How to: Write an Impressive Resume

June 26, 2012

Welcome to part two of what can only be dubbed as how to present the best professional version of yourself. TAGG’s How to Network Like a Pro shared helpful tips, however what about those looking for a new position or just starting their career after completing college (congratulations, btw!)? After just completing a job search for a senior position at my PR firm, I’m chock-full of tips that I’m eager to share. I reviewed dozens of resumes and interviewed at least 10 strong candidates and came away a little underwhelmed (sorry, truth).

So many errors, blatant laziness and lackluster resumes that could have been written better to make the person look like a superstar kept pouring in. You might think you’ve heard some of this before but I promise you people wouldn’t keep writing these tips if others didn’t keep doing them. I’m talking about poor grammar, misspellings, too-casual replies and other errors that can — and will — cost you the job. The bright side is that I did find someone spectacular, and met quite a few other professionals who had a lot to offer, yet just were not the right fit for the company at this time. I told them they’re on my radar! I will follow-up with them the next time a position opens.


Have more tips for those on the hunt? Would love if you left your recommendations in the comments section! And, wishing the best of luck to those on the hunt!


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  • C. Reed

    ;)  Thanks for the tips!   And in purple, no less!!!!

  • Erin @ Thanks, I Made It

    Great post Alyson!

  • Anne Garber

    As a recruiter, I agree with your recommendations. I will say, however, that detailing what you did is still very important to give prospective employers an idea of the scope of responsibilities you’ve had. I generally encourage at least one success story in the list to communicate how you added value to your company. When you are applying for a position, you want the employer to be able to assess how you will be able to solve their problems.

    I also do not like objective statements. Generally they are either far too generic to be useful or they are so specific that they may eliminate you from related roles that you might be an excellent fit for. I suggest using a summary section instead that details your accomplishments and capabilities. One pet peeve: cliches. Employers expect that you are going to be a hard-working, dedicated, enthusiastic, self-starter with the ability to learn quickly. Be much more specific (and creative) about your attributes!

    Lastly, have a couple of friends or family members review your resume not just for spelling and grammar, but as someone who may be unfamiliar with the specific details of what you do. Often, when you are close to the work you do, you can’t see the omitted details that people outside of your professional world would need. I often see broad statements like “Created marketing materials for the XYZ team.” What do you mean by created? Did you write them? Design them? What kind of marketing materials were they? How did those marketing materials impact the team/product? Who was the audience?

  • Anant

    Great tips. I believe that visual presentation and resume design are also important factors to consider. Here’s a tool to help with designing and formatting a visually appealing resume - Resumonk:

  • Blowarainbow

    Hi, I just want to invite you to join the RIRE giveaway on my blog

    Nice post BTW. I love it!


    These are some great tips! 


  • Ladyofashion

    These are very helpful tips! I even use the same standard in hiring interns for work as well. Great post!

  • Gemma Davison

    I love these tips, it’s been so long since I actually wrote a CV, I need them :)

    Gems x

    Fashion, Well Done

  • Ria

    People just don’t seem to have any sense of professionalism these days. I do get nervous submitting resumes though because I’ve never been to college but I feel like my body of work speaks better than a degree ever could for me. Great post.

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