Best practices in resume writing

Best practices in resume writing

Wondering how to make your resume stand out from others?  Want a resume that employers will want to read from beginning to end? Here are some of the latest best practices to consider.

Start with the basics

  • No need to include your address, but make sure you offer your phone number, email, and any web locations that can provide additional helpful information, like your LinkedIn profile.
  • Before you construct bullet points about your achievements, ask yourself “What did I do to improve my department or company?” This can help you write statements that will show employers the benefits achieved by your successes. And remember, numbers talk; e.g., “Increased sales by 30%.”
  • Your entire resume should follow a reverse chronological order, but make sure your recent, most impressive accomplishments are mentioned in the upper portion of your resume. As you craft your statements, find ways to weave in key words from the job listing.
  • The best way to showcase your achievements is to construct simple, informative statements. And keep your language readable by avoiding jargon. When possible, steer clear of starting your statements with “I.”
  • If you earned awards or accomplished something noteworthy, shout it from the rooftops using attention-grabbing words like achieved, spearheaded, exceeded, conceptualized, etc.
  • Think about using a sidebar to call attention to one of your best achievements.
  • No matter how much you’ve accomplished, resist offering more than 5 or 6 bullet points per section. Overall, structure your resume to be as brief and succinct as possible.
  • Proofread. Proofread. Nothing can make your resume more forgettable than misspelled words or poor grammar.

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Some pitfalls to avoid

Don’t clutter your resume by listing accomplishments that are not relevant to the job you applying for. Show how and why your skills fit the position with just enough detail to keep your reader engaged. And when it comes to one-size-fits-all resumes, avoid them like the plague. They can be filled with superfluous information that can turn off employers who are expecting your resume to focus on the job they are offering. And unless you are switching careers and need to make a strong statement about how your qualifications can transfer to the new situation, you might also want to consider skipping the job objective statement.

Avoid the Top 10 Resume Mistakes

Email or snail mail?

These days, email is the most popular delivery method for submitting resumes to employers, recruiters, and staffing managers. However, some organizations prefer receiving resumes through the regular mail. Be sure you check before you send.

If you are emailing your resume:

  • Take care to use file types that are easily opened on most computers. For instance, HTML files can sometimes be problematic.
  • A PDF file is probably your best bet because your formatting will carry over and the font is embedded.
  • Keep away from fancy or unusual fonts. They can look unprofessional and be hard to read.
  • Embedded images can take a long time to load and cause your reader to give up on your resume.

Resumes: hard copy | emailing | submitting online

Plenty of contemporary format examples are available online. Check them out–then craft you own awesome resume that is clean, professional, and makes your information pop!


Find job opportunities to match your resume

Contact MARCOMM to see our job listings.

Watch for our next blog that will focus on best practices in writing cover letters.