December 10th • 3 min read
#Career #Change #Soft skills #Job search

9 Tips to Write a Winning Resume

Studies show hiring managers spend a mere 7 seconds to screen a resume. Yikes! How much can anyone read in a few seconds? Not much. So having a killer resume is the secret to getting noticed. Think of it this way: why should they hire you over everyone else? What have you accomplished that makes you exceptional? Be different and inspire them to want to meet you. Your goal is to get hiring managers to buy what you’re selling — which means buying you!
← Select another article

Studies show hiring managers spend a mere 7 seconds to screen a resume. Yikes! How much can anyone read in a few seconds? Not much. So having a killer resume is the secret to getting noticed. Think of it this way: why should they hire you over everyone else? What have you accomplished that makes you exceptional? Be different and inspire them to want to meet you. Your goal is to get hiring managers to buy what you’re selling — which means buying you!

 

Being excellent at your job isn’t enough. High quality candidates often underestimate the power of telling the right story in their resumes. Exceptional candidates know this and understand how to harness words to capture attention and stand out from the rest. Need a hand? Here are a few tips to elevate your resume game.

 

Send your resume as a pdf

Ditch the word, images and other weird files. With different devices and versions of Microsoft Word, your file could lose its snazzy layout and annihilate your efforts to make a great impression. Image files are unreadable by automated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that scan your resume first. If they can’t identify keywords or worse, even follow the format, no matter how good your resume is, you might end up in the reject pile.

 

Choose the format that fits your circumstances

Choose the right format for the job: Chronological (Reverse), Functional, and Combination. Each format has its own pros and cons. Depending on your circumstances, there might be one that best fits your work experience, educational background, and skill set.

  • Reverse-Chronological lists job history starting by the most recent.
  • Functional is a skills-based resume emphasizing qualifications.
  • Combination merges the two to focus on specific qualifications and includes professional history. It is used mainly for those with a great deal of experience in a particular industry.

 

Highlight your key skills

People love to skim, so don’t bury your skills summary inside each job descriptions. Carefully select the most relevant skills for the job you’re targeting and create a special skills section at the top of your resume. Consider adding in some proof that you’ve actually delivered here too. Mix hard skills with quantifiable abilities and soft skills with personality-centric traits. It will help your reader to have a clearer view of the kind of person you are on the job.

 

Make it easy to read

You’ve got less than ten seconds, so make it count. There’s a lot of information to pack into a small space, so select the material that packs a punch. Don’t overwhelm readers and follow three basic rules:

  • Choose an easy-to-read font like Calibri or Arial or check-out the sans serif fonts on Google Fonts such as Inter, Open Sans, Roboto, Raleway or Lato.
  • Use 4-6 bullets points for each position of your most exciting responsibilities and achievements.
  • Put your contact information clearly at the top so they can reach you: name, phone number and email. Consider adding your LinkedIn and personal portfolio link.

 

Focus on innovation

Hiring managers are interested in how you went above and beyond in your role because that demonstrates that you’re a go-getter.

Answer these questions:

  • Was I ever the first to do something?
  • Was my role new to the organization?
  • Did I identify an issue and make a new proposal to solve it?
  • Did I launch a product? Or introduce a new process?
  • Did I hire, train, and manage a team?
  • Did I complete a key project that had a positive impact? Time savings, money savings, or greater success?

 

Quantify your results

Hiring managers need evidence of your success. Accomplishments can be facts and figures or can be softer like fostering a cohesive team spirit. These kinds of wins matter too.

  • What did I do really well?
  • How much time and/or money savings did I create?
  • Which changes will endure after I’m gone?
  • What do I consider my biggest wins?
  • Did I receive any awards?

 

Make it concise

Writing with precision is far more difficult and yet essential. There are so many applicants and no one has time to read every word. So when it comes to length, how long is too long? The jury is out on this one. Some people prefer the one-page wonder, while some people prefer the details. To cover your bases, we recommend two pages for people under ten years of experience. For people with more, it’s ok to add a third page to list out those accomplishments.

 

 

Tailor the keywords

There’s a good chance your resume will be reviewed by software for keyword matches. Even if it’s a human scanning process, they’re scanning for relevancy by looking for keywords. So make sure to use the same keywords listed in the job description to ensure a match.

 

Be flawless

You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make sure it’s the one you want to make. Details matter a lot when it comes to making a great impression, so don’t give yourself a disadvantage with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typos. Proofread it, then proofread it again.

 

Competition is always heating up. Don’t leave your career to chance. Put your best foot forward by following these tips on how to write resume with impact and you’ll be one step closer to scoring your dream job.

Manon Capitaine

Email + Marketing Operations Specialist

Technical native with ninja-like project management skills. She drives technology like she built it and specialises in smoothing out the digital experience. Disorganisation is her nemesis. A beer aficionado, she can be found brewing (and sampling) craft beers.

Growth starts with individuals. Unlock the power in your people first.
Talk to an Expert