By Andrei Kurtuy

So you finally sat down, had some coffee, did some brainstorming, and finally wrote the perfect resume.

Whew, that’s fantastic!

But does that mean you’re all done with your resume forever?

Unfortunately, not.

Maybe the industry’s not the same, the recruiters’ expectations are changing, or you simply missed something on your first draft.

Whatever the case, a resume is a continuous work in progress.

There’s always room for improvement: if you want to stay on top of your game at all times, you should revisit and fix your resume periodically.

You might be wondering “Well, what exactly do I fix?”

That’s what we’re here to help you with!

In this article, we’ll go over 51 essential tips for fixing your resume.

Without further ado, let’s get to work!

How to Fix Your Resume
Fixing your resume doesn’t mean deleting what you have and starting from scratch.

On the contrary – you don’t have to throw your hard work away!

Instead, we’ll go over each section of your resume and give you some tips on how to upgrade it.

So, here’s the sections we’ll review:

  • Formatting
  • Style and Layout
  • Header
  • Summary or Objective
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Skills
  • Honors and Certifications
  • Other Fixes

Fix Resume Formatting

There are 3 main resume formats commonly used: reverse chronological, functional, and combination. After you’ve chosen the right one for the job you’re applying for, here’s what else you need to remember with regard to formatting:

  • 1) Be consistent. You want to use the same type of font and size for all sections of the resume. If some of your sections come in italic and some in bold, and they all come in different sizes, you’ll end up with one messy resume.
  • 2) Every inch of your resume is valuable real estate and you want to make the most of it. Narrow down the margins of the resume to gain more room for text without making the format look weird.
  • 3) Clearly separate sections from each other. For a clean and organized look, make sure you leave some empty space or insert a line in between sections. This will also make it easier for the recruiter to skim.
  • 4) Set line spacing between the text at 1.0 or 1.15 and use double lines after subheadings. These measurements are typically good numbers for most resumes, but you can make some adjustments based on the amount of text you have. The idea is to make lines divided and readable, without having to cut information.
  • 5) Remember that (in most countries) the best resumes aren’t longer than 1 page in length. Unless you have a decade’s worth of experience, try to stick within the limit.

Fix Your Resume Style and Layout

The style and layout of your resume is the first thing a recruiter notices before even reading anything. It’s important to leave a good first impression by following these tips:

  • 6) Pick a resume design type that’s relevant to your field. E.g. if you’re applying for a role in a bank, go for a traditional, black-and-white resume. Applying for a creative role? Pick a more colorful template.
  • 7) Make sure you use the right font for your resume. Stay away from fonts that you’d never see on the company’s website or that distract from the text itself.
  • 8) Be reasonable with your font size. In an attempt to fit more information, you might not realize it and end up with a small, uncomfortable text. Recruiters won’t like that.

Fix Your Resume Header

The next section you need to get right is the resume header. Here’s how you can do that:

  • 9) Speaking of images, make sure you are familiar with the rules of the country/company where you are applying with regard to photos. Know if you should include your picture in your resume or not.
  • 10) If you’re submitting your resume online, it’s a great idea to link to other related accounts or websites you might have, for example LinkedIn or Behance. Make sure the links function!
  • 11) Include your location, but not your exact mailing or physical address. Recruiters simply want to know if you’re near their area or not so the name of the city and country will be enough.
  • 12) Provide all the necessary contact information like phone number and email. Make sure you are not using your work phone number and that the email address listed is professional and easy to read.
  • 13) If you have an online portfolio or personal website you would like the recruiter to see (i.e. Twitter, Behance, Quora, YouTube), this is the place to link to it.

Fix Your Resume Summary or Objective

Although a resume summary or objective is not absolutely required, it is recommended to have one.

It’s important to note that they are NOT the same thing.

resume objective is what you would use if you don’t have a lot of experience, but want to convince the recruiter that you have the right skills for the job. It is typically 2-3 sentences.

resume summary briefly mentions your professional experience, biggest achievements, and top skills. It’s about 1-2 sentences.

So, to fix your resume summary or objective, do this:

  • 14) Make sure you are clear with which one of the two you are using. Do you want to focus on your skills and career goals or your professional experience? If you’re a career changer or a recent graduate, go for a resume objective. Otherwise, a resume summary works best.
  • 15) Both the resume summary or objective should be short and concise. Look at it as a trailer to your resume – it should be brief, but give the recruiter enough information to catch their interest and make them want to learn more about you.
  • 16) Use quantifiable information or data whenever you can. Numbers are easy to skim and allow you to get the information across correctly.
  • 17) When it comes to goals and qualifications, be as specific as possible, and make sure they are tailored to the job.
  • 18) Stick to simple language and avoid using complicated words on purpose. If the recruiter notices you’re just trying too hard to sound smart, you won’t leave a good impression.

Fix Your Education

As easy as listing your education might sound, missing some key details might cost you some points with the recruiter.

Here’s what you need to pay attention to in this section:

  • 19) Usually, you should place it below work experiences, as it’s less important. However, if you’ve recently graduated college, it makes sense for the Education section to come first.
  • 20) Your entries should be listed in reverse chronological order: latest to earliest.
  • 21) Unless it is your highest level of education, do not include your high school. Having a college degree implies you went to high school. So, writing it down will only take up your precious and limited space.
  • 22) Write each entry’s information in the following order: name of your degree, name of the educational institution, and years attended. Optional: location of the program, GPA (if above 3.5), Honors.
  • 23) For any accomplishments or awards, you can write a brief note or include them in the Accomplishments section.

Follow our Blog next week were will discuss more tips to fix your resume in 2024.