Best Resume Tips for your Perfect Resume in the World
Writing a resume can look like a challenging and stressful piece of work. I personally don’t agree with that. Many people procrastinate and avoid working on their resume as much as they can. This is absolutely unnecessary! You don’t need to be an expert on writing resumes so that you would get the job. There are resume writing steps, resume tips and tricks on writing a perfect resume that would lead you to the job you want.
All professional resume tips written on this page are generally advised practices and best recommendations given by HR people, recruiters and employers for writing professional resumes. Following all these tips might not guarantee you the job, but it will dramatically increase your changes to stand out from the crowd and get an invite to a job interview.
Some resume tips might look like common sense or be completely new to you, however, applicants make these mistakes on their resumes over and over again. These mistakes cost them the dream job position. Do you really want to be one of them?
When using any of these professional resume tips, always – I repeat ALWAYS – take into account your given situation and your resume goal. Some resume tips might applicable more to your situation, some tips might apply a bit less. In the resume world, there is no “FIT THEM ALL” rule.
These professional resume tips are not written in a particular order so all resume tips might be applicable to you. Check all of these resume tips and use the ones that will be the most beneficial to your resume writing.
This post is updated regularly and new resume tips are further expanded (Last update 17.08.2018). You can use this post as a checklist to be sure you don’t make mistakes on your resume. Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated and receive news about us.
So what are the best resume tips for your perfect resume?
Golden Resume Tip: Write your resume tailored and targeted for each position
There is no order in the importance of the resume tips on this page, but I have to say this is the rule number 1 and the golden rule. If I have to choose the resume tip of all resume tips, it would be this one. You can apply and follow as many tips as you want, however, if you don’t consider your specific situation and what you are trying to achieve with your resume, all other tips will be completely useless.
Every job application is different and therefore needs to be treated individually. What might be true and beneficial for one job application, the same might be the biggest disadvantage for another job opening. Always use your own judgment with every resume tip and resume recommendations. If you are not sure, do little research or just ask an expert for help. There are always people willing to help.
Best Resume Tip: Check what kind of resume or CV is a standard in the country you are applying in
We all know a different country, different culture and standards. The same applies to write resumes and applying to jobs. In general, check what kind of a resume is the standard. Some countries use interchangeably the terms resume and CV – curriculum vitae. There are some big differences e.g. strictly avoiding including a photo in the resume, the length, resume design, structure etc. Check online what’s normal and used, so you don’t give yourself minus points since the beginning of the hiring process.
To read more about the differences check 5 Surprising Differences between Resumes and CVs.
Best Resume Tip: Your resume style used in your industry and professions
The standards for resumes not only differ per country but also between industries and professions. If you are looking for a job as an accountant, a lawyer, or marketer you would preferably go for a business like slick no thrills style, rather than going overboard with styling and graphics. On the other hand, art positions, graphic designers or teachers might be going for a bit more artistry style as it usually showcases the person. Check what is generally recommended for your industry and profession and follow that.
Best Resume Tip: Check what the company requirements for resumes are
This resume tip is related to the one above. Some companies can have specific requirements for resume formats, resume styles and most importantly the digital format you must use to submit your resume.
In most case, the company or organisation won’t specify which resume format or resume design to use. That’s mostly up to you and your own judgment. These choices are, however, also part of the selection process to see how well you know the business practices and standards.
The digital format of your resume file is usually specified by the website which you must follow. You might be asked to submit your resume as a pdf, doc, docx, txt etc. Companies ask for specific format due to their computer systems and also they might use Applicant Tracking Systems. If you submit a resume in a different format than directly specified, you are likely to be dropped immediately or giving big disadvantages to yourself from the beginning.
If there is no requirement for a preferred digital format, go for a pdf file. Pdf files are displayed the same on all electronic devices so your formatting and resume design will stay as you intended.
Best Resume Tip: Use the right font size
Make your resume readable as easy as possible. Don’t choose a striking small font, it would be too difficult for a reader to find relevant information, tiring and already creating negative emotion about you and your resume. The reader might skip your resume due to difficulty and also it shows being unprofessional. How many books did you read with tiny fonts? I bet not so many.
A too big font is not ideal either. Resumes with too big font sizes can look funky and not as professional resumes. It is good to use bigger font sizes for resume headings and your name. The reader will navigate through your resume quickly and it will make your resume more attractive/welcoming to read.
In general, the body text of your resume should be between 10-12 pt, headings 14-18 pt and your name can be even up to 45 pt. The sizes also depend on the font you use.
Best Resume Tip: Don’t make your resume too long
Let’s be honest, nobody likes reading way too long documents. This applies also to the resumes. Keep the resume max to 2 pages in general. There are of course exceptions e.g. applying to an academic position or senior positing later in your career. However, many recruiters and companies still prefer 1-page resume. Why? Usually, a 1-page resume is more than enough to get an idea and suitability of the candidate. You can tell more about yourself in a cover letter and during a job interview. There you can sell yourself even more. Too long resumes are no perceived as a benefit. If you are a recent graduate, starting your career or even in a mid-career stage going for a 1-page resume is the most beneficial.
Personally, I wouldn’t go for more than a 2-page resume. The danger of having a too long resume with many resume pages is that candidates tend to include irrelevant information and that doesn’t provide any advantage over other candidates. Short, sweet and to the point resume works the best!
Best Resume Tip: Use each page to the maximum
Every letter, line and space in your resume counts and must be used to your advantage. Don’t leave white spaces on the resume as it would look unsuitable and unprofessional. Any left out space is also a missed opportunity to tell about you and why you are the best candidate for the position. However, don’t “stuff” your resume so as much as possible would be included in the resume. One page resume can also land you the job you are applying for and mostly one-page resumes do land jobs.
Using each resume page to the maximum also means focusing only on important and relevant information. Include only information about you that is beneficial to the job position, and shows your suitability e.g. skills, achievements, accomplishments etc. There is no need to include all work history if it’s not relevant to the job position at all.
Best Resume Tip: Choose a good resume format
Job applicants use tree resume formats Reverse Chronological Resume Format, Skill-Based Resume (Functional Resume Format) and Combination (Hybrid Resume Format).
Generally speaking, The Reverse Chronological Resume format is mostly used and a favourable resume format as work experiences and education etc. are ordered reverse chronologically – the most recent positions first and past experiences afterwards. It’s a logical format and the resume is very easy to read.
Remaining resume formats have benefits too and they might be actually more beneficial to be used depending on the stage of your career. Check more about How to Choose a Good Resume Format.
Best Resume Tip: Avoid any grammar or spelling mistakes in the resume
Any grammar or spelling mistakes are just a NO, NO and NO! These mistakes in your resume usually cost you the position you are applying for. Any reader of your resume would find any mistakes as unprofessional and sloppy work. You can use some applications for checking or just ask somebody from the family or friends. The more eyes the higher chance that these mistakes will be spotted and corrected.
Best Resume Tip: Create your resume in a familiar software to you
To have a job-winning resume that would look like a professional resume doesn’t require any advanced software or programs. There are many programs and text editors to be used for creating a professional resume. It is true that some programs offer more option for formatting and editing, however, even a program with basic function can be used for an effective resume writing. Choose a program that is the most familiar to you and you use often. It can be Microsoft Word, Pages for Mac, OpenOffice, Adobe Package etc. Don’t believe that you need to learn a completely new program in order to get a job of your dream.
Best Resume Tip: Avoid including photos
Including a photo of you with your resume can be considered as standard in some countries. However, in most countries including a photo with your resume is seen as negative and most likely rejecting your job applications. Anti-discrimination legislation could possibly put employers in problems due to accusations of discrimination and bias, therefore resumes without photos are preferred.
Additionally, if including a photo with your resume is not a common practice in your country, it will show that you don’t understand the job application process and legislation. Don’t look unprofessional even before getting to a job interview.
Include a photo only if required by the employer or due to the nature of the job e.g. in the entertainment field, modelling etc.
Best Resume Tip: Include the right contact details
It is important that the reader of your resume can find contact details easily and only correct information. If they cannot contact you for an interview or ask for any additional information, the job application is for nothing. All contact details should be easily visible on the top of the resume page or bottom and should be on every page of the resume in case you got 2 pages or more. I personally prefer on the top as people are used to reading documents from the top.
In general, you should include your Name, Email, Home Address, Phone Number, Links to an Online Profile, Website or your Social Media accounts. Keep all contact details close to each other so the reader doesn’t have to spend extra time searching for them.
For more information check this post about What to Include in the Resume Contact Section.
Best Resume Tip: Don’t include personal data in your resume
Including any personal is absolutely unnecessary and potentially harmful to your job application. Avoid including in your resume any information about your height, sex, weight, marital status, sexual orientation, health information. Some countries even consider this type of information as illegal in the resumes and employers shouldn’t ask this.
Additionally, information about race, religion or political preference shouldn’t be included in the resume either. By skipping this information you prevent being discriminated and after all this information doesn’t say anything about your value and your suitability for the position.
Best Resume Tip: Skip including references in your resume
Mentioning references in your resumes is not necessary as they don’t provide any value from the beginning of the hiring process. References in your resume would take valuable space that you can use for selling yourself and providing more information. Unless asked specifically by the job application form, don’t include them in your resume.
Keep your references updated in a separate document, so you can provide them to the hiring person immediately once they are needed. References are usually needed later in the hiring process and you will be asked for them by a hiring person.
Best Resume Tip: Submit your resume in the right document format
Depending on which program you use, the digital file can be saved in various formats e.g. doc, docx, pages, pdf etc. If a job submission form asks to submit your resume in a specific format, always do it. There is a reason why the application asks for this and you must do it e.g. the company uses Applicant Tracking System to handle the resume and candidates. If you don’t comply with this, your resume might be rejected immediately by the system without actually seen by a human.
However, if it is not specified which format of the resume to submit, go for a pdf file. Why? All pdf files look the same on all digital devices, the formatting doesn’t change (especially fonts) so the resume design doesn’t get messed up. On top of that, it’s one of the most used formats for digital documents and the easiest way to share your resume.
Thank you for checking this post about best resume tips. Please, I would appreciate your feedback in the comment section below or by email. Do you have any other resume tips that I could share with others? I’m working on writing more tips, so I could include them in this post.
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