your guide to a perfect resume.

Your resume is arguably the most valuable thing that you ever write. This piece of paper, or PDF in modern-day speak, is one of the most daunting things to write for. So many people get overwhelmed and don’t even know where to begin when it comes to writing a resume or even how to fit all this information onto two pages. Maybe you’re unsure of what to write or uncertain of where to begin. This is the place where you’ll find everything you need to write the perfect resume. We’ve broken everything down into simple resume tips. Everything from why resumes matter to general recommendations, writing a resume, and formatting a resume.

1

what to include on your resume

Resume trends do change from time to time. However, there are some basic elements that every resume should have included in it. Of course, we always recommend having fun with the trends but do not forget to have these elements in your resume, no matter what the trends are saying. 

  • A summary, objectives are outdated and should be replaced. A summary of some bullet points giving a high overview of your skills. 
  • Employment history is what everyone is looking for. List your work history in reverse chronological order, so it's easier to see your most recent employment. If you have a work history of 10 years and older, take a look at it. Does it need to be on your resume? 
  • Education, if you have any post-secondary education. Recruiters also love to see certifications and any awards that you may have received.
  • If you're working in a creative field, make sure you have links out to your social media, portfolios, or any work you've completed. 

resume tips and tricks

Are you looking for more resume tips and advice? Check out the resume tips section of our blog for more advice and insights.

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As resume trends come and go, there are some trends that we forget should be removed. Any recruiter can give you a laundry list of things to exclude from your resume, such as words, descriptions, phrases, and other fluff. Writing a resume is all about keeping it straightforward and focused, removing all the fluff so that recruiters can see your experience and accomplishments. Here are just a few examples of what to remove from your resume. 

  • Reference up request. Nothing says outdated more than this. If a hiring manager wants a reference, they’ll ask you for a reference. There is no need to have this taking up space on your resume. 
  • Helped, worked, or superlatives. Use action words or phrases and be specific. Everyone has worked or helped. Write out specific measures you took. Learn more about being specific in this guide.
  • Proficient with. This needs to be stopped. Almost everyone is familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Unless your job is centered around these apps, take them off your resume. 

There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to resume writing, and you can learn more about what you should include on your resume in this great article.

read our advice
2

resumes vs CVs vs linkedin

resumes vs CVs 

We've all probably written a resume or been through the basics of a resume and what is included in it. But, a question that is always asked is, what's the difference between a resume and a CV? Depending on where you live, you'll get a different answer. For example, in Quebec, they use the two terms interchangeably. If you're in the Middle East or Europe, you'll be required to have a CV, whereas, in North America, you'll be required to have a resume. But what is the difference between the two? Let's get into it. 

A resume is a document that is two pages or less detailing your work history, skills, education. Think of a resume as a showcase of your skills. You may exclude work history that you know won't appeal to a specific recruiter for a particular position. Whereas with a CV, it's an entire rundown of your work history, education, books, papers, letters of recommendations, skills, and more with nothing left out. CV is an acronym for curriculum vitae, which means 'course of life' in Latin. Learn more about the difference between a resume and a CV in this article. 

resume vs linkedin

Your resume and LinkedIn should work together as a team. However, there are some clear differences between the two. When you’re applying for jobs, you should be using your resume to do so. Your LinkedIn is for you to create a professional online presence, connect with colleagues, companies, recruiters, and other professionals. At the same time, your resume is what you are sending to recruiters or job openings. 

Think of your LinkedIn as a support for your resume. With a strong LinkedIn profile and being active on the platform, you can keep your network of professionals and potential recruiters or new employers up-to-date on what you’re doing. LinkedIn can also help advance your career goals. 

resume vs linkedin advice

Want some greater insight into the difference between a resume and LinkedIn? Plus, get some great tips and tricks on your resume and LinkedIn page. This article has you covered.

read our tips
3

writing a strong resume

The key to landing a job interview is having a solid professional resume that advertises your relevant experience, critical skills, and achievements. But writing a good resume can be difficult if you’re unsure of what to do. You’re not just writing a resume for a new job. You’re writing a resume to campaign for employment. Your resume should give recruiters what they are looking for, something quick and easy to digest. 

get your copy of our in depth resume guide

If you’re interested in learning how to make your resume even better, download our resume guide to help create the perfect resume.

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what recruiters look for

During that quick review, recruiters are usually thinking:

  • Can the applicant fill my need?
  • Will the applicant remain with the organization long-term?
  • Is the potential employee for the position?

Not only are recruiters asking themselves these questions, but they’re also quickly scanning your entire resume. In these six seconds, the four areas that draw the recruiter’s eyes the most are:

  • Relevant job titles
  • Past work experience
  • Current work experience
  • Education

To create the perfect resume, you’ll need to pay close attention to format, education, experience, leadership, and skills.

resume format

Two pages. Keep your resume to a maximum of 2 pages, but don’t crowd it with too much content. Think about what is necessary for the job you’re applying for. If your resume goes over two pages, edit or remove something.

PDF. Save your resume as a PDF. Please do not send out a Word doc as your resume. You should always send out a PDF to ensure the formatting remains the same so that any recruiter can open it on any device.

Negative space. Anytime you’re creating a document, you’ll want to leave negative space. This gives the reader a chance to breathe. So, leave plenty of negative space between sections. This way, recruiters can quickly scan without feeling overwhelmed with a lot of information crammed into a small space.

Consistency. To ensure your resume stays consistent, use the same type of bullets throughout, begin every sentence with an action verb, and align your text together.

Font. Use a professional font and stick to 12 points for easy readability. Some fonts work best on a resume: Arial, Cambria, Calibri, Didot, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Helvetica. Or try to find something similar to these fonts as they are easy to read and professional-looking. 

edit your resume

First, don't mix up editing and proofreading. Proofreading is the process whereby you carefully check your resume for spelling, grammar, and consistency after you've completed all your edits. See below for more on how to proofread your resume. During the editing phase, you may still be making a change here or there that significantly alters the text to achieve the tone or flow you're looking for. During the proofreading phase, you're done editing and merely double and triple checking for errors. You'll only make changes if something is incorrect.

Edit your resume to fit the position best. Take out experience that you feel won't be beneficial to have there, and add experiences that you think the recruiters are looking for. Don't forget to edit your summary and skills sections so that they can see why you're the best fit for that position. 

proofread your resume

Proofreading is a must. There is no excuse not to. You have to. You must proofread your resume. Pretend like you are a professional recruiter looking through hundreds of resumes a day. If you see a resume with spelling or grammatical errors, it will end up in the no pile. No matter how much experience or credentials you have, you'll end up there in a heartbeat. 

Having spelling and grammar errors on your resumes shows that you don't care. It shows a lack of respect that you couldn't even take the time to double or triple check your resume to make sure it's in top shape before shipping it out. So if you're working at their company, would you do the same? While working on a project, would you just ship it without ensuring everything is in top shape? That's what a resume with spelling and grammar mistakes says. Here are some great tips and tricks on how to proofread your resume like a professional editor. 

best action words to use

Need help selecting the appropriate action words for your resume? We've created a PDF packed with 153 action words that are perfect for your resume.

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4

customizing your resume

You should definitely customize your resumes. You should customize it based upon what industry you work in, or if you’re applying across several different industries, you should have a resume customized for each of them. Various industries prioritize different things; for example, an industry might prioritize education over work experience. So you’ll have to customize your resume so that it begins with your education. Your resume needs to reflect your understanding of and respect for those differences. 

research your industry 

Knowing the industry that you are job hunting in is essential. Research will be your best friend and help you to look like an expert in your field. Know what companies are looking for and what they are prioritizing. This should be reflected on your resume. Maybe they are big on specific skills, so you’ll want to ensure that those skills are on your resume. You’d be surprised how simply researching and understanding your industry can help break the ice.

change your mindset 

Your resume should be customized to the role that you are seeking. The best way is to look at it like this: the company's job opening is their 'problem,' and you are their 'solution.' So, now you need to position your resume so that you are solving their 'problem.' Arrange your resume in such a way that it is easy for the hiring manager to see your top skills and past experiences that are related to the job opening. 

show your skills in the best light

See why customizing your resume to suit the industry is crucial when it comes to finding the perfect job. Need more help with getting your resume in top shape? Check out this article on how to customize your resume.

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5

does your resume appeal to recruiters?

We briefly touched on this above, but let's take a deeper dive into what appeals to recruiters because that's who your resume needs to impress. 

6-second test

Does your resume pass the 6-second test? That's right. Recent studies found that recruiters spend up to 6 seconds looking at your resume. That means you have 6 seconds to make a lasting impression. Sounds impossible, right? There are some resumes tips and tricks that can help you grab their attention. 

  1. use bullets and headers to separate information 
  2. optimize space on the top half of the first page
  3. eliminate unnecessary information
  4. keep your resume on one page
  5. use simple, clean formatting
  6. eliminate space wasters

When you only have 6 seconds to make an impression, prioritizing critical information is essential. Find out how to make your resume pass the 6-second skim test?

resume mistakes

Have you been applying for jobs online, only to think, where is my resume going? How am I not hearing anything back from any of the jobs I’ve applied to? Well, you’re not alone. Only about 2% of people applying for a job online land an interview. This means that, on average, 1 out of 50 job applications moves onto the new step. However, there is some good news in all of this. There are things that you can do to beat these odds. 

Are you making any of these resume mistakes that are preventing you from landing an interview? Find out if you are and how to fix them.

top resume mistakes