How to write your resume to get job interviews

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Writing a resume is a competition. By the time you have submitted yours, other job seekers have thrown their hats in the ring and many more will follow. If you have not been in the job market for some time, chances are you are not familiar with all the changes in the hiring processes most companies use and don’t know that over 75% of resumes are never seen by a human being. Here I will show you how to write the type of resume that will help you stand out to get the interview and increase your chances of getting hired.


Resume Builders and why you need one.

Below I will show you everything you need to know about how to design a resume that will get you job interviews, but I also recommend using a resume builder. This will save you tons of time and help make sure your resume will get past the applicant tracking systems that employers use. 

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Why are you not getting job interviews?

It’s not you—it’s your resume! Over 75% of resumes are never seen by a hiring manager.

If you do a search on the Internet, you will see all sorts of different templates, resume builders, and resume tips from so-called experts, so it can be really confusing what to look for.

Here we will try to make this simple. You can ignore most of what you have read so far. Focus on what’s important: Your resume has one job—to get you an interview.

It does not matter how pretty your resume is.

It does not matter how slick the design is.

It does not matter what colors you use—unless there are too many graphics.

What does matter is this: Is your resume getting in front of hiring managers?

The Enemy: Applicant Tracking Systems

To get your resume in front of hiring managers, you must get past the applicant tracking systems or ATS. The ATS looks for keywords to filter out resumes from unqualified applicants and scores the tops ones. If you do not know how to prepare your resume properly for the ATS, nothing else matters because it will not be seen.

What you do not know will hurt you


  • Many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) cannot read graphics, so if your resume is too “pretty”, it won’t get seen, even if you are the most qualified applicant for the job.
  • Many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) cannot parse serif fonts like Times New Roman. If you use the wrong font on your resume, it won’t get seen, even if you are the most qualified applicant for the job.
  • Many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) cannot parse your resume if you use columns and turns your resume into spaghetti which it cannot read. It won’t get seen, even if you are the most qualified applicant for the job.
  • The Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) check for keyword matches to filter out resumes that don’t match the job description and rank the ones that do. Many hiring managers only check the top 10%. If your resume does not use the right language, it won’t get seen, even if you are the most qualified applicant for the job.


Are you getting the picture yet?

I am going to show you how to write a resume that gets past the applicant tracking systems and in front of hiring managers. Let’s dive in!

What is a resume?

A resume is a summary of your experience and credentials for a prospective job opening. For most positions, this should be no more than one or two pages. Your resume should consist of your contact information, work experience, education, and learning, as well as skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Keep this in mind:

                                                                                                                              “You have one objective with your resume: to get an interview. “

Your resume is perhaps one of the most critical parts of the modern job application process. This is your starting point. Nowadays, when a job is posted online, hundreds (even thousands) of people might apply and only a small percentage of applicants are qualified. A concise, well-written resume tailored to the position being advertised will certainly increase your opportunities of landing a job interview while a poorly written resume could get tossed aside and ignored without anyone even looking at it.

What is the purpose of a resume?

Before we get into how to write your resume you must understand the objective. It is not to tell your story, to write an autobiography, or impress anyone with what a great person you are. You have one objective: to get an interview. If you are trying to accomplish anything else, it will not matter one bit if you cannot get an interview. Half the battle is getting your information in front of hiring managers, but you have several hoops to jump through first.

Understand that your resume must get past an imperfect applicant tracking system designed to filter out unqualified applicants, which may or may not parse your resume correctly. From there it may have to get past a human resources manager who may not have a clear understanding of the position that is open so is looking for everything but the kitchen sink before finally getting to the hiring manager. Both the human resource manager and the hiring manager may have hundreds of resumes to go through. They do not want to read a novel. They want something that is easy to skim and conveys the skills they are looking for. Keep your target audience in mind when you write your resume: the applicant tracking system, the HR manager, and the hiring manager.

This is so important I will say it again: “You have one objective with your resume: to get an interview. “

How to write a resume

First, I am going to recommend you don’t do so without using a resume builder. Below I will show you the ones I think are the best and how to try them for free, but let’s start with some things you need to know to get started:

You can ignore much of what you have read so far on the Internet. Focus on what’s important: Your resume has one job—to get you an interview.

Tailor your resume

Tailoring your resume is about recognizing those skills and responsibilities in the job description. You need to tailor your resume to match those skills and responsibilities if you want to get noticed by your potential employers. If you can’t, someone else will.

The resume to interview process may be the most important step in getting a job. If your resume does not match what’s stated in the job description, you may not even make it to the first interview. Tailor your resume to match the job description to show how your skills and experience line up with what they are looking for and you’ll be on your way to success.

Ask any recruiter, “Should my resume be customized for each job application?” 9 out of 10 times they will give you an emphatic “yes”. This means that your resume should be customized each time you apply for a new job. It is important to show that you are the best candidate for that employer and not another. Your resume should not be considered a mere formality. Instead, use it as a career tool and marketing tool. This approach will result in great jobs and professional advancements.

 Your resume can be customized to ensure that potential employers see you as a qualified employee. They also receive the information that is relevant for their company, rather than a generic document that doesn’t fit the job.

It is easy to see that different employers will require different resumes. Each employer has its own goals, values, and needs. If you want to win their trust and land the job, you must highlight these.  Start off well if you want to establish a long-term partnership with a company.

The extra effort will impress the hiring manager

Inextricably connected are the questions, “How can I impress the hiring manager?” as well as “Can I use one resume to submit for each job application?”

You should not use the same resume to apply for every job. This is due to the psychology of recruiters and the reality of hiring practices. Hundreds of resumes are sent to the hiring manager’s inbox, and many have an eye for repetitive and clichéd documents. Hiring managers will be searching for the right person for the job. You can bet that the ideal candidate will appear enthusiastic about joining their company. Anyone who has been to job interviews should know how to inject a little more enthusiasm into the conversation.

 A customized resume is a great way of communicating excitement about joining a company and convincing the hiring manager that you are a good choice. It should include a lot of information to show the reader that it was created for them. They will be more likely to accept your resume and move on to the next round. It’s not necessary to go to the printer to order 50 resumes, or to type cover letters on a manual keyboard. It should be easy to update your resume, so you will be seen as lazy by hiring managers if you do not.

How to tailor your resume to get the job you want

It takes time, but it will make a huge difference in callbacks and interviews. To get the job you want, tailor your resume to fit the job you’re applying for.

Tailoring your resume to get the job you want is not as hard as it sounds. It just takes a few minutes and some of your skills and experiences to be honest about.

If you are looking for a job, your resume is the first impression that you make. However, people should not try to impress their potential employers with their resumes. Instead, job seekers should tailor their resume to the specific job they are applying for and use a resume builder that does not require any unnecessary fluff.

Hiring managers are looking for qualifications and experience. Tailor your resume to get the job you want by focusing on these two aspects of your resume.

When you tailor a resume for a specific job, it becomes about THEM (the employer). This creates an opportunity to make your resume stand out among the other candidates.

Start by tailoring it to the job description by changing your title and skills.

 If the job is that of a salesperson, emphasize your communication skills on your resume. If you are applying for a position in accounting, make sure to emphasize your skills in that area.

When you are applying for a specific job, you need to tailor your resume to that position. The most important bullet points in your resume should match the most important bullet points on the job description.

By tailoring your resume to emphasize the experience and skills that you have with a given job, you can help ensure that recruiters and hiring managers will pay attention and give you a fair chance.

When using a resume builder, it’s important to make sure that you also tailor your education, skills, and experience to the job description.

Tailor your resume by picking out individual accomplishments and listing them after “tailoring” education and related experience. The most relevant experience should be at the beginning of each section.

If a potential employer can’t find what they’re looking for, they won’t be likely to consider you. If your resume is too long or doesn’t contain information that the employer wants, they’ll move on to other candidates.

If you need to save space or make room, delete old bullet points to make room for new tailored info. Depending on the job you’re applying for, you may need to modify your resume significantly for that job. This includes deleting old bullet points that don’t apply and adding new ones that do.

You should put your education up top when you have specific training requirements. For instance, if the job says, “Project Management Professional (PMP) certification required,” put your PMP certification at the top of your resume.


Some jobs require specific qualifications and that is why they need to be listed at the top. We recommend that you tailor your resume to those specific requirements so you can get the job you want.

Provide evidence that you are the best candidate for the position. Create a list of accomplishments that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

One of the best ways to tailor your resume is to provide specific facts, figures, and stories that are relevant to the job you want.

Finally, review everything. Spelling, grammar, or factual mistakes can give a poor impression.

Resume Design

Utilize these guidelines to make sure that your resume looks its best:

Use an easy-to-read typeface of no less than 11 pt. Add margins of at least .7 inches. Make certain there is enough white area between sections. Do not go overboard with complex designs or décor. They can make your resume appear too busy and can make it difficult for the applicant tracking systems to parse your information correctly. If you absolutely must use lots of graphics, use one without when you apply online, then use the one with graphics when you meet the hiring manager in person.

Resume Formats

There are three primary types of resumes: chronological, functional, and hybrid. A chronological resume is the format that is best known.  Others may disagree but I do not recommend the other formats. If I am skimming through hundreds of resumes and I must spend extra time on one because it is a different format, chances are I might toss it aside to look at later and never get around to it.

Use your accomplishments to highlight the skills you have to offer but make it as easy as possible for the recruiters, hiring managers, and applicant tracking systems to find what they need. This is the kind of resume that concentrates on your current work history above the rest. Place your positions in reverse chronological order, with the most recent positions on top and the oldest ones at the bottom.

Contact Information

The top of your resume should include the following information:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Location (City, State, Zip Code)
  • Email Address
  • LinkedIn profile URL

You would be surprised to know how many times I have seen a resume that was missing a phone number or email address or had an incorrect one. Double-check your information. Some people would rather be contacted by email, especially if they are still working, but if you leave out a phone number there is a very good chance your resume will be ignored. Make sure to include city, state, and zip code (e.g., “Tampa, FL 33607”). Applicant tracking systems will often filter by location and recruiters will call local candidates first. If you are relocating, put both locations and the location where you are going.

Use a professional-sounding email address. An email address based around your name is ideal, such as If your name is common, you can add a number at the end but do not use your year of birth. Sadly, many companies practice ageism so if you have 1960 at the end of your name, you have just told them you are 60+ years old.

Do not get cute. Your “fun” email address might work perfectly fine in your personal life but might make you seem unprofessional. I have personally tossed aside an otherwise good resume because of an inappropriate name on the email address. Do not use an email address that is considered outdated — like AOL or Hotmail — this could hurt your chances. Consider creating a free Gmail or outlook account for your job search. I do not recommend iCloud because their spam filters are so strong you might not get that email from a company with the perfect job opportunity!

If a recruiter is intrigued by your qualifications, they will look up your online profiles. All job seekers should create a strong LinkedIn profile and include the URL on their resume. You can get a unique url for your LinkedIn profile to make it easier for recruiters to look you up.

Speaking of social media, know that many companies are going to look you up. If they see nothing but politics, especially if they perceive them as being extreme, it could cost you a job. Yes, you have freedom of speech and can post whatever you want but know that this could have an adverse impact on your job search.


Stick with traditional resume headings (Work History, Education, etc.). This is not an opportunity for creative writing. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to skim your resume to find what they are looking for. If they cannot find it quickly, they will toss your resume and move on to the next. The applicant tracking system might not parse your resume correctly, which could cause it to be filtered out.

Work Experience

This is the most important part of your resume and often the first thing recruiters and hiring managers will look at.  Use a simple heading, like “Work Experience,” or “Work History.” This will help make it nice and simple for both employers and applicant tracking systems (ATS).

List each job in reverse-chronological order, starting with your current one or the last one you had. Each job needs to show the following: name of the company, location, your job title, and your start and end dates. One of the first things a recruiter will check on your resume is the job titles you have held and who you worked for. Vice president at Apple carries more weight than your brother’s side business. This format not only makes it easy for them to get the information they want, but this works better for the ATS systems as well.

 For each job, include responsibilities and accomplishments-measurable results that pertain to the job for which you are applying. You do not need to list everything you did but want to highlight the tasks and accomplishments that make you a better fit for the job you want to apply for. You want to demonstrate that you have done and know how to accomplish the results your new employer is looking for.

Let me repeat: you do not need to include every job duty. Highlight the skills, achievements, and experiences that are requested in the job description. “Increased productivity by 30%” is much better than, “managed department.” Showing how well you did the task is what separates you from the crowd and makes you appear confident you can do the same for them. Demonstrate your achievements to show you are not just someone who punches a clock.


People often ask whether to put their education at the top or the bottom of their resume. The general rule is this: If you have experience in your field, then you can put education at the bottom.  If you are new to the career, then list your education at the top. If you recently got your degree and are entry-level, also emphasize the skills you learned that apply to the job you are seeking.  In this case, you can list relevant coursework, societies, organizations you belonged to, and extracurricular activities if they demonstrate a job-related skill.  Otherwise, all you need to list are the name of the Institution, the degree (bachelor’s, master’s, etc.), the location, and when you graduated.

If you have recent, nationally recognized certifications that are relevant, I recommend that you list these in a separate section and put these at the top. You can put them under “Skills” or make a separate section called certifications if you know they are especially important to the position. Some jobs require a specific certification (and some have a legal requirement that you be certified) so you need to highlight this. Be careful though.  Your 20-year-old certification in a product no one uses anymore (e.g. Novell) will not help you.

Skills Section

The skills section will help you in three ways. First, it can help you get past the applicant tracking system. Secondly, it can help to rank your resume higher than your competition, so it gets looked at. Finally, it shows the hiring managers you can do the job being advertised to make it more likely they will want to talk to you. 

As I mentioned earlier, most companies use applicant tracking systems. Think of them as filters. if certain keywords are missing, your application might not even get through. Of the ones that do get through, they can be ranked based on the specific skills and experience listed on your resume. This way the recruiters and hiring managers can focus on the ones they think are the best candidates. Therefore, having specific job-related skills or certifications like “Project Management Professional (PMP),” “CompTIA Security+,” or “Scrum Master” can be even more important. You will not get the job if you do not get the interview.

The skills section is your opportunity to match your skills to the specific job description. This can make all the difference in getting your resume past the applicant tracking system and ranked high enough to make sure your prospective employer looks at it. The hiring manager can quickly skim this section to see if you have what they need. Make sure to add context to these skills throughout the resume and your prospects increase further still. For example, if you have the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, be sure to list the projects you have worked on and your successes doing so.

How do you write a resume? What is the best resume format? Best resume templates What is a job resume? Free Resume Builder
Resumes that beat the Applicant Tracking Systems

How To Write A Resume Objective


The short answer is you don’t. These used to be very popular but are now considered out of date. Recruiters care less about your goals and more about what you can do for them. You accomplish this by writing a resume summary instead.

How to write a resume summary


Write a Success Summary instead of a career objective. If you are seeking employment, then this is the most important section of your resume. You need to sell yourself as an employee who can do the job effectively and meet their needs with speed and maximum efficiency. When you summarize your professional experience, the audience is looking for evidence of your capabilities or skills. If you’re not convincing, then the hiring manager will wonder why they should hire you when they can easily find an employee with similar skills. The best way to sell yourself as a skilled employee is to highlight both accomplishments and skills that demonstrate what makes you so good at what you do.

Do’s and Don’ts for your resume


Do not put any of the following on your resume:

  • Objective Statement. These are outdated and make you appear old. You can use a summary statement that conveys how YOU can help THEM.
  • References-just wait until they ask for them.
  • Soft Skills. Saying you are hardworking does not help. If you cannot measure it and show how it helps you do the job they are looking to hire for better, then leave it off.
  • If you are a mature worker, older than 50, then do not list every job you have ever done. Stick to the last 10 – 15 years unless you want to invite ageism.


Do make sure to do the following:

  • Keep your resume within one to two pages
  • Tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for

How to make sure your resume does not make you look old

If you are over 50, you must account for the fact that ageism exists. If you just got laid off after 20+ years at your last employer, you do not want to advertise you age. Some of these points have already been mentioned, but are worth repeating:

  • Do not use AOL or Yahoo for your email address. Get a Gmail or outlook account
  • Do not use your year of birth as part of your email address
  • Do not put the year you graduated high school.
  • Do not use an objective statement. Skip references until they ask for them
  • Do not put every job you ever did. Stick with the last 10 – 15 years
  • Do not use a landline for your phone number
  • Do not use a picture of you and the grandkids on your LinkedIn profile.
  • Do put any recent, industry-relevant certifications up top in the skills section
  • Do put your LinkedIn profile on your resume
  • Do keep your resume 1 – 2 pages. If they do not ask for a curriculum vitae that is all they want.
  • Do save your resume as a Word file (.docx). Only use pdf if requested


How to edit your resume

Ok, you have written your resume, and read it two or three times, but that is into enough. You need to make sure your resume does not have any mistakes in spelling or grammar, etc. A good editing job will take a little longer but worth the effort to make sure you avoid resume errors. First, I recommend getting the free Grammarly extension for Microsoft Office. Google it and download it.

Ideally, have another person look at it. By the time you have finished the draft of your resume, you can easily miss a mistake that another party would catch right away. Now if you really want to be thorough, try reviewing your resume backward, from end to beginning. This forces you to concentrate on each word, you will spot mistakes that you missed out on or have ideas for how to show yourself in an even better light.

Are you unemployed? Here is how to take your resume to the next level

Current, industry-specific certifications are one of the best ways to increase your marketability, separate yourself from the crowd, and get hired. the problem for most people is that they are expensive. If you were laid off, received a notice of lay off, reduction in force, restructured or have low income, you might be eligible for a grant that can really help.

Millions of people lost their jobs because of the Corona Virus so Congress has stepped in to help. On March 18th, the Department of labor set aside $100 million dollars for dislocated worker grants, and more funding was added for workforce assistance with the law that just passed. if you qualify, this program can pay up to $10,000 to get trained, certified, and then get help getting placed in their career. The amount and availability varies by county.

This can be used to get certified in fields such as Cyber-Security, Information Technology, Project Management, Business Analysis, and more. Some of the most highly sought after certifications include CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Project Management Professional (PMP), Scrum Master and more.

If you would like to see if you qualify, you can call me at 813-387-3503 or of you prefer, you can book a time for me to call you: Book a call

I look forward to speaking with you

No Risk Income Share Agreements

If you don’t qualify for a grant, see if you qualify for an Income Share Agreement. This is a no risk option–you pay nothing until you get placed and there is no interest. 

If you would like to see if you qualify, you can call me at 813-387-3503 or of you prefer, you can book a time for me to call you: Book a call

I look forward to speaking with you