How to Write a Compelling Resume

how to write a compelling resume

Your resume doesn’t have to be boring—you can write it to be compelling enough to get you the interview! Follow these tips on how to write a compelling resume, and you’ll impress hiring managers with your attention to detail and your ability to articulate exactly why you’re right for their company and how you can benefit their business. Remember that hiring managers and recruiters are looking at hundreds of resumes, so yours needs to stand out among the rest. Take advantage of these expert tips on how to write a compelling resume, and you’ll be on your way to securing the job of your dreams!

Pick up on their keywords

It’s no secret that recruiters and hiring managers heavily rely on keyword searches when they look through resumes. Because of that, it’s important to include keywords that directly relate to your job target in your resume. The best way to find these words is by carefully reading through job postings and seeing which ones are used repeatedly. Start making a list of relevant keywords, and then use them throughout your resume (but make sure they don’t disrupt readability). As you start filling out sections like skills or accomplishments, try to recall if there was anything mentioned in those posts as well. Think about how a person would search for their ideal candidate—and write accordingly.

Use action verbs

One of the best ways to ensure that your resume makes an impact on an employer is to use strong action verbs in both your work experience and education sections. This will ensure that you’re not only selling yourself but showing potential employers why they should hire you. A few examples: organized, managed, planned, implemented, supervised. Looking for a complete list? You can find it here .

Keep it short and sweet

A resume is meant to be an advertisement, so don’t make your potential employer read an essay. Use clear and direct language and focus on what you can do for them and use the interview and as an opportunity to discuss what they can do for you. It’s important to remember that if you are seeking employment, it is likely your would-be employer has many other candidates applying for that same position. So leave no stone unturned in making your application as compelling as possible.

Use resumes for more than just jobs

We often associate resumes with job searching, but they can be useful in other scenarios. Use your resume as an elevator pitch in certain professional situations—for example, when meeting someone at a networking event or speaking with senior managers. If you don’t have time to create an entire resume before these situations arise, keep an abbreviated one on hand that includes key details such as your experience, career accomplishments and references.

Include portfolio items

If applicable, add in your past projects, and note what you learned from them. Showing off your work experience is always helpful, but if you’re not currently employed then include volunteer work as well as personal projects that reflect your career goals. If all else fails and you have nothing else to add, list Other along with bullet points of what makes you an excellent candidate for each position you’re applying for.

Try to be unique

As you are writing your resume, avoid simply listing job descriptions and responsibilities. Instead, make sure that you highlight what makes you unique for each of your roles. Are there certain projects or tasks that only you have completed at work? Did you accomplish something above and beyond what was required of your position? If so, describe it! As much as possible, choose specific examples that illustrate your skills and accomplishments.

Don’t lie

If you’re dishonest in your resume, it will come back to haunt you in an interview. Honesty is always best because if you’re caught lying after signing an offer letter and start working for a company—well, that’s not good for anybody. It’s much better to be up front about your skills, education and experience from day one. That way, nobody has any surprises later on down the road.