Resume Writing 101: 7 Tips You Need To Know

Resume Writing 101: 7 Tips You Need To Know

1. Make it memorable

As a marketer at heart, I’d be willing to argue that the way you format your resume not only says a lot about who you are, but can make or break whether or not someone will actually take the time to read it. The goal is to make your life on a page stand out in a stack. Some industries (accounting, law, engineering) are more traditional than others (tech, marketing, design), so be sure to pick a template or create a resume that makes sense with your field.

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An example of a more “creative” resume. You play with colors, fonts, and design.

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An example of a good resume style for more traditional industries. Instead of playing with colors, it’s more of “traditional with a twist”

2. Avoid fluffy buzzwords

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“I am a hardworking, motivated, high-achieving person.” No, NO, and NOOOO. First of all you sound like a generic, computer generated non-person. And second of all, you should just be all those things. Announcing it on your resume just has the opposite effect. This is one of my favorite articles about buzzwords to avoid and buzzwords recruiters love.

3. Make things easy to read

Font Sizes: My junior year of college I remember having been involved in so many things that I was having trouble keeping everything on one page. I thought the genius solution was to change the font from 12 to 1o pts. Looking back, I think I would have needed a magnifying glass to read everything. Imagine trying to read something that small when you might have spent the last 6 hours looking at other pieces of paper covered in achievements. My rule of thumb is to keep it to 11.5 as the smallest size. You’ll be able to fit more on the page, but it’s still legible.

Font Styles: Even though you may want to get artsy with the font (that’s fine), just make sure that things are legible. In my opinion go artsy with the headers but keep the actual text in a legible font like Times New Roman.

Margins: You NEED margins, so don’t think you can get away with writing from edge to edge. You can get away with making it a tad smaller (I personally like .63 on the sides and 1 inch at the top and bottom).

4. It’s a highlight reel, not a documentary

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I think that resumes are to LinkedIn as Instagram is to Facebook. Basically – Instagram and your resume are the highlight reel of your achievements and what you’ve been up to. We all hate the person that posts 3-4 pictures at once on Instagram. Facebook is where you can post a whole album of photos. LinkedIn is where you can completely expand on your past work experience, etc.

Keep you resume (and your Instagram) short and sweet! Which leads to the next point…

5. 1 page only

I threw this tip in because while fielding resumes for different organizations, somehow someone would always have a 2 (sometimes 3!) page resume. YOUR RESUME NEEDS TO BE ONE PAGE. (Sorry but the caps was necessary). My dad who has over 30 years of experience in the law field, and so many awards that he could fill up a high school trophy cabinet, manages to keep it to 1 page. If he can do it, so can you. And to help you stay on one page…

6. Recent & Relevant Only

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If you’re in college: Your high school activities should be wiped clean after year one (max year two). Unless you founded a company or did something crazy cool, your Varsity Team Captain role needs to float into the past. If you’re part of the “real world” – your leadership experience in college should dissipate from the resume after year one. Of course any relevant work experience can stay.

Good news is that those leadership roles can live on your LinkedIn 🙂

7. Have 3-5 people proof read it

At this point you’ve probably spent countless hours working on your resume. And while you might feel that you’ve scoured for every possible problem, the truth is that you NEED 3-5 people to proof read it. By having more than just you (and maybe 1 other person), it’s almost like conducting a focus group. Is the font legible? How do they like the design? Did you have a small typo somewhere?

What are your tips for making a great resume?

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19 Comments

  1. September 13, 2017 / 9:26 am

    I’d love tips on how to write a resume for someone who hadn’t worked for 9 years. All the past career stuff needs to be there but also all the non- paid stuff in 9 years adds up. I struggle with how to make it easy to read as it doesn’t follow a simple time line.

    • G
      September 13, 2017 / 9:28 am

      That is a really good topic!! A good way to get around the “paid v. non-paid” would be to retitle your “work” section “experience” or “relevant experience”. There you can list out anything relevant to the job you are applying for. Whether it’s community service, or a side business, etc. Hope that helps 🙂

  2. Nicole
    September 13, 2017 / 9:45 am

    These are all great tips.I couldn’t agree with you more about trying to stand out from the crowd. Recruiters and companies see hundreds of resumes that are standard and common. Seeing something put together nicely with a little flare is refreshing and will get you noticed.

    • G
      September 13, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Thanks for reading Nicole! <3

  3. September 13, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    First off I love your outfit..fabulous! And second, these are great tips! So timely..ha I just had my resume redone to reflect all my blogging and marketing experience..I am hoping to quit my teaching job soon and find something remote! Thanks for sharing!

    Valerie

  4. September 14, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Uhm this post is a must read for all stages of your career! Also I’m obsessed with those shoes girl!

    xo, emma

    • G
      September 14, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      Thanks for reading Emma !

  5. September 14, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    Such a good post!! I used to be a recruiter and resumes are EVERYTHING! Love your tips!

  6. September 15, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    Sorry I am too obsessed with your outfit to read this post, haha! LOVE those shoes!!!

    • G
      September 15, 2017 / 5:03 pm

      Haha thanks Abbey!

  7. September 18, 2017 / 9:52 am

    This is so helpful!! I’m definitely going to use some of these tips when fixing up my resume!!💗

    • G
      September 18, 2017 / 9:53 am

      Thanks for reading Alex! Glad they helped!

  8. September 18, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    as someone who is currently looking for a new job, this is so helpful! I am definitely going to apply these tips to my resume. thanks for the great post!

    xoxo
    Megan
    http://www.meganhofferth.com

    • G
      September 18, 2017 / 12:46 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for reading Megan ❤️

  9. September 18, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    These are really helpful tips! (And super cute photos!)

  10. Karya
    September 18, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    I’m guilty of having a more than one page resume, definitely needed these tips!

    • G
      September 18, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      Oh dear, well glad I could help!

  11. September 18, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    Ok, now I’m ready to revamp my resume!

    • G
      September 18, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      hehe! I feel like you’d be the business/ resume queen!