Resume Writing: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

A good resume can get a second look from the right people, a bad resume can overshadow the expertise you’ve gained over the years, and an ugly resume can get you thrown into the virtual trash can. But a GREAT resume, with the right look and style, could land you a dream job at a dream company. A few simple tips and tricks can help you stand out, and they’re incredibly easy to incorporate into your resume today.

First, study the job description you’re applying for very carefully. Are there key phrases that stand out that you can highlight from your previous work experience? If so, include those phrases or keywords where they make sense. Generic terms and phrases can easily be integrated at any level. What about certain technical terms or advanced skills that are necessary to the job itself? If you’re in the IT world, this is especially important as technical skills are most often going to be the way you are searched. Make yourself marketable by making sure it’s correct. It’s important to include technical areas of expertise at the beginning of the resume, possibly even in the first few sentences of your professional summary. Make sure to add technologies and tech stacks you work with and incorporate those into the bullet points for the projects you’ve worked on and explain what your role was within the project or team.

Compare your resume to others in your profession. It helps to know what you’re up against. If competitors in your field are accentuating expertise that you may also have, it might be beneficial to highlight that information as well. Don’t be afraid to go to the next level to describe what you’ve done in addition to that expertise. Are you also pursing certifications that could set you apart? Make sure to include your continuing education to show that you’re always learning and growing as a professional.

Proofread, proofread and then do it again. It never hurts to take as many looks at your resume as possible. You may catch something you didn’t notice on the third or even fourth go around. It also helps to have someone you trust – a partner, colleague, or friend – offer their guidance or constructive criticism. Another set of eyes can make all the difference.

Consistency is key. Are you using the same tense throughout? Are there periods after every single bullet point? Are there any grammatical errors that need fixing? Is the font and style consistent? Are you rambling or repeating? There are instances where, depending on the profession and expert level, your resume may need to include a lot of important information that you won’t be able to trim down. Plan to include everything and then tailor it down for each specific role you plan to apply for. Also, keeping your skills/expertise list prominently at the beginning of your resume can provide the recruiter with an efficient snapshot of what you know and that can get you placed in the “yes” pile.

Lastly, remember to be confident in your skillset and past work experience. Your accomplishments are sure to be recognized by the right people, and a great resume will help you get there – whether it’s a phone call, an interview or even a job offer. So why not dust off that resume and check out all our amazing opportunities with our valued client partners by clicking on the Careers Tab at the top of this page!