How to write a good resume

Your resume must clearly, concisely and strategically present your qualifications to get a recruiter interested in meeting you. It should convey your skills, work experience and assets. The resume is used to describe what you can accomplish professionally in a manner that also illustrates what you can do for an employer. Job opportunities can arise unexpectedly. An updated modern resume is the key to a successful job search. Here are some do’s and don’ts of how to write a good resume and what to include.

This guide will show you: 

  • How to write a resume that recruiters will love, with plenty of examples. 
  • How to write a resume summary, work experience, and other sections, step-by-step. 
  • Ways to highlight your skills and achievements on your professional resume. 
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Resume Writing Do’s

Keep your resume clear and concise

An employer takes an average of 30 seconds to skim a resume. You want them to see right away that you are qualified for the position. Proofread your resume numerous times

Be sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Have someone else read it over as well. A simple spelling mistake on a resume can give a negative impression to the employer. It can even prevent you from getting the job.Limit your resume to two pages

Place the emphasis of your resume on your most recent experience. Older jobs and experience that are more than 15 years old should either be cut out or minimized. This way, the employer can focus on more relevant information.Tailor your resume to suit the position you are applying for

Specify work experience or achievements that are related to the position you are applying to. This can be done by reviewing the job description or the employer website.Highlight what you have accomplished

You want to be able to identify the best examples of where you demonstrated your skills. These examples should speak to what you achieved in your role, and should demonstrate what kind of employee you are. It is best to include this information in the “Work experience” section of the resume.Be honest

Lying on your resume is never a good idea. You don’t want to overstate your skills or results as it will mislead the employer. Have confidence in what you have to offer. Quantify your achievements 

Use firm numbers that the employer will understand and be impressed by. For example, how many people you supervised, how many products you sold, by what percentage you increased sales, etc.Use simple words and action verbs

The person reading your resume might not always be the employer. Resumes can be reviewed by recruiters or Human Resources specialists who may not be familiar with your specific field. Use simple and plain language, but also persuasive verbs such as handled, managed, led, developed, increased, accomplished, leveraged, etc.Include unpaid work that show off your skills

If you have volunteered with a well-known organization or worked for an important cause, put it in your resume. You should include these experiences under the “Work experience” or the “Volunteer work” section, especially if they are related to the position you are applying for. Double check and include your contact information

Your resume should list your name, address, email and phone number. This information should be placed at the top of the first page. Also, make sure this information is accurate. Otherwise, the employer won’t be able to contact you. For more sample, you can see Seattle Resume.

1. Start with Proper Resume Formatting

Would you believe that the looks of your resume are just as important as its contents? 

It’s true—

It all starts with the right presentation. Your resume could be filled with mind-blowing achievements, but no one will see them if the layout is off-putting or difficult to read. 

2. Write an Eye-Catching Resume Summary or Objective

Recruiters spend just a few seconds scanning a resume and deciding whether to actually read it properly. A strong, compelling resume introduction can be your golden ticket to the “read” pile. 

If you have some relevant work experience, combine your biggest professional achievements into a resume summary. It’ll show off your biggest selling points straight away! 

3. Show Off Your Achievements in Your Resume Work History

Here it is—

The most important part of your resume. 

If the recruiter decides to give your job application a chance based on your formatting and profile, this is the section they’ll focus on the most. 

4. Use Your Education to Your Advantage

The importance of your education section depends on your level of experience—

If you’ve worked in relevant positions for several years, you can stick to the basics. Provide your highest level of schooling, including the name of the institution and the years of attendance. Add your CGPA if it was >90%. 

5. List the Most Relevant Professional Skills on Your Resume

There are hundreds of soft and hard skills you could list on your resume—

6. Include Additional Sections on Your Resume

You have a good resume on your hands—

Time to make it great. 

Take your job application from merely correct to outstanding by including some of these extra sections: 

  • Certifications: list any additional certs and diplomas you obtained in your field. As always, make sure they’re actually relevant to the job you’re applying for! 
  • Memberships: are you a member of a professional association? Perhaps you’ve organized a workshop, mentored a junior colleague, or given a lecture as part of your membership? All of these will make your resume stand out! 
  • Volunteering: helping out at non-profits shows you’re an empathetic team player and adds personality to your resume. 
  • Languages: the ability to speak a foreign language is always a plus. You don’t have to be fluent in a language to mention it on your resume, either: just specify your level of proficiency, e.g. French (intermediate); German (minimum working proficiency)
  • Hobbies and interests: believe it or not, these can go on your resume. Just make sure to list hobbies that show your skills or personality in a positive light. 

Depending on your experience and profession, you can also include other categories, such as publicationsprojects, or awards

7. Attach a Cover Letter to Your Resume

Congrats! 

Looks like your resume is all done and ready to win you a job. 

But a resume alone is not enough: 

Send it out with a cover letter to boost its effectiveness and maximize your chances of landing the job. 

8. Add your contact information and personal details

This is one of the most important sections of your resume. If hiring managers can’t contact you, it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your resume is. So you need to make sure that your contact info is accurate and up-to-date.

The following information should appear at the top of your resume:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Location (City, State, Zip Code)
  • Email Address
  • LinkedIn profile URL