All posts by resumeba

08 Aug 2016

How Changing Your Resume Can Land You a Job

resume stand out

In today’s competitive job market, you need to take advantage of every opportunity you can to get ahead, so why not start where the whole hiring process begins: with your resume.

When looking for a new job, many people just add their most recent experiences to the same template they’ve been using since they first started working. But that puts them at a huge disadvantage. One rarely strikes gold the first time they go searching for it, and yet tons of people continue to peddle the same poorly organized resumes they’ve always used. So take advantage of that fact and get ahead by changing things up with your resume.

Crafting an effective and eye-catching resume is a balancing act: you want it to help you stand out, but you don’t want it to be gaudy or overdone. A great resume isn’t defined by how snazzy it looks, but by how effectively it presents you to potential employers. It’s less about your resume looking unique and distinct, and more about making you look unique and distinct.

Clarity, legibility and flow are the key principles of a great resume. Achieving those qualities, however, isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Reformatting your resume should be about letting your experience and skills shine. So how can you go about doing that?

A few basics

As stated before, changing your resume isn’t about making it stand out more, it’s about making you stand out more. So, as far as appearances go, keep it simple.

Use 10-12pt fonts. Serif fonts, which are fonts with those little projections off the ends of the letters like Times New Roman, are classic and professional. Sans-serif fonts, like Arial, are sleeker, more modern and a bit more casual. Both options are good for a resume, but you might take into consideration the type of job you’re applying for and how you want to appear to your potential employers.

Use consistent margins and indentations and don’t overcrowd your pages. Also, curate wisely. You don’t need to include every job you’ve had since you were a teenager. Unless it directly relates, your summer flipping burgers when you were sixteen shouldn’t be included. And keep your resume to two pages, three at the most.

Break your resume into quadrants

It’s been widely documented that recruiters and hiring managers spend an average of six seconds looking at an individual resume. That means they barely even glance at some resumes that they receive. You should therefore optimize the format of your resume to ensure that all the pertinent information you’re presenting is easy to discern.

One way to do this is to break your resume into quadrants. People normally read from left to right and from top to bottom. That knowledge will help you format your resume.

You want an equal amount of text and blank space in each quadrant to create balance in your resume, but since the first thing readers see is the upper left quadrant, you want the most important information to be contained there.

Clearly outlined sections

Recruiters look first at your name, current title and company, current position start and end date, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates and education. So, include this information toward the top of your resume.

Since recruiters are going through tons of resumes, they might discard yours if it’s difficult to find the information they’re looking for. So make it easy for them to distinguish between different sections and different types of information. Do this by including clearly labeled headers demarcating the different sections of your resume. You can capitalize, bold or italicize them to make them easy to find. Then, include the company, your position and your dates of employment in a manner that is simple and clear.

Stress achievements

After you list your various professional positions, include a few bullet points that detail your responsibilities at each work place and also your achievements. Including quantifiable or concrete achievements will impress employers most. So, for example, if you helped increase revenue or oversaw the launch of a major new product make sure and mention it.

Quantifiable achievements are especially appealing to employers as they offer a concrete measure of your past contributions. That said, anything that directly benefitted your past employers and speaks to your skills and abilities can be listed. A resume, after all, is no place to be modest, so make sure you’re serving as an effective cheerleader for yourself.

Name drop

In addition to including a list of your achievements at previous jobs, find ways to mention any established industry leaders with whom you’ve worked. Even if you’re changing careers or trying to break into a new profession, recruiters and hiring managers will take note of the people you’ve worked with previously. It’s one of the many factors that goes into deciding who they’ll interview. And while you don’t want to simply state their name without any context, you shouldn’t be ashamed to name drop. Try something like: “launched an innovative responsive design platform with web-design leader so-and-so.”

Professional profile or summary

Beginning your resume with a professional profile or summary can be a good way to highlight unique qualities about yourself that you think make you an especially good fit for the position to which you’re applying. However, make sure to keep any such statements brief, a few sentences at most.

Also, tailor your summary to the job description. You want to make the argument for why you’re a specifically good fit for this position. A summary that highlights skills and abilities that don’t relate to the new job is a quick way to end up in the rejection pile.


Since recruiters and hiring managers are scanning resumes so quickly, another way to appeal to them and to change your resume for the better is to include industry-specific keywords. Bigger companies, in fact, use electronic resume filters that will toss resumes that don’t have relevant keywords in them.

Use the job description as a template for discerning the best keywords to include. There are even websites that will analyze job descriptions for you and provide you with relevant keywords to strengthen your resume’s appeal.

24 Jul 2016

Developers: 7 Essential Tips to Formatting Your Resume

developer with laptop

There are over one million developer jobs in the U.S. alone and the median pay for those positions is over a hundred thousand dollars a year. Employment for developers is, moreover, expected to grow by 17% from 2014 to 2024.

These factors make web and software development an very appealing field for young professionals who specialize in computer programming and college-aged students majoring in computer science. With growth and opportunity, however, comes competition. To land a good developer job you need to ensure that you’re standing out, and like any job, the first thing your potential employer will see is your resume.

So what should you do to ensure that your resume stays at the top of the pile? Here are seven essential formatting tips for your resume.

1. Provide a Brief Profile or Summary First

A profile section at the top of your resume can be a good way to distinguish yourself from other candidates. It gives your potential employer a sense of who you are and what abilities you have that might not be apparent from your experience and employment history.

In addition, it’s likely that the first person looking at your resume is not a programmer—they’re probably in human resources or recruiting. Giving a brief profile of yourself is a good way to interest these non-technical professionals and to ensure that you’re resume makes the first cut.

Remember, though, that most people’s profiles are generic. So, while you should be brief in describing yourself and your experience and objectives, include a few skills that you think are special or unique to you. If you’ve had to give a lot of tutorials or constantly led meetings related to your work, you might stress your presentation skills. If you’ve overseen other developers or employees on specific tasks, then highlight your project management experience.

2. Tailor Your Skills Section to the Job

In your profile section or beneath it, provide a bulleted list of skills that you have that are relevant to the position. Skills, of course, can be anything that you consider yourself to be good at or have significant experience in. Mention general skills any developer should have, but also highlight a handful of skills that you think make you a unique developer.

Tailor your resume to the individual job you’re applying for. If there are skills of yours that will be valued more than others for a specific position, make sure to emphasize them.

3. Include Your Specific Technical Skills Separately

List the programming languages you know and platforms or operating systems with which you’ve worked. Programming languages differ by professional sector, so make sure and include those that are most relevant to the job you’re applying to first. In the financial sector, for example, Scala, Java and C# are key languages to know; in media, advertising and design, Ruby, PHP, JavaScript and Objective-C are the most important.

The top ten programming languages today are Java, C, C++, Python, C#, R, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby and Matlab. Note that languages like R, which is a statistical computing language, have become increasingly popular over the last few years due to the importance of big data analysis and visualization.

4. Keep Your Educational Background Brief

Also toward the top of your resume, provide a small section that lists your computer science or programming education. While it’s worth listing your educational background, make it brief. You don’t need to mention every computer science course you ever took as an undergraduate. If there is something unique about your education that you think makes you an especially good fit for a specific position, briefly mention it in your description in your profile, or include a short bullet point in the education section.

5. Experience Means More Than Just Who You’ve Worked For

Your experience section should be the evidence that backs up the claims you make about your skills and abilities. List relevant places you’ve worked (no need to include your first job at Starbucks when you were 16), but when describing your responsibilities and what you did at that job, don’t just list things that every developer has done. You want to stress what makes you unique as a candidate for that position.

For your top work experiences, one industry expert suggests having three sections when describing your work: a “Skill’s Used” section that simply lists the languages and platforms you used, a “Role Overview” that gives a brief description of your role and then an “Interesting Challenges” section where you can detail and highlight elements of your job that were unique and interesting to you and that might be especially relevant to the position for which you’re applying.

6. Show that You’re Up To Date with Industry Trends.

When describing your work experiences, underscore your abilities in relevant and important sectors of your industry. Emphasize your work on big data projects and your knowledge of analytics products and machine learning tools. Experience with big data and open source software continue to be of great value to employers in just about every sector of programming and development so giving some details on your interest and work on them will make you a strong candidate.

Flexibility is also worth stressing. Top firms want full-stack developers who understand the intricacies of product development from the core to the presentation layers of software and websites.

7. Let The Content of Your Resume Standout, Not its Appearance

You don’t want the appearance of your resume to distract from your experience and skills by being ostentatious or flashy. Readability is the most important characteristic of your resume’s appearance. Trying to make your resume appear visually different is not how you want to stand out.

Go for clarity and simplicity. Keep your resume to around three pages at most and ensure that there is adequate spacing between everything so that your potential employer can clearly distinguish between everything and navigate the document quickly. Have your name and contact information stated at the top and use a simple and appealing font. Make sure and proofread your resume multiple times. Spelling and grammatical errors are a quick way to end up in the rejection pile.

Good Luck

Landing your dream job starts with how you present yourself in your resume, so make sure and put your best face forward by following these tips.