7 Tips for Creating a Resume That Wows

Your resume is your most important document when you apply for a job. It is your introduction, your representation and your personal advertisement. At a time when the average job posting receives approximately 45 applications, having a professional resume that stands out and represents you well is of paramount importance. If your resume is too plain or brief you might be overlooked. If it is too flashy, too lengthy or distracting, it might be discarded regardless of content.

How can you create a resume that accurately represents a summary of your career in a manner designed to impress and gain the attention of the hiring manager?

Try following a few of these guidelines: 

DO use white paper and black type in a simple, readable font. DON'T use different colored fonts, pictures or graphics.

DO write a concise, chronological summary of your duties and responsibilities followed by a bullet point list of specific accomplishments, achievements or other noteworthy items per position. This is your chance to highlight what sets you apart from others. DON'T write a book. Make the content easy to scan and follow.

DO use the same font and format for each job, with summary and bullet points decreasing in number as you go further back in time. DON'T include personal data that could be used to discriminate with (e.g. age, race, religion, marital status, salary expectations).

DO include ALL dates of employment next to the name of the company and your title. If gaps in employment of greater than 3 months, note reasons for the gap. DON'T omit jobs regardless of relevance to the position you are applying for, the hiring manager is looking for overall experience, not just industry specific.

DO use tangible, objective results and impact words to describe your contributions. DON'T excessively use "I" or flowery adjectives as filler.

DO follow your experience with your education, licensure and certificates, and professional affiliations where applicable. Avoid categories such as Hobbies and Interests or Personal Data. DON'T lie or misrepresent your experience or education on your resume, you will get caught.

DO keep your resume short, 1-2 pages unless you are at a "C" level position, in which case, do not exceed 3 pages. DON'T put "References provided on request" or type references in resume body.

Follow these 7 sets of tips in order to create a resume that is clear, concise and readable and you will find your response rate increases dramatically.

Mindy Ballard

Executive Recruiter


Mindy has been an Executive Recruiter at Park Avenue Group in Orlando FL for the past six years. She specializes in the recruitment of executives in the Banking and Finance industry in the South East USA.