No two resumes look exactly the same. There are countless styles and formats you can use, and everyone’s experience is different. Besides, you don’t want your resume to blend in with everyone else’s and get lost in the shuffle. But despite these differences, there are several key factors that effective resumes share, regardless of the person or industry.

They show value. Your resume should open with a strong summary of qualifications section that focuses on your greatest strengths and what you have to offer as it relates to the position or company you are applying for. Do your research and carefully read the job description and company information to determine what will pop to hiring manager and make them want to learn more about you. What makes you the best fit for the role?

They paint a picture. When a hiring manager is done skimming your resume, they should have a clear picture of who you are as a professional. Your work experience may be varied, but the skills and accomplishments you choose to highlight should support your professional identity and the type of role you are seeking.

They demonstrate skills and results. It’s not enough to simply list duties or responsibilities. Show how you have applied the skills you possess and made a difference. Don’t be afraid to brag on yourself – assuming that what you’re saying is accurate. Plug in the size of your team or the budget you managed, the percentage or dollar amount you saved the company, or the number of new products or sites you launched.

They have a clean format. No matter what format you choose to use, it should be clean and easy to read. Your eyes should flow from one section to the next. There should be horizontal lines, bolding, and bullet points to break up information and improve readability. No one wants to be searching for information on a resume with tiny font and blocks of text crammed together. In fact, recruiters will likely give it one glance and move on.

They have concise language. Forget about using fluffy, fancy language in an effort to impress hiring managers and make yourself sound more eloquent or knowledgeable. There is a good chance that the first person reading your resume doesn’t even work in your field. Stick with easily understood language and basic industry terminology. Don’t go overboard with jargon. Use the job description as a guide for tone and technicality. Also, get to the point and don’t use 10 words to say what you can express in five. Space is at a premium.

You can still make your resume a reflection of who you are and what you have to offer without sacrificing these important elements. An effective resume grabs a hiring manager’s attention and makes them want to learn more about you and what you bring to the table. If you feel like your resume is falling short and leaving something to be desired, contact Grammar Chic today to arrange a personal consultation. We’ll work with you to highlight your strengths and accomplishments and present you as a strong candidate. Call (803) 831-7444 or email to get started.