How to Write an Outstanding Resume


1. The preliminary stage

The first step in creating an outstanding resume is to research the company you are applying to and carefully read through the job description. Pay close attention to the job skills that they require. Make a mental note of whether or not you possess the skills and qualities listed in the job description. Do you have enough experience in the relevant fields to make you a good hire?

How to Write an Outstanding Resume

After you have a good idea of what the company is looking for, you can do a meditative exercise to help you match your background and skills to the job description and required skill set. At the top of a page, write one job responsibility or job description, then begin thinking about experiences and accomplishments that relate to that qualification. As an example:

Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required.

Face-to-face sales calls with customers in a six-state region-

John P. Normal Co.

Created and negotiated customer discount agreements, allowing the company to become the primary supplier for two large pharmaceutical companies-

John P. Normal Co.

Prepared biweekly forecasts and prospect lists, anticipating new business-

Paul Smith & Co.

We are looking for a manager who can bridge the gap between different company divisions and foster a culture of teamwork and accountability.

Conducted joint sales calls with my company’s Analytical and Biotech sales reps to create a bundled product offering to customers-

John P. Normal Co.

Received an award for cross-selling company products-

John P. Normal Co.

After one year, I was promoted to senior field sales-

Paul Smith & Co.

It is not necessary to phrase everything ideally during the meditative exercise. This exercise aims to get your ideas flowing about how to tailor your resume to be the best fit for the job opening. This information will be the foundation for your polished resume. Remember that it is always acceptable to include volunteer or extracurricular activities in your resume.

Recruiters want to hire someone they know can handle the responsibilities and job requirements of the position they are hiring for. Using the planning stage, you can ensure that your resume is tailored specifically to the job you want. A recruiter will not even look at your resume if it does not reflect the principal qualifications that the company is looking for.

2. Keep it brief and to the point.

A shorter resume is far superior to a lengthy resume. You have much information to share, but recruiters don’t have time to listen to it. If a summary is too long, likely, the recruiter will not read it all before moving on to the next one.

A resume does not have to tell the entire story of your life. It is intended to provide sufficient information about your work experience and background to get you hired. You are not required to, and should not, tell them everything.

Consider it similar to a printed advertisement in a magazine or a billboard. The ad tells you the basics, such as “it’s tough on grease but easy on your hands” for Dawn dish detergent. The advertisements do not tell you when Dawn was created, what colors or fragrances it comes in, where you can buy Dawn, and so on. The ad is brief and to the point, sharing only the essential information for the situation, space, and time they have to capture your attention.

This is precisely what your resume should accomplish. You may have many accomplishments, but you only have a certain amount of time to present your message to a recruiter. Determine what information you want a recruiter to see and know about you in their fifteen-second scan. This usually means that you should concentrate on your most recent and relevant experiences.

If you have fifteen to twenty years of work experience, the recruiter is unlikely to be interested in the specifics of your assistant manager retail job during college. It is unnecessary to include any bullet points under the title and position if one of your previous jobs is entirely irrelevant to the job you are applying for. You do not need to share every detail of every job you have ever had.

If you are a more mature job seeker, you should limit most of your resume to the last ten to fifteen years unless you have highly relevant experience that dates back further. The older jobs should still be listed on your resume without bullet points.

Students and recent graduates should consider their resume to be a four-year document. This means that seniors in college should not include work experience from high school. If you have worked full-time for two years, include only college internships from your junior and senior years. Of course, a relevant work history dating back more than four years would be an exception to this rule.

Complete sentences should not be used to write your resume. Recruiters prefer an outline format with bullet points that show your work history quickly and concisely. Remembering that recruiters typically review hundreds of resumes at once is critical. They’re scanning to see if your resume is worth more than a fifteen-second glance.

First and third-person perspectives should never be used in resume writing. Complete, entire sentences also make the resume appear long, cluttered, and overwhelming. Every bullet point in your experience list should begin with an action verb, and each verb should be unique.

Wrong way: I was in charge of a charity event for my child’s elementary school that drew 600 people and raised $10,000.

Correct method: 600 people attended an elementary school charity event, which raised $10,000.

Clearly, the second (correct) version is easier to read and sounds more powerful, as the first word is an action verb. The second example will likely stand out during a recruiter’s initial resume review.

A resume should never exceed two pages in length. A curriculum vitae, or CV, is almost always longer than two pages. Curriculum vitae are typically used when applying for scientific or academic positions that require a list of all presentations, publications, and coursework.

This is a good rule to remember when writing a resume: If you have worked for four years or less, your resume should be no more than one page. After four years of experience, it is acceptable, but not required, to scale up to a two-page resume. Always remember that concise writing is more effective than long, explanatory prose.

3. Focus on your accomplishments and results.

The most common error made by many job seekers is using their resume as a list of job descriptions. Essentially, the error is in explaining what any person would have done in that position rather than describing what they did explicitly in that job. Here’s an example to prove my point:

2008-Present: Sales Representative, No Name, LLC, State College, PA

* Sold computer hardware to customers all over Pennsylvania.
* Created and maintained customer relationships * Created a customer call list and scheduled off-site visits

You may not see anything wrong with this at this point. Unfortunately, every sales representative in any company’s history has done the same thing. You want to stand out, and that list of sales representative job requirements isn’t cut.

The key to writing an outstanding resume is to concentrate on your specific work. What did you do in that special, unique, or different job? What distinguishes you?

The simplest way to accomplish this is to reflect on past successes. There are two types of success: extent and outcome.


* How frequently?
* How big is it?
* How many are there?
* How much is it?


* Were you recognized for your achievements?
* Did you save money for the company?
* Did you increase sales?
* Did you make anything new?

As these questions indicate, you achieve success through data, numbers, and tangible information. Everything you write should be as specific as possible.

Let’s look at how the last sample should have been written correctly. All of the data is based on the same person doing the same job but with a much better resume:

2008-Present: Sales Representative, No Name, LLC, State College, PA

* Sold $10 million in computer hardware to over 1500 Pennsylvania clients * Ranked first out of 50 national sales representatives * Personally secured more than 300 new customers through cold-calling and on-site visits

This sounds much better because it focuses on this sales representative’s successes and achievements in his previous job.

It is beneficial to recognize your accomplishments. A job search is not the time to be modest or minimize your actions. Nobody else will if you don’t brag about your achievements. It is critical not to come across as arrogant but as confident and self-assured in your abilities. List the names of any high-profile clients or accounts you worked with on your resume. Including well-known names on your resume is likely to catch the recruiter’s attention and lead to a more thorough review of your resume.

Keep track of your professional accomplishments. Ideally, you would update your resume every six months, if not more frequently. Nobody does that, especially if they believe they are content with their jobs. When years pass without updating your resume, recalling your success stories, when they occurred, or under what circumstances they happened is difficult.

When the following job opportunity comes, you’ll want your resume ready. You never know when a chance to work at your dream job will present itself. If you have to spend significant time updating your resume, you may miss out on an opportunity.

If you don’t want to update your resume regularly, you should keep detailed notes on your duties, projects, and accomplishments, paying particular attention to the numbers. That way, if you need to update your resume or change jobs, you’ll have your notes to refer to, and your resume will be updated quickly.

Casual Robot Media, LLC is owned and operated by James Crocker. He currently writes articles about how to tips, what information is, why information is essential, and best information articles.

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