In Resume Advice, Resume Writing

We all know having a great Resume does not necessarily lead to a great, decent-paying job. Why is that? Well Resume Writing has evolved over the last decade while many professionals and Resume Writers have kept using the same outmoded writing techniques. Below I detail how you can begin to upgrade your Resume, making it far more effective in getting you hired.

1. Customize your Resume for each Job you’re Applying to

When I look at most resumes I see a plethora of unrelated education and professional experience. You have just 6-9 seconds to convince a recruiter you’re the best fit for the job, which is difficult to do with one standardized resume.

  • Add the job title you’re applying for next to your name on the top of your Resume (Julius Q. Holmes IV | Technical Writer)
  • Applicant Tracking Software (robots that scan your resume before a recruiter sees it) eliminates roughly 75% of applications. Avoid being cut by sprinkling keywords (specific phrases that denote the skills, experiences & education requested in the job description) throughout your Resume.
  • Reinterpret your experience. Get imaginative by changing some of your job titles to match the job you’re applying for if some of the skills crossover.
  • Remove unrelated experience. If you’re applying for an HR Manager role but still have that Uber Driver job on your resume you may want to consider replacing it. Keep in mind it’s ok to keep it if you have limited work experience.


Download my free Resume Review Checklist here to review your own Resume like a pro.

2. Widen your definition of ‘Professional Experience’

Use your volunteer work, extracurricular involvement or even extra job responsibilities to emphasize the skills of the job you’re applying for. A recruiter looking for a Project Manager needs to think “this person IS a Project Manager,” not “this person MIGHT be able to fill the role of a Project Manager.”

  • Add relevant classes and online learning on your Resume. If I’m applying for a Technical Writing role I might put “Creative Writing 101,” and “Content Creation” on my resume. Or if I watched a few videos on how to use WordPress (as long as I can comfortably talk about it in an interview) I may add it as well.
  • Leverage clubs and volunteer experiences to demonstrate skills relevant to the job you’re applying for and invaluable soft skills like leadership and teamwork.
  • Emphasize the skills of your current job that translate to the job you’re applying for. If you’re a Bank Teller trying to get into Human Resources then talk about that time you traveled to a local college to recruit for your internship program.
  • Research the top skills, certifications & professional networks for your chosen job title. Get those skills (cough Youtube), certifications and join those networks.


3. Write your Bullet Points to be ‘Achievement Oriented’

After every bullet point, you should ask yourself “so what?” I guarantee every recruiter is asking the same question. Write from an achievement-oriented perspective of what you ‘accomplished’ rather than a task-oriented perspective of what you ‘did’. (Checkout my article on effective bullet point writing.)

  • Clearly demonstrate the impact your work has on the company by including a numeric achievement at the end of each bullet point.
  • Power words  in your bullet points help you avoid using clichés and demonstrate that you’re an active contributor at work.
  • Verifiable achievements are huge. Countless job-seekers will write things like “good team player,” …according to whom? How does the recruiter know your opinion of yourself is accurate? Since they can’t know, statements like this are useless. Instead bolster your bullet points by including as many numbers as possible.

Instead of:

  • Assisted IT team in upgrading company computer software


  • Directed 23 teams in testing 800 software upgrades & collaborated with IT Department to repair 400+ defects


Download my free Resume Review Checklist here to review your own Resume like a pro.

4. Ensure your Resume is easily ‘Skimmable’

No one reads anymore, they skim. This includes recruiters who on average look at your resume for just 6 seconds! Thus, it’s imperative that you communicate the critical information as easily & quickly as possible.

  • Make sure your margins and spacing are even, that there are no irregularities in text sizing or font usage and that there are no spelling errors.
  • Bold the results in your bullet points (not the entire line) to ensure a recruiter doing a quick skim sees the critical achievements.
  • Adding color to your resume has been shown to increase engagement by as much as 80% by making your document standout when compared to black and white documents.
  • Limit your Resume to 2 pages (unless you’re writing a CV or Federal Resume)


5. Place Your Resume on the right Websites

Are you looking up jobs, filling out online applications and then waiting for an answer? This is one of the most outdated and ineffective ways to get a job. By revising my resume using the techniques above and posting it on job websites recruiters email me daily (see below) with open roles. I explain how I do this in my article here (it’s a little outdated so contact me here with specific questions.)

Lord Resume


Download my free Resume Review Checklist here to review your own Resume like a pro.

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