9 Tips to Improve Your Resume Format

Climbing the career ladder, needing to change careers, or looking for your first job? Optimizing your resume is one of the first things you can do to move forward in your career. Update your resume with these nine tips to help you land your dream job.

9 resume format changes you need to apply now

1. Start your resume with a strong professional or work experience summary

Catch the attention of employers with a strong work experience summary. Think of this as your personal pitch to get their buy in. 

Place your work experience summary at the top of your resume for recruiters to easily see it. Showcase your work achievements, soft skills, and hard skills. Explain in a few words how you were able to make positive changes at your workplace.

 2. Highlight your work experience more than your educational background

While one’s educational background is important as it helps employers gauge how qualified a job seeker is, actual hands-on work experience is also crucial. Keep in mind that employers only have a few minutes to review resumes, so make the first parts matter more. 

Emphasize your work experience from the start of your resume to make sure it gets the attention of employers first. If you have a strong work experience, they will most likely want to read your resume more.

 3. Include your professional title

When employers see your professional title on your resume template, they will get a clearer picture of your work experience and the roles that will be fit for you. Adding your professional title also helps you stand out from other job seekers, especially if you are the most suitable one for the role you are applying for.

 4. Minimize work gaps

While work gaps cannot be avoided at times, it can also be a red flag for some potential employers. To augment this, show employers that your work gaps are not a cause of concern. Your employment gap could be due to health reasons, getting laid off because of budget constraints, going back to school, or even simply taking a sabbatical.

A few months without work is acceptable. If you went without work for a longer period, it will seem less alarming if you list it down as a range in years instead of exact dates. For example, you can write “2020 to 2021” instead of “March 2020 to January 2021”. 

 5. Shine the spotlight on your promotions

Remember that prospective employers will meet you first through your resume. You need to convince them that you are the most qualified among other job seekers right from the start. Showing that you got promotion opportunities proves that you are committed to great work output.

Highlight how you progressed in your career from one rank promotion to another. Write down your career achievements, milestones, and key projects to show them how you advanced in your career.

 6. Add numbers on your career achievements

Speaking of key projects, quantifying your career achievements would help optimize your resume. If you helped a company increase revenue, you can add what you did, the percentage of increase in revenue, and how long it took you to achieve this. 

For example: Implemented sustainable cost-reduction projects which saved the company 30% of its annual operational budget.

 7. Make your resume concise

Optimize your resume by reducing clutter. Get the attention of employers by concentrating your resume template on jobs relevant to the role you are applying for. Keep it concise, focusing on your work experience, achievements, skills, and other relevant career details.

 8. Make sure all hyperlinks work

If you are providing links to your online portfolio, make sure that they are active and can be easily accessed. Avoid getting on the bad side of the employer; ensure they will see your accomplishments when they visit the link you have provided.

 9. Remove references

It is relatively easy to do a quick background check on job seekers in the age of social media. Removing this part will create more space for your work achievements plus your soft skills and hard skills. Make sure, though, that you can inform the employer that you will be happy (and ready) to provide professional references should they need it.