Having a strong resume is an essential step in your job search. Even if you have outstanding work experience and qualifications, unless you have a well written resume, chances are your job application will not receive the attention it deserves. Only the best resumes will make it to the top of the heap and have a good shot at being noticed by a hiring manager. The following basic resume writing tips should be kept in mind by prospective job seekers, as they could make the difference between whether your resume gets tossed aside, or whether it gets you an interview call. However, keep in mind that while writing resumes is a bit of an art, there is really no need for most of us to seek the help of professional resume writing services. Following some rules of thumb is all that’s needed to produce an outstanding resume.


Some resume writing tips


1. Customize your resume to the job application. There is no one size fits all when it comes to the best resumes. A resume is not a laundry list of your education and work history. Rather, you should selectively include those elements that make the most sense for the job you are applying for. Some parts, like listing your college degrees, might be standard. But other than that, be selective in what you include. If the resume is tailored to a sales job, include any relevant experience you have working as a store clerk. But if it is for an application to be a lab technician, then that bit of experience might not be relevant, unless you can use it to show your experience in a related area, like management skills or keeping track of inventory. But in either case, you would want to highlight different aspects of your career as a store clerk.


2. Format your resume attractively unless the job application instructions specifically tell you not to do so. This means the judicious use of paragraphs, bullet points, section breaks, boldface font, etc. You can find many free resume samples on the web to get an idea of what an attractively formatted resume looks like. You do not want to go overboard with the formatting, but rather to break up the flow of the sections and to strategically highlight some keywords that you want to draw the hiring manager’s attention to. A resume that reads like an unformatted list runs the risk of being assigned to the rejected heap without being scrutinized.


3. Give your resume an effective and punchy title. Something like “Accomplished pianist with fifteen years of experience as a high school music teacher” rather than “Music teacher”.


4. The best resumes use action words and phrases that bring out your strengths and experiences relevant to the job you are applying for. Thus, rather than describing a previous job as “Technical writer, Acme Co.”, write something like “Produced informative and concise educational brochures explaining Acme Corporation’s xyz product line, often working under tight deadlines. Promoted to manager of the technical writing unit, and increased annual output of unit by 15%”


5. Always include a cover letter with your resume that specifically mentions why you are interested in the advertised position, and in it draw the reader’s attention to items in your resume that fit the job description well. This conveys to the hiring manager that you are truly interested in the position, and have gone to the trouble of finding out what the job is all about and how you might fit in. Nothing is more off-putting than a cookie cutter cover letter and a standard format resume, as that makes it all too clear that you are just flooding the marketplace with your job applications.


I hope that the above resume writing tips will help you write some of the best resumes for the positions you are applying for. Good luck!