Job Applicant Passing Her Resume

What Makes a Great Resume in 2022?

Whether you were part of the Great Recession, the Great Retention, or somewhere in between, are you looking to upgrade your resume in 2022? How does your resume stack up against the competition in today’s job market?

The truth is, there are good resumes and there are great resumes. The quality of your resume can mean the difference between getting the job or not getting it.

Updating your resume to make it great doesn't have to be a challenge. Check out the following tips on how to make your resume great again.

If you're just getting started, you can create a free resume without paying using this online tool.

Be Descriptive

Great resumes don't just list your previous jobs, the duties therein, and your highest level of education. Great resumes are highly descriptive.

What does it mean for your resume to be descriptive? Well, this concept can be divided into two parts - keywords and results.

First, you want to be sure to include ample resume keywords. What are resume keywords? Well, look at the job posting to which you are applying. What skills, education, experience, and personal qualities does it say are required or desirable? Those are likely keywords.

Why must your resume have these keywords? Including them shows that you have the right qualifications for the job. It can also help you master the computerized programs known as applicant tracking systems (ATS). These computer programs search for keywords in the resumes and rank them accordingly. If your resume doesn't have them, it may never make it to human hands.

The second aspect is that your resume should show results. Instead of just listing your duties, try to include quantifiable data, statistics, and other accomplishments of your work.

For example, what tactics did you use for creating a high-performing team? How did collaboration improve as a result? What did the team accomplish? Answering these questions is more powerful than simply stating that you used the skill of teamwork.

Keep It Brief

Your resume should not be a long document. In fact, it is optimal to keep it to just one page.

But, you may ask, aren't two-page resumes a thing? It is true that in the past, two-page resumes - and even longer resumes - were acceptable. But today, hiring managers may receive hundreds or even thousands of responses to an online job posting. Along with their other duties, they don't have time to sort through exhaustive, long-winded resumes.

You should be able to fit all the necessary information onto just one page in most circumstances. If you're having trouble, consider how your resume compares to the following checklist:

  • Only include recent work experience. This means your previous three jobs or work done in the last 10 years. Older experiences can be omitted.
  • If you have college degrees, you can omit your high school diploma from your education listing. It will be assumed that you graduated high school before being accepted to college.
  • Don't include a references section or the words “References available upon request.” You're hiring manager knows that they can ask for references if they want them.
  • Don't include a photo. Not only does this take up space, but it may result in your resume being thrown out due to anti-discrimination laws.
  • Exclude repetitive descriptions. Sometimes, jobs in the same field will have included similar duties. Be the most exhaustive in your descriptions of the most recent experience, and omit repeated duties from earlier experiences.
  • If you're short on space, omit optional sections such as the objective statement or Hobbies and Interests.

Get the Look

Great resumes are not just filled with good content; they are also eye-catching. Instead of a plain old black and white text-only resume, consider using an online resume builder to create a well-formatted resume with a splash of color.

If your resume stacks up to the following checklist, you can be confident that it is visually appealing:

  • Use a simple serif or sans-serif font such as Arial or Times New Roman at 10 to 12 points.
  • Include bold headings above each resume section.
  • Don't create a solid block of text. Have ample margins around the edges of the page and between columns. Use the headings mentioned above to break up the text.
  • If you use colors either in the text or as a background element, print your resume in black and white to make sure that it is still readable. After all, your hiring manager might hit print with an empty colored cartridge.

Key Takeaways

  • You can make your resume great by being descriptive, keeping it brief, and making it visually appealing.
  • Your job description should be full of keywords and accomplishments, not just a list of duties.
  • Keep your resume to one page. Omit unnecessary information.
  • Use an online resume template to format a resume that is both professional and visually appealing. Be consistent and mind your margins.

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