking for resumes — examples include Calibri, Arial, and Lucida Sans. Lucinda Calligraphy might be calling your name with her ornate, fancy beauty, but the font will be too difficult to read.
Add a bit of colour. Use only one colour and choose the tone carefully. Use this colour sparingly. For example, make your name your favourite shade of pink for an added punch that will get you noticed, but wont make your resume look “gaudy” or too flashy.
Be Conscious of Length
One to two pages will suffice. Any more than two pages and your employers probably won’t read the whole thing or they will just scan the last part.