How to Write a Resume That Will Get Noticed

An attention-grabbing resume can lead to an interview.
An attention-grabbing resume can lead to an interview. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

A resume is the first thing employers see when you apply for a job. If your resume is bland or hard to look at it, it might be the only thing employers see. Your resume should make a company want to get to know you and call you in for an interview. Both format and content matter when it comes to creating a resume that gets you noticed.

Format your resume with care. It is tempting to use bold or italic fonts but doing so can make the resume difficult to read. Leave the text's font plain and choose a font that is easy on the eyes and looks professional.

Design the layout of the resume so that the eye can scan it easily. Use 1-inch margins all around so there is enough white space on the page. You don't want to submit a resume that looks like a large block of text to the employer. Use bullet points to detail specific accomplishments at each position you've had or to list your educational experiences.

Use words from the description of the job you are applying for in your resume, provided that the keywords are relevant to your experience. For example, if you are applying for a graphic design position that requires you to know Photoshop or Illustrator, list both of those programs in your training or past work experience, if you have used them. According to Tory Johnson of ABC News, employers might use software programs that track the number of keyword matches in your resume. The more matches, the more likely your resume will get the employer's attention.

List your education and experience in the most flattering way possible. For example, if you are applying for a position that makes use of your recently completed certification, list that program first under "Education." If the position will rely on your past work experience, list your professional experience first.

Tips & Warnings

  • Research the company. What do they do, and who are they looking for?
  • Highlight all your strengths when you write your resume.
  • Emphasize your successes and any new skills you have learned.
  • Keep your resume to one page if at all possible.
  • Put a positive spin on bad situations where possible, but never lie!
  • Unless it is requested, don't send a photo.
  • Don't overuse buzzwords when you write a resume.

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