Resume Writing Tips – How to Write a Great Resume!

Here are some good resume writing tips that I’ve gathered from outplacement consultants and executive recruiters.  I can’t promise they will work but they all make sense and I’ve been getting consistently positive feedback on these ideas…

  1. Set up in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent position.  You may have heard of the ‘functional resume’ that lists your skills by function.  This approach is risky as recruiters don’t like surprises might automatically assume your are hiding something. If you aren’t going through a recruiter and want to tell your own story and the functional resume feels like a better fit – then it might be worth a try.
  2. Explain a little about each employer unless it’s a Fortune 100 company.  One line about how big the company is and what business it’s in should suffice.
  3. Explain the scope and role you had in each position.  Again, a single line explaining your responsibilities, level, how many people you managed, what your budget was, etc. This is not one of your accomplishments but just framing what you did at each job.
  4. List several accomplishments including what the problem was, what you did to solve it, and what the result was of your actions. This is a similar approach to how you should answer interview questions – situation, action, result.
  5. List your education at the end unless you recently graduated. Although a recruiter recently told me that the first thing he does when reviewing a resume is to flip to the second page to see where you went to school!
  6. For jobs 15-20 years ago, just state the position – that should be enough.
  7. Avoid objective statements since your objective is to get the job you have written the resume for!
  8. Have a summary statement but keep it brief.
  9. Try to keep it to 2 pages but make it easy to read.  If you have to go to 3 pages or more, then do so but the most important thing is keeping it easy to read.
  10. Avoid gimmicks like neon colored paper unless you are going for a creative marketing/sales job.
  11. Ensure there are no typos, speling or grammatical, errors.  Have several people proof read your resume.
  12. And finally, ensure that all your claims and statements are truthful.