8 Quick & Easy Resume Tips You Can Use Now

A friend of mine once said, “Everyone should know a good lawyer, accountant and resume writer.” And, amidst my group, I have been anointed the go-to person for all things resumes … which I love. When a dear friend’s husband was recently laid off, she quickly emailed me with a request to review it.

For those of us in the recruiting or career services industry, we keep up on all the resume dos and don’ts. But for typical job seekers — know matter how much information is posted online, how smart they are or what industry they are in — they are probably going to need some level of help improving their resumes.

8 QUICK AND EASY TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR RESUME

1. Fix typos: When you are staring at your resume, hour after hour, often you start to glance over words and can miss a typo or two. Be sure to double and triple check each heading, sentence and word.

2. Retitle your resume: As an HR pro, I like seeing someone who has saved his or her resume with context. Instead of simply Jennifer Resume.doc, try something like Jennifer Smith PR Executive.doc.

3. Save a PDF version: A PDF version can help eliminate formatting issues that may occur when emailing your resume to someone using a different operating system. And, to me, the PDF just seems a bit more professional.

4. Add your LinkedIn profile: In today’s online world, having a digital presence is important. LinkedIn profiles — that are well written and include recommendations — can help enhance your flat, “paper” resume.

5. Give some context: Personally — and there is some debate about this — I like a hybrid summary-objective statement at the top of a resume. This allows the reader (recruiter, HR rep, department manager) to quickly see who you are and want you want. It should help encourage people to continue reading your resume.

6. Add links where applicable: Including links to your online portfolios, articles you’ve written, blog posts you’re quoted in, sites you’ve developed, and/or campaigns that you’ve supported can help make you stand out from other potential candidates.

7. Add certifications: If you have an MBA, PHR, PhD, LPN, PMP … include those accomplishments after your name in your heading. Don’t bury them at the bottom of page two.

AND A BONUS RESUME TIP

Ask someone to review: Another pair of eyes may be just what you need to put a little more polish on your resume. Don’t be afraid to reach out a friend in HR, post a question in an online forum, make an appointment with your campus career center or reach out to a professional resume writer. There are many people, with eyes trained to review resumes, who can be of valuable assistance to you.

What other quick and easy resume tips do you have? What do you think about the idea of including a hybrid objective-summary statement on your resume?

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Comments

  1. There are good tips. I have seen a lot of resumes with a very general objective–something like, “To find a career that is rewarding and challenging.” Whenever I see this on a friend’s resume, I tell them to delete it. It’s a waste of value resume real estate because it does not tell a prospective employer anything about the candidate. I’m also not a big fan of huge skills summary sections because I would much rather see how someone used these skills by looking at their job history. I like your idea of the summary-objective statement gives a quick snapshot of who the candidate is. It’s a nice lead into the resume, and it doesn’t go overboard with a lot of unnecessary information.

  2. Great advice! I completely agree with PDFs but some ATS cannot read PDFs as easily when they scan them for keywords or reformat them so that has me cautious now!

    • Thank you, Brit for reading and adding your insight! That’s a very good point about the PDF and the ATS. Thanks again. – Shannon

  3. I was going to say the same thing abut using a .pdf with an ATS. Depending on who you are sending it to, or how they are receiving it it may be best to ask ahead of time which is preferred or, if it’s an email to a contact in the organization, you could just send both versions.

    Otherwise a great post. Thanks for taking the time to share these tips.

    Bob

    • Thank you, Bob for reading and taking the time to comment. I also clicked over to your blog. Looks like some great information on veterans hiring! Very valuable content. – Best, Shannon

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