Are you ready to dive into our expert writing resume tips for 2023? As the job market evolves and technology continues to advance, it’s essential to keep your resume fresh, relevant, and impactful. These tips will help you design a resume that not only captures the attention of hiring managers, but also stands the test of time.
From crafting an ATS-friendly resume to showcasing your work experience, our guide covers every aspect of creating a compelling and successful job application. Let’s take the first step towards landing your dream job!
Craft an ATS-friendly resume with relevant keywords, standard section headings, and a simple design
Choose the right format to showcase qualifications
Enhance your application by highlighting achievements, customizing skills for each job description, and including volunteer experience or hobbies (if relevant)
Crafting an ATS-Friendly Resume
In the digital age, your resume is more than a simple piece of paper—it’s a ticket to your next career opportunity. An applicant tracking system (ATS) is used by many employers to screen resumes, and creating an ATS-friendly resume is crucial to ensure you don’t get lost in the shuffle. By using standard section headings, incorporating relevant keywords, and avoiding complex formatting, you can increase your chances of making it past the electronic gatekeeper and into the hands of hiring managers.
Adapting your resume for ATS compatibility doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or personalization. In fact, it makes it easier for potential employers to find the information they’re looking for and see just how well-suited you are for the job. Let’s explore the key aspects of crafting an ATS-friendly resume.
Use Standard Section Headings
When it comes to ATS compatibility, simplicity is key. By using standard section headings, such as “Work Experience” and “Education,” you make it easier for the software to accurately evaluate your resume and quickly locate the necessary information. This not only increases your chances of making it through the ATS, but also ensures that hiring managers can easily find the information they need when reviewing your application.
Stick to conventional headings and let your experience speak for itself.
Incorporate Relevant Keywords
Another crucial aspect of creating an ATS-friendly resume is the inclusion of relevant keywords. By incorporating keywords from the job description, you improve your resume’s ATS searchability and relevance. One helpful tip is to use a word-cloud generator by copying and pasting the job description to identify the most commonly used terms.
Make sure to include the relevant terms that apply to you in your resume, which will make your resume stand out to both the ATS and hiring managers. Remember, customization is key—tailor your resume to each job description for maximum impact.
Avoid Complex Formatting
Lastly, it’s important to keep your resume design simple and clean. Complex formatting can hinder the ability of ATS to effectively read and interpret your resume, potentially making it invisible to recruiters. Stick to a straightforward design with standard section headings, and avoid using tables, columns, or other design elements that might confuse the software.
A well-structured resume not only ensures ATS compatibility, but also makes it easier for hiring managers to quickly assess your qualifications.
Selecting the appropriate resume format is essential to present your work experience, skills, and accomplishments in the best possible light. While there are several formats to choose from, the reverse-chronological format is recommended, and the functional format is generally discouraged.
Understanding the pros and cons of each format will help you make an informed decision and create a resume that effectively showcases your unique value.
Reverse-Chronological Format is Always Recommended
The reverse-chronological format is widely accepted and favored by hiring managers, as it highlights your most recent experience first and works backward in time. This format allows the hiring manager to quickly assess your career history, progression, and ascertain your relevance for the position.
Regardless of your experience level—whether you’re applying for your first job or have years of experience under your belt—the reverse-chronological format is a safe and effective choice that ensures your resume is both comprehensive and easy to follow.
Avoid Functional Format
The functional format, which focuses on skills and accomplishments rather than work experience, is not recommended for most job seekers. This format can raise suspicions among hiring managers, as it may seem like you’re trying to conceal a lack of experience or employment gaps.
Career Branding is Key
In today’s competitive job market, it’s no longer enough to simply list your experience and qualifications on a resume—you need to stand out from the crowd. Career branding is the process of creating a unique and memorable identity for yourself, showcasing your distinctive abilities and expertise.
By including a relevant job title and a concise, well-written branding statement in your job search, you can capture the attention of recruiters and set yourself apart from other candidates.
Include a Relevant Job Title
Including the exact job title you’re applying for is a simple yet effective way to demonstrate your relevance to both hiring managers and ATS software. By adding the job title below your name, you’ll increase your chances of getting past ATS filters and catching the attention of recruiters.
Remember, customization is key—tailor your resume to each job title for maximum impact.
Add a Concise, Well-Written Branding Statement
A well-crafted branding statement can make all the difference in setting your resume apart from the competition. This brief overview, directly below your job title, should highlight your unique skills and qualifications, as well as explain how they can benefit the organization. Be sure to emphasize your most relevant skills and experience and use powerful language that showcases your value.
With a compelling branding statement, you’ll be one step closer to landing that dream job.
💡Example of relevant job title and branding statement:
Highlighting Your Work Experience
Your work experience is the cornerstone of your resume, and it’s crucial to present it in a way that showcases your most relevant achievements and qualifications. By prioritizing the most pertinent experience, showcasing your accomplishments and results, and addressing any employment gaps, you can create a resume that highlights your unique value and sets you apart from the competition.
Don’t be afraid to dive into the details of your work history. Use descriptive verbiage to emphasize your experience and achievements, and focus on those jobs, experiences, or skills that are most relevant to the role you’re applying for. Remember, a strong work experience section is the foundation of a successful resume.
Prioritize Relevant Experience
When it comes to listing your work experience, it’s essential to focus on the most relevant positions and achievements for the job you’re applying for. This not only demonstrates your understanding of the job requirements, but also allows hiring managers to quickly assess your suitability for the role.
By prioritizing the most pertinent experience, you can create a resume that effectively showcases your unique value and expertise.
Showcase Achievements and Results
In addition to listing your job duties and responsibilities, it’s important to showcase your achievements and results. By including quantifiable results that demonstrate your impact and accomplishments, you can add credibility to your resume and set yourself apart from other candidates with similar skill sets.
Make sure to provide context for your achievements, such as the challenges you faced and the resources you utilized, to paint a clear picture of your success.
💡 Example of showcasing a result: Generated $15M in incremental revenue by developing and implementing successful go to market strategy for relaunched SaaS product.
Address Employment Gaps
Employment gaps are a common concern among job seekers, but they don’t have to be a deal-breaker. By being transparent about any gaps in your work history and providing explanations when necessary, you can alleviate any concerns or suspicions hiring managers may have.
It’s also a good idea to include any relevant side hustles, volunteer work, or professional development activities that took place during these periods. Remember, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to addressing employment gaps.
Showcasing Your Skills
Your key skills are the building blocks of your professional success, and it’s essential to showcase them effectively on your resume. By creating a dedicated skills section, including both hard and soft skills, and tailoring your skills to the job description, you can demonstrate your well-roundedness and expertise to potential employers.
Let’s explore the key aspects of showcasing your skills on your resume.
Create a Core Competencies Section
A core competencies section is a valuable addition to your resume that quickly showcases your most relevant skills. By listing your most pertinent skills and competencies in a dedicated section, you can make it easier for hiring managers to assess your qualifications at a glance.
This section should be concise and focused, highlighting only relevant information and the hard and soft skills that are most important for the job you’re applying for.
💡Examples of core competencies: Digital Marketing Campaigns, Social Media Management, Project Management, Marketing Strategy, Customer Service, Team Collaboration, Account Management, HTML Experience, Adobe Creative Suite
Include Both Hard and Soft Skills
It’s important to strike a balance between showcasing your technical skills and demonstrating your interpersonal abilities. By including both hard and soft skills to your core competencies section, you can paint a more complete picture of your capabilities and show potential employers that you’re a well-rounded candidate.
Remember, a diverse skill set, including transferable skills, is often more appealing than a narrow focus on just one area of expertise.
💡 Examples of hard skills: Editing, Data Analysis, Data Mining, Java, Python, CRO and A/B testing
💡 Examples of soft skills: Leadership, Critical Thinking, Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, Adaptability
Tailoring Your Skills Section
Customizing your skills section to match the requirements of the specific job you’re applying for is essential for making a strong impression. By carefully reviewing the job description and incorporating the required skills and qualifications into your resume, you can demonstrate your understanding of the role and increase your chances of landing an interview.
💡Example of a technical skills section:
Don’t be afraid to get specific—tailoring your resume to each job description shows your attention to detail and genuine interest in the position.
Presenting Your Education
Your educational background is an important component of your resume, especially if you’re just starting out in your career or applying for a position that requires specific qualifications. By listing your degrees in reverse-chronological order, highlighting relevant coursework, and including any certifications or licenses, you can effectively showcase your expertise and demonstrate your commitment to ongoing professional development.
It is important to make sure that your educational background is accurately represented on your resume.
List Degrees in Reverse-Chronological Order
When it comes to presenting your education, reverse-chronological order allows potential employers to quickly assess your educational background and evaluate your qualifications.
By adhering to a consistent format and ensuring that your degrees are listed in a clear and organized manner, you can present your education in the best possible light.
Highlight Relevant Coursework (if early career)
If you’re early in your career or applying for a position that requires specific skills or knowledge, it’s important to highlight relevant coursework on your resume. By showcasing coursework that is directly related to the job you’re applying for, you can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field.
This can be particularly useful for recent high school graduates or individuals looking to make a career change, as it allows you to showcase your relevant knowledge and skills even if you don’t have extensive work experience in the field.
Include Certifications and Licenses
Including any relevant certifications or licenses on your resume is an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise in a particular field. These credentials can not only validate your skills and knowledge, but also set you apart from other candidates who may not have the same qualifications.
When including certifications and licenses on your resume, be sure to list the name of the credential, the issuing organization, and the date it was awarded. If applicable, also include any renewal or expiration dates to show that your credentials are up-to-date.
💡 Example certifications: HubSpot Inbound Marketing, DV360, Google Digital Marketing & E-Commerce
Additional Resume Sections
While the core components of your resume—work experience, skills, and education—are essential, there may be additional sections that can help you stand out from the competition. Consider including volunteer experience, awards and achievements, hobbies and interests if they are relevant to the job or showcase your unique qualities.
Let’s explore these optional resume sections and how they can enhance your application.
Including relevant volunteer work on your resume can not only demonstrate your commitment and passion for a particular cause, but also showcase your skills and expertise in a different context. When including volunteer experience, be sure to prioritize work that is relevant to the job you’re applying for, and highlight any accomplishments or outcomes you achieved during your time as a volunteer.
Including volunteer experience on your resume can be a great way to stand out from other applicants.
Awards and Achievements
Highlighting any accolades that demonstrate your skills and accomplishments can add another layer of credibility to your resume. Whether you’ve received industry awards, academic honors, or recognitions for your community involvement, including these achievements on your resume can set you apart from other candidates and showcase your dedication to excellence.
Be sure to provide context for each award, such as the criteria for selection and the significance of the recognition. This will help employers understand the value of the award and how it relates to your qualifications.
Hobbies and Interests (if relevant)
If you have hobbies or interests that align with the company culture or job requirements, consider including them on your resume. While not always necessary, including relevant hobbies and interests can help to humanize your application and demonstrate your personality and interests outside of work. This can help to create a more well-rounded impression of you as a candidate and show potential employers that you’re not only qualified for the job, but also a good fit for the company culture.
Highlighting your hobbies and interests can be a great way to make your resume stand out.
Proofreading and Finalizing Your Resume
After crafting the perfect resume, it’s essential to give it a thorough proofread and finalize it for submission. This includes reading your resume aloud, checking spelling and grammar, using a consistent formatting style, and saving it as a PDF or Word document.
By ensuring that your resume is polished and professional, you’ll make a strong impression on potential employers and increase your chances of landing that dream job.
💡 Tip: Read Aloud to Yourself
A simple yet effective tip for catching errors and awkward phrasing is to read your resume aloud to yourself. Incorporating resume writing tips like this can help you identify any mistakes that you may have overlooked when reading silently and ensures that your resume flows smoothly and coherently.
Reading aloud can also help to ensure that the content of your resume is clear and concise, making it easier for hiring managers to understand your qualifications and experience.
Check out this Google Chrome extension that will read aloud to you.
Check Spelling and Grammar
Nothing can detract from the professionalism of your resume more than spelling and grammatical errors. To ensure your resume is error-free, take the time to carefully check your spelling and grammar, and consider using tools like Grammarly or Google Docs’ built-in spelling and grammar checkers.
Additionally, having a friend or family member review your resume can provide a fresh perspective and help catch any errors you may have missed.
Use a Consistent Formatting Style
Maintaining a uniform formatting style throughout your resume is essential for creating a polished and professional appearance. This includes using consistent fonts, spacing, headings, and bullet points, as well as organizing your information in a clear and easy-to-follow manner.
A well-formatted resume not only ensures that your application looks professional, but also makes it easier for hiring managers to quickly assess your qualifications and experience.
Save as a PDF or Word Document
When it comes to saving your resume, choosing the appropriate file format is crucial to ensure it is accessible and compatible with ATS software. While both PDF and Word documents are widely accepted, PDFs are often preferred as they maintain the layout and formatting of your resume, ensuring it is displayed as intended.
Word documents, on the other hand, may be more easily editable, but can sometimes result in formatting issues. Be sure to review any specific requirements from the employer or job application platform when determining the best format for your resume.
In conclusion, crafting a standout resume in 2023 requires attention to detail, customization, and a focus on showcasing your unique skills, experience, and achievements. From creating an ATS-friendly resume to highlighting your work experience and education, these expert tips will help you design a resume that not only captures the attention of hiring managers, but also stands the test of time.
By following these expert resume tips, you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream job and making a lasting impression on potential employers. Remember, a well-crafted resume is your ticket to success in the competitive job market, so take the time to polish and perfect your application, and watch your career soar.
Common Questions About Expert Resume Writing Tips
What are 3 common resume mistakes?
Avoiding typos, avoiding too much or too little detail, and not tailoring your resume to the job description are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid when writing a professional resume. These mistakes can be easily avoided by taking the time to proofread your resume, ensuring that all the information is relevant to the job you are applying for, and customizing your resume to the job description. By taking the time to make sure your resume is free of errors.
What is the 8 second resume rule?
Your resume has just eight seconds to make an impression. Capture the reader’s interest in that short time and they’ll invest more time reading further into your qualifications.
Pass the 8 second resume test and you’ve taken a big step toward success!
Where can I find resume examples?
Now you know the basics of writing an impactful, effective, APS-friendly resume, but maybe you'd like to see a few examples in full form. We get it! Here’s a link to our resume samples.
Need a bit more guidance?
We get it – working on your resume isn’t your idea of fun. But it is ours and we’d love to work with you! Our ResumeSpice team is the #1 rated resume writing service in the US. We’ve helped thousands of professionals – from early career job seekers to top-level executives – land their dream job. Our expert team of the best professional resume writers is here to provide resume writing help, career guidance, interview prep, and more. Check out all of our career services here. You can also call us at 832.930.7378 or connect with us online.