Here are a few basic resume writing tips to help get your resume to stand out above the rest.
1. Know the purpose of your resume:
Many people write a resume as if the purpose of the document is to land a job. As a result they end up with a really long and boring resume that makes them look like a desperate job hunter. The objective of your resume is to land an interview. And the interview will land you the job (hopefully!).
2. Back up your qualities and strengths:
Instead of creating a long list with all your qualities - for example: disciplined, creative, problem solver - try to connect these qualities with real life and work experiences. In other words, back these qualities and strengths up, or else it can appear that you are just trying to inflate things.
3. Proofread it twice:
It is difficult to emphasize the importance of proofreading your resume. Proofreading is so important. One small typo and your chances of getting hired could be reduced. Proofreading it once is not enough. Do it twice, three times or as many times as necessary.
4. Put the most important information first:
This point is important for the overall order of your resume, as well as to the individual sections. Most of the time previous work experience will be the most important part of your resume, so put ithat at the top. When describing your experiences or skills, list the most important ones first.
5. Use bullet points:
No employer has the time (or patience) to read long paragraphs of text. Use bullet points and short sentences to describe your experiences, educational background and professional objectives.
6. Achievements instead of responsibilities:
Resumes that include a long list of “responsibilities included…” are plain boring. This is not efficient or effective in selling yourself. Instead of listing responsibilities, describe your professional achievements.
7. Explain the benefits of your skills
Merely stating that you can do something will not catch the attention of a future employer. If you manage to explain how it will benefit this potential employer / company, and to connect it to tangible results, then you will greatly improve your chances.
8. One resume for each employer:
One of the most common mistakes that people make is to create one standard resume and send it to all the job openings that they can find. Sure it saves time, but it also greatly decrease the chances of landing an interview (so in reality it could even represent a waste of time). Tailor your resume for each employer. The same point applies to your cover letters.
9. No pictures
Unless you are applying for a job where the physical traits are very important (e.g., modeling, acting and so on), and unless the employer specifically requested a photo, you should avoid attaching your picture to your resume.
10. Avoid negativity:
Do not include information that might sound negative in the eyes of the employer. This is valid both to your resume and during interviews. Don’t include, for instance, things that you hated about your last company.