Four Tips for a Resume that Recruiters WILL Read

Tips for Great Resumes

What Not to Write on Your Resume

Ask 100 people for advice on resumes, and you get many differing opinions that often contradict each other. So who do you believe?  In my 20+ yrs. of recruiting, I found that most resume advice comes from people who don’t read resumes as part of their work.

This article shares resume advice from recruiters and will dispel commonly held myths.

Words Matter

Eliminate any extra words and ensure that every word is essential to the meaning. Use strong action verbs to paint a clear picture. “Accelerated,” “revamped,” “solved,” or “initiated” are much better than “supported” or “participated.” Make your content enjoyable. Recruiters typically spend less than 1 minute scanning a resume.

Tailor your Resume

Each application needs a tailored, unique resume. One quick way to do this is to organize your project accomplishments in the same sequence as the requirements listed in the job description. Another idea is to add achievements that would be important to that specific employer.

Don’t Exaggerate and Avoid Vague Qualifiers

I wish I had a penny each time I read a resume where the person described themselves as having “excellent” ______ (fill in the blank). What a wasted use of space! Everyone has a different way of measuring “excellent,” and you aren’t going to convince anyone of your level of expertise by saying you are “excellent.” Recruiters and managers often interpret “excellent” as an exaggeration. A better idea is to use metrics or quantifiable descriptors that give concrete measurements of your accomplishment.

Don’t squeeze your Resume into One Page

Many resumes force too much information onto one page. Now it is hard for the reader to read and comprehend. The font is too small, and there isn’t enough space separating sections. IF you have good content, don’t worry about forcing everything onto one page. A survey of 480 recruiters in 2019 validated this suggestion. The recruiters preferred resumes with two pages, 40% more than one page for entry-level candidates. Don’t sweat it if you have content that takes your resume to two pages.