How to Make a Resume Look Professional and Outstanding
12 July, 2018 in Resumes & Cover Letters

Let us start a complete overhaul of your resume; it is high time for this! You can do that every time you need to search for a new job or just as an annual procedure of tuning-up. Even if you know how to make a resume brilliant, be ready that it will take a few hours, and it is definitely worth it. It may happen that you are in increasingly short supply of time. What you can devote to your resume upgrade are just a couple of minutes, and it implies only a skin-deep polishing-up. No problem, we will show you what a good resume looks like even if you lack time for the profound changes. Have a look at the list of updates that you can make to help your resume shine. You will see that even those minor improvements can make a significant difference. Think about the time you have, choose a strategy and start turning your resume into an eye-catching winning project.

  • Change the font

Check if your resume is readable. You can either stick to the standard Calibri font, or switch to Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica. It is not the best way of making a perfect design, but a clean font will improve its readability for sure. Thus, the odds that your resume will be accepted by applicant tracking systems rise at once.

  • Do not use the phrase “references available upon request”

They will ask you for references, if they need them! It is more reasonable to use the available space to add some info about your personal accomplishments and abilities.

  • Delete the objective of your resume 

Attractive resumes never contain stereotyped boring phrases. What is the point of saying, “I am a committed expert who is interested in working in the […] industry”? It is evident that it is the reason why you submit your resume. So, why do you take up the space you could use much more effectively?

  • Save it properly

The best format for a resume is PDF as the formatting won’t change on any computer. 

  • Change the name of the file 

Change the name of the file from simple “resume” to a better name “[First Name] [Last Name] Resume”. Thus, the hiring managers will not lose it and your resume will stand out among others.

  • Remove home address

Recruiters may not be interested in non-local employees because your commuting will take too much of your time and efforts. Thus, your resume can be turned down only because of the only factor of your address. 

  • Make sure all the hyperlinks are live

All eye-catching resumes will most probably be read not in the printed form, but on the computer screen. So, if you mention your personal website, email, LinkedIn or any other social profile, make them clickable. Thus, a recruiter will learn much more about you easily. 

  • Remove all irrelevant details

Your religion, marital status, and even date of your birth can be omitted. The employers cannot request for such information as it is illegal to take into consideration those aspects.  

  • Remove your graduation year

How does quick change work? If you graduated more than three years ago, do not mention the exact date. It will save you from age discrimination as the only thing the recruiters should know is that you have a degree. 

  • Rearrange the resume and move education

Let your experience go before the education. It is more interesting for a recruiter to know about the jobs you used to have than about the school you attended, unless you have graduated recently. 

  • Leave high school behind

Resumes that get noticed do not mention the high school education unless you have just left school. Other reasons to mention this are to highlight some outstanding high school experience or to bulk up the resume.

  • Update the section about your skills

Building a better resume, don’t forget to add newly-acquired skills. At the same time, always remove those which are outdated. For example, your Microsoft Word skill is an axiom. 

  • Break up the section of your skills 

In case you have numerous skills needed for your desired position, in particular those related to leadership, software, and foreign languages, it is recommended to break them out into sub-sections of “Software Skills”, “Language Skills”, etc. 

  • Pay double attention to formatting

Learning how to make a resume exceptional, do not forget about proper formatting. It should be consistent throughout. Each headline on resume should be done in the same style. All bullet points have to match and all indents are to be lined up. No sloppy styling in a good resume! 

  • No acronyms

You should know how to make your resume stand out and help the recruiter grasp all the details at once. Your certification, company, and title should be written in full names. You can use both a full name and acronym if that is needed. It is done both for the employers and for the convenience of the applicant tracking systems.

  • Remove all distractions in the design

Neither visual elements nor photos are welcome in a resume. Their use can be well-grounded only if apply for a creative position of a designer or some similar job. If you don’t, it is better not to interfere with the work of applicant tracking systems or distract attention of the recruiters.

  • Hide the gaps

It may happen that your history includes some gaps of several weeks or months. If you want to get the best resume ever, it is better not to mention the exact dates of the positions and use the years only (e.g., 2015-2016).

  • Mention the numerals

It is better to use the numerical form instead of the written-out numerals (i.e., 50 % instead of fifty percent). First of all, you save the space; and secondly, you make even a small numerically written percentage or meaning pop up to the recruiter. 

  • Try to read your resume aloud

All the guidelines on how to make a resume brilliant emphasize the importance of clarity and absence of mistakes. You have to eliminate all inconsistencies, spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and awkward sentences. 

  • Look at the resume top

Take a closer look at the top part of the document. Remember that it is this part which the hiring manager will see clicking on the PDF file. Do not spoil the first impression. Make the recruiter willing to read on and learn more about you. 

  • Make the bullet points short

Cut the bullet points without any mercy if there more than seven of them for your desired position. You should understand that the hiring manager will not have enough time to look through all the bullets, so shorten them considerably. 

  • Ensure the identification of your narrative

Wondering how to get your resume noticed, you can ask a person who is not your close friend to have a quick look at it. Then try to get to know which things are the most memorable and what is the main idea of the resume. Think over this feedback and make the required changes to adjust the resume to a perfect one. 

  • Focus on quantification

Consider all the used bullet points to add the quantifying percentages and numbers. It is ok to make estimations if you can prove them, in case needed. How many colleagues have you impacted? What is the percentage of your achievement? A recruiting manager will be interested in those details.

  • Ensure the clarity of the benefits

Add the benefits obtained by the company and the boss to the statements about your achievements. Try to communicate your capabilities along with the direct benefits of those who will hire you as a valuable employee. 

  • Add a section on your qualifications 

Naming resume sections, replace the eliminated “Career Objective” with “Qualifications”. It can be either bullet-pointed or five-six sentence text with your major achievements, skills, and experience. Thus, you make it possible for a recruiter to see the most important things in one section and help an applicant tracking system see the main keywords.

  • Update the headers

Thinking about how to name a resume, don’t forget about a nice design of a header. Create your personal brand by having the same header on your cover letter and resume. 

  • Add sense to your bullet points 

Check if all the bullet points are clear to average readers. Your resume can be in the hands of a recruiter, his or her assistant, or some high-level executive. It is a must for it to be interesting, relevant, and understandable. 

  • Update the experience section

All the mentioned experience should be updated. Mention each of the received awards, learned skills, published articles, and all other significant achievements. 

  • Refer to your friend for assistance

Ask several of your friends or acquaintances for their resumes. Get inspired with their ideas or share your own ideas with them.

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