50+ Resume Building Tips (Tricks and Writing Advice)

50+ Resume Building Tips (Tricks and Writing Advice)

Writing a resume that helps you get noticed is very important as you embark on your next search for a dream job. In 2022, your resume needs to be easy to review quickly, concise with the most important highlights related to the job you’re pursuing, keyword-friendly for the AI resume bots that may be reviewing it first, and more.

When deciding to update your resume for a new job search in 2022, don’t feel like you must do a complete overhaul when considering the below-mentioned resume-building tips. In most cases, you’ll edit it to reduce the fluff and highlight the things that matter the most. Your number one goal is to get an interview for the particular job you’re applying for; it’s not telling your life story. Many job seekers believe that every little experience they’ve had or project they’ve completed has to be on their resume, and that’s not the case, as you’ll see below.

We advise you to print out your current resume and the job posting you’re most interested in and have a red pen available as you walk through these tips and tricks for writing a great resume in 2022.

Best Resume Building Tips

  • Reduce Your Resume to One Page
  • Decide Whether or Not To Include Your Mailing Address
  • Utilize a Straightforward and Easy Scan Format
  • Maximize the Use of Format Spacing, Margins, All-caps, and Bolded Font for Readability
  • Remove the Fluff by Sifting Through Dated and Unnecessary Buzzwords
  • Show Off Your Hard and Soft Skills
  • Scrub Your Personal Info and Social Media Accounts
  • Do Not Match Your Resume to Your LinkedIn Profile

Reduce Your Resume to One Page

When considering these resume-building tips, the first thing to do is reduce it to one page. A single-page resume is a widely held preference for most recruiters and HR leaders. Back in the day, we used to think of a long resume as proof of professionalism, and that’s no longer true. You can still include all the bright moments of your career and many of the different jobs you progressed through. Just try not to elaborate too much, and remember to be concise. If you’re stretching to get your resume to one page, adjust your font to a minimum of 11 for the body, and a max of 14 font sizes for your name.

Below are quick resume writing tips that you should use to highlight relevant skills, your educational background with academic honors, and your work history to reduce a good resume to one page.

  1. Only include relevant experiences to the job you are applying to
  2. Cut repetitive bullets for different jobs
  3. Leave out “references available upon request,” as employers will ask you when they want them
  4. Make your name smaller, with max 14 font size
  5. Get rid of your objective and skills section, especially if it’s taking up significant real estate
  6. Leave out volunteer work if it takes you to two pages unless it’s very relevant to the job to which you’re applying
  7. Leave out your high school unless you are in college looking for an internship or summer job
  8. Put information about each position on one line
  9. Format relevant leadership experience under work experience
  10. Adjust your spacing but make sure everything is easy to scan
  11. Put your contact information (city, professional email address, phone) on one line
  12. Use a smaller font, minimum 11 font-size though
  13. Don’t feel pressure to put three bullets but make sure they get your points across
  14. Use bullet points with relevant information that makes you stand out
  15. Only mention self-explanatory awards that are relevant
  16. Leave off irrelevant experience
  17. Submit it as a PDF unless otherwise specified
  18. Save your resume as “Your Full Name Resume” and not something like “First Initial Last Name Resume Update 2022 March – The Newest”

best resume writing tips to get a new job

Decide Whether or Not To Include Your Mailing Address

Should you put your full address on your resume? Yes, you should add some form of location identifier, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be your complete address. There are different opinions about adding a street address to your resume. Some people find it necessary to have your prospective employer aware of your exact location, while others disagree. The consensus seems to point towards adding some form of location identifiers, such as adding just your city or state, your metropolitan area, or that you work remotely.

Reasons to put your full address on your resume include some employers expect it. It makes your resume ATS (Applicant Tracking System) friendly, makes the hiring process shorter, matches time zone compatibility for remote positions, and puts you in consideration for other jobs.

The reasons against putting your full address on your resume include personal security issues, the risk of employer location bias, unintentional disqualification if an employer sets up a location boundary, an outdated look, and space used.

Utilize a Straightforward and Easy Scan Format

Your career timeline isn’t as important as what you learned along the way. When updating your resume, even on an entry-level resume, state the milestones of your professional journey chronologically, and explain how they added to your skillset.

Generally speaking, there are four types of resume formats. Recruiters spend only a few seconds on every resume that lands on their desk. It would help if you crafted yours so that the most vital pieces of information are front and center. The good idea is to choose the proper format for your resume to do this. In some cases, resume templates can help get you started.

  1. Chronological
  2. Functional
  3. Combination
  4. Targeted

Maximize the Use of Format Spacing, Margins, All-caps, and Bolded Font for Readability

Browse effective resume formats online for inspiration and choose a clearer and more concise outline than your outdated resume. The aesthetics should first please you, but it should also be straightforward to read without exuberance. Choose a theme that’ll fit the image of your industry and a potential employer.

Below are a few resume formatting tips that may help you stand out and improve your current version.

  1. Set half-inch margins on the top and bottom and .7-inch margins on the sides
  2. Pick an 11 or 12-point resume font and stick to it
  3. Utilize times new roman font for the cleanest, least dramatic look
  4. Create a proper resume header format for your contact details with your name in a larger font than your address and phone number
  5. Divide your resume into distinct sections, for example, contact information, work experience, and education (add skills, awards, and summary if room otherwise remove)
  6. Use relevant bullet points with action verbs to talk about your experience
  7. Be consistent with your resume formatting and stick to the same date format, for example, 1–2023, or January 2023
  8. Use single spacing for bullets but add white space as necessary for readability
  9. Add an extra space before and after each section heading
  10. Don’t use photos on your resume unless the job description specifically asks for them
  11. Make sure the company, job title, and dates are in all caps, highlighted, or bolded so they stand out and are easy to scan

Remove the Fluff by Sifting Through Dated and Unnecessary Buzzwords

An average human nowadays has an attention span of a little less than a Goldfish. The short attention span suggests that a three-page resume would seem overwhelmingly long. A busy employer will quickly move on to a briefer document and may miss out on your excellent qualifications.

Let’s remove the following fluff or dated items from your resume.

  1. An objective or skills section at the top of your resume
  2. Weird or potentially polarizing interests
  3. Third-person voice
  4. An email address from your current employer or an outdated one from Yahoo or Hotmail
  5. Unnecessarily big words
  6. Tiny, unimportant jobs from 20 years ago
  7. Lies

As you know, resume space is vital, and utilizing unnecessary words and verbose language can backfire. Here are more terms to never include on a resume.

  1. Unemployed
  2. Team player
  3. Hardworking or hard worker
  4. Microsoft Office
  5. Objective
  6. Synergy
  7. Reference available upon request
  8. I, she, he, him, her
  9. Rockstar
  10. Dabbled
  11. On-time
  12. Expert
  13. Can’t or won’t
  14. Unnecessary personal information
  15. I know HTML, photoshop
  16. Hobbies
  17. Generalizations
  18. Accomplished
  19. Stay-at-home Mom
  20. Responsible for
  21. Results-oriented

job applicants writing resumes with keywords and formatting tips

Show Off Your Hard and Soft Skills

Another great resume writing tip is to describe your current and previous work to frame your best traits. If you’re an expert in your field, write that before anything else. Leadership, conflict resolution, successful negotiation, and effective communication are among the most needed soft skills in the 2020s. Don’t just say that you have these skills, give examples that shed light on your best traits. If you missed it, check out our post on soft skills employers seek in the residential construction industry. Are you learning a new skill while searching for a new job? Make sure to add it when building your resume.

Scrub Your Personal Info and Social Media Accounts

Believe it or not, there was a time when marital status and the number of kids you had needed to appear on a resume. Familial status is no longer the case; recruiters generally avoid asking about these details. That said, go light on personal information in this uber-professional document, including non-relevant hobbies, and only present relevant social media handles. Lastly, this is an excellent time to remind you to scrub your social media channels that might have the information you don’t want to share with a potential employer.

  1. Make your accounts private if necessary
  2. Hide or delete any inappropriate posts
  3. Deactivate all old or unused accounts
  4. Add more appropriate photos
  5. Add a professional bio to your accounts if necessary
  6. Edit your handles and URLs
  7. Post-industry-related news, quotes, or articles

Tailor Your Credentials with Pertinent Keywords, the Job Requirements, and the Industry

Lastly, as you consider these resume writing tips, do your best to tailor your credentials to the job requirements to show you’re a good fit. We recommend updating your resume for each job, if different, and focusing on keywords and notable topics in your industry.

Like the points above, keywords are words or short phrases related to specific job requirements. They are the skills, abilities, credentials, and qualities a prospective hiring manager might look for in a candidate. When a hiring manager looks through a pile of resumes, they scan each resume to find these keywords. Many companies even use automated applicant tracking systems (ATS), or talent management systems, to screen candidates for job openings. An ATS works by eliminating resumes that are missing specific keywords. If the software or the hiring manager does not detect any of the keywords in your resume or cover letter, your application might get thrown out.

Embedding keywords in your resume or cover letter is a great way to demonstrate, at a glance, that you fit the position’s requirements. That said, it’s essential, when updating your resume, that you have many of the crucial keywords specific to your background and the job you are applying to in your resume. We advise referencing the job description for many of the most relevant keywords.

job seeker using best writing resume tips and tricks

Do Not Match Your Resume to Your LinkedIn Profile

You do not want to make your resume and LinkedIn profile the same. While your job history, dates, and education should match, LinkedIn should be more informal. Hiring managers will go to your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you, which is generally evident in your writing style. There are significant differences between resumes that get you hired and your LinkedIn profile, and it’s important to distinguish the two.

That said, don’t mistake an informal voice for being unprofessional. There are creative ways to make your LinkedIn profile professional and relaxed. Further, recruiters want to see different information, and it could signal to a recruiter that you’re lazy, not creative, or don’t understand what LinkedIn is used for. Generally, an executive resume should talk about business details, while LinkedIn should be more conversational about how you accomplished certain things.

There’s a fine line between crafting the perfect executive resume and writing a solid LinkedIn profile. Many executives use executive resume services to help distinguish the two.

Additional Resume Writing and Interview Tips for 2022

At Matchbuilt, in addition to helping you build a resume, we pride ourselves on supporting our candidates during the interview process. We’re jam-packed with tips regarding evidence-based recruiting practices, how to answer difficult interview questions such as “Why should we hire you?”, preparing for a Skype or Zoom interview, and tips for your LinkedIn profile—getting ready to resign from your current position? Try to leave without burning bridges.