Resume Writing Tips: Make Your Skills Stand Out

Your resume is often the very first demonstration of your job skills. This one- or two-page document shows how well you understand a particular position and industry, and whether you approach tasks with care and attention to detail. Hiring managers and recruiters notice mistake-free resumes that clearly communicate skills and experience. Here’s how to make sure your resume stays at the top of the pile.


Proofread Your Resume – Once you are finished writing your resume, proofread it multiple times. The spelling and grammar on your resume should be 100 percent free of errors. Have a family member, friend, or coworker who is a strong writer proofread it for you. Repeat this process each and every time you make revisions. Your resume is not going to get you that interview if you accidentally drop an ‘i’ from the phrase ‘detail oriented.’  


Keep Your Resume Concise – Recruiters and hiring managers spend very little time reading individual resumes. We’re talking less than 20 seconds here. You’ve got to make sure they see you are the right person for the job with a quick scan. This means keeping your resume to one page, two tops, and presenting your training, skills, and experience in an easy-to-read format. Keep your professional summary brief and use bullet points.


Tailor Your Resume for Every Job – Rework your resume each time you submit it for a new position. Look closely at the job description and highlight any relevant experience and training you have. If you are applying for a job as a forklift operator or electrician, make sure to include your related certifications. If you are throwing your hat into the ring for an administrative assistant position, include the office software programs you are familiar with. It’s important to be completely honest about the skills you bring to the table.


Emphasize Your Accomplishments – In addition to outlining your training, skills, and experience, your resume should include specific achievements from your prior jobs. Include any on-the-job successes that are relevant to the prospective position. Think about the problems you solved, or new efficiencies you helped establish, and share these stories. Did you work in a manufacturing facility that exceeded production quotas? Did you work on a distribution center team that met deadlines during the busy season? If you were given any extra responsibilities on the job, such as examining your workplace for safety issues or supervising a new hire, put them on your resume as well.


Share Your Soft Skills – Whether you are applying for a job as a data entry specialist, a customer service representative, or a cook in a hospital kitchen, prospective employers are looking to see evidence of soft skills as well. Once again, consider your previous jobs and the soft skills you put to good use. Are you a strong team player? A problem-solver who manages minor issues independently? Are you a good communicator? Are you a fast learner who added new skills during your last job? Your resume’s professional summary is a good place to briefly touch upon these skills.


Proofread Your Resume – Putting this here again for good measure because it’s really important. Please don’t skip this part.


And, last but not least, good luck!