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How to Write an Effective Resume – Top Five Resume Writing Tips

Posted on May 27, 2019
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resumepicResumes are an important part of applications- be it a student aspiring to get into his/ her dream college or a professional seeking employment. Think of the resume as a snapshot – not only of your professional accomplishments but your academic, personal and community ones as well . It’s an opportunity to showcase how strong a fit you are for the school or company.

So how do you maximize the impact a resume can make? Here are the top 5 tips for writing a college application resume as well as a  professional resume:

1. Relevance. First and foremost, make sure you tailor the resume to where you are applying. Highlight your relevant strengths. Additionally, make sure that you do your homework on the specific requirements the company or college may ask for. For example, an MBA application resume generally needs to be 1 page long, whereas an employment resume can be longer.

2. Action Verbs. Describe each of your accomplishments with strong verbs that clearly demonstrate both the breadth and depth of experience. Additionally, avoid using the same action verb multiple times.

For example, instead of writing:
• Handled business development for….
• Handled campaigns for…
• Responsible for handling….

Replace with alternatives like:
• Spearheaded business development for
• Led campaigns for….
• Managed….

3. Quantify. Provide numbers wherever possible. Instead of general statements, include values that provide specifics including time, money or amount. Read the two bullets below and decide what leaves a larger impact on you:
• Headed a project to streamline business …
• Led a team of 6 to streamline a $15,000 infrastructure project…

4. Be specific. Avoid generic statements. In addition to explaining to the reader what you did, include why and how you did it. What was the outcome? Since you have included it in your resume, the reader should be able to understand the role you played and why this activity is significant.

For example – instead of writing “Led the payment process initiative” or “Established the technical operation guidelines” explain what prompted you to do this (e.g. identified gaps in…) or how you did it (e.g. analyzed past data….) and was it successful (e.g. reduced time spent…).

5. Avoid Silly mistakes. I know this seems obvious but with stress levels high or deadlines around the corner this happens way too often. Silly mistakes come in many forms including spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or inputting the wrong word by accident. Can you spot what’s wrong in the statements below:

• Discussed growth opportunities with senior Management.
• Took a career break in 2003 to renovate my horse
• Bachelor in Science
• I’m attacking my resume for your review
• Managed the daily operations

You cannot proofread your resume too many times. The very best of us continue to make errors like these every day. If you feel like you’ve read your resume over 50 times and there are no more mistakes – take a break and come back to it later. You will definitely see something else. Send it to close friends or family. Every eye gravitates toward and catches something different.

A perfect resume allows you to make that perfect first impression. Unsure of how to make that perfect resume?
Our Resume Builder tool automates it for you!

Hope my tips help in writing your college application resume or your professional resume!

The article has been written by Grishma Nanavaty, Lead Counsellor, ReachIvy.

Grishma Nanavaty has completed her MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Warwick, having done her GCSE’s and A-Levels in Hong Kong.

ReachIvy offers college application resume writing services to aspiring students willing to study abroad.

ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation or career counselling with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources section to access our free premium content.