10 ways to build a resume like a professional resume writer: the do’s

Going through piles of resumes is tedious, mind numbing, and finger shredding work. I get grumpy just thinking about it. But after hours of sifting through endless wads of wasted resume copy, I have noticed a pattern to what gets my attention. There are tricks you can employ in your resume writing to get employed. You don’t need to be a professional resume writer to get noticed and land an interview. Promise.

Since I am a professional writer, and have hired many to join my team(s), I’ll share the simplest ways to build your resume. I’ll share the stuff you must do to get noticed.

Here are 10 ways to build a resume like a professional resume writer (The Do’s):

1. Do get organized.

Stop spazzing, stressing, and splitting hairs over writing your resume. Take a chill pill and just get organized (yes, I wrote chill pill). Putting some words to paper requires a bit of research on your part. Are you medicated yet? OK, here’s how to do it:

Find a Job. Without a job description to work from, it’s impossible to tailor your skills and accomplishments to fit the employer’s job requirements.

Build a Skills Inventory. You’ve gotta know what skills you’ve got to market. So list them in this free worksheet.

Research the Prospective Employer. Knowing specifically what makes the company tick can turn your resume into the bomb (in a good way). Research also helps to address the needs of the organization. Knowing why the company needs to hire for a position is key to addressing how you can help the company.

Match Your Skills to Employer Job Requirements. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: you’re resume is not about you. Your resume is about how you fit the employer’s job requirements. So get organized with this free worksheet.

2. Do know your reader.

Who’s your audience? Who’s picking the top candidates and passing on the rest?

The reader is generally a recruiter, a hiring manager, a human resources person, or a potential boss. So save these busy people loads of time by making their job easy. Write a Killer Resume to grab their attention in seconds.
3. Do be clear and concise.

Prospective employers only skim resumes. They make a quick “yes” or “no” decision based on seconds of reading. So do yourself a favor by writing easy-to-read sentences. Here are some clear and concise tips:

Use Bullet Points. Points are skimmable. They are short. Readers can scan lists in seconds.
Write Short Sentences. Keep the attention of hiring managers by writing simple, easy-to-follow sentences. Short and sweet lands the interview.
Avoid repeating yourself. Tell the recruiter the important stuff once, at the beginning of your resume.

4. Do use action verbs. Do use active voice.

Action verbs give your resume strength, power, and direction. Strong sentences are those in which a subject performs an action (active voice) as opposed to an action being performed on the subject (passive voice). For example, “I planned an event” creates a stronger impression than “An event was planned by me”.

Use action verbs and active voice descriptions to highlight your sense of initiative. Strong words like proposed, sold, managed, and designed can make the difference between the trash can and the treasure chest. Be sure to describe each of your accomplishments using a simple, powerful, action statement and emphasize how you can benefit an employer.


Incorrect: Know how to use the Java programming language.

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10 ways to build a resume like a professional resume writer: the do’s