Resume Best Practices
Source: Apex Systems
Formatting & Layout
Is your resume formatted in an effective and reader-friendly manner that’s easy to follow and digest? Do you avoid long paragraphs/blocks of text? Are section headings bolded? Is the font, size and spacing consistent throughout? If you need a good starting template, check out a resume builder, such as Live Career
Is your resume a length that is easy to read and digest (i.e. 2-4 pages)? For outdated positions that don’t align with your future career path, are the roles summarized in an ‘Additional Experience’ section highlighting title, company, and dates?
Skills Summary / Core Competencies
Do you have a section that summarizes your core skills, capabilities and tools in an easy to read and digest format? Does it include any skills you have which that position asks for? You can also optimize and further brand yourself by including main function/role in category heading. For example, ‘Core Chemistry Capabilities’ if you’re a Chemist.
Individual Job Descriptions
Does each role/internship have title, company and dates? Does it explain the context of the company? Does it include the group/team you were on and that team’s function within the organization? Does it include major projects you contributed to and key functions you held?
Do you clearly communicate your key achievements via a ‘Career Highlights’ or ‘Accomplishments’ type section?
Do you include all relevant education, certifications, and additional training? Did you put any advanced degrees and/or certifications next to your name at the top (i.e. Sara Smith, MBA)?
Relevant Non-Work Differentiators
If you’re involved in your community and/or volunteer for a nonprofit, do you have that included in a ‘Community’ type section? Don’t forget to include your involvement and any contributions to any relevant groups and associations. Does it include any articles/publications you’ve written, training you’ve produced, conferences you’ve attended?
Did you include URLS for any additional profiles/websites you want to draw people to, such as your LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel, author profile, personal website, etc.?
Customized & Relevant
For each role you’re applying for, are you looking at the list of requirements and ensuring all your relevant experience is included and is clearly visible within your resume? Are you focused on highlighting experience relevant to target role?
Self-Review and Quality Assurance
Have you used Spellcheck to correct any spelling issues? Did you thoroughly read through your resume at least one day after you’ve written it, so you can review it with a fresh brain and pair of eyes?
Peer Quality Assurance
Have you asked a trusted peer/friend and/or a Recruiter for feedback on your resume? What stood out to them within 8 seconds? What recommendations do they have on content, formatting and prioritization?