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15 Resume Writing Tips for Your Next Promotion

resume writing skills tips

Your manager shared the good news that you are perfect for a new job opportunity at work. The next step is to write a resume for your manager to send to human resources. You have one day to create an impeccable document to be considered for the opportunity. What do you do next?
The skill of writing an excellent resume is an art. The ability to write a resume based on a job description can be tricky. Before you start, here are tips that will help you win a promotion.

  1. Highlight Your Skills

As a professional, you have talents and skills a hiring manager needs to see on a resume. I recommend adding skills that show you can work effectively with other people. Think about projects, committee work or daily responsibilities. Here is a list of skills to highlight:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Presentation
  • Problem-solving

Imagine yourself in the new role with the current skills you possess and write sentences in a way that a recruiter can envision you as the right candidate.

  1. Use the Job Description as a Blue Print

Most job seekers are unfamiliar with the job description blueprint theory. It can be difficult to figure out how to make a good resume in a way that is selected over the competition. For example, if the job posting states “Ability to work independently and in a team environment” include daily responsibilities that include working alone and with colleagues. Here is an example of how to write the sentence as bullet points to describe the job description of your current role as:

  • Achieved success as a team player helping the marketing team with graphic design work.
  • Managed multiple projects as the lead graphic designer reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

It is time-consuming to combine these skills in one sentence, but the more descriptive the point, the better it will be to showcase your experience.

  1. Quantify Your Achievements

In a bullet point for each job you held, I recommend adding an achievement. An achievement can include awards, winning a content at work, a promotion, or committee involvement. A mistake some people make is outlining general responsibilities. However, a hiring manager wants to understand what you can offer the company. The only way it can be revealed is to include the results of your hard work. Here are a few examples below:

  • Awarded employee of the month for completing 200 applications per week.
  • Managed an accounting portfolio of $150,000 in the fiscal year of 2017.

Think about the details that will help the resume stand out from the hundreds of applicants that want the same job.

  1. Include Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks can on a resume that links to an online portfolio, LinkedIn, a work sample, or an academic journal that is published online. It is a convenient way to add value to work experience a recruiter can show the hiring manager.

  1. Add a professional picture

If you feel confident to add a professional photo, it can be used depending on the company that is offering the new job. As you research the company, review the website. Do you see photos of employees? Is the first page filled with staff photos? It is a sign that a photo on your resume might be appreciated.

  1. Future Goals

Add a headline called ‘Future Goals’ on the resume. It needs to reflect the vision of the organisation. For example, if the company has an interest in the environment, include a career goal that matches this concern. If the employer is an advocate of community involvement, include your interest in volunteering one day. A hiring manager wants to introduce a new employee that has a vision.

  1. Avoid Pop Culture Terms

Let’s say you want to work for a youthful start up. The owner of the business is young with love for pop culture. It is wise to use professional sentences instead of attempting to appeal to the organisations culture.

  1. First Person Tone

It is common for people to write a resume in the third person with the words they, he, they’re, she or him. It can automatically disqualify you from a job interview. A resume needs to be in the first person. First person words include, I, I’ve, me or mine are acceptable.

  1. Limit the Number of Pages

Do you have 5+ years of experience? A hiring manager would prefer not to read a novel of a resume. You can include important points with action verbs that exhibit your best traits. I can imagine that a resume with this amount of work experience can be up to 5 pages. Here are a few ways to reduce content:

  • No more than 2 to 3 bullet points per job
  • Include relevant experience to the job posting

You can use a resume with 3 pages that is easy for people to read it to find the skills needed for the role.

  1. Use a Grammar App

One minor spelling error can eliminate you from a short list of qualified candidates. Yes, it is true that reading a resume a few times or asking a friend to proofread it is smart. However, we all make mistakes. A Grammar app can help with finding spelling errors or offer a different way to write your sentences.

  1. Images and Color

Images and color can be an addition to adding personality to a resume. I recommend paying close attention to the branded colors of the employer. For example, if blue is used on an employer’s website, try to match the color in headlines.

If you use an image, ensure that it applies to your industry. For example, a nurse can use a stock photo of patients in a hospital or a nurse speaking to a doctor.

  1. Entrepreneurship

 Are you the founder of a non-profit organization? Did you invent new technology? Let’s face it. Some people love working after work ends. It can be a freelance business or inventing a new product in their basement. If it is a talent that is transferable to the job, then include it. It will show the employer how passionate you are to work in the industry.

  1. Write with Enthusiasm

A human resources specialist can tell if a person is enthusiastic about the job by the tone of voice in a resume. I read resumes that made me want to fall asleep. Don’t let this happen to you. An enthusiastic tone should come from within. You are basically marketing yourself to a company that wants a positive and optimistic person on the team.

  1. Think About Your Industry

 A resume for a dentist should appear different than a resume for a psychologist. Ask a colleague or someone in your industry to send their resume to you as a template. The format needs to be consistent with your line of work. You can compare the resume to one in a Google search.

  1. PDF or Word Format

 Remember always to read the entire job description because instructions on how to format the resume might be included. For example, some recruiters ask the resume to be in a PDF format. In most cases, Microsoft Word is suitable. I recommend saving a Word document to a PDF in the event the recruiter emails you ask for a different format.

To put these resume writing tips and your skills into action, take a look at all of our vacancies at!

Credit: Makeda Waterman