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Top 10 Resume Writing Tips for Success

Looking for a Little Resume Writing Advice?

Here are 10 resume writing tips to help you create a winning resume and get the job you've been dreaming of...

A resume format can make or break you... click to learn more

Check out these resume writing tips!

Effective resume writing is not hard. But it does take time, effort, and the right attitude.

I know you can do it, and I'm here to help with the free resume writing help and advice you need to succeed.

As with most things in life, I approach resume writing in a step-by-step fashion. Approaching resume writing in an organized fashion is bound to pay off with a well-organized resume (and cover letter too).

And a well-written & organized resume is much more likely to get you the job you want!

Tip #1: Gather your background materials.

To complete your resume, you'll need to know your dates of employment at each of your previous jobs, your employers' addresses and when you went to school.

You'll also need to be able to describe your skills and accomplishments on the job, so put some thought into those areas. Also, if you decide to do a summary of qualifications, you'll need to put some thought into organizing that.

Tip #2: Decide on a format for your resume.

Before you can start writing a resume, you'll need to understand your resume formats choices and also to decide if the functional or chronological format will work best for you, or maybe a combination of the two.

Remember, you want to put yourself and your abilities in the best light, so choose your resume format wisely.

Tip #3: Put together a general outline of your resume content.

A resume outline will help you get organized and will prevent you from overlooking any essential pieces of information that should be included.

Follow the link in the previous sentence to find a printable resume outline worksheet that can get you headed in the right direction.

Tip #4: Research prospective employers.

Resume targeting is an essential part of writing a great resume

This is one of your most important steps and will enable you to do what is called "resume targeting." Targeting means that your resume is specifically written to match your skills and experience to what the employer says they are looking for.

Spending time on this research will help you with your resume, with the cover letter that goes with your resume, and with the upcoming interview. Make sure you know what qualities will most benefit the employer and think about how your abilities match those qualities.

You can learn more about how to target a resume.

Tip #5: Plan, plan, plan.

Before you actually start writing a resume, spend time just thinking about how you'll present yourself. For instance...

  • What is your objective in seeking a job? This objective should serve as a sort of bull's-eye to structure your resume around.

  • What have been your most significant accomplishments? You'll want to highlight them. What unique qualities do you bring to an employer? Think in terms of benefits.

Also, start thinking about what you'd like your resume to look like... in other words, the resume design, the fonts within, and the resume wording you'll use in it.

Tip #6: Start writing, following your outline.

Once you've completed steps 1 through 5, you're ready to start writing!

But... take your time. Use a lot of action words. Be concise. Don't use "responsibilities included" or "responsible for." It's a waste of space. Use bullets, rather than long paragraphs.

Get more tips on our effective resume writing page, to help you write a really killer resume.

Tip #7: Paste your content into your resume template.

If you're at this site, you're probably not an experienced, professional resume writer. So, take a resume writing tip from a pro. Use a resume template to help you structure and organize your employment and educational information. There is no reason why your resume must look amateurish.

And actually, unless you feel really confident in your resume writing ability, you may want to consider signing up for an inexpensive resume writing service like the one at You still write it yourself, but with their online-based software, it's almost like you have a "resume mentor" sitting by your side, coaching you through every step of creating the resume. It's actually kind of sweet, when you think about it. And it really CAN give you the edge against all your competition for a job.

Tip #8: Review, edit, and proofread like a maniac.


OK... GOTTA SHOUT A LITTLE HERE... If you skip this resume writing tip, you're going to be lucky if you EVER get a job. You absolutely have to make sure that every resume you send out is perfect, in terms of no typos, no grammatical errors, no misspellings. PLEASE REMEMBER TO PROOFREAD YOUR RESUME!

One of the biggest resume mistakes job seekers make is leaving typos or grammatical errors in their resumes. These errors may seem trivial, but they can cost you the interview, and ultimately the job.

Think about it from the employer's point of view... If you can't be bothered to make sure that your resume is 100% accurate, what guarantee is there that your job performance will be high caliber?

But, beyond proofreading, you should also review and edit your resume after you write it. Never just send out your first effort, because you will surely be able to improve on the first draft. I find it helps to let things I write – including resumes – "rest" for a day or two before I look at them again. Kind of gives you "fresh eyes."

Tip #9: Get someone else you trust to look at it.

A professional resume will make you stand out in a crowd

It can be really helpful to get someone who knows you to look at your resume. Not only are they more likely to catch simple typos kinds of errors, but they may also point out strengths you've missed or underemphasized.

Tell them you want their honest opinion and you're open to questions. Use their input to clarify your resume. Even if you write your own resume, you may want to think about getting a professional to do a resume critique.

Buy paying a professional might make sense, especially if you're trying to break into a new career or have had a challenging job history for some reason. Two companies I've worked with that are really high quality, but also affordable, are Vault and They're both leaders in the industry, so if you need professional assistance, start with one of them.

Tip #10: Send it out into the world.

The more resumes you submit, the more likely you are to get an interview. Don't put all your eggs in one basket by applying for only one job. And, don't be afraid to take some risks and apply for a job you're interested in, even if you don't quite match all the qualifications. Most employers ask for many more qualifications than they absolutely require.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you apply for jobs you're clearly not qualified for... that will just annoy hiring managers. I'm just encouraging you to stretch & reach for the stars a bit. Smile

In Summary...

Hopefully, at least some of the resume writing tips on this page have given you some food for thought. But don't stop your training here! There are many more resume writing tips where this came from...

Just take some time to explore all of the resume writing tips you'll find throughout the pages of this website by clicking the links on this page and the buttons on the navigation bar to the left. You'll get all the free resume writing help you need!

Get More Resume Writing Tips Here...

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