Do you need to update your resume, but are unsure of how or where to start? If it has been a few years, you’ll probably want to pay close attention to current practices. Technology has changed how employers list positions, review resumes, and interview applicants. Having a good resume format will help you stand out from the crowd and secure you the interview you need for the job you deserve. Read on to explore a few resume format tips.

How it Should Look

A resume’s main goal is to present you in the best possible light. In just one or two pages, you must explain your job experience, highlight your skills, and ultimately persuade hiring managers to consider you for an interview.

Keep your layout simple and easy to read. A manager will scan your resume for only about 15 seconds. If they have difficulty finding or understanding information, it will be tossed aside. Don’t give them any reasons to eliminate you!

Use the Calibri or Cambria font, because a variety of software systems will need to read it. Although it was once very popular, the Times New Roman font is now considered passé unless it is used in a federal resume format.

No Personal Information

At the top of your resume, place your full name, email address and phone number. Since personal information is sensitive, never list your full home address. However, you should list your city. Be certain your email address is business focused: “” is better than “”.


On the topic of personal information, do not include business or personal references on your resume. Instead, bring their contact information with you to the interview. If the interviewer wants them, they’ll ask. Not listing references on your resume will save space and maintain the privacy of your contacts.



Education, Certificates and Licenses

Depending on the industry or job, the importance of educational background will vary. However, any degrees, coursework, certifications and training should be listed, whether relevant to the targeted job or not.


Work Experience and Accomplishments

There are several ways to present your work experience and accomplishments. Applicants should list their work history first, starting with their most recent position, and work backwards.

Focus on achievements, awards and responsibilities, going back no more than ten years in the narrative section. Include only what is relevant to the job, making sure to never lie or exaggerate.

Add any non-paid work and volunteer experience, as well as level of mastery of relevant skills. For example, if you speak a second language, add “fluent in (language)” or “conversational in (language).”

If you email your resume or use an online database, it will most likely be pre-screened by a computer first. Using industry-specific keywords will help you get past the “electronic gatekeeper”. Additionally, it may show hiring managers that you know the industry’s language, making you a stronger candidate.

Read job listings carefully and use the phrases and terms exactly as posted. For example, if the job listing states “strategic social media marketing”, this is not the same as “digital marketing campaign.” List your qualifications matching what the employer is looking for and in the same verbiage.

A strong resume showcases your experience and strengths, and piques the interest of the hiring manager. The smartest step to take when you need an impressively written resume is to reach out to USA Resume, as they are experts in Applicant Tracking System (ATS) keywording to move through automated screenings. Contact us today to learn more.