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56 Resume Writing Tips and Tricks for 2024

You can stop searching—this is the ultimate collection of best resume tips that can help you succeed in 2024. These resume writing tips will help to impress hiring managers.

Roma Konczak, CPRW
Roma Konczak, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert
56 Resume Writing Tips and Tricks for 2024

Maybe you’ve spent hours polishing up your resume. Or maybe you haven’t started writing yet. It doesn’t matter—what matters is that you want to make sure your resume follows the best practices and avoids potential pitfalls.

Here’s a collection of over 50 resume tips in this article. Just grab a cup of coffee and start reading.

In this guide:

  • 56 resume writing tips for candidates of all experience levels.
  • Resume tips for formatting the document in Word, Google Docs, and other applications.
  • Resume writing tips and samples of well-written sections.

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Tips for Resume Formatting

Let’s discuss the matters of formatting first. Even the most accomplished candidates will not succeed if they submit a resume that looks unprofessional.

1. Use Professional Resume Fonts

Even if you’re a highly creative person, stick to time-tested solutions when it comes to resume fonts. You want your job application to be easily read on-screen and printed. Go for fonts such as Calibri, Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman, and Helvetica. As for the font size, pick 10–12 for the paragraphs and 13–14 for the headings. And be consistent!

2. Try Pre-Made Resume Templates

Not everyone feels confident when editing a document in an app. You can make your life easier by using pre-formatted templates. Try free resume templates for Word and G-Docs templates, or opt for an online resume builder that can handle all formatting for you.

3. Keep the Length of Your Resume Reasonable

Hiring managers are busy individuals—they don’t have time to read a biography. The perfect length of a resume is one page for candidates with less than ten years of experience, and two-page resumes are suitable for senior and C-level applicants.

4. Avoid Visual Resumes Unless You Work in a Creative Field

You might’ve seen modern resume templates that look stunning. All those colors, icons, diagrams… But there’s a catch. Highly visual resumes will not pass ATS scans.

Unless you work in a creative field or know that the company accepts visual resumes, stick to classic resume styles.

5. Don’t Be Afraid of Colors

Your resume doesn’t need to be black-and-white. Adding a touch of color is a great way to highlight certain parts of your application. But be subtle and stick to just one color. For example, make your name and job title red to stand out from a bunch of black-and-white resumes.

6. Choose the Resume Format That Works Best for You

Cookie-cutter solutions don’t work for everyone. When choosing the resume format, pick the one that suits you best. Here’s a quick overview of the popular ones:

  • Reverse-chronological resume: this classic format highlights work experience and is best for candidates with a steady career progression.
  • Functional (skill-based) resume: this style of resume focuses on skills and is most suitable for freelancers, creative professionals, individuals changing careers, and those with gaps in their work history.
  • Combination or chrono-functional resume: a combination of chronological and functional resumes works best for highly skilled individuals with a few years of work experience.

Career experts consider the reverse-chronological format the best one. Why? Because it’s easy to adapt, suits a wide range of candidates, and is easy to read for recruiters.

7. Go for Standard Resume Sections

This isn’t the time for surprises. Hiring managers expect to see certain resume sections on your job applications, so serve them straight away. Include:

8. Include Important Information Above the Fold

A resume is not a mystery movie, and hiring managers don’t want suspense. They want to know if you’re the best candidate straight away. So put the most important information on the top half of your resume. It’s not just about your name and contact information but also about the highlights of your career. Mention your most impressive career accomplishments in the resume profile to keep the recruiter interested.

9. Highlight Sections With Distinct Headings

Make the resume easy to navigate by creating prominent headings for each section. Use a larger font size and add an empty line underneath. You might also try adding stylish resume icons next to the heading for a modern look.

10. Try Two-Column Layouts to Fit More Information on One Page

Yes—two columns can fit more information than one. Make a narrow column on the documents' left or right side and put your contact information and bulleted lists there. Use the wider column for more extensive work experience and education sections.

11. Align the Text to the Left Side of the Document

The text on your resume should be aligned to the left. Why? Because the English language is written, and read, from left to right. This type of alignment also helps conserve the document's space, as it keeps the character and word spacing consistent.

12. Use Bullet Points to List Information

Bullet points can help to organize information better. Use them when providing examples of your work responsibilities, skills, achievements, and so on.

13. Balance the Text With White Space

You don’t want your resume to look like the paper edition of The New York Times. It needs white space to balance the text. Make the resume margins 1 inch wide, add empty spaces between paragraphs, and try different versions of line spacing, such as 1, 1.2, and 1.5, to see what looks best.

14. Prepare for ATS Scans

There’s a high chance that your resume will be subject to ATS screening. To pass the scan, make sure that it doesn’t include excessive visuals, uses standard resume sections, and is saved in a PDF or Doc format.

Tips for a Good Resume Header

The resume header is the first part of the document. It contains the most important information about the candidate: their name, job title, and contact details. Follow the resume tips below to make sure it’s as good as it gets.

15. Use a Professional Email Address

If you’re a seasoned professional, this tip is hardly a surprise. But less experienced candidates might make the mistake of using their everyday email address that reads something like fluffydoggo@cutemail.com for job search purposes. It’s best to use an email address that includes your first and last name or initials.

16. Add Appropriate Social Media Links

“Appropriate” is the key here. While an optimized LinkedIn profile is the most popular choice, you can also include Facebook or Instagram profiles on a resume, but only if you use them for business purposes. Don’t add any social media links that lead to personal pages.

17. Provide the Address of Your Portfolio

A portfolio is not only for artists, photographers, or show business jobs. It’s also great for software developers, UX designers, or front-end developers to show off their past projects. Even teachers can create a portfolio website with sample lesson plans and materials they’ve created. Of course, remember to keep your career resources up to date, including your portfolio.

18. Create a Catchy Resume Headline

While a resume headline is not mandatory, it’s a good way to be remembered. It should consist of one line that sounds like a description of your career, with all words capitalized. A good example is PMP-Certified Project Manager With Experience in Healthcare Industry.

Resume Writing Tips for Personal Statements

Yes, your resume needs a personal profile. If you’re an experienced professional, write a resume summary. For entry-level candidates, it’s best to choose a career objective. They serve as your introduction on a resume, and their purpose is to highlight your qualifications for the job.

19. Show Off Your Best Personality Traits

Start your resume profile with admirable personal qualities. There are dozens to choose from, so find one that matches your personality best. Try words such as “accountable,” “diligent,” “adaptable,” “creative,” “motivated,” etc.

20. Make Your Resume Profile Sound Like an Elevator Pitch

Imagine you’ve met the CEO of your desired workplace in an elevator. You’ve got 30 seconds to introduce yourself; if you do it well, you can get the job. The resume summary or objective is your elevator pitch: it must be short, concise, and highlight your best qualities.

21. Be Specific About What You Can Help the Company Achieve

Leave vague statements to politicians. You need to be specific. Your potential employer wants to know if they’d benefit from hiring you. Convince them by providing an example of what you could accomplish in the new role and how it could help the company succeed.

Good Example

Keen to educate prospective clients of DeAnna Now on the company's environmental efforts to increase revenue.

22. Showcase a Recent Career Achievement

That’s the cherry on top. Show off an impressive win from your previous job. It’s like offering a sample of a fantastic product—if it is impressive, they will want more.

Good Example

Increased sales by 19% using brand storytelling in 2022.

Resume Tips and Tricks for Work Experience & Skills

It’s not just about listing work duties. You must know how to describe your previous experience well. These tips for a good resume work experience section will help you.

23. Describe the Work History Using Action Verbs

What’s the point of action words on a resume? They help to highlight your skills and show initiative. Use them to replace boring and passive-sounding words, such as “responsible for,” “helped,” or “participated in.” It’s best to start each sentence in the work experience section with an action verb.

Good Example
  • Produced written content for marketing materials, including 20+ leaflets and 10 brochures about the company's philosophy and products.
  • Developed the brand narrative nominated for the Adweek Brand Storytelling Awards in 2018. 

24. Highlight Your Relevant Accomplishments

When creating the work experience section, don’t mention everything you’ve done in the past. Add only relevant experience and focus on achievements that matter. For example, winning a Server of the Month award might’ve been great when you worked part-time in your 20s, but it doesn’t mean much now that you’re 35 and seeking a management position.

25. Demonstrate Achievements With Numbers and Facts

Prove how valuable you are using quantifiable achievements. Use numbers, percentages, and years to back them up. So rather than saying: “Helped to increase sales,” say: “Led to a 25% increase in sales within 6 months.” It’s more specific and also more impressive.

Good Example
  • Liaised with The Albany Gazette to publish a series of articles about the company’s efforts for sustainability, which led to a 19% increase in sales in 2022.

26. Use Keywords That Mirror the Ones in the Job Advertisement

Resume keywords help to catch the recruiter’s attention as well as to pass ATS scans. To find the keywords you need, read the job advertisement carefully and find the words that refer to job requirements. These are the keywords you need in your resume. Try to include them when describing your previous experience.

27. Try the P-A-R Formula to Narrate Your Achievements

The Problem-Action-Result formula has been known for years. Guess what—it’s not only a job interview strategy. You can use it on your resume when describing accomplishments. Mention the problem you helped to overcome, your action, and the result. 

Good Example

Improved the low retention rate by implementing weekly 1:1 feedback sessions and monitoring employee satisfaction, which led to a 15% increase in retention within 8 months.

28. Scatter Relevant Skills Generously

Your key skills should appear all over the resume, not only on the skill list. Use them as a seasoning for the work experience and other sections. For example, if the job requires teamwork and communication skills, provide examples of how well you worked in a team at previous jobs and how effectively you can communicate with colleagues or clients.

Good Example
  • Collaborated with the web development team and the marketing department to produce a compelling website and printed materials consistent with the brand voice.

29. Limit Your Work History to 10–15 Years Maximum

Don’t live in the past. Stick to the last 10–15 years of employment history on a resume. Anything older than that doesn’t really matter at this point. 

30. Show Promotions the Proper Way

Getting a promotion is something to be proud of. Showing a promotion on a resume shows you’re a dedicated employee who works hard to succeed. Explain why you got the promotion—it allows you to highlight your professional strengths.

31. Name More Than Just Work Duties

Most hiring managers can easily guess the work duties for each profession. They don’t need to know your specific obligations—they want to know how well you can fulfill them. Instead of listing your responsibilities, provide examples of achievements.

32. Mention Nonwork Experience in Place of Work History

If you’re writing an entry-level resume or you’re a student with little work experience, you can skip work history altogether. Focus on other experiences, such as educational achievements, volunteer work, freelance gigs, and personal projects. There’s a wide range of transferable skills that you can demonstrate this way, such as communication skills, leadership qualities, time management, and interpersonal skills.

33. Address Long Gaps in Your Work History

Employment gaps are a tricky thing. If the gap is shorter than more or less nine months, you don’t have to worry about it. If it’s longer, be upfront and explain the reason behind it. Try to show what you’ve learned during that time.

34. Make an Impressive Skill List

The skill list on a resume isn’t just a filler. Don’t put random abilities there, but mirror the job requirements instead. Go for a mix of soft skills and hard skills, plus 1–2 computer skills or technical abilities. In total, your skill section should include around 8–10 bullet points.

Good Example


  • Public relations
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Strategic planning
  • Public speaking
  • Writing and editing press releases
  • Management skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Microsoft Office

35. Skip Clichés and Jargon

Feel tempted to write “synergistically empowered agile deliverables” on your resume? Don’t. Keep the buzzwords off your work experience description. Hiring managers can see through corp speak, and it won’t impress them. 

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Resume Tips for Education Section

Job applicants who don’t know its true value often overlook the education section. Learn to upgrade it using the resume advice below.

36. Try Replacing Work Experience With the Education Section

If you’re lacking relevant work experience, use your academic experience to highlight transferable skills and professional knowledge. You can put the education section right after the personal profile on a resume to pull focus on your accomplishments from college or school.

37. Turn Education Into Your Asset

Did you receive a prestigious scholarship? Spent a year abroad on a student exchange program? Won a national competition? These are all accomplishments you should be proud of. Include them on the resume as long as you can prove they’re somewhat related to your career.

38. Expand Your Education Section to Make Up for No Work Experience

The education section can go way beyond the degree, school name, and GPA. If you don’t have much work experience, expand it. Here’s what you can add:

  • Academic awards
  • Club membership
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Volunteer work
  • Relevant coursework
Good Example

Bachelor of Arts in Communication

University at Albany, Albany, NY

September 2013–June 2017

GPA: 3.84

Relevant coursework:

  • Digital and social media in strategic communication
  • Corporate communication
  • Marketing communication and media campaigns

Extracurricular activities:

  • Served as the spokesperson for Lambda Pi Eta honor society in 2015–2017

Resume Writing Tips for Additional Sections

Need tips for the last stretch? Here are some bits of advice about the additional resume sections.

39. Use Additional Resume Sections to Highlight Relevant Skills and Knowledge

Got some free space on your resume? Fill it with additional sections—but do it well. Don’t just throw in random facts about yourself. Use only information that is relevant to the job you want.

Choose from the following:

40. List Certifications to Show Off Your Qualifications

Certifications can truly upgrade your job application. Especially if they come from reputed organizations. Nowadays, it’s easy to find certificate courses online, and they’re a wonderful way to improve your qualifications.

When listing certifications on a resume, remember to include the certification's name, the organization or school that released it, and awarding year or validity. This information is enough if it’s a well-known certification such as Project Management Professional or Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect. If it’s a lesser-known qualification, you can also briefly describe what the course entailed.

Good Example
  • Certified Business Communication Professional, AIBMC, December 2022

41. Make Personal Interests Count on Your Resume

Employers want passionate people to work for them. If your interests align with your profession, mention them on a resume. It’s even better if you can mention an achievement or two that highlights your professional skills.

42. Assert That Volunteering Is Just Like Working

Volunteer work is just like regular work, only unpaid. So why wouldn’t you describe it just like work experience? Mention the organization name, volunteering period, and your specific duties or accomplishments. 

Resume Tips to Follow Right Before Applying

Now that you’re done with writing, it’s time for final checks before you can click the “Send” button.

43. Scan the Resume for Unnecessary Info

Read the whole document closely, and ask yourself: “Is this information necessary and relevant to the job posting?” Remove anything that doesn’t contribute. That’s the only way to make a targeted resume.

44. Write a Matching Cover Letter

Most people hate writing those. But they improve your chances of landing that dream job. Just follow the instructions on how to write a good cover letter, and you’ll be done quickly.

45. Use a Logical File Name for Your Resume

Hiring managers get hundreds of applications. If you name your file asdsfgd.doc, they won’t be able to locate it even if they like you. Always use your name and the word resume in the file name.

46. Analyze Your Online Presence

Check your social media profiles and think from the point of view of the recruiter. Is there anything that could make them go “ew”? You can always switch your profiles to private, but there’s a chance they’d find a way to access them anyway. Keep anything that makes you look bad off the Internet.

47. Perform a Resume Quality Check

You can find resume checklists online or use an online checking service to measure the quality of your application. These tools can help you spot and fix something you overlooked.

48. Keep Your Resume Updated

Once you polish your resume, it’s a good idea to update it regularly. To send your resume to another company, you can then make a new, targeted version.

49. Save Your Resume in a PDF File

Unless the job ad wants a different file type, save your resume in a PDF document. It will help to keep the formatting intact, make it easy to open on any device, and prevent viewers from making any accidental edits.

50. Proofread for Errors

Sounds basic, but trust me, always check for typos and misspelled words. Ask a friend to read the document, too. Our brains turn into generalization mode when writing, focusing on conveying the meaning rather than the form. 

51. Send the Resume Directly to the Hiring Manager

Make sure your job application reaches the right person straight away. Research the hiring manager’s name and address on the company website and LinkedIn, and email the resume directly to their inbox.

Bonus Resume Tips: Errors You Must Avoid

Don’t fall for common blunders when writing your resume! These tips will help you avoid errors that many candidates make.

52. Don’t Write a Generic Resume

Yes, writing a resume can take a few hours. There’s a certain allure in the idea of one general resume that you could use to apply to dozens of jobs. But it simply doesn’t work like that. If you write a generic resume, recruiters will see that in seconds, and they won’t even bother to read through the end.

53. Avoid Excessive Visuals

Many websites with templates offer stunning, highly visual resumes to fill out. It’s a trap. Don’t fall for it. A visual resume is not ATS-compatible and may decrease your chances of getting a job. Use resume icons only if you want to upgrade your resume with visual elements.

54. Remove Irrelevant Experience

You’ve probably heard it a dozen times already, but that’s because it’s true. All the information on your resume must be relevant to the job offer. For example, if you’re applying for a senior management position, you don’t have to mention all the responsibilities of your entry-level job from 10 years ago.

55. Forget About Writing “Responsible for…”

“Responsible for” is a forbidden phrase on a resume. Why? Because it makes you sound like an idle worker who only does what’s necessary to survive on the job. Use action words to show your contributions to the company instead.

56. Skip Writing “References Available Upon Request”

If the hiring manager wants references, they will ask. 

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Key Points

Here are the 10 most important resume writing tips:

  1. Go for a professional resume format.
  2. Make your contact information easy to find.
  3. Introduce yourself with a resume summary or objective.
  4. Include relevant experience from work and other activities.
  5. Replace boring duties with career achievements.
  6. List the skills that mirror the job requirements.
  7. Make your education a real asset.
  8. Boost your resume with additional sections.
  9. Proofread your resume before sending it.
  10. Write a cover letter to elaborate on your qualifications.

Got any other tips to share? Maybe you’d like us to explain any of the points made in this article? Let us know in the comments below.

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

Frequently Asked Questions about Resume Tips

What are the top 5 tips for a resume?

Here are the 5 most important resume tips:

  1. Keep it concise: a good resume goes straight to the point. Limit the length of the resume to 2 pages maximum, and include a work history of 10–15 years tops.
  2. Include relevant information: don’t mention jobs or experiences irrelevant to the position you’re pursuing.
  3. Say how you can help: be specific about what you can do for the company and mention it in your resume profile.
  4. Showcase your accomplishments: don’t list just duties, but describe your career achievements using action words and data.
  5. Make it visually appealing: find a modern resume template or format your resume well to make it easy to read.

What are the necessary parts of a resume?

Here’s a list of the essential parts each resume should contain:

  • Resume Header: it appears at the top of the document and includes the candidate’s personal information.
  • Personal Profile: serves as the introduction; it can summarize your career or present your career objective.
  • Work Experience: it includes the work history along with descriptions of professional achievements.
  • Education Section: showcasing the applicant’s highest level of education and academic achievements.
  • Skill Section: a list of 6–10 key skills that match the job requirements.
  • Additional Sections: a selection of extra sections such as languages, certificates, volunteer work, etc.

What should a resume look like in 2024?

A resume that looks good in 2024 follows these rules:

  • It’s easy to read on any device
  • Includes relevant resume keywords
  • Grabs the recruiter’s attention straight away
  • Uses a resume format that suits the candidate
  • Presents accomplishments instead of duties
  • Highlights important soft and hard skills

When it comes to the resume layout itself, you can choose different types of templates, such as modern resume styles or traditional free resume templates. The document should use standard resume fonts as well as 1-inch margins.

What are the 4 Cs of resume writing?

The four Cs of resume writing are Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking. These are four essential qualities that employers expect from job candidates. Creative thinking, communication skills, collaboration, and critical thinking can help you thrive in a modern workplace.

You should include these four skills when describing your experience. Demonstrate achievements that required creative thinking, show that you made decisions using critical thinking, mention you enjoy working with others, and so on. You can also add these qualities to the skill section of your resume.

Roma Konczak, CPRW

Roma Konczak is a career expert and a Certified Professional Resume Writer with a background in education and humanities. She’s passionate about personal development and helping others advance in their careers. She writes guides that simplify complex HR terminology based on thorough research and factual information.

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