Secrets to Writing a Great Resume
We would be happy to write your resume for you with our Professional Resume Writing services. We also know paying someone to do your resume for you can be pricey and you can probably write a great resume on your own! The following is a resume guide to help you along the way...
Chronological Resume – Chronological resumes involve listing your work history starting with the most recent position and following a reverse chronological order. Employers and Recruiters typically prefer this style of resume as they can most easily see what positions you've had and what your job duties have been.
Functional Resume – Functional resumes focus on skills and experience, versus your work history. This type of resume is useful if you're changing careers or have gaps in your employment history. Currently, this is not a preferred layout for most employers.
Combination Resume – Combination Resumes list your skills and experience to start out and then follow with your employment history. This is a great style of resume to showcase your skills relevant to the position you're applying for, while also providing your work history and specific job duties. This type of resume is useful for resume keywords and advancing past applicant tracking systems since you have the opportunity to get some keywords into your top profile and skills section, as well as throughout your work history.
- Note: We typically advise using this style with some modification – be sure to keep your skills and profile shorter so that it takes up no more than a half of your first page. It's important that your actual work history start on the first page of your resume.
Suggested General Layout – While it’s up to you to determine what works best with your resume and the companies you’re applying to, we’ve seen the most success with the following layout...
- Header – Name, Phone, Email, City & State, LinkedIn
- Professional Profile – A short statement that summarizes your career and exemplifies some successes
- Core Competencies – A great spot to get some keywords in. This would be a list of some of your key skills that correspond with the job you’re applying for
- Professional Experience – A reverse chronological list of the positions you’ve held and the bullet pointed job duties involved
- Education – The University you went to, Major, GPA, Year Graduated, Possibly the fraternity or sorority you were in, clubs you were involved with, awards, etc. You can include your High School info here if you’re still in college or just graduated, but it’s typically not necessary
- Volunteer Experience – Optional. If you’re in college or just out of college you might want to include this to beef up your resume a bit. This section can also go after Professional Experience, before Education.
- Awards/Publications – Optional. Good to include if you’ve been published or received significant awards.
- Technical Skills – A list of your technical capabilities
Resume Length – It’s advised that you keep your resume to 1-3 pages. If you’re in college or just out you’ll likely be at about a page, with more experience you might be at 2-3 pages.
Eliminate the "Objective" – Objective statements are redundant and a waste of space. Stating that you want to work at this company is a bit silly since you’re obviously applying. It’s much better to begin your resume with a professional profile.
Remove "References Available on Request" – Employers know you will furnish references if they request it. You don’t need to waste valuable resume space on this statement.
Exclude your address – simply putting your city and state down is plenty. Potential employers might look at your address and start judging your commute time – it’s up to you to decide what’s okay for your commute. In addition, you may be planning to move to a particular area and don’t want to be eliminated early on because your address isn’t near the job location.
Include your LinkedIn profile link – Welcome to the new age of resumes! As time goes on, more and more people and companies will move to fully online profiles. You might as well show you’re ahead of the game. Most employers will search for your LinkedIn profile right away, so you might as well give it to them. Keep in mind you can create your own custom LinkedIn URL and should do to make that link look cleaner when you’re sending it out.
- Note: You may definitely include links to other social media pages in your resume (particularly if you’re applying to a job that requests heavy social media use), but it’s typically not wise to include a link to Facebook – it's tough to keep Facebook as clean as an employer would want to see it.
Where the "Education" section should go – Typically education fits best towards the bottom of your resume. If you are a fresh graduate, however, you may choose to put it at the top of your resume.
What are keywords, why are they necessary and where do they go? – "Resume Keywords", or "Trigger Words", are the keywords placed throughout your resume to assist you in achieving a higher Applicant Tracking System ranking. Ideally you'll place some of these keywords in your "Core Competencies" or "Career Summary" section at the top of your resume, as well as making sure they're dispersed throughout your previous job duties and position descriptions. It's best if you can include your specific keywords a few times throughout your resume.
Quantify! – Be sure to use numbers to showcase some of your past achievements – i.e. "increased sales by 35%". This helps to reveal the impact you've made in your role.
Submit your resume in a PDF format – PDF allows your resume to be opened on different computers and still look the same. Many employers also spend a lot of time on mobile platforms. When a resume is opened on a phone it will look best in PDF form.
Spelling and Grammar – Double and triple check your spelling and grammar! Read your resume out loud to yourself to help find errors.
How your resume should be saved – your resume should be saved in the following way: "[First Name] [Last Name] Resume". This is the preferred way for hiring managers to receive resumes as it makes it easier for them to sort.
Including personal info – NEVER include anything on your resume that has your birthdate, age, marital status, or religious views. It really only makes HR departments uncomfortable because it's not info that hiring managers and employers are supposed to know. AND again, it wastes valuable resume space.
Including High School achievements – This is only a do, IF you're still in college, OR IF you're just out of college and did something really amazing in high school. If you're a couple years out of college, then it's probably best to eliminate high school achievements.