Career Resources: Resume Writing Tips

In today’s economy, a clean and powerful resume is a must, whether you’re unemployed and looking for a job or employed and looking to advance in your career. Hiring managers typically get dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes for one job, and you can’t afford to be sloppy or careless in how you craft your resume. The competition for jobs is too stiff. A resume is your introduction to a prospective employer. A bad first impression can knock you out of the running for a job within seconds. The best resumes are easy to read, get to the point, address the employer’s needs, and make the employer want to get to know more about you. In short, a good resume will lead to that crucial job interview.

Resume Writing TipsFive Tips for a Strong Resume

  1. Keep your resume no longer than two pages. One is preferable. Hiring managers are pressed for time and tackling a lengthy resume can be an immediate turnoff.

  2. Carefully copyedit your resume. If your resume has punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors, you’ve likely knocked yourself out of the running for the job. Think about it: A resume should be your best effort at getting the attention of a prospective employer. If your best effort (your resume) has mistakes, what does that say about your attention to detail and your work ethic?

  3. Make your resume visually appealing. Keep it clean and simple. A resume that’s hard to read—either because of small fonts or too much text—likely gets tossed back in the pile.

  4. Have a summary or career objective at the top and make sure it’s in line with what your prospective employer wants. How do you know what your next boss wants? Look at the job posting. If you’re not addressing the points in that posting, you’re wasting your time.

  5. Focus on your accomplishments. Prospective employers really want to know what you’ve achieved. Include specific bullet points on challenges and how you addressed those challenges with concrete examples of success.