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Your Career

How to Create a Best-in-Class Resume

Did your work experience change whether that’s a new job, project or certification? To polish your resume, we’ve asked two recruiters for their dos and don’ts to stand out in the candidate pool.

Written by: Alycia Byrne, Recruiting Team Lead & Katherine Sergiovanni, Senior Recruiter 

Stages of Resume Creation

Stage 1: Research

Start off by getting an idea of what you like and what works best for both your industry and for the job you are applying for. There’s tons of great resume examples and templates that you can find in just a quick internet search. All good templates will have a section for your name, contact information, education, and work experience.

Resume Format 

  • Create a simple, clean, and concise format for your resume. Understand that your resume may be reviewed by an Applicant Tracking System before an actual person, so keep it easy-to-read! 
  • Choose a clean and simple font and color. Try using bold and italic for emphasis rather than font color.
  • Keep the page count to 1-2 pages.

Stage 2: Draft

Once you identify a structure that works for you, begin with a simple rough draft. Start with the basics like your email address, phone number, and location. Next, add your education. This should include the name of your school, degree, and major/minor. Finally, move to the work experience section. Your experience should include the name of your employer, your title, the dates of employment, and a few bullet points that describe your role.

Tailor Your Resume to Fit the Role

  • Research your target organization to learn about their brand, Employee Value Proposition, & culture. If the culture resonates with you, tactfully add those keywords in your resume. 
  • Follow the organization through its social media platforms to stay up to date on current happenings. Can you get involved?
  • Review your resume side by side with the job description. If your experience matches, It is imperative for you to add the exact phrases and keywords from the job description into your resume. 

Make Your Resume Stand Out

  • Highlight your impact with #s and %s. Example: My program led to 40% more leads YOY.
  • Use action verbs such as accomplished, lead, executed, produced, optimized etc.
  • Think of your career summary section as your 30 second elevator pitch of why you! 

What to Include

  • Start with a career summary and build your experiences in reverse chronological order (most recent first).
  • Structure your expertise & accomplishments using bullet points vs sentences.
  • Include education, certifications, and professional affiliations. 

Stage 3: Revise

Go back and review your resume multiple times. Check for any spelling errors and read it aloud to make sure everything is easy to understand. After you’ve reread everything, ask a few peers or mentors to proofread as well.

Resume Revision

  • Typos matter! Check spelling and grammar.
  • Show career progression but a 10 year look back is a general rule
  • Remember - your resume is your first impression. Make it count!

Alycia & Katherine’s Do’s and Don’ts

What you avoid listing on your resume is almost as important as what you do list.

  • DO choose a template or format that is simple and easy to understand at a quick glance.
  • DO emphasize the impact you’ve made in your current role
  • DO review your current job description and goals to get ideas of what to include in your bullet points. To really stand out, include success metrics and action words rather than saying what you were responsible for.
  • DON’T forget to save your resume as a PDF before you submit your application. Resumes may go through an applicant tracking system before being seen by a recruiter or hiring manager. This ensures that your resume’s format will not be altered.
  • DON’T keep a separate section that lists your skills. It is more impactful to sprinkle your skills into the bullet points to demonstrate exactly how you were using them in your experience.
  • DON’T provide past supervisors and references unless it is requested
  • DON’T use the lengthy default LinkedIn personal link. Use the shortened LinkedIn address you can customize.
  • DON’T include your full address, DO include your city, state, and zip code

Interested in joining the Gartner team? Search for an open role here