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Resume Writing Tips

Purpose of a Resume

First impressions really count.  That is why you need a professional-looking resume.  The first step in the job hiring process is to get recognized and invited to the job interview.  Therefore, the purpose of your resume is to sell your professional background and experience to the employer so you can get interviewed.

A well written resume is paramount to achieving this objective and the following tips are designed to help you do it yourself.  Of course, if you would prefer professional assistance, we are here to help you today.  Our team of professionally skilled writers will make your resume standout in the crowd and will help you get that critical interview.  For more information about our resume writing services, please click here.

You can generate more interviews by customizing your resume and cover letter to address the specific skills each employer is seeking.  The employer is always more interested in their needs than yours, so ask yourself what would make you the perfect candidate for this job.  Try to find out what they really need and want; then write your resume to address these points.  Review the job description or ad for key words and include them in your resume. 

Style and Format

Use a resume design that grabs attention.  You can view some examples in our resume writing section.

If you are changing careers, you should include an objective section.  If not, this is optional.  The objective section can be as simple as stating the job title that you are seeking, or it can be a sentence or two about your career plans.  But, keep it short.  You can also emphasize your objective in your cover letter. 

Place all of your contact information at the top so it is easy for the employer to contact you for a job interview, and you might want to include cell phone numbers and email addresses. 

Use titles and headings that match the job you are seeking.  Make sure your employment dates are accurate.   Print your resume on good quality white paper.


Keep your resume short, concise and to the point.  One page is usually sufficient, but use two only if you must.  Avoid lengthy descriptions, especially about projects of which you were only a part.  Keep your paragraphs to about 4-6 lines each.

Do not include anything negative or critical of your past jobs, including poor grades or performance assessments, or unfortunate work experiences.  But, also do not belittle or undervalue your experience.  It is up to you to demonstrate how and why your background, experience and accomplishments make you the most qualified candidate for this job. 

When listing your jobs, include details that illustrate exactly what you did accomplish and try to include the key words from the employer’s job description or ad.  State the problem that you encountered, describe how you addressed it, solved it and what the benefit result was. 

Work History

Focus on noting your achievements over your responsibilities because this shows what you actually accomplished for your past employers.  Do not write your current job description or reason for leaving.  Quantify your experience.  For example, cite numerical figures such as monetary budgets/funds saved, time periods/efficiency improved, lines of code written/debugged, numbers of machines administered/fixed, etc. to demonstrate your progress and accomplishments. 

You do not have to cite your entire work history.  Include the most recent and relevant jobs you have had the past 10-15 years.  You can label this part of your resume as “Recent Professional Experience.”  What you did 20-30 years ago may be interesting, but usually is not very relevant to the current position you are seeking. 

Always tell the truth, be factual and do not exaggerate.  Failure to do so will cost you a coveted career opportunity.  Provide evidence of your claims, skills and abilities, qualifications and experience, and make sure your personal references can back these up. 


List all colleges or universities that you attended, including location if need be, course work or major(s), degrees obtained and any certificates, licenses or other professional certifications achieved.  Also, list any other relevant course work you have taken in recent years that would demonstrate your professional growth and experience. 

Use Action Verbs and Key Adjectives

Begin sentences with action verbs.  This portrays you as a proactive employee who gets things done and can make good things happen.  Also, use the past tense, even for descriptions of your current position.  Minimize the use of articles (the, an, a) and never use “I” or other pronouns to identify yourself. 

Examples of action verbs include:

accelerated  accomplished  adapted  addressed  administered  advised   analyzed   appraised  approved  arranged  assessed  assembled  asserted  assisted  awarded bolstered  briefed  budgeted  built   catapulted  caused  collected   communicated   compared  completed  composed  conceived  concluded  conducted  consolidated   constructed  controlled  convinced  coordinated  counseled  created   delegated  designed  designated  detected  determined  developed  directed   overeddistributed  delivered  demonstrated   designed   dramatized  earned  edited  effected  elected  eliminated   enabled  encouraged  energized  enjoyed  enlarged  enveloped  established   evaluated   examined   excelled  expanded   expedited  extracted  financed  forecasted  formulated   founded  gathered  generated  grew  guieded identified  implemented   improved  improvised  included  increased   influenced  initiated   installed   instructed  interpreted  interviewed  invented  joined kicked launched  lead  lectured  led  maintained  managed mentored  motivated   negotiated  observed  obtained   operated   ordered   organized  originated  oversaw participated  performed  persuaded  pinpointed   planned   possessed  prepared   presented   processed   produced   programmed   promoted   proposed  protested roved  provided  published   purchased   qualified  quantified  raised  rated  received   recognized  recommended   reconciled  recorded  recruited reduced   reinforced  reorganized   represented   researched  rescued  resolved  restructured  revamped  revealed  reviewed   revised   saved  scheduled  scoured  scouted  selected  simplified sold   setup   solved   specified  spoke  streamlined  stripped structured  studied  submitted  suggested  supervised   supported   tabulated   taught   tested   trained  transformed  transported  translated  tutored  unified  united  updated  utilized  visualized  wrote 

Examples of key adjectives include:

achieved  accurately  adeptly  aggressively  affected  alerted  ambitiously  achieved  consistently  creatively  decided  diplomatically  discreetly  enthusiastically
independently  inventively  justified  keenly  logically  methodically  patiently  prudently  quickly  resourcefully 

For more information about how Sequence can produce a job-winning resume for you, please click here.