Do you consider a resume your ticket to a job interview?

I do not want to disappoint you, but it’s a dead horse:

Your resume is a bill showing them how much you cost as a professional.


Hiring managers read hundreds of resumes daily. They do not have time to read all those manuscripts about your hobbies, courses you finished when you were 12, etc.

I’ve asked my fellow recruiter who lived through ten years of checking about 10,000 resumes to reveal what hiring managers expect to see in resumes and what applicants can do to make their resumes worth checking.

The below 20+ lifehacks from the expert will help you build a resume that rocks and brings you job positions of your dream, especially if you are a graduate looking for your first job.

Your resume is not a ticket to interviews

Many consider resumes a ticket to interviews, believing they serve to help applicants get a call from a hiring manager.

It’s not true!

Your resume is what shows them your cost. If you are not able to demonstrate it in a resume, it will be difficult to do that during the interview.

Think how to sell your resume

Make them want to buy your resume.

There is a 90% chance that a recruiter will be the first person to get your resume. Let’s imagine it an interface of some computer program: if a recruiter does not like the interface of your resume, there are lower chances he will want to continue working with it.

Earn maximum points from a recruiter

A recruiter gets 100-300 resumes daily, spending 5-10 seconds on each. What does he check there?

  • your name and photo
  • your job experience
  • your education

Every resume has to pass a kind of scoring from a recruiter: if it gets enough scores, a recruiter starts working with this resume (he calls, invites you to interviews, sends your resume to big bosses, etc.).

Moreover, each section of your resume can add some scores or take them back from you.

What can help you get scores?


20+ Resume Lifehacks to Double Your Salary 

Customize your resume

You will not find a one-size-fits-it-all resume. They all work for different job positions, and the #1 task of every resume is to demonstrate the most important aspects of a profession.

For example:

Who? – a marketer.

What to show? – complete projects.

Who? – a designer.

What to show? – creativity.

Who? – an accountant.

What to show? – perfection.

Who? – an IT.

What to show? – skills.

Who? – a seller.

What to show? – where’s money.

Who? – an office manager.

What to show? – flexibility.


Demonstrate your success

Your resume is not a piece of paper telling about your work, education, and training. A million dollar resume will tell the story of your success.

What does it mean?

The story of your success in a resume demonstrates the ways your education, career path, and training are relevant to your qualities and job position you are looking.

Learn from landing pages

I bet you saw many awesome landing pages on the Web. Follow their example while creating your resume: make it interesting to read, make its every phrase tell something important, and make its navigation (sections) easy to find.

One more thing: follow the norms of resume building. If you are not a designer or representative of a creative profession, do not use images in your resume.

Use business English

Recruiters pay much attention to words and word constructions you use in your resume.

20+ Resume Lifehacks to Double Your Salary


Follow the structure

Most recruiters consider this resume structure ideal:

Your full name.

  • Your photo.
  • (A city and phone number. Don’t write a post address: a recruiter is not going to come to your house and check if you live there.)
  • Your goal. (A job position you want to take.)
  • Key competencies. (Your professional knowledge, skills, and achievements. You can add some personal qualities, too.)
  • Courses and pieces of training.
  • Your ob experience, starting from the latest one.
  • Additional info. (It can be languages or computer programs you know, driving license, etc.)

Format it

Calibri or Arial fonts (size 10-12) with no tables work the best. Do you like any other fonts? This article will help you choose the most efficient ones for writing your resume.

Combine several jobs into one

It’s okay to work at one company for 2-3 years, otherwise, they can call you a job hopper.

It’s fine to mention several places where you worked for 1-1,5 years, but if all resume looks like this, it’s a sign for a recruiter to lower its quality.

Where possible, try to combine several jobs into one: this variant will fit you if you have a project work or if you change offices within one holding company.

Follow the size

The ideal size for your resume is two pages. One page is fine if you are an entrant, but there is no need to write 3-4 pages: an 80% chance is that recruiters will not read those pages, setting that info aside.

Share your achievements

If you plan to remember at least one word from this article, let it be about achievements. They add 50% of value to your resume.

A hiring manager can’t interview everyone who sends resumes, and that is why a winner will be the candidate, telling about achievements and lucky to kindle a recruiter’s interest.

What is an achievement?

It’s your measurable success, expressed in numbers, terms, or significant changes for the company where you worked.

For example:

  • Increased the sales by 30% for 3 months (a store manager).
  • Brought a new product to the market for 4 months, which has helped to earn $800,000 for 6 months (a marketing director).

Tell about your qualities

Today more and more attention is paid to personal qualities of employees. If we analyzed what they evaluate during interviews, it would likely be as follows:

  • 40% – professional skills;
  • 40% – personal qualities;
  • 20% – motivation.

Personal qualities, especially if they meet job requirements, are extremely significant. Not a long time ago it was enough to list them in your resume, but now you should confirm their presence. Try writing like this:

  • Initiative: developed and implemented the strategy of my department work after the head had left.

It’s important to provide examples.

Do not cite your duty regulation

Mention the duties you carried out, but don’t just list as if they were written in your duty regulation.

Read some job vacancies to get the idea of what is worth mentioning, and then write them out in order of importance: place the most significant ones first (strategy development, budget planning, new products output) and end up with mentioning the least important ones (reports preparation, etc.)

Sell the job position

Job titles and lists of companies are, in fact, what recruiters are looking to see in resumes. It’s like a customer who checks supermarket shelves in search of familiar brands. These lines form the initial cost of your resume for a recruiter, and he starts looking for details afterward.

Say no to standard phrases about your goal

Avoid all those cliché phrases about the goals you have. Just mention job positions of your interest and forget the “I-dream-of-interesting-job-to-make-the-most-of-my-skills” part forever.

Always check spelling and grammar

No comments here. About 5% of resumes contain elementary grammar mistakes, and it’s not very pleasant for a recruiter to notice them.

Save your resume in DOCX

  • No PDF – many recruiters make changes or notes before sending your resume to big bosses.
  • No ODT – it may fail to open on some computers.
  • No DOC – it is a sign your resume comes from the past (the era before Office 2007).
  • No RTF – it usually weighs more than alternatives.

Choose a right file name

The name of your resume file should contain your name and wanted job position. It will be more convenient for a recruiter to find it at a computer, re-send it, and so on. Plus, this small step makes your resume a bit more valuable for a recruiter.

Don’t forget about covering letters

A good covering letter may add 20% of value to your resume. It’s not obligatory to write it, but if you decide to create it, here is a simple structure to follow:

20+ Resume Lifehacks to Double Your Salary


Anything else for you to remember?

  • Forget about unclear abbreviations
  • Paraphrase standard sentences
  • Create a good email box
  • Remove your marital status
  • Explain all gaps in job experience
  • Don’t mention the date of your last quit
  • Don’t write the reasons why you’ve been fired
  • Don’t explain the details of your resume
  • Recommendations are not a must
  • Don’t mention the first place of you work

I bet you’ve found some interesting lifehacks here to use for writing your resume. If you have something to add or disagree with mentioned statements, welcome to comments!


Lesley Vos is a career strategist for college students, passionate blogger, and writer. Contributing to blogs that help young people deal with their academic writing endeavors, she also has a chance to share her experience with readers of many influential publications on personal growth, career, and education. Learn more about Lesley here or follow her on Twitter.