What is the Right Writing Style for Your Resume

What is the Right Writing Style for Your Resume

As part of your resume preparation, you need to choose a writing style that works for you. Studies have shown that on average recruiters only spend 6-8 seconds looking at a resume, before moving on to the next. Due to this, your resume will need to stand out and catch their eye.

The writing style of your resume can make the difference when it comes to landing a job. Learn everything you need to know about your resume’s format and writing style. Once you have confidence in your writing style, follow our basic guidelines to get you started.

What You Need to Know About Your Resume Writing Style

Your resume preparation should begin by understanding what the purpose of your resume will be. Will you tailor your resume for a specific job? What areas of your profile will you focus on in your resume? How will you convey your accomplishments? These are just a few questions you can ask yourself.

Once you have a basic understanding of the purpose of your resume, it’s time to focus on your writing style. Your resume should be simple but crammed with information. As well as this, you need to make sure it’s easy to understand. Language is the key to achieving these.

A resume is typically one page as it shows consideration for the time a hiring manager or recruiter spends doing their job. You should harvest as much information as you can, but it all needs to fit onto this one page. You don’t need to bury them in detail, instead, you need to make them know enough about you.

Choose Which Style Suits You

During your resume preparation, you will have to decide on a writing style that suits you. There are several writing styles to choose from when writing your resume. Here are some for you to consider:

Chronological Resume

A chronological resume moves back through time and highlights your most recent experiences. This writing style can help show your experience and skills progression over the years. If you have had many job changes, however, you may need to prioritize some jobs over others when including them in your resume.

Functional Resume

A functional resume focuses more directly on your skills and potential. This resume gives you the chance to offer your skills by linking them to your goals and an organization moving forward. People with high levels of work experience or applying for creative roles may benefit most from this writing style.

Combination Resume

A combination resume is the most preferred type as it combines key sections of the chronological and functional resume. You can showcase your skills and employment history using this writing style. If you have a high amount of work experience, however, it can be tough to fit your resume all onto one page.

Profile Resume

A profile resume focuses on a specific job through a summary of skills, experiences, and goals. It will also include a ‘sales pitch’ to convince a hiring manager to recruit you. If you have limited work experience or want to quickly sum up your experiences, this writing style might be best for you.

Infographic Resume

An infographic resume is a more creative approach as it uses layout, color, design, fonts, formatting, and other icons to display your experience. This is great for grabbing the attention of a hiring manager, especially for design/graphic jobs. If an employer uses an applicant tracking system (ATS), however, it may not be able to screen this writing style, thus making it useless.

Basic Guidelines for Writing a Resume

No matter what your writing style is, there are some basic guidelines to follow. Be creative by all means, but you should consider these guidelines in your resume preparation. Here are some recommendations of what to include in your resume:

  • Your resume should be one page long
  • Have three to four sentences per paragraph
  • Sentences should be 15 words or less in length
  • Full sentences are not always required
  • Limit article usage in your sentences to near zero
  • Reduce pronoun usage
  • Write one paragraph per assignment
  • Include all relevant jobs
  • Include all relevant major assignments
  • Include a skills section
  • Depending on your experience, include education where necessary
  • Describe your accomplishments and quantify them where possible
  • Use action verbs to begin sentences
  • Focus on key words relating to your industry or the job you are applying for
  • Tailor your writing to the industry or job you are applying for
  • Don’t repeat yourself
  • Title the filename in accordance with the job you are applying for

These are just some of the basic guidelines for writing a resume. Your writing style will depend on these guidelines, so ensure that you format your resume correctly. If done effectively, a hiring manager may read on to find out more about you.

Written by Career Specialist Mar 02, 2023
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