I’ve reviewed and screened thousands of resumes, and I am sharing my preferred resume format, free to download as a Word doc (along with my best resume advice).

Nearly everyday on Reddit, I address numerous postings for students and professionals who have applied to endless companies with no response. My answer is typically that they either have (1) a bad resume format; or (2) they have little to no experience, which means their resume format should be reworked – see (1).

To generally help the frustrated out there with poor formats, I decided to share a downloadable and editable Google doc version in the hope that it helps those struggling with formatting issues. Hopefully many will find this useful.

As a long-time hiring manager and professional resume writer (Unfold Careers) who’s worked with many recruiters, this has been widely validated as readable and effective (and ATS friendly).

Most Common Resume Advice I Give:

  • Be More Precise. Too often resumes come to me with vague descriptions, like “Was top salesperson in SaaS group." While this may be true, push yourself to be more precise. What is the “top salespersonâ€� denotation measured by? How many individuals are on the SaaS team? By what amount did you perform better than others on the team? For what period of time? Taking these into account, your description becomes something like: “Grossed highest sales in 25-member SaaS group for 2 years consecutively and improved SaaS team’s sales by 20%.â€� See the improvement? Don’t be afraid to bold the metrics throughout the resume.
  • Describe Your Impact. I see many critiques pushing for “achievementsâ€� in a resume, which is often confusing to many who don’t have metric-based roles or don’t quantify their responsibilities. Instead, focus on your impact. Describe how your work on a project significantly impacted the company, role, or the team. Add that you were Employee of the Year in 2015 for developing an algorithm for improving the efficiency of incoming customer service ticket sorting and organization. The awards and achievements can be a separate section in the resume or within experience descriptions, depending on the length and organization of your resume.
  • One Page. Enough said.
  • The 10 Second Refresh. A hiring manager will review your resume for approximately 10 seconds or less. When you do this, what do you see? Your resume needs to SCREAM whatever roles, skills, and experience is required by the role you want.
  • Bullet Points. I can't stress enough how hiring managers don't want to read huge blocks of text paragraphs on the resume. Break this up into manageable bites.
  • Explanations of Gaps. It is better to have something on your resume rather than a gap showing unemployment. For example, a stay at home mom with a five year gap could fill in that space with: "Starting in May 2013, I left [COMPANY] to work as a stay-at-home mom for my three children. During this time, I started my own local jewelry company, which became profitable after just 6 months, and I served as the lead planner for multiple charity events, raising over $75,000, for my children’s school.â€�
  • Remove Your Objective Summary. Usually, this doesn’t add anything to the resume, and a hiring manager usually skips it (we’re busy people and don’t have time to read 100 resume summaries). If you keep it, which I’d recommend to explain varied experience, a career change, or other non-standard circumstances, I’d recommend 2 brief phrases – no more than 2 or 3 lines. I would state the number of years of experience you have doing [usually your current role/type of practice], some of your top skills/achievements, and finally point out the role you are seeking to describe why your skills/current role make you perfect for the role. Also, avoid using the 1st person.
  • Poor Action Words. Reevaluate your descriptions. Read each one and think about what it REALLY means. For example, what does “Championed staff bloggingâ€� mean? Sometimes we get caught up using flowery language while losing the effect of the content. Often simplicity can drive stronger impressions because it’s understood what exactly you did. The hiring manager can then say – “oh, that’s exactly the skill I need for this position.â€�
  • Remove References. References should not be on the resume. They should be provided when asked. I’d recommend creating a separate document with a similar heading as your resumé with your references and their contact information laid out. Also make sure your references are prepared to be contacted in the event you haven’t spoken to them in a while.

Apologies in advance for the wordiness, but I hope this helps! Feel free to comment if you have further questions, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

submitted by /u/unfoldcareers


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