10 Tips to Writing a Great Resume
Typically, a tailor-made application (STD 678) and resume will be the most common requirements for an application package. A resume summarizes you as a job candidate and showcases your professional highlights and accomplishments. In the state application process, resumes are a secondary component to your application package but critical to making yourself stand out.
Here are 10 tips to writing a great resume:
- Use an eye-catching, easy-to-read format. Include headings, bold print and bullets on your resume as it’s more reader-friendly and easy for a hiring manager to skim through.
- Do not regurgitate the same information between your resume and your state application. You want your resume to contain new information, not a repeat of what the hiring manager has already read.
- Use specific examples to highlight your accomplishments. Your state application has your full employment history, be selective on what you put on your resume.
- Put your strongest achievements and qualifications at the top of your resume just as you would highlight your strongest points in an interview.
- Add a “Selected Highlights” section to your resume and align key achievements, skills, and experiences to the position to catch the hiring manager’s attention.
- Include only relevant job experience. If your resume is padded (i.e. adding false or exaggerated information), some hiring managers will question your qualifications.
- Don’t try to be all things to all people. What are your top three (3) skills that align with the job? Focus and expand on those.
- Read the duty statement (job description) carefully in order to better understand the role and take note of keywords and phrases that you'll want to use in your resume.
- Create a different resume for each job/position you are applying to. Resumes are not one-size-fits-all.
- Proofread your resume. Given the competition, just one or two typos may eliminate you from consideration.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should a resume be?
It should be as short as possible while showing your value. For most job seekers, that means one page if you have less than 7–10 years of experience. Focus on customizing your resume to the job offer and prove you fit the job by showing related accomplishments. If you can do that in one page, fantastic. If a single page makes you look too light for the position, add more achievements. Your resume should be as long as it needs to be to list your relevant skills and experience, without selling yourself short.
What is important when considering resume format?
Make it easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to scan your resume for valuable information about your skills and experience by labeling the sections. Label the sections of your resume clearly (such as career objective, professional summary, education, and work experience) and make sure you have the appropriate information in each category (professional summary versus objective, etc.). However, you can skip labeling your contact information.