If you have not had a chance to update your resume in a while or maybe struggling with ideas or formats, don't worry. We have compiled 35 of the best resume tips to help you land job interviews in 2023.
1. Tailor Make Your Resume Think of your resume as a marketing document selling you as one of the best candidates for the job. For each resume you send out, you will want to tailor your resume, highlighting only the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job at hand. Avoid sending the same resume for every job.
2. Drop the Objective Statement. The only occasion when an objective section makes sense is when you’re making a career change and need to explain why your experience does not match up with the position you’re applying to.
3. Most relevant information first. You should ensure your most relevant qualifications are visible on the top third of your resume. This top section is what the hiring manager is going to see first and encourages them to keep on reading.
4. Keep it concise. You want the information in your resume to be as short as possible, and keeping it to one or two pages forces you to prioritize what really matters. No need to explain the hows but only the whats (what you do or have done)
5. Include relevant links. Cover the most important details on that document, and then include a link to your personal website, your online portfolio, and examples of your work. Avoid hyperlinking keywords since it can throw off the tools employers use to store and parse resumes.
6. Make your CV ATS compliant. Most employers use software called an applicant tracking system or ATS to parse resumes and organize them so that recruiters and hiring managers can search for the most relevant applications. You should ensure your resume is ATS-friendly.
7. Use a simple format Make your resume is easy on hiring managers’ eyes by using a reasonably sized default font and leaving a healthy amount of white space on the page. Your main focus here should be on readability for the hiring manager and the ATS system.
8. Avoid unfriendly ATS design elements. On the flip side, you should avoid design elements that ATSs are known to have trouble with such as:
Logos and icons
Images and photos
Graphics, graphs, or other visuals
Headers and footers
Less common fonts
Columns that can only be read from top to bottom
9. Make your contact information prominent. You don’t need to include your address on your resume anymore, but you do need to make sure to include a phone number and professional email address as well as your LinkedIn profile.
10. Design your resume for skimmability. Hiring managers do not spend a lot of time on each individual resume. So help them get as much information, in as little time as possible by making your resume easy to skim.
11. Keep your work experience recent and relevant. As a rule, you should only show the most recent 10 years of your career and only include the experiences that are relevant to the positions you’re applying to. Employers will pay particular attention to the last 10 years or your last 3 employers and draw its relevance.
12. Transferable skills and experiences. Don’t panic if you don’t have any professional experience that fits the bill. Focus your resume on your relevant and transferable skills or projects, and then make sure to back it up with a strong cover letter describing why you are ideal for the job.
13. Write achievement-focused bullet points. The bullet points under each job entry are arguably the most important part of your resume. Start with a strong action verb, and tell the reader how your work benefitted your company so they know what they stand to gain by hiring you.
14. Curate your bullet points and experiences. No matter how long you’ve been in a job, or how much you’ve accomplished there, you should not have more than 10-12 bullet points under it—and that’s only for your most recent and relevant job. Jobs further back should generally be limited to 8 bullets.
15. Use Numbers. Use facts, figures, and numbers whenever possible in your bullet points. How many people were impacted by your work? By what percentage did you exceed your goals? Quantifying your accomplishments allows the hiring manager to picture the level of work or responsibility you need to achieve them.
16. Use important keywords. Scan the job description, see what words are used most often, and make sure you’ve included them in your bullet points. For example, does the job description list “CRM” or “Salesforce”? Make sure your resume matches.
17. Experience first, education later. Unless you are a recent graduate, put your education after your experience. Chances are, your last couple of jobs are more important and relevant to you getting the job.
18. Keep your CV in reverse chronological order. Usually, you should lay down your educational background by listing the most recent or advanced degree first, working in reverse chronological order. But if older coursework is more specific to the job, list that first to grab the reviewer’s attention.
19. Highlight honors and achievements, not GPA. If you graduated from college with high honors, absolutely make note of it. While you don’t need to list your GPA (unless impressive), don’t be afraid to showcase an award you won.
20. Include continuing or online education. Don’t be afraid to include continuing education, professional development coursework, or online courses in your education section, especially if your resume sheds a little light on relevant experience.
21. Highlight a Key skills section. Be sure to add a section listing all the relevant skills you have for a position—especially those mentioned in the job description. Include technical skills like software and project management tools or specific knowledge of how to perform relevant tasks.
22. Show your soft skills. Describing soft skills on a resume often starts to sound like a list of meaningless buzzwords. But being a “strong leader” or an “effective communicator” are important characteristics you want to get across.
23. Include relevant certifications and licenses. If you have a certification or license that proves you can do some aspect of the job you’re applying for, don’t forget to include it on your resume.
24. Add relevant awards and achievements. Do include awards and accolades you have received, even if they are company-specific awards. Just state what you earned them for, e.g., “Earned Golden Salesperson Award for having the company’s top sales record four quarters in a row.” What about personal achievements—like running a marathon—that aren’t totally relevant but show you are a driven / competitive, hard worker? Consider the best way to include it.
25. Cut the short-term jobs. If you stayed at a (non-temporary) job for only a matter of months, consider eliminating it from your resume to avoid looking like a job hopper. But if the short-term job is super relevant to this job, consider including it anyway.
26. Strategically list dates. If you have gaps of a few months in your work history, don’t list the usual start and end dates with months and years for each position. Use years only (2018–2020), or just the number of years or months you worked at each position.
27. Explain serial job hopping. If you have job-hopped frequently, you can include a reason for leaving next to each position like “company closed,” “layoff due to downsizing,” or “relocated to a new city.” By addressing the gaps, you will proactively illustrate the reason for your frequent job movement and make it less of an issue.
28. Explain a long break in jobs. Re-entering the workforce after a long hiatus? This is the perfect opportunity for a summary statement at the top, outlining your best skills and accomplishments. Then, include part-time or volunteer work. 29. Be intentional about career gaps. While career gaps are becoming increasingly common, you should still frame them in a way that’s relevant to a future employer, by talking about skills you gained or any professional endeavors you took on.
30. Ditch “References available upon request” If a hiring manager is interested in you, they’ll ask you for references.
31. Thoroughly Proofread your resume. It should go without saying, but fully edit your resume and make sure it’s free and clear of typos. And don’t rely on spell check and grammar check alone—Ask family or friends to take a look at it for you.
32. Save it as a PDF or Word document. Unless a job posting specifically requests that you do otherwise, your resume should always be submitted as either a PDF or Word document (.docx not .doc). These are the formats that can be most easily opened and most easily parsed by an ATS. If you’re emailing your resume, however, PDFs are a bit more likely to maintain your formatting across different computers and programs, however, .docx are more ATS friendly.
33. Name your file clearly. Ready to save your resume and send it off? Save it as “Jane Smith Marketing Analyst Resume.” The hiring manager is going to find it super easy.
34. Keep your resume outline fresh. Carve out some time every quarter to pull up your resume outline and make some updates. Have you taken on new responsibilities? Learned new skills? Add them in. When your resume is updated on a regular basis, you’re ready to pounce when the opportunity presents itself.
All the very best with your next career step and job search.