How to Write a Resume That Will Get You Hired
Hiring experts share their tips for making sure you stand out and land your dream job.
Remember that one size does not fit all
“Make sure that your resume is tailored to the specific industry and job description for which you’re applying and interviewing. Though this may take a bit more time—especially if you’re applying for several roles—it’s an important step. It’s completely fine, and in fact, normal, to have multiple versions of your resume. Simply put, you cannot use your resume as a catch-all for every position you’re applying for and expect the best results.” — Len Friedrichs, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administrative at Addison Group. These resume mistakes could cost you the job.
Keywords are key
“Over 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems to phase out weak applications as part of the preliminary screening process. These applicant trackers scan applications for matching keywords and give high scores for the resumes that contain them. Often times these keywords are the same words and phrases used in the job description, so by including many of these words on your resume, your application can be scored very highly even if you may have limited work experience.”—Steve Wang, human resources expert and blogger
Be consistent with your online presence
“When posting your resume on various platforms, including social media, remember that it should have a similar look throughout. If your social media aligns with your background and requested roles, it makes you seem more established and accomplished. If your social profiles are a disconnect from your resume, it might make employers question the accuracy of your resume.” — Chris Rodgers, CEO and founder of Colorado SEO Pros. Find out tips on how to look for a job when you still have one.
Leverage free online tools
Don’t objectify yourself
“Listing your objectives are outdated. Consider instead professional summaries and skills section that closely matches the job description.” — Tara D. Carter, corporate recruiter and career consultant, Williams, Adley & Company-DC, LLP. Don’t miss the signs that you’re in the wrong career—and how to find work you love.
“Don’t forget to show personality. The more creative and colorful, you can be while still being professional and to the point, the more likely that your resume will stand out from the stack.” — Nick Murphy, host of The Job Lab Podcast
Ditch insider jargon
“Reference industry words and eliminate your current employer’s jargon. Eliminate any words or acronyms relating to processes or systems that are specific to your current or former employers.” —Vicki Salemi, Monster career expert. Find out the 10 best careers to pursue right now.
Include numbers and stats
“To stand out from other resumes, employers want to know what your work resulted in. Literally, write the words ‘resulted in’ and give some type of statistic or number associated with what you did to provide value to that previous company. Example for a sales position: ‘I cold called 200 people a day and on average it resulted in X meetings and Y% close rate, which brought in Z revenue.’ This style can apply to any job position.” — Samantha Urban, Chief Executive Officer at Urban Translations
Don’t get too creative
“One important resume guideline is that it should be in a format that makes it readable by parsing software. Sometimes people like to get creative and organize or design their resume in a format that is not readable by software and those may fall through the cracks.” — Marielle Smith, VP of People at GoodHire. Check out these weird jobs that you didn’t know you could apply for.
Mind the gaps
“It is better to be completely transparent about gaps in your resume. If you spent two years traveling, there is no harm in including that information and it is certainly preferable to unexplained periods of unemployment.” — Becky Bar, Head of Jobs Data Insights at Adzuna