Create a Professionally Written Resume with These 4 Tips

While there are many benefits to investing in a professionally written resume, you may be conducting a DIY job search and want quick tips to handle it on your own. Our best advice is to keep it brief and to the point. Here’s why.

A Microsoft survey concluded that “the average attention span had fallen to eight seconds, down from 12 in the year 2000.”* In this age of diminished attention spans, recruiters and hiring managers typically spend just a few seconds on a resume before deciding whether to keep reading or toss it. Therefore, it’s critical for your resume to showcase your unique qualifications as quickly and concisely as possible.

Below, we unlock the top four secrets to creating a professional written resume that is lean to meet the demand for brevity.

1. Remove generic language, such as “successful,” “track record,” “accomplished,” etc. Instead, use quantifiable metrics and other measurable specifics to show (rather than tell) results and differentiate yourself from the competition.

No: “Successfully trained and developed future organizational leaders.”
Yes: “Developed 10 team members promoted into leadership roles.”

2. Reduce your use of prepositional phrases, including of, through, by, to, and in, to create tighter, clearer, and more active sentences.

No: “Drove significant improvement of customer satisfaction scores.”
Yes: “Improved customer satisfaction scores by 56%.”

3. A professionally written resume ditches the passive voice for action-packed verbiage. A passive voice distances you from your own actions. An active voice packs a punch and generates greater impact.

No: “Made certain financial controls were in place while streamlining processes, which led to $10K in annual savings.”
Yes: “Enhanced financial controls and streamlined processes, saving $10K annually.”

4. Be specific and meaningful when detailing job descriptions in your DIY professionally written resume. Focus on key highlights and accomplishments.

No: “Responsible for management of a team comprised of inside sales reps.”
Yes: “Single-handedly managed a team of 25 inside sales reps.”

*Bonus Tip for Creating a Professional Written Resume: Declutter your resume by sharpening its focus based on your job objective or by creating more than one version if you have multiple target jobs.

By using brief sentences, adding metrics, and avoiding passive language, you can drastically improve your job descriptions and create a DIY professionally written resume. Keep. It. Short!

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*”The Eight-Second Attention Span,” The New York Times