One of the most common questions candidates ask us is: Do you have any suggestions to improve my resume? Conversely, hiring managers frequently lament about areas for improvement they see in resumes.

Thus, we are sharing the 6 most common resume recommendations we make to candidates across all levels and industries.

1. DO: Use succinct bullets to highlight key responsibilities and achievements.

    DON’T: Write long paragraphs under each position held.

    WHY? There is a reason people use X (Twitter) for their news. Recruiters spend 6-7 seconds looking at a resume. There is no time to read paragraphs. Bullets with bolded key attributes/accomplishments help ensure the most pertinent information is read.

2. DO: Use numbers to demonstrate growth and success.

    DON’T: Use fluffy adjectives to describe what should be quantifiable.

    WHY? Regardless of industry, I tell everyone I speak to that “numbers are the universal language.” ROI, KPI, open rates, impressions, share of voice, CPC, conversations, sentiment, budget/retainer growth, increased followers, etc. - all of these metrics are better understood with numbers vs. words like “high ROI”, “large increase,” “increased impressions.”

3. DO: List out your promotions so they are easily seen (vs. buried in the final bullet).

    DON’T: List only your current title on your resume if you have received promotions.

    WHY? Two important things for employers are tenure & growth - promotions show both. Clearly, you are good at your job if you move up! I recommend listing past roles under your most senior title. For example:

  • Capstone Hill Search - Jan. 2021 - Present

    • Director - February 2023 - Present

    • Principal Consultant - Jan. 2021 - Jan. 2022

4. DO: Keep your resume to two pages max.

    DON’T: Make your resume a novel.

    WHY? Whether you have 30 or 5 years of experience, it's beneficial to keep your resume concise. This is particularly important in the communications industry, where the ability to write succinctly is highly valued. 
While discussing her recent senior job applicants, a Talent Acquisition leader at a Fortune 500 company noted, “It always surprises me when comms and PR professionals have 5-page resumes yet they talk about writing succinctly in their interviews.”
Don’t forget, you will have more time to speak to your experience during an interview.

5. DO: Hyperlink or add the URL for your LinkedIn profile alongside your other contact information.

    DON’T: Forget to set-up a LinkedIn profile with your most up-to-date employment information.

    WHY?: More often than not, a recruiter or hiring manager will look at your LinkedIn profile at some point during the interview process so this makes their job easier and ensures they are referencing the correct one.

6. DO: Make your resume aesthetically pleasing and clean. 

    DON’T: Include a photo of yourself on your resume.

    WHY? In an age where many companies are trying to do “blind hiring” (sometimes even removing your name and contact information from your resume) and DE&I is incredibly important, pictures can pose issues. (Furthermore, wouldn’t you rather fill that space with additional accomplishments?)   

In conclusion, crafting a resume that stands out is crucial for making a great first impression. The six DO's and DON'Ts we've shared are designed to guide you in highlighting your achievements and skills in the most effective and concise way. Remember, your resume is not just a list of your job history; it's a strategic tool to showcase your professional journey and potential. By focusing on clarity, brevity, and impact, you will create a resume that captures the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be well on your way to securing your next interview and great opportunity.