Resumes tips

Balance your text and white space.

Importance: ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ Balancing your text and white space is the same thing as adding margins. It makes your resume aesthetically pleasing and easy to read. Do not sacrifice white space in the name of fitting everything onto one page. There are other ways.

Make sure you’ve created margins.

Importance: ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ Margins are important. That’s because resumes with text crammed edge to edge look messy and unprofessional. Do you know where messy resumes go? You know. If you do need a little more space, it’s okay to drop your bottom and top margins to 0.5” and your side margins to 0.75”. Anymore and you’re resume will suffer.

Read the job description and then read it again.

Importance: ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸ Okay, reading the job description may sound like one of the most obvious resume-building tips ever. Of course, you’ve read the job description. Right? In fact, most people spend an average of 76 seconds reading a job description. And that’s why hiring managers find that 50% of applicants are unqualified for the job. You’ve got to make sure you have the skills necessary for the job in the first place. Right: Read the job description. Make sure you’re qualified. Read it again. Mine it for keywords. Put it through a cloud generator. Target your resume. Take it on a date. Buy it Tiffany’s. Get married to it. Because that job description is your best friend when it comes to building a great resume. Wrong: Seeing a job title that sounds right, sending your resume immediately. Reading a job description is as close as you’re going to get to reading the recruiter’s mind. Pro Tip: If you want to save time and find out how to write a resume for your profession, take a look at our guides and resume examples.

Lose the phrase “References Available Upon Request.

Importance: ✸ It is no longer necessary to place this phrase at the bottom of your resume, as hiring managers know that they can request your list of references. Adding it only takes up valuable space that you could use for something else. When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here. When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

Consider putting your education section first.

Importance: ✸ Once you’ve chosen a format, it’s a good idea to make a quick decision about the layout. How do you build a strong resume? After your contact information, start your resume with either a resume summary or a resume objective. More on that later. But what should come next? Your education or your experience section? If you’re a professional with tons of experience, your experience should come first. But let’s say you’re a student and your educational background is your strongest selling point. In that case, consider putting your education section first.

Get rid of nonsensical jargon.

Importance: ✸ ✸ ✸ The person interviewing you may not be familiar with the technical jargon that goes with your territory. Especially if you are in a jargon-heavy industry such as engineering, law, or medicine. Try to use layman’s terms or simplified equivalents wherever possible. Wrong: Dramatically cloudify viral innovation. Right: Create digital backups for popular campaigns.

Consider using a professionally designed template.

Importance: ✸ Resume templates can save you a lot of time and effort. Imagine not having to fool around with margins in Word. Pick one out, and you’re ready to go.

Trim any unnecessary fat from your resume.

Importance: ✸ ✸ ✸ Having problems keeping the length of your resume in check? You will want to trim the fat:

  • Make sure every word you’ve used is necessary.
  • Keep your bullet points to six at most.
  • Trim your resume summary or your skills section without killing the value.
  • And kill any extra sections that aren’t mandatory.

Track your resume.

Importance: ✸ ✸ Instead of waiting around for a phone call, track your email so that you know the moment a hiring manager opens it. You can use a free tool like Mixmax to see if a hiring manager has read your resume. That gives you a better idea of when to send follow-up or thank you emails.

Including personal hobbies

"Unless your personal interests relate to the job, then it's best to leave them out. We don't necessarily need to know that you like watching The Office (even though I do too). Those details can wait. We'll get to know you better if we hire you." – Adele Alligood, HR consultant and engagement manager for EndThrive