Top 20 Expert Resume Writing Ideas
Updated: Apr 12
Everyone seems to need a resume right now! So how do you stand out in this saturated market? Well, I’m known for my out-of-the-box ideas that have seen thousands of candidates get across the line, so I’m going to share 20 of those in my new blog.
"I was told my resume and application should have been hung up and framed!”
Council Life Guard
Every one of my clients despises pulling their resume together. But, they also know it has to be FANTASTIC. It’s the difference between getting to the interview or not.
Here's how a great resume will get you in the room plus 20 expert out-of-the-box resume tips.
I’ve created a checklist for you. To rate, review and use to remaster your current resume.
It's important to know what to avoid
when compiling what could be a
life changing document but it's also
important not to do the same ol, lame ol
things everyone does.
So get ready for some 'out-of-the-box' tips and ideas.
My Top 10 Reasons Resumes Are Rubbish and
My Top 10 Items Everyone Forgets To Include In Their Resume
After this, if it’s still in the ‘too hard’ basket then you need an expert - us!
Get to the point, make your point,
be snappy and factual and your resume…
will get read.
Top 10 Reasons Your Resume Is Rubbish
Too long or too short: Too short and we have not got enough to get an overall picture of you. Too long, it's like reading ‘War And Peace’ and probably contains a diatribe of irrelevant information. 1 page is fine if the ad asks for 1-page but otherwise a 2-3-page doco is considered well-developed and 4 pages maximum if you have over 10 years experience.
Jobs listed way back to 1993! What you did ‘way back when’ is possibly not what you are doing now. Anywho… it’s just not relevant, ditch it and try to stick to the last 10 years as far a job history goes.
Format and grammatical errors: Mistakes, a huuuge sign that attention to detail is not your thing. Have it proofed by someone other than you; it’s really hard to proof your own work - as a writer I know that only too well.
The entire first page is just your name and address: Do I want to flip past a title page to get to the meat and potatoes, nope. Want those meat and potatoes straight away - title page - gone!
Referees upon request: So… does that mean you haven’t organised them? Are they a secret? Maybe you don’t have any? If not, why not? You see where I am going, leaving them off raises more questions than answers and resumes need to provide answers.
It's written from your perspective rather than to engage the reader/employer: Big, huge! Bit of resume rubbish right here. When you write anything, think of it from the readers perspective, what is important to them (not you) when they read your document. Write for your audience always.
Objective obsmective. Will your career or job objective 100% match the employers, that’s pretty much a no, most of the time. If you insist on having one ensure it is tailored to the job you are applying for. Personally, I don’t see much value in them and you can always add that sort of note to your Cover Letter.
It looks pretty old school. Design me pretty… it’s expected that the effort you lavish on your resume includes a professional and contemporary design. Dry old lists of text entice nobody.
Loooooong paragraphs. Bullet points are far nicer to navigate than screeds of copy in long paragraph form. Get to the point, make your point, be snappy and factual and your resume… will get read.
Sentences that start with “I feel I can…”. Blah blah blah my friends, what you feel is kinda not important to me, the employer. Any time you go to start a sentence with “I feel’ STOP and rethink it. Start with something more powerful - like evidence.
Always write for your audience
It's them you need to impress
Top 10 Things Everyone Forgets To Include InTheir Resume
1. Referee Emails Addresses.
Did you know that many reference checks are automated now? That makes including an email address in your referee details essential.
2. Results Results Results.
Employers hire results, in other words, what you can achieve for them. The best way to demonstrate that is by including results or outcomes or achievements on your resume. They will do all the ‘heavy lifting’ for you.
Consider... including a Case Study to demonstrate powerfully, 'how' you work
3. Creativity. Don't think you are creative - rubbish! Have a go with a creative design or imaginative content. Let's not have the same boring stuff on your document that you could read on anyone’s resume. Maybe you will even 'find your tone of voice'.
4. Bold informative attention grabbing header.
Name at the top? Sure, that’s where it goes. Straight under that is what I call ‘Prime Real Estate; that’s where the top 3 most important bits of info about you need to sit. Not buried away in the in the body of your document.
5. Colour me happy.
Don’t be afraid of colour, it adds a ‘pop’ as they say on every renovation show ever. It’s a great way to stand out. Use an appropriate colour so not ‘hot pink’ and ensure it has a purpose in the design. Make sure it’s use is consistent.
6. Useful Headers and Footers.
You know those little faded looking bits at the top and bottom of your WORD document. Great way to include a consistent call to action or your contact details and of course, page number.
7. Carefully crafted content.
Smashing in full position descriptions is a sure way not to get your resume read. HR, Managers and Business Owners know what most jobs entail on a day-to-day basis. The content they want to see is the powerful stuff. Think; achievements, projects, benefits and qualifications.
Smashing in full position descriptions
is a sure way not to get your resume read
8. Sub-headings for navigating around your resume.
Is it a pleasure or a plod? Can I skip straight to the interesting sections or do I have to troll through never ending lines of copy? The key here is ‘sub-headings’ adding content under key sub headings will make your resume a navigation dream.
9. Case Studies.
I love a good case study; it’s the best way to demonstrate ‘how’ you managed a project. A project can be anything from an admin procedural update to an engineering extravaganza. How you do anything tells us how you will work in our team.
10. Work or Leadership Methodology.
A simple statement outlining your work method, professional values and key motivations. With work culture being a big part of hiring criteria, your professional philosophy demonstrates how you might align with a businesses values and culture.
So, if that’s all a bit overwhelming, then you know where to come.
If not, use this as a scaffold in creating a document that will get you to interview whether that's on zoom or in the actual room.
Go get em!
Are you struggling to achieve resume greatness?
Is your resume not getting you to interview stage?
Would you like some help to get your resume into fighting form?
Our Published Writers and Resume Experts would love to help.
Head over to our Resume and Cover Letter Services for more details.