An Easy Guide to Writing Your Resume with Substance

Your resume is one of your best marketing tools. It represents you as a professional: your accomplishments and what you can provide an organization. However, it can be hard to narrow your experience down to just one or two pages. Here is a guide to keeping it short and sweet without sacrificing substance.

(To find out how your resume measures up, check out our quick Resume Quiz!)

Prepare a master document. Before starting on your resume, it’s helpful to create a master document with all of your education, past experience, skills, and accomplishments. Write down everything you can think of, don’t leave anything out. This is similar to an accomplishments document, but this document should contain a running list of everything in your career. It’s better to use this document to see yourself on paper before you start creating your resume.

Create a master copy. While we recommend tailoring your resume to each job position you apply for, it’s helpful to create a master copy of your resume. Creating a base document will allow you to quickly make changes instead of starting from scratch each time.

First, determine what kind of resume format is best for you as a professional. If you are applying for jobs in the same industry you already are working in, a chronological resume might be best. If you are looking to switch to a different industry, consider a functional resume.

Set up the document, keeping in mind that the first part of your resume should grab the attention of a hiring manager. You may want to mention education or training you have received in your profile summary. This will allow you to tailor your resume for specific job positions more easily

Avoid generalizing. Avoid using general phrases or statements that you might find in template resumes. Instead, state your experience and accomplishments with measurable results. For example, try to include action verbs to talk about your skills. For example, replace this general phrase “Experienced in computer programming” with “Trained team in advanced computer programming, gaining a 20% increase in overall productivity.”

Using action verbs and measurable results will help pique the interest of the hiring manager.

Make sure it’s relevant and keyword specific. In order to make sure the information is relevant, consider the job listing. What is the organization specifically looking for? Next, check your base document and determine what education, past experience, and accomplishments would make you stand out for this position. Then choose the ones that best represent you at this point in time.

What keywords has the listing used? Make sure to include them in your resume along with an example to show how you have used that keyword successfully in your career. While you don’t want to over embellish or lie on your resume, find the link between your skills and what the organization is looking for. This will allow you to write a resume that has real substance that will make your resume stand out from the rest.

Writing a resume with substance can be challenging, so we are here to help! Our resume writers do not use any templates, so each resume is unique. For more information about how we can help you and your resume stand out from the crowd, visit our Resume Services page.