How To Write The Perfect Resume (Explained By An Elite Resume Writer)

Raise your odds of success.

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Let me show you how to write the perfect resume. Follow my advice to write a resume which makes a strong impression on recruiters and leads to job offers.

What makes a resume perfect, anyway? It’s an admittedly subjective question. Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

And for my team, our ‘beholders’ are highly demanding executives and senior leaders with complex work histories.

But more than that, we’re beholden to the recruiters and hiring managers who stand between our clients and their next career moves. All of which is to say that we take resume writing very seriously.

resume writing services

You see, over the last five years, my team and I have provided resume writing services to over 2,500 clients. We’ve held a five-star customer review rating for 96% of that time (it dropped to 4.7 for a little while).

So writing perfect resumes is something that the Arielle Exectutive team does every day.

And while I’ve written lengthier guides on how to write a top-notch resume on your own, this post offers you – the busy professional – a quick view into five foundational resume writing rules.

Does your current resume break any of these rules? Let’s find out.

1. Don’t Bury The Lede.

Hiding the most newsworthy part of a story is bad journalism. With your resume, it’s no different.

Obscuring the key features of your skills, background and accomplishments with extraneous adjectives and filler text fails to put your best foot forward and results in a sloppy personal brand.

Ensure that both your resume’s Headline and Professional Profile section clearly articulate your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Your USP expresses your distinct value as a candidate and should weave your career into a cohesive story that aligns with your targeted direction in the strongest way possible.

(Bonus Read: Building Your Personal Brand Starts with Your USP).

2. Don’t Hide Career Gaps.

Calling yourself a “consultant” to cover up a gap in your work history is a huge red flag, especially if you use vague descriptions with nary a client name or project detail in sight.

If indeed you’ve been a sole trader, freelancer or independent consultant, be sure to provide specific details such as:

  • clients you’ve worked with
  • duration and scope of engagements
  • quantifiable impact
  • responsibilities associated with building a business and finding clients

Dates are critical to set recruiters’ minds at ease. Not just for work experience, but for any qualifications or education that might be relevant to the position you’re applying for.

3. Step Into The Future.

Hello, we’re well into the 21st century. Which means it’s quite likely that your resume will never be printed when it reaches its destination.

To write the perfect resume for the digital age, forget designing for heavy paper stock. Format and design for a computer screen or mobile device instead.

And, while you’re at it, lose the Hotmail address and the home phone number.

Replace those with a personal website URL and email which – ideally – feature your name in the URL (e.g., yourname@yourname.com).

Taking charge of your online presence is a sure sign that your career and reputation matter to you – a lot.

4. Target. Target. Target.

The recruiter for that CMO role you want shouldn’t have to slog through your Director of Business Strategy resume. And nor will they.

A recruiter gives each resume an average of 6 seconds of attention. So don’t blow it and forget who your target audience is.

Showing up as the slacker who didn’t have time to tailor their resume greatly reduces your chances of being taken seriously and hurts your brand reputation.

(Bonus Read: How To Write Resume Achievements).

While you don’t need to rewrite your entire resume for every role, you do need to consider what’s important for each.

Consider creating several versions of your resume and fine-tune bullet points, key skills, assets, and keywords to make each one fit-for-purpose.

5. Don’t Tell The Whole Story In One Shot.

If you were going to introduce someone to Prince for the first time, you’d be in a quandary. He released over 600 songs – more than most artists in the history of music.

So you’d probably default to The Very Best of Prince.

If you’re an experienced professional, your resume strategy should be no different.

My team typically details between three and six of the most recent and relevant roles from the past 10 to 15 years, listing earlier career history in a summary section that includes titles, organisations and tenure.

We also take the ‘Russian Doll’ approach. This means we give your more recent roles the most coveted resume real estate, versus those further back in time.

6. It’s Your Turn To Write The Perfect Resume.

You and your career are a dynamic story that’s always evolving. That becomes more interesting and intricate with each year, role and professional victory that comes and goes.

If, at this point, you’re curious about how to find the perfect resume writer for your professional needs, read my guide on how to choose a resume writing service.

Take my advice and beware those painfully generic professional resume writers whose services abound these days.

If I were one of them, I might sum up this article with a tired old adage such as … ”you can write the perfect resume by telling, not selling.”

Sigh.

But since we’re all originals here, I’ll close with a Hopi proverb:

“Those who tell the stories rule the world.”

 

– Irene

 

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