How to write a Killer Resume that lands an Interview!

Professional resume writing is easier said than done. Many resume preparation services claim that their professional resumes won more interviews. When professional resume writers craft a resume, they know they only have 15 seconds to catch the hiring manager’s attention. As a newbie in resume writing, can you create a professional resume that will land you the interview and eventually get the job?

Your resume is like a product brochure of yourself. Selling yourself to your prospect employer is your main goal.

How to write a killer resume that lands an interview

Whether you like it or not, you must accept the fact that you are represented by your resume. No matter how hard you try, no matter how you look or dress, Employers will still be looking at your resume first. Remember, first impressions last. Competition is tight that’s why you have approximately 15 seconds to make your resume noticeable and stand out from the rest. So before you throw out your great speech, build a good resume and make it look good. Here is our 10 basic things you should do in writing your own resume:

Basic rule of writing your resume: Be Brief. The more you write, the longer your professional resume gets, especially if you have running quite long years of career experience. “Brief” can no longer be achieved. To resolve this, start by making a plain long version of your resume. Write everything that you can think of which can help you not forget anything that describes your career. Start by listing categories such as Personal Information down to the Work Experiences, Relevant Skills, Honors and Awards, Trainings and Character References. Don’t worry about formatting your curriculum vitae, we’ll come to that later on. Add another category if you prefer, as long as it adds value to your professional resume. Then fill out every category to complete your list.

The next step in your professional resume writing is to trim down your long listed draft resume. Trimming down your long list is a bit difficult. You want to include everything that you have listed, but that’s impossible! Let go of the irrelevant facts about you. Include only the most important details. Anything that is out-dated should go. Delete those work experiences that has nothing to do with the desired position you’re applying for. So get rid of your five month service on the neighborhood fast food chain if you’re applying for the supervisory position of huge IT Company. After you have trimmed down your resume, you can now format it to make it look good. There’s no standard format for a professional resume for as long as it’s neat, organized and concise.

Be Concise and Neat.

It is easier to read your resume if it is organized. In writing a resume, it is important to be concise with every sentence you have written. HR folks are not fond of spending twenty minutes in reading your professional resume. Your prospect employer has a limited time reading everything you’ve written. Piece of advice, just cut the crap off and get to the point immediately. If you want to include something in your curriculum vitae, write it but make sure that you polish your sentences. It is easier to read a professional resume that is concise and neat.

Customize.

CV writing will not be complete if you don’t cross to the customization of your personal brochure. Most people prefer to apply one template for all the job application they attend to. Do not settle with only one format for your resume. The same template will not work for all companies. Maintain at least two different executive resume formats. Each one will highlight different types of work, skills, and experiences that you have gathered from the past. Customize your resume depending on the needs of the position you’re applying for. Resume development is hard if you have no idea on how to do it, but for starters, you can just copy a specific format from the internet.

  • Avoid the Clichés.
  • Avoid phrases that are heavily used and profanely abused. This will elevate your resume among the others. Avoid the phrases such as:
  • Responsible for
  • Experienced in
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Team Player
  • Good Leadership Skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Successful
  • Meticulous to details

Most professional resume writing services uses this approach to satisfy their customer’s needs and it is proven to be more effective. To level yourself higher, at least come up with an interesting and attention-grabbing phrase like what professional resume writers do, something that can position you at the middle of the stage. Employers love applicants that jump out of the box. Be more creative. Instead of saying “Successful” or “Good leadership skills”, why not incorporate the phrase to your previous work such as “Successfully spearheaded a team to transition the production department from regular to contractual employees.”

Specify the value of your accomplishments.

The best way to handle your accomplishments from your current position is to highlight them in your professional resume by specifying the financial impact, whether cost reduction or raising revenue to the company. Resume with quantifiable accomplishment has a higher value than those without. An accomplishment written like “Decreased the annual production cost by 40%” is more appealing than “develop a production cost savings”. Bear in mind that Employers want to know what you can do for them, how you have contributed in your previous position or company and how you are going to be an asset for them. Employers love catching big fishes, that’s the reality.

Keywords, Keywords and More Keywords.

In professional resume writing, instead of using cliché words, we suggest that you use keywords that can grab the attention of the HR folks. Consider highlighting good job related keywords in resume so it’s easy for them when they scan your resume. Don’t just put any keyword, match them to the job requirement to be more attractive. If they’re looking for a candidate that have an extensive experience on a specific computer software and by chance you’re proficient with it, then you have the right to put it in your resume.

The “MMMM DD, YYYY” Format

As much as you want to hide the fact that you’ve been job-hopping from quite some time now, you can’t. They will notice it while looking at your professional resume. Companies hate job-hoppers and they are bad for business. If you’re guilty with this crime, you have to do some significant modifications in your resume. Rather than highlighting the dates, divert their attention by putting the years of your employment terms.

Stick to one.

A professional resume is advisable to keep it very short, brief and straightforward. Many claims that a resume can be as short as a one page resume. But what if you have enough experience and credentials to really showcase your career, knock yourself out and add another page. But if not and you just want to write irrelevant stuffs, believe me, stick to a one-paged resume. Rule of thumb: Restrict it to two pages maximum.

Print out and Proofread.

Experts say that it is easier to proofread a document when it is printed. True. Start your proofreading by running a wrong spelling and grammar check. Take your time with it, you don’t have to rush. You have one shot to make a first impression and you don’t want to mess it. When proofreading your resume, mark all your changes before you go back to your computer. Another proofreading technique is to start from the bottom of the page upward. If you’re still in doubt, get someone to review your work. You may get used to reading your resume that’s why you almost memorize every single word written there. Unfortunately, common errors occur when you reach that state.

Check out some professional resume format here.

Filed Under

Nico Robin Salazar

is a freelance blogger and college drop out student. He writes about anything that interests him. While being a college drop out student and an unemployed citizen of the Philippines, he makes his time worth while by doing volunteer works.

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28 Responses to How to write a Killer Resume that lands an Interview!

  1. Nina says:

    Such great advice! I rarely come across advice that is actually going to help people when it comes to resume writing – but this post is fantastic. We are always talking about resume writing at The best tip, which you include here, is to customize your resume for the job you are applying to. I know it can be time consuming but since recruiters scan your resume in less than 30 seconds, you have to pull keywords and incorporate them in order to stand out. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Dana Danilo says:

    a good resume is content-driven, not design driven. Good tips.

  3. Laura Lucas says:

    As a recruiter, I would recommend including “non-relevant” jobs, especially if taking them out would leave odd time gaps in your resume. You just don’t need to include a lot of details, or put the non-relevant jobs in a “additional work history” section. If you have employment gaps on your resume, employers will most likely be asking us (the recruiters) why. Much easier to have that information already available! One exception, if you can fill that shorter time periods with other relevant volunteer work/educational opportunities, etc. that could highlight more relevant skills.

  4. Larry Neal says:

    In reference to Jay Zuniga’s comments about a company requiring a degree, my experience confirms what he says. I don’t have a degree, but I’m ex military, and I have much more experience, practical experience, than anyone will gain in a classroom, but I’ve been turned down or completely disqualified from a job, solely because I didn’t have a piece of paper from some college.
    For further confirmation, I have years of hands-on IT experience, but not a degree. 5 years ago I was given the responsibility of creating the IT dept for our company. I managed everything – PCs, servers, cell phones, aircards, data center… I was recently laid-off so I could be replaced with a person who has a degree. This person is being paid more than I was, has less IT experience than I do, and he doesn’t even have a degree in anything IT related. I can’t express how happy I am to be away from that type of mentality – “if you don’t have a degree you must be stupid & unqualified.”

  5. Winsten says:

    How about using a tool like CV Maker?

  6. Adam says:

    Hi,

    Great article. Check out to create a free eportfolio.

  7. Cole says:

    Nice Post. It’s really a very good article. I noticed all your important points. Thanks”

  8. Tamundong says:

    LOL.. Nice description of the author.. Nice article!

  9. Dan Gemeniano says:

    Quick note… if you are detailed oriented, make sure that you fully read all emails.

    I started requesting that all resumes be submitted in pdf format. Made it very clear. Not because pdf is great, but because I wanted to see how well people read and execute.

    Very few people submitted in pdf format, many of the .doc and asci submissions said “detail oriented” or other variations of that concept.

    I didn’t automatically exclude non-conforming candidates, but did consider it on some level.

  10. Raymart Montemayor says:

    I always like to see resumes that are accomplishment oriented, especially when they are from people with 10+ years of experience. That means, don’t just list what you are/were supposed to do at an employment, but demonstrate what you are proud of (and preferably in a quantitative way or measurable successes).

    • Pamelant says:

      This is very wise advice, Raymart Montemayor. An example might be – “Developed database resulting in 73% improvement in inventory accuracy”

  11. Rachel Bermundo says:

    Haha Video Resumé reminds me of an episode of How I Met Your Mother. It’s pretty hilarious. On topic, this is very useful. Thanks for the tips!

  12. Gary Leviste says:

    Not a day after I submit my resume for summer employment. Greatttt.

  13. Jay Zuniga says:

    I keep mine to a single page. You’d be surprised to find also that many employers don’t care about your education level unless you’re up against someone with equal experience. In the IT field especially, degrees are nothing more than a checkbox. Completely worthless pieces of paper. If an employer is hell bent on you having a degree in IT, then you don’t want that job. In my experience, that kind of mentality means the workplace is going to be more focused on politics rather than accomplishing any actual work.

  14. Trinity Lopez says:

    what if you don’t have (m)any accomplishments, and you’ve kinda been unemployed for awhile but still want a decent job. what do you put then?

  15. Heart Abellana says:

    If you proofread from the bottom up then you will find it very difficult to spot any grammar problems.

  16. Asokks00 says:

    Sometimes, to get through a company’s e-filter, you need to have those phrases in your resume. Words like Organized, Developed, Expert in are all words that those systems look for, and if your resume is lacking those words – you may be thrown out before a human even looks at your resume.

    • Kayla says:

      ^^ Exactly, I would suggest using the word only once and then a synonym for it. I do not think that employers will frown upon those words, but repetition will annoy them.

    • sks says:

      I have to totally agree with that one. I have applied with several hospitality positions lately. When I kept getting automated rejection letters I called and ask why. They said that their( a hotel) establishment chooses fesumes by a red, yellow, and green light system. Those who get a red light never even reach HR. So unfair.

  17. Broker's Field says:

    There’s a big difference between “proficient in excel” and “expert in excel”. You’re playing the computer, not being arrogant.

  18. Wjglenn says:

    I use a C.V. instead of a resume, since I’m a freelance professional. It’s typically used by potential clients instead of employers and it needs to list all my publications. Right now, the full thing runs about 9 pages.

    But, I created it so that the top 2 pages are a traditional resume format and include a sample list of two or three publications. The entire first page is basically a summary of qualifications and those sample pubs. The second page fits in education and work experience.

    My summary of qualifications is done up as an easy-to-read list that I can change up quickly depending on the job I’m applying for. And it leaves plenty of white space in both margins for people to write in.

    I’ve had more than one person review my resume and comment on how nice it was to have space to write.

    So, I guess my tip is to build your resume to be adaptable, build it to be modular, and build it with the idea that you are not just listing your qualifications, you are designing a document.

    Document design is my business, so I approached it that way and it’s been pretty successful. If you aren’t interested in design, find someone who is to help you out.

  19. Dimensions says:

    Do you have any advice regarding skills-based resumes? One job I applied for “preferred” that style and I don’t know a lot about it. They don’t seem to be all that common, at least in my field, and I wondered if there’s any sort of standard for that type.

    I have to say, this article is very timely. I’ve been doing a fair bit of job searching and I really appreciate all these tips. Thanks!

  20. SolventBoy says:

    I would add – try to become a person which is hunting by employers not hunts for… Let them run for you! Everyone can do something better than others and that’s the way.

  21. Dave Megure says:

    I use many job sites to advertise my skills and services, Is there an all round resume that would do the job? [forgive the pun!]

    Will tailor resume for certain jobs with a custom version which is a good idea.

    If getting yourself above everyone else is the name of the game, could say using fancy fonts, graphics, photos help?

  22. Stalking_goat says:

    If you’re in an interview. Doesn’t that mean they’ve already scanned your resume?