When writing your resume, it’s important to understand who will be reading it and what they are looking for. Tailor your resume to each specific job posting, highlighting relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments. Research the company and role to customize your resume to show how you are a good fit.
Summarize Relevant Experience
Focus on summarizing your most relevant experience and achievements. Use bullet points to highlight key responsibilities, projects, and results. Quantify your accomplishments with numbers and metrics when possible to demonstrate impact.
Here’s an example bullet point:
- Developed 5 new high-impact training programs that reduced onboarding time by 30% and improved new hire retention by 15%
Craft an Impactful Profile/Summary Section
Distill your value proposition into 2-3 concise sentences at the top of your resume. Communicate how your background makes you a strong candidate for this specific position.
Here’s an example opening profile/summary:
Resourceful product manager with 5 years experience leading cross-functional teams to launch industry-leading SaaS platforms. Core strengths in customer research, product strategy, and agile development.
Optimize With Keywords
Sprinkle in relevant keywords from the job description – but don’t force fit or overdo it. Use natural language. Keyword optimization helps get your resume noticed by applicant tracking systems.
Focus on Relevant Details
Be concise and resist the temptation to include irrelevant details just to fill space. Only highlight information directly relevant to the target role and company. Remove outdated or insignificant bullet points to sharpen your focus.
Review and Refine
Set your resume aside for a day after writing a draft then revisit with fresh eyes. Tweak wording to increase clarity and impact. Ask a friend or mentor to review and provide candid feedback. Refine over multiple iterations.
Review your resume to ensure the tense, voice, verb usage, and formatting is consistent. Use either first person “managed” or third person “management” but don’t switch back and forth.
Highlight Transferable Skills
If you are changing careers, think creatively about how your background prepares you for this new path. A teacher has transferable skills in lesson planning, communication, multi-tasking and more. Draw connections between your experience and the role’s needs.
Use Numbers and Metrics
One powerful way to demonstrate impact is to quantify your achievements. Metrics not only help prove your value, but also make your resume more memorable. Here’s an example result-driven bullet point:
- “Increased website traffic by 45% and conversions by 30% within first 6 months of redesign launch”
Optimize Keyword Density
You want to include relevant keywords in your resume, but avoid awkwardly repeating the exact same phrases over and over. Vary your vocabulary and language use while still covering the right terminology. Review the job description for keyword ideas.
For data-driven roles, use charts, graphs or other visualizations to help highlight key data trends and insights. This breaks up blocks of text and helps convey complex data relationships. Just be sure the images are clear, easy to understand and formatted cleanly.
Carefully fact check all dates, numbers, percentages, job titles, company details, platforms, tools, etc. One small accuracy error can undermine your credibility. Enlist a friend to help double check.
Choose Clean Fonts
Stick to standard simple fonts like Arial, Calibri or Cambria. Use 10-12 pt size for easy readability. Avoid using multiple fonts and font sizes, as this looks unprofessional. Font choice impacts first impressions.
Use Resume Templates
Leverage pre-designed resume templates through Microsoft Word or sites like Novoresume.com as a starting point. This simplifies formatting so you can focus on content. Just be sure to customize and make the template your own.
Showcase Awards and Certifications
If you have earned special honors, awards or certifications, include a separate section to highlight these distinctions. Just be sure they are relevant. For example, a PMP certification signals project management expertise.
Here are some helpful websites for optimizing your resume: