Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova
Your resume is an important tool when you are searching for a new job. With these resume tips, you’ll learn how to make your resume shine so that you can land your ideal job in 2024.
The job market landscape is an ever-changing one. Not only are there new technologies and skills to learn, but there are constant changes to every industry. To be successful as a job seeker, you need to be able to display your ability to keep up with those changes and help a company succeed. This is where your resume comes in. For those who are hoping to land their ideal job this year, these resume tips will help ensure you stand out from the competition.
Here are some of the things we will be covering in this article:
What does a good resume look like in 2024?
How to optimize your resume for an ATS
3 important resume writing rules
Our top 10 resume writing tips and what to avoid
Do’s and Don’ts of resume writing
A good resume helps you stand out in a crowd of applicants, presents your skills in a way that gets a recruiter’s attention, and encourages a hiring manager to schedule an interview with you right away. Ultimately, your resume needs to show why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
Knowing what is needed and getting it all down on paper are two different things. It takes careful planning and consideration to create a high-performing resume. When you are deciding how to make your resume look as good as it can for your 2024 job hunt, here are some of the things you will want to consider adding:
Modern design. 2024 is the perfect year to freshen up the look of your resume and give it a modern and updated design. Remember, recruiters only spend 5-10 seconds reviewing each resume, so you need your resume to be designed in a way that maximizes readability.
Add a top achievements highlight section. To ensure your top qualities and achievements are what a recruiter sees first, adding a separate section above your work history that highlights a handful of your most important achievements is a great option.
Bold fonts and colors. If there are especially important achievements you want to bring attention to, use a bold font to highlight them. You may also want to consider breaking up your sections with colorful section dividers to help your resume look more appealing.
When using color on your resume, stick with just one option and only use it minimally. Too much color can have the opposite effect and could wind up harming your results.
Keywords. Another thing a good resume will have in 2024 is keywords that will trigger an applicant tracking system (ATS). The majority of companies today utilize technology when reviewing applications and adding keywords could be the difference between a resume that is seen and one that is discarded.
White space. It may seem counterintuitive to include white space as part of your resume, but it is an important feature of its design. Too much text can be overwhelming and difficult to read. Adding white space can help make it easier for a recruiter to process your information.
Great formatting, targeted content, achievements that are noticeable, and keywords and ATS optimization are all important features of a modern resume. Fully understanding how all of these things fit together to create a great resume can be challenging. When you are trying to optimize your resume, here are some of the things you should be doing.
One of the most important ways to ensure your resume is truly optimized is to make changes for each position you plan to apply for. Since different jobs will have different skill set needs, recruiters will set up applicant tracking systems with a variety of parameters. This means, what works for one job, might not work for another. Optimizing for each job ensures you have the skills listed in your resume that will flag an ATS.
Start by considering how your resume reads and how it will be viewed by an applicant tracking system. Your section titles should be clear in what information they hold. For example, use titles like ‘Work Experience’ or ‘Education’ so that a recruiter or an ATS can easily see how the information on your resume is divided up.
The very first thing your resume should showcase is your contact information. You should also use a font and design that doesn’t bury this information and instead presents it in an easy-to-find and easy-to-read format.
As mentioned above, adding keywords to your application documents is one of the best resume tips available when it comes to beating an ATS. You can find the right keywords to use from the job description of the job you are applying for. Any specific skills or experience notes made in the job description are keyword opportunities you can use to make your resume stand out. When you add these keywords strategically throughout your resume, an ATS will be more likely to pull your resume to the top of the pile.
After you’ve analyzed your job prospects and found your keywords, you’re ready to sit down and write your resume. While writing, keep these three rules in mind:
Avoid making your resume too long. While resume length can now be longer than one page, you should try to keep your document to a maximum of two pages.
When saving your resume, save it as a Word document or PDF so that the hiring manager will be able to open and view it.
Focus on the intro. Write a headline that is eye-catching and that sums up your career in one sentence and include a summary section at the top that gives a few more details regarding your skillset.
Following these three rules can set you up for success right from the start. They will help you to ensure you won’t lose the attention of a hiring manager, keep you from facing any types of formatting issues, and bring all your most important skills to the very top of your resume.
Now that we’ve covered how to optimize your resume and some of the rules you should follow, let’s dive into some of the more fine-tuned details of your resume. The following resume tips will allow you to put the finishing touches on your resume so that it truly stands out in the crowd:
You won’t have long to impress a hiring manager, so format your resume so that the information is easy to digest in a short amount of time. Leave out fluff words and stick with the most important details that showcase your skills as an applicant.
Whether you are changing careers altogether or simply switching to a new role in your current organization, you must show how your current skills will transfer and make you a success in future roles.
In most industries, it’s no longer enough to simply show your skills. Instead, hiring managers are looking for concrete proof of your past success. To show you have what it takes, add any metrics or results that you can measure into your resume. Some examples may include a certain number of sales you were able to achieve or the percentage of time you saved by implementing certain practices in your department. Whenever possible, use percentages and dollar amounts and be specific.
Make your resume pop by starting each sentence in the work history with an active verb. This simple step will present you as a go-getter. Avoid using the same verbs repeatedly to ensure your resume is interesting to read and flows well.
Social media has made it easier than ever for recruiters to learn more about applicants before completing the hiring process. To leave a great impression, make sure your social media accounts reflect a professional demeanor. You should also format your LinkedIn Profile so that it shows off your skills in creative ways.
It’s best to choose a file name that is professional and that will easily identify your resume as yours. Since you will likely be uploading or emailing your resume, a hiring manager will probably see what you name your file. Sticking with your full name and ‘resume’ is the best option.
Resume grammar works a little differently than traditional grammar. Because of this, you can eliminate certain words, such as pronouns and most articles. Both of these items can be assumed on a resume, and leaving them off helps to keep the focus on your specific achievements and skills.
If you have additional interests, volunteer experience, or extracurricular activities that relate specifically to the job you are applying for, you should add them at the bottom of your resume. However, leave these off if they don’t benefit your career as they can take up valuable marketing space and be distracting. The same is true for technical skills; only include a detailed list of technical skills if it is relevant to the job you’re targeting.
Your resume is an important document, but nothing can introduce you to a potential employer quite like a cover letter can. To create the best cover letter possible, take some of your most important achievements and skills from your resume, and work them into a cover letter in a way that leaves your recruiter with a great first impression of you.
This should be the final step you take after writing your resume, and it’s easy to overlook it. When hiring managers find resumes that have spelling and grammar errors, they will view the applicant as unprofessional and uninterested. Investing time in proofreading your resume and cover letter is crucial for this reason.
Now that we’ve covered everything you should add to your resume, let’s take a closer look at some of the things you should avoid.
When designing your resume, it’s easy to make mistakes. To ensure your resume has the biggest impact on hiring managers and applicant tracking systems, here are five mistakes you will want to avoid making.
Our goal is to help ensure your resume is as attractive as possible for a recruiter or hiring manager as well as an applicant tracking system. To learn more about how our services can help you build your resume, visit our website to see our resume builder tool in action.
Choosing the best format for your resume, adding white space to break up the text, and utilizing keywords are all things you can do to make your resume more effective.
When writing your resume, you should spend some time optimizing your document for each position you are applying to as well as for applicant tracking systems.
Avoid making your resume too long, save in Word document or PDF format, and start with a powerful opening sentence.
Keep your resume skimmable, create a consistent personal brand, and avoid images in your resume to ensure your resume shines.
Holly Skaggs is an experienced SEO writer with 10+ years of creative content expertise across diverse digital channels. She is skilled in writing articles, blogs, and social media posts related to career development and HR. She is a seasoned professional committed to fostering organizational growth and individual career success. Holly has previously worked in human resources with a focus on talent acquisition, employee engagement, and performance management. Her journey in HR has been marked by a passion for talent development, strategic workforce planning, and effective communication.