10 Ways to an Effective Resume [UPDATED 2019]

Posted by Larissa Sudom on

Yup, it's that time again. Your bland resume needs to be updated, you are switching companies, and you are on the hunt for new career possibilities. Well, things have changed in the job search world; it's time to look at new ways to make your resume land on the top of the ever staggering resume pile. Here are some up-to-date tips to make your resume gleam in 2019. 

1) Keep your information short and sweet.

  • Honestly, nobody likes to read an overbearing mash of technical lingo stuffed into a resume. A company will usually have a pile of resumes to sort through. Bullets and direct simple sentences have a more profound effect and will be far more appealing to look at aesthetically as well as read. 
  • The less you say, the more intrigued they will be to learn more about you. They will want to delve further into who you and this will give them a reason to call you for an interview. 
  • Keeping your information simple will lessen your chance of making a mistake on your resume. Resume writing is tough, so make it as straightforward as you can for yourself. 
  • Gobbledegook can person looked unorganized and pretentious. Unless it is specific to the job you are applying to, keep your wording style relatable.

2) Fanciful Adjectives and Adverbs; Nope.

  • So, you are a “fantastically amazing” at organizing files? Nope, nope, nope. Companies can see right through this. You descriptive working will be looked at as an exaggeration. Want to show how amazing you are? Give examples instead: “Increased productivity by creating new filing system” or “Promoted to manager for sale increase of 10%”. Companies are looking for real-world facts and figures not an over descript Doctor Seuss CV.

3) Read the FULL job description.

  • Your typical applicant has not read the full job description thus creating a resume mismatched to the job write-up. Comb through the WHOLE job description and write down all the matches. And, of course, do not replicate word for word. Get out a Thesaurus and keep everything on a parallel plane. If you can correlate every part of the job description, your resume will be considered a match.

4) Do your homework on the company.

  • What do they specialize in? What are their other projects? What are the company's culture and policies like? Relate your resume to the company's ideologies. Companies want someone who fits with their staff and their work culture and your resume should reflect that. 

5) Polish your LinkedIn and clean up your Facebook.

  • It is a fact, they will google your name. They will want to know about you, what you do, and if you are on-top-of-the-ball with your professional profile and private life. Make sure that you go through everything with a fine-toothed comb to dot all your “I’s” and cross all your “t’s”. Make sure everything is synchronized with your resume. 
  • Get rid of any bad publicity. Your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, etc. image matters. Downing a bottle of Bourbon? Most likely, not appropriate. Your image will represent their company as well. One bad picture or remark can put their company in a bad light so they will always be checking your online image.

6) Network, network, network!

  • A friend of a friend worked there two years ago? Reach out to that person. Do they still have connections? Ask for them. I mean, besides stalking someone, find a work connection and connect with them to find out more about the company, how they work, who they want, etc. 
  • LinkedIn, is such a great resource for making work connections. Use it! Join up and find out your connections to the company you are applying to. Jobs are often prioritized to within the company. If you can show you know people and have workings already on the inside then you will be that much closer. Internal references will definitely put you at the top of the list. Companies hate the risk of hiring strangers. Stranger danger! As one might say in the HR department. 
  • Always make sure to follow up with everyone. Keep your connections tight.

7) Keep it fairly unique.

  • Grabbing a generic resume template off of Word will not score you any points. Your lack of caring about how your CV looks equals your lack of caring about this job position in the eyes of the company. 
  • This resume represents your professional self. Make or find a resume that fits with your image and the company’s image. There are a lot of online options, I would suggest googling to see what is out there and make or purchase your resume template. 
  • If you cannot invest in a custom template, take an afternoon and learn Microsoft Word basics. It will make your resume creation that much easier. If you don’t learn the basics and you are trying to design a resume, you will end up spending far more time creating your layout than if you didn’t. 
  • Look for resume templates you like and draw out a rough blueprint of what you would like to have. 
  • If you are short on time, find a resume template online. Here are a few simple modern ones:


8) Your resume should look tidy and clean.

  • The design of the resume should frame your information. No busy patterns and no overbearing logos that take up half the space. Having crazy designs that pull away from your information will look unprofessional (unless, of course, you are applying for a design or related position, then the sky is the limit). 

9) Check your work.

  • Everything can come to a screeching halt if one mistake is found. So do a serious check. 
  • You will not find a mistake right after you have written it so take a break in between checking your resume. 
  • Triple check your grammar. 
  • Triple check your spelling. 
  • Triple check your resume layout alignment. 
  • After you have checked, always, always, get someone else to look it over. 

10) Clichés are boring and really overused in the resume world.

  • And, you are a hard worker, seasoned, dynamic, detail-orientated, good communication skills? Nope! I just bored myself writing this sentence. 
  • Find some better words, bust out your Thesaurus. There is a multitude of different ways to phrase something. 
  • Google is your best friend. Use it to find a less bland way to write your typical resume phrases. This will not only make you stick out but will not bore the hiring staff to bits.