Person wearing a gray jacket and watch holding a resume in one hand and a pen in the other

Your resume is the first thing an employer will use to consider whether to bring you in for an interview or not. This document is critical and could be your only chance to convince the recruiter you are worthy of the position you applied for.

Employers often spend only 30 seconds scanning a resume, so building one that is a compelling depiction of your skills and experiences can help grab their attention. Follow these quick tips to build the perfect resume.

Use strong action words

Start each bullet point with verbs that paint a vivid picture of your skills in action. A few action verbs that stick out to employers include: developed, enhanced, created, analyzed, managed and mentored. View this full list of action verbs.

Highlight your achievements, not your skills

Your resume should detail experiences that show what you accomplished in your various roles. Give real-life examples of your accomplishments, like “designed lesson plans and collaborated with team to organize event.”

Use numbers

Employers love numbers. It shows that what you accomplished in your role can be measurable and verifiable. Using statements like “increased company Twitter following by 15 percent over six months” shows that you understand the importance of using performance metrics and how it impacts a company.

Keep it short

A resume should be easy to read, so be concise when writing out your qualifications. Sentences should not exceed 20 words and exclude the use of first-person pronouns (I, me, my) and articles (the, an, a). Your resume should not exceed one page. 

Be honest about your work

You’d be surprised how many resumes stretch the truth or even lie about specific skills and experiences. Fluffing your resume with fancy words and qualifications will not get you very far, as the truth will eventually come out. Your resume is a professional document of how you’d like to be perceived in the business world.

Proofread, proofread, proofread

Typos and improper use of grammar are not well-received by recruiters. Go through your resume with a fine-toothed comb and check for errors. Reading it out loud or backward can help you discover typos. It also doesn’t hurt to have a friend or career development advisor help with a final read-through.