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18 Non-Generic Resume Tips For a Better Job Application

Author —
Astley
August 17, 2021

There are many resume tips out there that you might’ve already heard a thousand times in and outside of the workplace during your job search.

It’s mainly about translating your professional skills and value into a hirable job document that matches what your employers are looking for. However, not all hiring managers will be as lenient in making the final decision. 

That’s why you should spend a decent amount of time and effort in creating your application. 

In this guide, we’ll be going over our 18 resume tips for all job seekers. These are all relevant for all industries and career types you apply to.

Building an impressive resume isn’t as difficult as it seems. At least, not with Rezi

What Are The Top 5 Tips For a Resume?

If we had to narrow down the list to the top 5 resume tips, it would be the following:

  • On-page optimization for the ATS
  • Apply to the job properly
  • Point out to those you know
  • Format your resume professionally
  • Don’t over-optimize your resume 

1. On-Page Optimization For The ATS

This is one major reason why most candidates fail early with their job applications.

It’s important to create an ATS-optimized resume to overcome the first obstacle. Without getting past the first hurdle which is the resume scanners, your resume won’t be acknowledged by the employer or hiring manager. 

2. Apply To The Job Properly

Only apply to the job posting if you’re qualified enough to take on the responsibilities and carry out the tasks required. 

Follow the guidelines and instructions. Don’t spam several applications for the same company in hopes of landing a job to make some money. It’s not how you beat the applicant tracking system and it’s definitely not how you make a good impression. 

3. Point Out To Those You Know

Anyone would be interested in getting to know you more when you have a mutual connection. 

If you know anyone inside the company, use this to your advantage and refer to them in your application by mentioning their name. It’s also highly effective for a cover letter and can increase your chances of the employer scheduling an interview with you.

4. Format Your Resume Professionally 

A professional ATS resume format is readable for both a human reader and a robot. As recruiters tend to work with HR software to filter out resumes and immediately narrow down the list of applications with qualified candidates, they’ll scan your resume very briefly. 

To get past this and to improve the reader experience, you’ll need to format your resume intentionally. This includes using ATS-friendly features such as:

  • Bullet points
  • Headers
  • Lines
  • ALL CAPS
  • Professional resume font

5. Don’t Over-optimize Your Resume For The ATS 

Not optimizing your job document for the ATS is one of the common resume mistakes that lead to rejection. On the flip side, you shouldn’t over-optimize your resume either for the ATS. This can make your resume seem less personal and disingenuous. 

Don’t just include things in your resume to tell them what they want to hear. They’ll get to the bottom of it when it gets to the interview.

6. Try Rezi’s AI Resume Builder 

An extra top resume tip is to try using Rezi’s AI resume builder. 

You can easily create a tailored resume that matches the job posting and meets the expectations of your employers. Towards the end of the resume writing process, you’ll be provided with all the feedback you need to reach your hiring manager.

It’s a quick, simple hack to getting hired at your dream company and speeding up the job search process!

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12 More Professional Resume Building Tips 

Besides our top resume tips, there are still other important factors to think about for a better job application. Follow the 12 resume tips below as well and you’ll be good to go for creating a powerful ATS resume.

7. Take Inspiration From Other Resume Examples

Success leaves clues. 

To save time, it’s better to analyze what already works. Use that to build a winning formula rather than testing multiple things out yourself from zero. 

You can easily trace back ATS resume examples that have worked for others and see how you can make it better to improve your own. It’s faster, smarter, and more effective using this as a head start rather than starting on a blank canvas. 

9. Use One Line Only For Your Contact Details

The space you have available on your resume is a valuable asset. Make the most of it by only including what’s relevant and necessary. When it comes to your resume header and including your contact details, this only needs to be one line long. Any further than that is a waste of space. 

Here’s a simple example from Rezi’s senior project manager resume. This is the same resume template that helped one of our users land an interview with Adidas:

9. Make Sure Every Job Application Is Personalized

Without personalizing your resume to align yourself with the company values and job board description, it makes it clear that you’re not the best person to hire. When it’s too broad and generic with no customization, it shows you’ve not made a real effort in your application.

10. Have More Than One Resume On Standby

Every resume needs to be personalized. Therefore, it can save you a lot of time when you have more than one resume. 

With this strategy, you won’t have to create a new application from zero every single time. 

At the very least, you should have several resume templates on standby for the different companies you’re making applications for. With this, it’s easier to get inspiration for what to put on a resume and can speed up the job search process.

11. Update Your Resume 

Along the way, you should update your resume as you progress through your career, i.e. skills developed, any new qualifications, work experience, and achievements. Doing this also ensures you don’t miss out on recording any key details. 

For example, whenever you hear of an accomplishment or result you’ve been responsible for, note this down somewhere.

When updating your resume as well, refer to the job description of the company you’re applying for to ensure you’ve included the ATS resume keywords required.

12. The Minimalist Approach

With the minimalist approach, this means to only include what’s necessary and relevant. 

If you're using several filler words and including fluff to add more content, you’re better off removing this on your resume. This won’t help you leave a strong impression and it won’t be as engaging to read through.

13. Have Appropriate Contact Details 

Make sure you’ve mentioned the right phone number, email address, and location. Your email address that you use where recruiters will contact you should also be clean and appropriate, e.g. name@gmail.com. 

14. Use An ATS Resume Checker

An ATS resume checker will scan your documents to see if it’s a good match for the job position you’re applying for. This is a great way to check that you’ve included everything required and to ensure you’re sending quality job applications every time.

A few examples for the things it looks out for include:

  • Active voice
  • Quantified bullet points
  • ATS-friendly format

Get real-time content analysis as you go by using Rezi’s free ATS resume checker. You’ll automatically get feedback on your resume content for the best practices!

15. Use Extra Custom Resume Sections 

Use additional resume sections that specifically cater to the company and job vacancy you’re applying for. For example, a project or coursework section covering related training, experience, and qualifications that you may have. 

It’s a good indicator of your capabilities and for showing employers that you’re an ideal match. 

16. Always Have a PDF Copy Of Your Resume 

Always have a backup file of your resume in case anything goes wrong. Ideally, these should be saved as a PDF copy because this is the format you’ll want to use when sending your resume over to your employers electronically through email. 

17. Use and Avoid Certain Resume Trigger Words 

The two main things I’m talking about here are:

Using these trigger words in your resume can impress the recruiters by positioning yourself as a worker who has made a real difference. 

These can take your resume to the next level if they’re used properly in the right context. But, using the wrong trigger words may have a negative influence on your reader and could potentially make your resume worse. 

18. Double Check Your Social Media Profiles

Some employers may take a look into your background by searching for you online via social media. This can particularly apply to those of you who are applying for a job position in the industry relating to digital marketing. 

Not all recruiters are the same though and not all hiring managers will do this. 

But, it’s better to be safe than sorry. For any public social media profiles you have that are visible for anyone, make sure there’s nothing inappropriate. 

How Do I Write a Good Resume for 2021?

Anyone can write a good resume and job application. The approach just needs to be tailored for the company you’re applying to and you need to be making the most out of your strengths. This factor is what makes every candidate different. 

Even with resumes for students, you can show you’re qualified for the role.

Can My Resume Be 2 Pages?

Two-page resumes are acceptable. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if you have a lot of relevant work experience that you can talk about. Generally though, we suggest job seekers with up to 5 years of experience create a one-page resume. It’s more powerful when it comes to making the first impression. 

However, two pages are okay when everything on your resume is relevant. If not, then you may as well stick to a one-page resume. Less often shows more, and it can be more strategic. 

Final Piece Of Advice 

Finally, be sure that you use each of these resume tips and include them in your job searching process. 

When it comes to securing your next job and landing an interview, quality beats quantity. It’s worth taking the extra time to polish each document before you send them over. Put in the effort to create a more personalized non-generic resume and the results will pay off. 

Which one of these tips was the most eye-opening for you? Please give this guide a share if you found it useful to help fellow job seekers in the community!


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