Resume Writing Insights: Hacks and Techniques for Success

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 Resume Writing Insights: Hacks and Techniques for Success

Ever thought about why some resumes get picked by lots of companies? Wondering what a good resume should include? Your resume is a big part of making a good first impression. To boost your chances of getting an interview, you need to make your resume easy for recruiters to check quickly. 

Companies use resumes to understand more about applicants and figure out if they’d be a good match for the job. Your resume should be simple to read, highlighting your achievements and skills, along with relevant experience.

Even though there are a few common resume styles, your resume should show off your unique education, experience, and skills. It’s a good idea to have different versions of your resume for the different jobs you’re applying to. Here are 10 important tips to help you write a fantastic resume, organizing and designing it effectively.

1. Use Keywords from Job Postings

Before you start writing your resume, carefully read the job postings you’re interested in. Look for keywords that indicate what the employer wants in an ideal candidate. Each job description might include terms like “coding,” “claims submission,” “compliance,” or “AR management.” Pay special attention to the “Requirements” or “Qualifications” sections. If you have the skills they’re looking for, include those keywords in your resume’s experience or skills sections. For example, if you’re applying for a Medical Billing Coder position, make sure to include terms like “coding,” “claims submission,” and others that match the job description.

2. Learn from Industry Resume Examples

When crafting your resume, take a look at examples from your industry to get inspiration and follow best practices. Here are three key things to observe in resume samples:

  • Keep it Simple and Readable: Resume examples are clear and easy to understand. Employers don’t have much time to review resumes, so simplicity and readability are crucial. Choose a professional and clean font to enhance clarity.
  • Be Concise: Each section in resume samples is short and to the point, including the summary and experience descriptions. Providing only essential and relevant information allows employers to quickly grasp your qualifications for the role.
  • Use Numbers: Notice that many resume samples include metrics in the experience section. Employers value measurable, proven value. Including numbers helps them understand the impact you can bring to the position. For instance, a bullet point for an administrative assistant might mention, “Executed processing of vendor contracts and implemented a standardized process, reducing contract discrepancies by 90%.”

Remember, resume samples are not meant to be copied exactly. Avoid using them as a template. Instead, view them as examples of high-quality resumes in your industry and job title. Use them to guide your own content and presentation, ensuring your resume effectively showcases your skills and experiences.

3. Choose a Professional Font

To make your resume easy to read, use a simple and professional font like Arial or Times New Roman. Maintain a font size between 10 and 12 points for optimal readability on your resume. Picking a clear, readable font adds a professional touch to your resume.

It’s also essential to minimize unnecessary white space. Too much empty space can make your resume appear sparse and may distract the reader. By reducing extra white space, you help the reader focus on the content rather than the empty areas. You can achieve this by increasing the font size to 12 points and, if relevant, adding an optional section like “Skills” or “Awards and Achievements” to fill the space appropriately. This ensures your resume looks polished and is easy for employers to navigate.

4. Prioritize Relevant Information

Even though you may have a lot of work or education history, aim to keep your resume concise by focusing on the most crucial details. Hiring managers typically spend only about 6 seconds per resume, so it’s crucial to make an impact quickly.

Exclude outdated or irrelevant information, such as jobs from over 10 years ago or minor degrees and achievements. These details can distract from the essential information. Concentrate on including work experience, achievements, education, and skills that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

To identify the most relevant attributes, carefully read the job posting. Prioritize important information by placing it higher on your resume. This draws attention to key skills and achievements, increasing the likelihood that the hiring manager will quickly recognize your suitability for the position.

5. Be Action-Oriented

Write your resume using active language that eliminates unnecessary words. Use powerful action words like “achieved,” “earned,” “completed,” or “accomplished.” This adds strength to your statements and makes your accomplishments stand out.

If your resume seems lengthy or difficult to read, aim to shorten sentences and make ideas more concise. This ensures your resume is impactful and easy for employers to quickly scan and understand.

6. Highlight Key Achievements

Rather than just listing your job responsibilities, focus on showcasing the top three or four significant achievements in each role. If applicable, include measurable numbers that demonstrate your success in those accomplishments.

Consider adding a separate section labeled “Achievements” or “Skills” to specifically spotlight relevant successes in your education, career, volunteer work, or other experiences. This draws attention to your notable accomplishments, making them stand out for employers reviewing your resume.

7. Tailor Sections to Your Needs

When working on your resume, whether you’re using a template or creating your own, include only the subheadings and sections that are relevant to your situation.

For instance:

  • Choose between a resume summary or a resume objective; there’s no need for both.
  • If you’re a recent graduate without professional experience, consider replacing the work history section with details like relevant coursework, academic achievements, internships, or extracurricular projects.
  • Combine sections if you find it challenging to fill one with more than two bullet points.

By tailoring your resume to your specific needs, you ensure that each section adds value and presents the most relevant information to potential employers.

8. Set Margins Thoughtfully

Maintain a one-inch margin size on all sides of your resume with single spaces between lines. If you find there’s too much white space, consider adjusting line spacing to 1.15 or 1.5. While you can increase margins slightly, keep them below two inches.

9. Proofread and Edit

Before sending out your resume, go through multiple rounds of proofreading to catch any spelling or grammar errors. While there are proofreading programs and tools available, it’s also beneficial to ask trusted friends or colleagues for their input. Having an objective third party review your resume, as an employer might, can help identify areas for correction or improvement.

10. Tailor Your Resume for Each Job

Before applying for any job, consider if you’ve made it easy for the employer to see that you’re a good fit. If the job has unique requirements, you might need a different version of your resume to showcase your qualifications fully. Decide on a case-by-case basis which resume version suits the specific job.

Final Word

Crafting an effective resume demands attention to detail and a strategic approach to highlighting your unique strengths.  Your resume serves as the first step toward securing an interview. Ensure you include the most relevant information, organize it to highlight key details, and meticulously review for errors. A well-polished and customized resume increases your chances of receiving more callbacks, interviews, and job offers.

These 10 tips offer a guide to creating a concise and impactful resume that grabs the attention of recruiters in their quick review process. Keep in mind that a well-optimized resume boosts your chances of moving to the next stage and, ultimately, landing the job you aspire to.

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