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Crafting a Winning Resume: Best Practices to Impress Hiring Managers

A resume is a necessary tool for anyone looking to enter or switch careers. It serves as the first point of contact between a job seeker and a potential employer. A well-designed resume increases the chances of landing that dream job. The following tips will help in crafting a visually appealing, clear and concise resume that showcases your skills and experiences effectively.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Hiring Manager

A resume only gets six seconds of attention from a hiring manager, according to a study conducted by TheLadders, so it is essential to make a good impression within that limited time. A hiring manager usually assesses resumes by looking for any relevant experience, skills and achievements. Therefore, it is crucial to customize resumes for the specific job application in question.

Highlight Key Elements

A winning resume should be visually appealing and easy to read, which can be achieved by using a clear font and an appropriate font size.

Contact Information

The first section of a resume should contain basic information, such as name, address, phone number, and email address.

Professional Objective

A resume should contain a statement of objectives that identify a candidate’s professional goals explicitly. This section should be short, usually in a few sentences.

Work Experience

The work experience section should contain a summary of previous positions held, including job titles, dates of employment, and employers. It should highlight the most significant achievements in each job, focusing on how these achievements contributed to the company’s success.

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Skills Section

The Skills section should contain relevant attributes that can be useful in the job being applied for. Keywords from the job advert can be used to increase the likelihood of getting past automated resume-scanning software.


The education section should contain information about the educational background, such as degrees earned, educational institutions attended, and dates of attendance.

Be Specific and Clear

It is important to use accurate language and to be specific in writing each achievement. List one’s accomplishments as a result of their specific actions in the workplace. If possible, quantify results, such as percentage growth, revenue generated or reduced expenses.

As people become more experienced, they might include their portfolio, personal projects, workshops and conferences attended, etc., to showcase their contributions towards their areas of interest.

Tailor Resumes for Each Job Application

Crafting a resume to match the job description is key to getting the hiring manager’s attention. By aligning the qualifications that one possesses with those in the job advert, your abilities are more likely to be noticed, and one is more likely to be invited for an interview.

Keep Formatting Consistent and Skimmable

The different sections of a resume must be consistent in formatting. Bullet points, which make it easier for potential employers to skim through and identify key information, can be utilized effectively. Additionally, using action verbs, such as “managed,” “delivered,” and “produced,” can be beneficial in getting a hiring manager’s attention.

Key Takeaways

  • A resume is the first point of contact between a job seeker and potential employers. Therefore, it should make an excellent first impression within six seconds.

  • A well-designed resume should highlight key elements such as contact information, work experience, skills, education, and have an objective statement.

  • By customizing a resume to match job requirements, it becomes easier to catch the attention of hiring managers.

  • Using bullet points, clear font, action verbs, and a consistent format can improve the readability and effectiveness of a resume.

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Q. Do I need to include references in my resume?A. It is not necessary to include references in the resume, as they can be provided separately if requested.

Q. How long should a resume be?A. A resume should be one or two pages long. Anything longer than that might not be looked at by a hiring manager.

Q. What font type and size should I use on my resume?A. A professional font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, with a size between 10 and 12 is recommended.

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