Put yourself in the employer’s shoes
Always keep in mind that employers are the ones that will be evaluating your résumé. You aren't actually the ultimate critic. Think from their perspective and craft your résumé accordingly. Focus on what the employer would like to see in an applicant. Relevance is the key word here. Instead of listing out all aspects of your previous experience, include only the things that fall within the context of the specific position that you are applying for. Yes, your previous jobs might be impressive and extend into different areas of expertise, but make sure that what you are highlighting is relevant. In other words, tell them what they want to hear (while being truthful of course).
Example: Let’s say that you are applying to a sales position at a retail clothing store. Let’s also assume that you have previous customer service experience at an electronics store. In this case, you may want to highlight how you interacted with customers by skillfully and knowledgeably helping them find and buy the products that met their needs or solved their problems, how you organized the inventory, and what you did to consistently exceed your sales quota. Omit the fact that you learned a great deal about electronics or how tech savvy a person you’ve become.
Describe Not just your duties, but also the goals and results of your actions
This is perhaps the most common mistake that people encounter with résumé writing. Remember: you are writing a resume that sums up your experience and explains your qualifications. You’re not writing a job description or job posting. The employers reading the resume want to see your goals and accomplishments. You worked as a marketing intern and executed several marketing campaigns? Awesome! But what was the goal? What did you achieve? What were the results?
Example: Replace "Developed and executed an on-campus event" , with "Developed and executed an on-campus event to increase brand exposure, resulting in a 10% surge in sales for the month".
Use Key Words
Employers probably didn’t download a random job description template and simply post it to recruit for an opening. Read the job descriptions carefully, because they will have key words that summarize what the employers are looking for. Try to pick out those key words and incorporate them directly into your résumé. This helps the employer find what they are looking for when they review your résumé, thereby increasing your chance of getting hired.
Example: "Looking for a motivated self-starter who can complete tasks under minimum supervision and seek out opportunities to improve the company". The keyword here is a self-starter, and you should use this word (or find another way to describe this word) in your résumé.
While math in general doesn’t seem like a very popular subject amongst students or adults alike, it’s actually quite the opposite when it comes to just numbers. Numbers will automatically draw the reader’s attention. People love to read about them because they provide the readers with a figurative comparison that they can easily understand. Having a few numbers in your résumé adds weight to your profile. And, If used correctly, numbers can really strengthen your case to make you stand out from other candidates!
Example: Change "Developed strong communication skills through previous sales experience as a sales assistant at ABCD company", to "Developed strong communication skills through 300+ hours of previous sales experience as a sales assistant at ABCD company". The 300 really stands out, doesn’t it?
Adjectives Are Nice, but Be Concise
You are creating a résumé, not an immersive fantasy adventure novel that describes even the tiniest, most vivid details. Yes, your résumé should sum up your qualifications as much as possible. However, your résumé should also be clear, concise, and easy to read. In fact, having too many adjectives will actually blur out your qualifications! How many is too many? Well, an employer should be able to pick up your résumé and scan the contents without having to pause and reread a line a couple of times.
Example: "Acquired superior and extraordinary customer service skills through working tirelessly with brutal customers by maintaining a friendly smile and creating a welcoming atmosphere at all times". This is way too over the top.
Extended Reading: 6 Tips For Resume Formatting
Additional Resource: Resume Review, Performed by Hiring Managers