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Never underestimate the value of a well-written résumé—when an employer glances over hundreds of résumés a day, spotting spelling and formatting errors becomes second nature. Even the smallest infraction can take you out of the running for your desired position. We can help you write the perfect résumé with these résumé writing tips that will significantly improve your chances of securing that elusive job interview.

1.      Tailor your résumé to your selected job.

There’s a simple way to make even seemingly unrelated past job experiences relevant to the current position you’re interested in. Edit your description of responsibilities and skills to better suit the traits your future employer is looking for. For example, if you’re interviewing for a sales position at a new company, you may alter a simple food service job to illustrate how you’ve become adept at listening to consumers and responding to their needs in a timely manner. By avoiding listing obvious skills specific to the food industry (for instance, learning to operate a cash register), you sound more professional and more equipped to handle a sales position.

2.      Include links to online portfolios.

Distinguish yourself from competitors by providing a link to your LinkedIn profile. Most employers research your social media prior to offering an interview—anticipate their interest and provide them with the link yourself. It makes their job easier and helps you present your absolute best face while demonstrating your preparedness and professional networking ability.

3.      List your accomplishments using action verbs.

Start with your most recent job and work your way back. For each job description, describe important accomplishments rather than general everyday activities. Highlight key projects and leadership positions using active verbs; avoid passive voice structure to keep your language strong and create a compelling tone. For ongoing tasks and responsibilities you’re presently completing, use present tense; otherwise, write in past tense.

4.      Format your résumé properly.

Here are some basic formatting rules that apply to all professional résumés:

  • Use one-inch margins all around.
  • Pick an 11- or 12-point professional-looking font. Most people choose Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, or Verdana.
  • Pick a résumé header to display your contact information.
  • Use sections to divide your résumé into aesthetic, easy-to-digest fragments. Popular headers include work experience, education, skills, contact information, and résumé summary.
  • Use bullet points in the descriptions of your education and job experiences—this reduces clutter and presents a more elegant finish.

Maintain consistent formatting for all dates, fonts, line spacing, and titles.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.