top of page

5 Tips for the PERFECT Resume

Writing a resume can be the most daunting task in the job hunting process. There are so many templates online, and an infinite number of blogs and think pieces on social media that offer tips on how to write a good resume.

So where do you start? How do you know what templates are best or what tips are most effective?

As a professional resume writer I've written and reviewed hundreds of resumes, so I know the most effective ways to get that perfect resume.

Let me break it down and save you the hassle!

TIP ONE: Tailor your resume to your target position

Probably the biggest issue with a lot of resumes is a lack of tailoring. We get that your background is diverse and you are "multifaceted" (a word often abused by applicants), but your resume needs to be tailored and straight forward.

Recruiters are often very one track minded, and I mean this in the most positive way possible. Let me paint a picture for you: If I am hiring a project manager, when I open a resume I want to get one of two messages:

A- I am a project manager with xyz experience, skills and I have accomplished xyz

B- I have project management skills and I can accomplish xyz based off of previous xyz exposure.

If you can accomplish one of the two, your resume is already better than 70% of other applicants.

TIP TWO: Pay attention to each resume section and its content.

Every resume has key sections providing information about your education, experience, background and skills. Here are the top four most important and commonly used sections:

Introductory profile: Which could be your career objective or professional summary.

Experience section: This shows details of your professional work history itemized in reverse chronological order.

Skill section: This is a list of your core competencies and technical proficiences.

Education section: This shows details of your educational background and professional training.

Depending on your target industry and qualifications, additional sections showing niche information may be added to your resume as well:

Certification/ License section: This is a list of your relevant certifications, training and licenses.

Professional memberships and Affiliations section: This provides details of any relevant societies & organizations you are affiliated with.

Volunteer work/community development section: Details of any official volunteer exposure and experience related to community development.

Every job description has its own requirements, so always choose the appropriate resume sections and related content that properly highlights your background and matches your target role.

TIP THREE: Be ATS compatible

ATS stands for Applicant tracking systems, and in simple terms they are programs used to filter job applications. They review your resumes and rank them based on how well you match the target position. As most hiring processes are done online with thousands of applicants for each role, the ATS makes it easier for recruiters to review applications by literally trimming the "pile".

If you want to get past the ATS and make it to the table of human recruiter or even the interview stage, you need to know how the ATS works and how to beat it. So how do you do that?

For those of us that are familiar with search engine optimization and keywords, it is essentially the same thing.

Look at it this way, if a company is hiring for a senior product manager with atleast 5 years of experience, its highly likely that the ATS would bump any resumes with less than 5 years of experience off the list.

Similarly, if a role is hiring for a professional with listed skills like; project management, leadership, and communication etc. There is a high chance that if your resume has these keywords you would get ranked pretty high by the ATS.

Pretty straightforward right? Not quite, there is another thing about the ATS that you need to be mindful of; the actual compatibility of your resume template not just the content.

The ATS scans your resume as one document and puts everything together in order to sieve out keywords. Which means when choosing a template "Less is more", you want your resume in a template that is a easy to "read" by the program as possible.

Ditch all the fancy "bells and whistles", the more graphic content your resume has, the less likely it is to be compatible with the ATS. Avoid templates with lots of shapes, icons, charts, columns etc and stick to the simple single column templates.

TIP FOUR: Talk less about your responsibilities and more about your accomplishments

When presenting information in your experience section, a common mistake is to list generic responsibilities for each role.

Lets pretend you are a content writer writing your own resume:

Here is an example of a WEAK work experience section.

TCT.Inc, Senior Content Writer May 2019–present

  • Published numerous articles about finance and technology.

  • Designed the content strategy for the company.

Here is an example of a STRONG work experience section

FanSharks, Senior Content Writer May 2019–present

  • Created content strategy for the company blog that attracted 7,500 new email subscribers within the first year. 

  • Published unique B2B and B2C content related to fintech, finance, cryptocurrency, and technology while maintaining 120% productivity levels and 88% quality rate.

Notice the difference in tone and content, It's not just WHAT you did but HOW you did it and what the RESULT was. There are two key things here; the use of action verbs and quantifiable accomplishments. This helps the recruiters to see that you can and have produced REAL results.

TIP FIVE: Editing and Formating

I know this may sound like it should be common knowledge but you would be suprised how many qualified candidates submit resumes with great content but due to poor formating and grammatical or technical errors, recruiters just skim over it.

Your resume needs to have a certain flow to it; its an important document that holds the literal description of you as a professional. Here's a few things to keep in mind:

Branding: Is there a clear message in your resume? Recruiters should be able to tell at a glance who you are and what you offer. Something as simple having your job title in a different-colored font sends a clear message.

Strategic formating: The use of bold text and alternating font sizes allows you to provide emphasis in key areas you want to draw attention too. Use this for valuable achievement data, section headings and keywords where necessary. (Case and point, notice how your attention was drawn to the word valuable?)

Editing and Proofreading: Grammatical errors are often common place and easy to miss if you are not careful. Always be sure to read through your resume multiple times, and get a third party review where possible. Another great option would be to use a writing tool to review your resume, free online tools like Wordly or Grammarly help you cross check for grammatical errors and even offer paraphrasing options.

Crafting the perfect resume doesn't have to be a headache! These five tips will help you make a resume that stands out and gets noticed.

Remember to tweak each part of your resume to fit the job you want, beat those Applicant Tracking Systems, brag about your wins more than your duties, and pay attention to your formating!

If all else fails and you feel stuck with a resume thats needs that extra flair, you should definitely hire a professional resume writer!

Don't let a boring resume keep you from your dream job. Be sure to check out our website for more information about our professional resume writing services.

110 views2 comments


This was really helpful.

Resume Guru
Resume Guru

I’m glad you find it useful!

bottom of page