Advice & Resources

Top Tips for Writing A Great Resume

Writing a resume is something that a lot of us dread. Every time we apply for a new job it seems, the old resume is out of date and in need of updating. This is process is then not only lengthy but also somewhat painful as we have to sell ourselves while at the same time trying not to sound too arrogant. Self-promotion doesn't come naturally to most of us and as a result the job normally feels lengthy and somewhat embarrassing.

But it has to be done – and a great resume can make a huge difference to your prospects. To help you better write a resume that will stand out and get you noticed then, keep reading!

Tip #1 – Throw Out the Rule Book

Tip number one is simply to throw out the rules. While the rules can be useful when writing your resume, you shouldn't view them as verbatim. In fact, there's often a lot to be said for bending some of the rigid format guidelines you hear most often.

Tip #2 – Two Pages Can be Okay

For instance: the one page rule. Often it's said that a resume should be just one page long but while this has its advantages, it can also be very restricting and limiting. If you have more to say than can be said on one page, then don't worry too much about spilling over onto the next page.

Yes, it's a good idea to keep your resume succinct so that it can be read quickly. But if you're the perfect candidate for the job, do you really think that you'll be penalized for going onto a second page?

Tip #3 – Consider a Photo

Likewise, a lot of people will tell you not to include a photo. Actually though, in the right circumstances this can be an asset that makes your resume stand out in the crowd and that makes you look like a likeable person that they will want to work with. Judge it on what you know of the company in question.

Tip #4 – Take a Modular Approach

It's always a good idea to tailor your resume to the particular job that you're applying for. If you're thinking of applying to a job as a writer and a job as a programmer, then you should emphasize different skills in each. This takes time though, which is why it can be a good idea to take a more modular approach. Write multiple sections and then simply combine them into a complete resume for each job you apply for.

Tip #5 – Make it Easy to Read

Try to think about the HR department looking through the 700 resumes they received for your particular job. They need to be able to look through these quickly and easily, so work with them and make sure your resume is 'skimmable'. You'll get in their good books and you'll be more likely to have your resume actually read.

Tip #6 – Spelling and Grammar

Finally, make sure you go over your resume with a fine comb. A single typo may not be the end of the world but it can seriously undermine what you're saying and especially if you get a somewhat anal interviewer!

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