Your resume, or curriculum vitae, is the foundation of your professional position in the world.
Most job seekers understand the importance of having a presentable, verifiable, and eye-catching resume when searching for a new role. Finding modern, accurate advice for resume writing can be time consuming though, due to the overwhelming informational clutter on the web. This process adds hours to the already-significant task of finding the perfect position for your set of skills, experiences, and preferences.
Whether you’re looking to advance your career or change industries, you need a comprehensive, direct guide from employment professionals to shape your resume building process. Keep reading to find exactly that: expert advice from the Sabio Systems dedicated recruiters on resume writing.
For more details on creating a resume recruiters will love to read, check out the Sabio Systems career library.
Whether your current or desired role is something like executive assistant, software engineer, or sales manager, what you do professionally should be exceedingly clear upon first glance. Additional resume must-haves might seem intuitive, but can be surprisingly easy to forget, like contact information, degrees and related education, and pertinent, work-based awards.
Applicable information to highlight in each of your job experience listings includes:
- Title and position within the company
- Overall goal(s) of your role
- Team members you collaborated and interacted with
- Tools and software used
- Work produced
- Targets and achievements
While it might seem best to include as much information as possible on your resume, not every detail of your life experience will fit, especially if you’re working within the one-page standard. When prioritizing information, stick to relevant, recent job experience and education, and avoid the following unnecessary inclusions:
- Marital status
- Political affiliations
- High school education
- College graduation date
- Exact street address
- Current work contacts
There are a few particulars your future employer might need to know, like preferred pronouns or professional references – address topics like these in interviews, follow up conversations, or during the onboarding process.
Read more about acing your interview in our blog on three tips to interview success.
Active vs. Passive Voice
As you delve into the details of your resume, keep brevity and clarity at the forefront of your mind. Breaking up job specifics into bullet points or short sentences is vital to keeping your resume readable and professional.
Additionally, writing in active voice will put the most important, action-oriented details at the forefront, where they belong. Avoid using passive voice, superfluous detail, or long, syntactically complex sentences in your resume.
Active voice is when the subject of a sentence takes action, whereas passive voice is when the object of the sentence is acted upon. If this seems tricky to identify, you’re not alone! Use the below examples to check the passivity of your writing tone.
Passive voice: “Responsible for increasing department sales by 20%.”
Active voice: “Increased department sales by 20%.”
Overused Resume Buzzwords
Starting your sentences with powerful, illustrative action verbs is a hallmark of writing in active voice, but not every verb elicits the same response. Some verbs and qualifiers have such strong resume connotations that they make it into virtually every applicant’s first draft.
These are some common verbs to avoid:
Adjectives and qualifiers, like verbs, can make or break your resume. Avoid these cliched terms to keep the job recruiter hooked:
Swap these tired verbs and overused buzzwords for fresh, descriptive words like:
Add a Cover Letter
While not every job listing will require a cover letter or note, including one in your application can exemplify your dedication to the role, share additional important details, and signal professional competence.
When writing your cover letter, be sure to pen it for the role you are applying for specifically. Addressing recruiters, hiring agency representatives, or team members directly and by name, listing information that matches the requirements outlined in the job listing, and avoiding valueless detail are the best ways to shape a cover letter that actually gets read.
If you’re sending a short note with your application, keep it as brief as possible – one to three sentences should do the trick. Cover letters are often slightly longer, but should stick between one and two short paragraphs.
Information you might consider sharing in your cover letter ranges from applicable volunteer experience to facts and figures about initiatives or accomplishments outlined in your resume, but doesn’t typically branch out of the professional realm.
Some modern job applications will ask that specific questions be answered in your cover letter, so it is absolutely imperative that you read the entirety of every job description before applying.
Resume Editing: Pro Tips
If you’ve done your due diligence choosing the right resume template, refining the keywords for freshness, and removing any unnecessary information – congratulations! You’re almost ready to share it with the professional world on a verified, professional site like SabioSystems.com.
Before you start combing through the Sabio Systems job listings, set aside time for the editing and review process. After spending considerable time looking at the same document, blindspots can form for even the most competent job seeker.
Below are a few common formatting and grammatical errors to scan for before applying for a new position. While some of these formatting issues may not be noticeable to the average reader, a Sabio Systems recruiter will notice the lack of balance and cohesion from these mistakes instantly:
- Spelling errors
- Mismatched or random font inclusions
- Inconsistent font sizes
- Inconsistent line or text spacing
- Inconsistent information included (e.g., not all job listings have dates, or some only have years while others have MM/DD/YYYY format)
Once your resume reaches a polished, edited state, it’s time to get a professional review. Reaching out to a colleague or industry connection to review your resume before applying to a similar position or shifting into their field is always a great idea, but should only be one part of your finalization process.
If you need help building stronger industry connections, read more on our blog about effective networking practices.
Friends and industry contacts can point you in the right direction for template design, specific skills or accomplishments to highlight, and help you understand a business or industry’s work culture. Unless your contact is frequently hiring new candidates in their role, though, you’ll need to reach out to a Sabio Systems recruiter for a thorough review.