Seven Actionable Tips to Help You Build a Winning Resume

It’s a common misconception that you only need to write a resume when looking for work. In fact, it’s often smart to update your resume periodically and keep it handy in case of an opportunity. It can be used as a marketing tool or even just saved for personal reference. 

The key to a winning resume is all in the details. What should you highlight on your resume, and what should you leave off? Keep reading for insights about how to build a winning resume. 

Format your resume with a clear and concise layout

One of the most essential elements of resume writing is structure. Formatting your information allows you to make an excellent first impression and quickly describe yourself in an organized manner.

Make sure you use a font that is easy to read and ensures you’re using a legible font size. Don’t use too many distracting colors or decorative elements, making it difficult for potential employers to concentrate on the key details. Additionally, it’s essential to leave plenty of room for expansion. If you don’t have space on the page, it will be challenging to add any new information that might come up in an interview or contact request.

Use strong, specific action verbs in the summary statement

The summary statement should be the first thing that an employer sees. It’s basically a one-minute version of your professional life, and it offers valuable information about how you approach work situations and what goals you are striving toward.

To improve this section of your resume, use strong action verbs to describe your responsibilities. For example, rather than writing that you “developed a database,” write that you “designed and implemented an experimental system for managing student records.” If your responsibilities are multiple and complex, be sure to break them down into smaller sections.

Differentiate between personal interests and professional goals

Potential employers won’t be interested in knowing about your hobbies, but they might appreciate the insight into your personal values or reasons for pursuing a certain field.

However, be careful not to use this section as an excuse to brag about your accomplishments. Employers have no way of knowing whether you’re telling the truth, and even if they believe you, it may backfire in the long run since they risk making assumptions about your character based on things you’ve said. 

Write an experiential job history

A lot of people make the mistake of focusing on their responsibilities and ignoring the results they achieved. Therefore, in your resume, focus primarily on what you accomplished at each position, along with a short description of your duties. 

Employers are far more impressed by those who can demonstrate strong results than those who can describe their duties in great detail. As a rule of thumb, if you’ve been at a position for less than three months or it’s an internship, don’t include it on your resume. It will look as though you’re including everything that’s ever happened to you and not leaving any room for material relevant to your goals.

Tailor your resume by including keywords from the job description or company website 

Make sure you tailor your resume for each job you apply to. The easiest way to do this is by customizing your resume with keywords from the original job posting. For example, if the posting requires a certain skill level with Microsoft Office Suite, make sure that you emphasize this qualification in your resume. If it instead has keywords related to customer service, highlight any relevant experience or training you have.

If you can’t find specific wording from the job description, utilize Google to find similar ones on their company website. In addition, you might be able to find a “mission statement” or other industry standards that you can use.

Don’t forget about social media

Social media sites are a hot topic these days, and employers will be looking at your profiles to learn more about you. Make sure that you’re using the same name across all accounts so that it’s easy for an employer to find you.

Don’t post anything on social media (or anywhere else) that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. But, most importantly, remember to keep your posts professional. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re posting with friends and write something that will come off as unprofessional, but this can be a huge detriment on your resume.

Make it easy for employers to contact you

Potential employers must be able to reach you easily after reviewing your resume, but in an online employment system, they won’t be able to contact you by phone or email.

Include your cell number and email address on your resume, along with the names and contact information for two or three references. Additionally, include your contact information in the header of your resume so employers don’t have to dig around too much to find it.

It’s time to build a winning resume

Your resume may be the most crucial document in your job search, so you must create it correctly. By following the tips listed above, you’ll be able to create a resume that gets noticed.

If your resume isn’t getting any responses, consider contacting a professional resume writer or asking for help from one of your references. They may be able to give you new ideas or insight into how you can improve it.