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The Art of Crafting an Outstanding Resume: Key Tips and Best Practices



A proper resume is essential in today’s competitive job market to help you stand out and get the desired job. Your resume serves as your first impression to potential employers, and making every second count is crucial.

In this article, we will explore fundamental tips and best practices for creating an outstanding resume that captures the attention of hiring managers and increases your chances of landing an interview

Importance of a Professional Resume 

Your resume is the most crucial document in your job search arsenal. It is your frontline fighter, presenting you to potential employers and showcasing your skills, qualifications, and experiences. Hiring managers and recruiters typically spend only six to seven seconds reviewing each resume, so making a solid and lasting impression is crucial. 

Research conducted by Zippia reveals that professionally written resumes increase your chances of landing an interview and boost your earning potential by 7%. Therefore, investing time and effort into creating a well-crafted resume is worthwhile. 

1. Keep Your Resume Clear and Concise 

The cardinal rule of resume writing is to keep it short, clear, and to the point. While there may be exceptions for extensive careers or highly relevant work experience, the general guideline is to limit your resume to one page. This ensures hiring managers can quickly scan your resume and extract relevant information. 

To keep your resume concise, include only recent and relevant experiences. Experts recommend including jobs from the past 10 to 15 years, focusing on those directly applicable to the position you are applying for. Including unrelated work, experiences can make your resume appear cluttered and distract from your qualifications. Keep your resume focused, clear, and concise. 

If you are an older job seeker, consider condensing and age-proofing your resume by highlighting your most recent and relevant experiences. 

2. Create an Original and Customized Resume Template 

While referring to professional resume templates can be helpful, it’s integral to customize your resume to make it stand out. Hiring managers often need to pay more attention to outlines that closely resemble Microsoft Office templates. Templates should serve as a guide, but you should expand on them to make your resume your own. 

Ensure that information is presented logically and that your most vital points are highlighted when structuring your resume. Tailor your resume header to reflect the job you are applying for rather than focusing solely on your current or previous positions. Employers appreciate originality, so find ways to showcase your unique qualifications, growth, and accomplishments. 

3. Highlight Relevant Skills and Experiences 

A more than one-size-fits-all approach is needed when it comes to resumes. To maximize your chances of success, tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Prioritize the skills, qualifications, and experiences that directly align with the position’s requirements. 

Rather than listing every job you have ever held, choose three or four positions that best highlight the skills required for the job you are seeking. For example, if you are applying for a marketing position, include your relevant retail experience and emphasize the communication, branding, and interpersonal skills you developed in that role. 

If you need more direct work experience in the desired field, creatively present your other experiences by highlighting the skills you utilized and the contributions you made to the organization or project. 

4. Demonstrate Results with Numbers and Metrics 

When describing your previous work experiences, it is indispensable to quantify your achievements with numbers and metrics. This approach highlights your accomplishments and provides hiring managers with a clear understanding of your impact in previous roles. For example, instead of stating that you were a sales representative, mention that you executed more than 50 cold calls daily with a 5% conversion rate. 

Crafting a career snapshot at the beginning of your resume is also recommended. This summary briefly explains your unique value, skills, and qualifications. Follow this with bullet points that highlight your relevant experience and achievements. By focusing on actions and results, you demonstrate to potential employers that you are a proactive and successful candidate. 

5. Optimize Your Text for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) 

Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan and filter resumes. To ensure your resume passes the initial screening process, carefully review the job posting and incorporate relevant keywords into your resume. Including keywords and industry-specific jargon increases your chances of being noticed by ATS and hiring managers. 

Copy and paste the job description into a word-cloud generator to identify the most frequently used terms. Include these keywords in your resume, and consider creating a “core competencies” or “areas of expertise” section to highlight your skills. However, be truthful and ensure that your resume remains focused and relevant. 

Using keywords and industry jargon can increase your likelihood of getting an interview by nearly 30%, according to Zippia research. 

6. Focus on Achievements, Not Just Duties 

Hiring managers are interested in something other than reading a list of your job duties. They want concrete examples of how you have made a difference in previous positions. Instead of simply stating your qualifications, focus on specific merits and accomplishments. For example, mention how you reduced operating expenses by 23% in six months rather than saying you have 30 years of sales experience. 

When deciding what information to include in your resume, prioritize concrete, quantifiable results over abstract qualifications. Employers value employees who take action and achieve results. Ensure that your resume reflects your accomplishments and enthusiasm for your career

7. Use Strong and Action-Oriented Language 

Avoid using trite and generic descriptions of your job duties and accomplishments. Instead, use strong action words such as “achieved,” “designed,” “improved,” and “established” to convey confidence and impart vital information. Be specific about how you improved processes or achieved goals, as this provides a clearer picture of your capabilities. 

While action verbs are crucial, providing details about your achievements is equally important. Words like “professional,” “results-driven,” and “detail-oriented” offer little information. Instead, use actual job titles and provide specific examples of your skills and accomplishments. 

Using action words and specific details, you can highlight your experience and make your resume more engaging and informative. 

8. Leverage Social Media Profiles 

Social media platforms have become increasingly important to hiring managers in today’s digital age. To save them time and demonstrate professionalism, include links to your relevant social media profiles on your resume. This is particularly beneficial if your accounts feature professional posts related to your industry. 

LinkedIn is especially valuable for showcasing your professional network and staying updated with industry trends. Including URLs for your LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, and relevant blog can indicate that you are well-informed and actively engaged in your field. 

However, ensuring that your social media profiles are professional and relevant is elemental. If your accounts do not align with your desired image or do not add value to your application, it is best to omit them or keep them private. 

9. Proofread and Error-Check Your Resume 

Triple-checking your resume for errors is crucial. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes can leave a negative impression and may result in your application being dismissed. Review your resume carefully to ensure it is error-free and easy to read. 

Formatting is equally important. Pay close attention to font, alignment, spacing, and overall layout. Inconsistencies or formatting issues can indicate a need for more attention to detail or technical skills. 

It is also necessary to address any potential resume red flags. Take the time to explain gaps in employment or other potential concerns to improve your application’s chances of success. 

10. Stay Updated on Resume Trends and Best Practices 

Finally, staying abreast of current resume trends and best practices is crucial. As job market dynamics evolve, so do resume expectations. By staying informed, you can adapt your resume to align with current standards and increase your chances of success. 

Regularly update your resume to reflect your most recent experiences and achievements. Aim to keep your resume modern, relevant, and tailored to the job you are applying for. By continuously refining and improving your resume, you can establish yourself as a competitive candidate in the job market. 


Crafting an outstanding resume requires attention to detail, customization, and a focus on achievements. By following these essential tips and best practices, you can create a resume that stands out from the competition and captures the attention of hiring managers.  Remember to keep your resume clear, concise, and tailored to the job you are applying for. With an exceptional resume, you can increase your chances of landing an interview and ultimately securing your desired position.