Useful Resume Writing Tips For Your Dream Job In 2023

Here you can learn some useful Resume Writing Tips and Tricks on work experience, formatting, skills, certificate listing, etc including examples:

Writing a resume can be very daunting – particularly when you’re stressed about finding a job.

  • What’s a good format for your resume?
  • How many pages long can it be?
  • Should you list all your experiences and skills?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone in having such doubts.

Useful Resume Writing Tips

Resume Tips

Writing a resume may be a complex task, but it isn’t impossible, and with our resume writing tips, it doesn’t have to be painful either.

In this value-packed tutorial, we’ve compiled a list of 40 resume writing tips and tricks to help you create the perfect resume, and get your dream job.

Avoid the usual resume faux pas with the help of our resume writing tips on:

  1. Formatting
  2. Work Experience
  3. Education, Certification & Skills
  4. Overall Content

On Formatting

#1) Make sure your contact details are easily visible:

The best place for this is at the top of your resume. Write your name in bold, followed by your job title, so it’s the first thing that catches the recruiter’s eye. Use icons for your phone number, email address, location, social media links, etc. so recruiters can easily spot these details.

#2) Use simple fonts:

We recommend Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, or Garamond. The font size should be 12 at least and should stay consistent throughout your resume – except for your name, which can be noticeably larger. Avoid writing too much in all capital letters because it isn’t as easy to read.

#3) Make strategic and consistent use of underlined, italicized, and bold text:

Use bold for either roles or companies, depending on which you would rather highlight. If you only have internships, show off the companies you interned at. If you’re experienced, you might prefer to draw attention to your designations. Put dates of employment in italics and ensure they’re all are formatted the same.

#4) Be discerning in your use of any design elements:

Using them can make your resume stand out, but be careful not to go overboard. If using icons and graphics to represent any information, remember that these won’t help when your resume is being filtered by an ATS.

Avoid colors, or use darker colors like navy blue, burgundy, or dark green, if applying to traditional industries like finance or law, but for creative industries like advertising or designing, feel free to use more color.

#5) Align everything to the left:

Skimming is easier when all your content, except dates and location for your work history, is aligned to the left. Put the dates & location in a column on the right, instead of using up additional lines.

#6) Keep your margins 1” all around:

But if you’re struggling for space, you can go down to ½” margins on the top and bottom, and ¾” side margins.

#7) Use bullets, not paragraphs, to list work experience:

Each bullet point should be no longer than 2 lines. Be economical with your words because recruiters have short attention spans.

#8) Write numbers in digits:

Writing numbers in words take up a lot of space and lower readability. It is easier, for example, to read ‘$50k’ than to read ‘fifty thousand dollars’.

#9) The perfect resume length is one page:

If you’re very experienced, employers are happy to accept, and often expect, a two-page resume. Only in the case of very senior professionals, or academics with publications, does the resume length exceed two pages. In all other instances, keep it to a single page.

#10) Don’t include a photograph:

Unless you’re an actor or model, there are good reasons you should avoid putting your photograph on your resume – it might be used, consciously or unconsciously, to discriminate; it might even be considered unprofessional by recruiters in countries with strict anti-discrimination and labor laws, such as the US and UK; and finally, photographs are not ATS-friendly.

On Work Experience

Resume Tips on Work Experience

[image source]

#1) List your employment history in reverse chronological order:

Whatever resume format you use, and whether this section comes first or last, list your most recent work experience first, and then go back to your oldest position.

#2) Describe work experiences as achievements:

This will impress a potential employer far more than a simple listing of your job duties and responsibilities. Tell them not just what you can do, but also how well you can do it.

#3) Include only relevant work experience:

You might have a lot of experience, but be selective about including only experience which is relevant to the position you’re applying for. Also, don’t go back too far in time and list all your work experience from the very beginning. The general rule is no further than 10 to 15 years.

#4) If you have no experience, focus on other sections:

Show that you have relevant knowledge and transferable skills, by writing about any projects, volunteering experience, coursework, or even extracurricular activities that could demonstrate why you are a great candidate for the role.

#5) Highlight promotions to clearly show career progression:

One way to show off promotions is by stacking job titles under each work experience entry, i.e. if the positions had similar responsibilities; simply list your current and previous job titles, one below the other.

For example:

Highlight promotions to clearly show career progression1

If your responsibilities changed after your promotion, you can list your current job title along with a start date, and your current responsibilities, followed by your previous job title, dates worked, and previous responsibilities.

For example:

career progression example2

You could also incorporate the promotion into one of the bullet points in your work experience description as a professional achievement.

#6) Quantify your professional accomplishments:

Use numbers, percentages, time frames, currency, etc. Include concrete data when illustrating your achievements – there’s nothing like cold hard facts, specific experiences, and tangible figures to convince recruiters you know what you’re talking about.

#7) Use only 4-5 bullet points:

Although you may have many more responsibilities or achievements, this is as much as recruiters will bother reading. Choose only the most relevant aspects of your previous positions to showcase, and each bullet point should be no longer than 2 lines.

#8) Watch your language:

Avoid personal pronouns, i.e. don’t start statements with ‘I’, or ‘My’. Use action words instead to describe your professional responsibilities and achievements. For example, write “Increased efficiency by 25%”, instead of “I increased… “. Use simple words, and leave out any tiresome jargon – the recruiter reading it may not have the relevant technical knowledge.

#9) Avoid clichés:

Don’t use empty words and phrases like ‘detail oriented’, ‘go-getter’, ‘out-of-the-box thinking, etc. Definitely don’t use ‘hardworking’–it’s the bare minimum required at any job, and you won’t win any points for mentioning it.

#10) Address any gaps in your employment history:

You can use a functional resume to downplay gaps by drawing attention instead to your strengths and any relevant skill sets. BUT make sure to address the gaps in your cover letter because recruiters will notice them. If you’re using a chronological or hybrid resume, add a line between the jobs where the gaps occur, briefly explaining the gap.

On Education, Certifications, Skills

On Education, Certifications, Skills

[image source]

#1) Put this section first if you are a student:

Education should only come before experience if you have no experience. If you have relevant work experience, put your work experience section first.

#2) List your education in reverse chronological order too:

List your most recent qualification first. If you’ve got a degree, there’s no need to mention your high school education. If you’ve got multiple degrees, list the highest of your most relevant degree first.

#3) Add descriptions of coursework:

You could also include any college projects. Coursework and projects could be an opportunity to showcase knowledge and skills that could prove your ability to do the job. It will also demonstrate to recruiters your motivation or passion for the field.

#4) You don’t have to list the year of graduation:

The fact that you have a degree is more important than when you got it. This is especially pertinent when there are concerns about ageism.

#5) Include honors, but GPA is optional:

If you graduated with honors, you should absolutely put that on your resume. But list your GPA only if it’s impressive. If your Grade Point Average is lower than 3.5, leave it off.

#6) Show that you are a lifelong learner:

Include information about any relevant continuing education, professional development programs, or online courses that you’ve completed. They are a way to show your determination and motivation, to improve your knowledge or expertise in your chosen field.

#7) All certifications listed should be current:

Leave any expired licenses or lapsed certifications off your resume, even if you feel your education section looks a little emptier for it. Unless they’re still valid, they’re useless to your application.

#8) Organize your skills section:

Make sure there is a good mix of hard and soft skills. Divide all your skills into subsections, for example, Technical skills, Computer Skills, Interpersonal Skills, etc. so it’s not a generic section where nothing stands out.

#9) Only list relevant skills:

Look at the job description, pick out the skills required, and mention them in your resume – obviously only if you actually possess these skills. Leave out the obvious ones that everyone is expected to have, such as knowledge of Microsoft Word, or the ability to use emails. If anything, this will only highlight your lack of IT skills.

#1) Mention any awards:

If you’ve won any accolades for your work, or achieved recognition in your field, even if it is from your company, include it in your resume. As long as they’re relevant to the position you are applying for, feel free to show off.

On Content

#1) Resume summaries are better than resume objectives:

Unless you are changing careers, or you’re a recent graduate with little to no relevant experience, stick to a resume summary. Resume objectives are only necessary when you don’t have the necessary experience for the job.

#2) Every single thing on your resume must have relevance:

Think of your resume space as real estate. There can be nothing on it that doesn’t bring value to your application. You should only list any irrelevant job experience if you have no experience at all. Any skills, certifications, or extracurricular activities should only be listed on your resume if they’re connected to the job you’re applying for.

#3) Exclude certain details in the interest of equal employment opportunities:

This includes information about your marital status, date of birth, religion, race, or gender, and any other such personal information that may be the cause of any kind of discrimination.

#4) Use a professional email address:

Commonly used email service providers are Gmail or Outlook. Ideally, your email address should be simply your full name, or as close to it as you can get. Definitely don’t use the first email address you created in school or the one from your current or previous workplace.

#5) Use keywords to make your resume ATS-friendly:

Most recruiters use an Applicant Tracking System to filter resumes. Make sure you pass their screening test by sprinkling all the relevant keywords (which you’ll find in the job description) right through your resume.

#6) Never lie on your resume:

It’s just not worth it. It will backfire, eventually. Just follow all our resume writing tips and tricks – they’ll help you make sure your skills and abilities outshine the rest!

#7) Name your resume sections clearly and simply:

Using the right headings for each section helps recruiters easily spot the information they’re looking for. Headings are also important for your resume to be ‘found’ by ATS that are programmed to search for certain keywords.

#8) Show them who you are:

Include hobbies and interests only if you have space on your resume, and list only those that are related to the job you’re applying for. Be wary of listing ones that may be controversial, such as volunteering on political campaigns, or fundraising for religious causes.

#9) Tailor your resume to each job to increase your chances of selection:

This doesn’t mean you have to create a whole new resume for every application. Keep a ‘master’ template of your resume, with a list of every single position you’ve ever held, and all your professional responsibilities and achievements. Then, whenever you apply, edit it according to your needs.

Identify relevant keywords in the job description, and mirror these words or phrases in your experience and skills sections. Customize your resume this way for each separate position.

#10) You don’t need to write references available on request:

But of course, you will share references if a recruiter asks for them, so don’t waste precious real estate on your resume by stating the obvious.

Resume Formats

Perhaps the most important consideration when you’re writing a resume is the format. The right resume format will decide how quickly and easily recruiters spot relevant information, which in turn will decide whether they pick up and read through your resume.

Let’s take a quick look at the three kinds of resume formats:

#1) Chronological: The chronological resume is the most commonly used resume format. It lets you list the details of your employment and education history in reverse chronological order, i.e. from your latest position or qualification to your oldest, showing your career progression.

This format is best suited to candidates with little experience, i.e. recent college graduates and entry-level candidates.

#2) Functional: A functional resume is simple, a skills-based resume that showcases your skills, abilities, and achievements, rather than your experience.

If you have gaps in your employment history, use a functional resume to draw attention away from these gaps and toward your skills. If you lack relevant experience but have the necessary skill sets, then this format is ideal for you.

#3) Hybrid: A hybrid resume is a combination of chronological and functional resume formats. There is an equal focus on both experience and skills in a hybrid resume, making it unsuitable for students, or entry-level candidates, but the best choice for seasoned professionals and those who are masters in their field.

As a special bonus for you, we reviewed the three resume formats and compiled our comparison in this easy-to-read table below:

Spotlight on•Mainly work experience•Mainly skills•Skills and work experience equally
Best for•Candidates with little experience i.e. college graduates, or
•Entry-level candidates
•Career changers with relevant, transferable skills,
•Anyone with gaps in their employment history
•Experienced i.e. mid- and senior level professionals
•Highly skilled candidates.
Use when•You can show career progression
•You are applying to jobs in the same field
•You need to minimize gaps in employment
•You want to promote a specific skill set
•You want to showcase both extensive experience as well as an expert skill set
Don’t use if•You’re joining a new industry
•You are a job-hopper
•You lack relevant and transferable skills
•You are a student or entry-level candidate lacking experience
•You have little to no work experience
•You need to highlight your education

Frequently Asked Questions

Q #1) Should I use a functional or chronological resume?

Answer: Stick to a chronological resume – this is what most recruiters expect. You should only use a functional resume if you are changing careers, if you lack relevant work experience, or if you have noticeable gaps in your employment history.

Q #2) What are the 3 C’s recruiters look for in a resume?

Answers: Three things that every recruiter seeks in potential candidates are:

  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Communication

No matter what the position or industry, these 3 Cs are essential competencies that every employer requires.

Q #3) What shouldn’t you include in a resume?

Answer: Here are some details you should leave off your resume:

  • Your full mailing address
  • Outdated social media links
  • Photograph
  • Personal information which includes your date of birth, gender, marital status, race, religion, and political affiliation

Q #4) What are ‘red flags’ on a resume?

Answer: Red flags on a resume are certain mistakes or errors that signal to the recruiter that a candidate is not suitable for the position. Red flags come in many shapes and forms, including:

  • Typos: Spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors suggest you don’t pay attention to detail and make you look careless and sloppy.
  • Gaps in employment history: This is only a red flag if you leave it unaddressed in your cover letter, so be sure to briefly explain the gap.
  • Generic skills and job descriptions: Employers can easily spot a resume that hasn’t been tailored to their specific position, and won’t bother reading it.
  • Job-hopping: This too, like gaps in employment, is only a red flag if you cannot justify the multiple positions you’ve held. If you can’t offer a reasonable explanation, recruiters will doubt your reliability.
  • Failure to follow instructions: If the recruiter makes certain stipulations, such as asking for a cover letter, your salary history, references, or requests, and you ignore them, they will reject your application.

Q #5) Does my resume need a summary or an objective?

Answer: A resume summary is expected in most situations. The only time you need a resume objective is when you are a fresh graduate with no experience or changing careers.


So there you are – incredibly useful resume-building tips to help you with every aspect of a resume, from formatting to content. Use this list of resume writing tips as a checklist so you don’t forget the little details.

Whether you’ve already written your resume, or you’re just about to get started, these resume-building tips will tell you everything you need to know in order to write a winning resume to get you your dream job.