Haven’t you updated your resume in a while? Did you know that there have been many changes in resume writing over the last few years? So with the change in resume writing methodology if you still have an old type resume, you will find it difficult to get the job you are hoping for. Then all you have to do is use the resume tips to create an updated resume.
Are you still unaware of how to write an accurate resume in 2021? Don’t worry. Continue reading this article. We have put together all the resume tips that will help to make your resume optimized. Apply those resume tips to your document and watch for the difference. You will have more job opportunities than ever before.
01. Add mandatory resume sections
There are several key sections to include when writing a resume. Those sections can be separated as Resume Header, Summary, Experience, Education and Skills. These are the information that every recruiter expects from applicants. However, in addition to this, you can also add optional sections like Certifications, Awards and Licenses, Hobbies & Interests, Projects etc. to make your resume stand out from other applications.
02. Understand the job requirements
You must have an understanding of the relevant requirements for each job you apply for. Apply for the job only if you have those requirements. Then you have a better chance of winning the job. You can also easily tailor the resume for such a job.
Resume Header Tips
03. List your key contact information
Your resume header should include information such as your name, address, job title, phone number, and email address. Also make sure that all the information is up to date.
04. Use a professional email address
Your email address should be professional and should not be funky. If you have an email that combines your first name and last name, insert it in your resume header. Its professionalism is very high.
But if you enter an email using fancy words, the recruiters will not like it. Never include a work email. Keep a personal email for yourself to mention on your resume. Also, don’t forget to make your email from a valid email service provider.
05. Add a LinkedIn URL
Recruiters often access your social profiles (Twitter, Facebook etc.) and LinkedIn profiles to check how your online presence is while reading your resume. So if you can include those profile links in your resume, it’s something that will save the recruiters time as well and it will definitely be appreciated by the recruiters. However, insert the above mentioned profiles after you can confirm that they are professionally maintained.
06. Add a descriptive job title
A descriptive job title is a great way to get a good first impression to your resume. Rather than just defining yourself as a software engineer, the value of your resume would be even better if you define yourself as an Oracle Certified Java SE programmer. Or else you can mention the same job title directly which is mentioned in the job advertisement.
07. Avoid adding a resume picture
Our recommendation is not to insert a resume picture unless you are going to apply for a modeling or an acting vacancy as the appearance is arguably their most important quality for the job. You have to decide whether your appearance is relevant to your profession.
On the other hand, some countries including the USA do not accept photos on resumes. Therefore, it is very important to find out whether the country where you are applying for the job accepts a photograph on your resume.
Resume Content Tips
08. Replace resume objective with a summary
Do you still use an objective statement in your resume? If so, get rid of it now and write a resume summary instead. Here you have to list some of the major accomplishments you have made in your career. You can increase the value of your resume summary by adding quantified results to it.
However, only if you are a fresher to the industry you can go with an objective statement. There you have to describe what you can do for the company to achieve their goals utilizing your existing skills.
09. Make your experience section easy to skim
Every time you design your resume, you need to pay attention to its readability. Also, recruiters usually take as little as 6-seconds to grasp your resume and then they decide whether it is a good resume or not. This is called a 6-second resume scan. Here they will skim read your resume in that short time. Therefore, you should make your work experience part skim-readable.
You can use the following tricks for that.
Limiting bullets for two lines.
Using digits when quantifying your achievements.
Minimize the use of all-caps as much as possible.
Bold only your position and the company you worked for.
Always use only one font size.
10. Highlight your promotions
Candidates are often accustomed to showing only the top positions they hold in each organization in the work experience section. This will really put you at a disadvantage. So if you have been promoted in various positions in the same company, try to show it in your resume. Then the recruiter can get an idea of the progress you have made in your career.
11. Quantify achievements
This is one of the most valuable resume tips. If you say you’ve increased the company’s revenue or increased the efficiency by a certain percentage, rather than simply saying achieved a goal, then recruiters will like it a lot. You can use numbers, percentages, timeframes as well as currency values for this.
Working closely with the marketing team and increased sales of several products by 24% in two months.
12. Use action verbs and active voice
Adding action verbs and active voice to your achievement bullet points will further highlight your achievements and reduce the robotic sounding of your resume. Here are a few examples for resume action verbs.
13. Add a description of your coursework
If you can mention some of the coursework you did rather than just mentioning the educational qualifications you have obtained, it is a great tactic to stand out in your education section. This resume tip is very valuable for students and recently graduated applicants. Because they have no experience, so that their most valuable section in the resume is the educational qualification section.
14. Avoid adding GPA
If your GPA is less than 3.0, do not include it in your resume at all. It is sufficient to mention only just the degree. But even if you have a GPA of more than 3.0 and you have an honors degree, do not mention the GPA in such cases too. Instead, you can highlight your honors.
15. Tailor your resume with skills
It is very important to tailor your resume with the required skills. This will allow you to increase the relevance of the resume to the job you are applying for. If you read the job advertisement carefully you can find out what skills are relevant to that job. If you have those skills then why not add them into your resume?
16. Mix both soft and hard skills
A common feature of almost all successful resumes is the balance of soft skills and hard skills. This means that recruiters expect all applicants to have the technical skills as well as the soft skills such as leadership skills and communication skills.
Soft skills are essential to work with co-workers and clients while hard skills are a must to perform many technical tasks. So be sure to include both of those in your resume.
17. Changing careers? Mention a few transferable skills.
Employers are looking out for transferable skills from many candidates. So if you are planning to change your career, it is wise to mention some of the transferable skills.
Transferable skills means a set of skills worthy for any kind of job. For example, analytical skills, professional skills, research skills, MS Office skills etc. are essential for almost every job. It is very important to list these skills in your resume if you are looking for a career change.
18. Avoid adding expired licenses
You might have done many courses and obtained various licenses. If you really have licenses and certificates, it is a really important thing to list them on your resume in a separate section. But if they are expired licenses, the recruiters don’t really bother about them. Therefore submit only valid licenses.
19. Add language skills and the proficiency level
If you can handle multiple languages, it’s definitely a wow factor that can get a recruiter’s attention. Ability to handle different foreign languages is a feature that any employer would like to see in applicants. So create a separate section called Language Skills and specify your fluency level for each language.
Here are some popular language proficiency scales to insert in your resume.
20. Use keywords
One of the biggest resume tips that do not used by many. Through the job advertisement you can find many keywords related to that job and the company. You can show your knowledge of the company as well as your understanding of the relevant job by choosing the keywords wisely and putting them in the right places on your resume.
21. Avoid the phrase “References Available Upon Request”
If references are required, recruiters will notify it in advance through the Job Advertisement. Or else you will only be notified if they need to. These types of phrases will waste valuable space on your resume. So the best thing is to avoid placing “references available upon request” at the bottom of your resume and save that precious space for something else.
Resume Formatting Tips
22. Use reverse-chronological resume format
Of the three major resume formats, we recommend that all job seekers should use the chronological resume format if possible. Here you have to mention your most recent experience first and then the rest when presenting the experience.
Similarly, when presenting your educational qualifications, you should present your highest qualifications first and then the others in the descending order. This will make it easier for the recruiter to take notice of your highest qualifications. This is one of the most important resume tips in this list.
23. Stick to one-page or two-pages
Avoid extending your resume unnecessarily. It can do a lot of damage to the quality of your resume content. So if you are an entry level candidate or a mid level professional, it is enough to have a one-page resume. Only go to the second page if you have years of extensive experience.
You can trim your resume length by removing unnecessary information and excessive bullet points. Also leave out the work experience that is unrelated to the prospective job. The goal of this resume trick is to keep your resume concise.
24. There is no one-size-fits all
Many people are used to making a single resume and applying it to every job. This is really something you should not do as a job seeker. Because jobs are different. You will need to tailor your resume to the description of each job. Doing so will increase your chances of getting your target job by multiple times.
25. Choose a good resume template
You can easily find many good resume builders online. You can design your resume in a better and organized way by using the free resume templates. This will save your precious time as well as your effort. Even recruiters prefer to look at the organized resumes. There are several resume templates at Resumoz which have proven-success. You can use them all for free.
26. Use legible resume fonts
One of the biggest reasons why even highly qualified people fail a job competition is because of the bad resume font selection. So you should always use professional resume fonts like Calibri and Garamond for the resume.
Also, keep your resume font size between 10-12 points. Font style and size should be consistent throughout your resume. Never use comic sans in your resume as they are a little bit difficult to read.
27. Align the content to left
By nature, people are accustomed to reading from left to right. So aligning the content of your resume to the left also makes it easier for recruiters to skim read your resume.
28. Choose a good resume color
The colors used in a resume determine the professionalism of your resume. So avoid using different colors in your resume unnecessarily. Applying only black and white or dark colors will enhance its professionalism.
But if you are applying for a modern job in a creative industry such as graphic design, fashion design, or marketing, you can choose a few good complementary colors from a good color palette and apply them to the resumes header background or to resume section titles.
29. Use white space
Having a healthy amount of white space in your resume increases its legibility. Doing so will keep the recruiters’ eyes away from getting tired. One step you can take to achieve this goal is to have margins of at least 0.75 to 1 inch on each side. In addition, you can have more white space by increasing the line space. This minimizes the clutter on your resume and provides a clean background.
30. Name your resume file properly
Most of the time you are submitting your resume via email. So your resume can be in an email inbox with thousands of other resumes. But if your resume file is named in the standard way, it will not be difficult for even the recruiters to distinguish your resume among others. Below is how to name your resume correctly.
31. Save your resume as a PDF
As we all know PDF is a universal file format that can be accessed via any device or via most web browsers. Saving your resume as a PDF will send your document as an original copy without any modifications along the way. Therefore PDF is considered one of the safest file formats to send documents via email.
However, some ATS cannot read PDF resumes and such companies will require you to submit your resume in word format in the job advertisement. In other cases, the best resume file format is the PDF format.
Resume Language and Grammar Tips
32. Minimize the use of pronouns
When listing bullet points on your resume, use personal pronouns such as “I, me, my self” only if absolutely necessary. Because the resume is something that reads about yourself. So do not waste the precious space on the resume by inserting too many personal pronouns.
Remember, we are not saying that you should not use pronouns, but you should avoid overusing them in your document.
33. Use numbers properly
If you want your resume to stand out, you need to quantify your achievement bullets as well as the summary as much as possible. When writing numbers you have to write them according to the standards. Accordingly, all the numbers from 1 to 9 should be written in letters such as one, two, three and so on. All subsequent numbers should be written numerically as 11,12, 13, and so on.
34. Never use buzzwords
Buzz words are a set of words that are somewhat over-used and obsolete in resume writing today. If you are a hard worker, detail oriented, result oriented and innovative, it is great. But there are many words you can use instead of the above buzz words to describe them. Take a look at the examples below.
35. Proofread to avoid errors
Think for a moment: If you are a hiring manager would you like to hire someone who is not so qualified when you have the opportunity to hire a perfect candidate? And so are professional recruiters.
They always try to hire the best one to their vacant position. But they do not know how talented you are. Only your resume is visible for them. So if they see any typo and grammar error in your resume, they will think you are a careless person. This reason is sufficient to remove you from the competition. Therefore when you have finished writing your resume double-check and check again to ensure that you do not have any spelling, grammatical errors, or typing errors.
More Helpful Resume Tips
36. Do not mention the whole work history
Recruiters only want to know if you have job-related qualifications and work experience. They also want to know about your most recent experience. Because they know that over time, the skills, as well as the technologies that need to be improved in every job, are updated. Therefore, they are looking forward to the most recent and most related work experience of the last 10 years in your resume to see if you are also an updated candidate.
37. Simple and standard subheadings
As mentioned earlier, there are several mandatory as well as optional sections in a typical resume. When adding them to your resume, it is important to apply standard names as the titles of those sections. This will directly affect the ATS Friendliness of your resume. ATS will be able to scan those sections separately only if you give simple names to subsections.
38. Keep ATS in mind
Did you know that a resume that you submit to a job is often subjected to an ATS scan before it reaches the recruiter? In some cases, resumes fail in the ATS scan, leaving them out of the job competition and filtering only a few resumes into the hands of the recruiter. So if you want to increase your job opportunities, you must optimize your resume for ATS.
39. Remove unnecessary information
In the USA, various laws have been enacted to provide equal employment opportunities for all. Therefore, in order to prevent job applicants from being discriminated against, many countries have pointed out some information that does not enter in resumes as they are unnecessary information. This information includes age, race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, date of birth etc. So try to omit them as much as possible from your resume.
40. Review resume examples for your industry
If you do a little research on the Internet, you will find plenty of resume examples and resume tips related to your industry or job. You can use them to get inspired to write your own resume. You can also copy, paste and edit some resume samples. There is nothing wrong with using them. But there you have to be very careful. Because, maybe due to your carelessness you may miss some editing fields. If you send the resume to your prospective employer with those kinds of silly mistakes, the employer will not think twice to reject your resume.
41. Write an impressive cover letter
Although you may not know, many recruiters like to read cover letters from applicants. Sometimes recruiters are motivated to read the resumes of applicants because of the cover letters. Therefore it is very important that you always attach a cover letter to your resume, except when you have been strictly instructed not to do so in the job advertisement.
Professional Resume Tips
42. Never lie on your resume
Many people enter false information into their resumes out of a desire to get their dream job. Sometimes they do things like mentioning qualifications they don’t have, listing technologies they don’t excel at, as well as listing skills they don’t have.
Through this, you can pass the ATS scan as well as be shortlisted but all the lies you mentioned will definitely come out during the interview or when you get the job. If then, it will become a black mark that can cause serious damage to your professional career.
So be honest and authentic when you write your resume.
43. Hide you age from the reader
Most recruiters prefer to hire youth people for their vacant positions. If you are older than usual, you can hide your age from the recruiter by removing the dates mentioned in your education and degree(s).
44. Follow up
Nowadays it is a very important thing for job seekers to follow up their job application via an email or a phone call. You have to do this because not only to make sure the recruiter receives the documents you sent, including your resume, but also let them know if they have any other issues with your job application. Also by doing so, you can show your strong desire and passion to get the job.
45. Update your resume regularly
A resume could make or break your chances of getting hired. So you need to re-make your resume better whenever possible. If you have old positions that are not relevant to your field, you can remove them. Also updating your skills, updating contact information, and proofreading also some great ways to update your resume. Finally, if you have to apply for a job in an instant, you will have a very good resume.