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Top Six Tips to Writing a Winning Resume

In a world of applicant tracking software and a lack of human connection when applying to jobs, getting one’s resume noticed is extremely important. A resume is the first impression that a recruiter will make about you. Instead of thinking about a resume as a job application requirement, think about it as your career story in a one-to-two-page document, that you constantly update and edit, as your career develops.   

In 2018, the “Eye-Tracking Study” from Ladders INC., found that recruiters spend an average of 7.4 seconds skimming one’s resume. These 7 seconds can be the most important of your career, which is why to make your resume count, it must be impactful, easy to read, and detailed.   

HEPCO’s experience over their 40+ years of business and research about the skill of resume writing has allowed us to comply these six tips to help you write a winning resume!   


1. Be Professional  

As the world is starting to become less formal, professionalism is still required in a resume.   

Ways to be professional in your resume include:  

  • Use Active Voice 

When describing one’s achievements or job description, make sure to use an active voice, which makes it much easier for recruiters to read.    

  • Use Action Words  

Action words, such as “Managed” or “Developed” should begin every bullet point in which you describe job duties or something accomplished in one of your previous roles. Action words allow one to speak to their skills.    

  • Having a Professional Email Address  

A professional email address is a must in the workforce. An easy to remember and professional email address is using your first initial and last name followed by whatever email server like Gmail or outlook, you choose to use. For example,    

  • Proofreading for any Spelling or Grammar Errors. 

This goes without saying, always proofread multiple times for spelling and grammar errors. You never want to be removed from an applicant pool, because of a small spelling mistake.    

2. Be Short & Concise  

A resume should be no longer than one to two pages. Recruiters look at countless resumes every day and they don’t want to know every single task you did at all of your previous jobs.   

Highlight some of the major tasks or accomplishments you completed or achieved in previous roles. Make sure to bullet-point these descriptions and avoid long explanations, that are detailed but not drawn out.   

For example, it’s better to say:  

“Managed a social media strategy that grew Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram Platforms, by 60%.”  


“In charge of creating a social media strategy for Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter that is estimated to grow follower count and impressions by 75%.”  

3. Use Keywords  

Applicant Tracking Software systems are more commonly used for recruiters to search through thousands of resumes that will be submitted for one job position.    

Recruiters can use these systems to find a resume that fits their needs by typing in different keywords that match the job description.   

Putting in a select few keywords can help your resume become noticed by recruiters. Ladders Inc. “Eye-Tracking Study” found that “A reliance on keyword stuffing” was among some of the lowest-performing resumes in the study.    

So, when choosing which keywords from the job description you will include in your resume, choose the ones that you think speaks the most to your skills and what the recruiter is looking for.   

4. Include the Basics  

With spending a lot of time on being descriptive, yet concise, being professional, and trying to find the right keywords, it’s important to not overlook the basics.   

Always remember to include:  

  • Education  
  • Contact Information (Email + Phone Number)  
  • Any Volunteer Experience  
  • Accomplishments, Awards or Certificates   
  • Skills  
  • Any Relevant Work Experience (This is experience, not directly related to the position you are seeking, but provided you with skills to help succeed in the role.)  

5. Easy to Follow Format 

Part of having a winning resume includes an easy-to-read format. Have job titles bolded, use bullet points for easy reading, and separate each section with headers like education, work experience, and skills.     

The Ladders Inc. study found that resumes that follow an “F- Pattern and E-Pattern,” which refers to how one’s eyes track across a page, were some of the highest-ranking resumes.   


This photo is courtesy of Ladders Inc.’s “Eye- Tracker Study”, in which the photo on the left follows an E-shaped pattern, and the photo on the right follows an F-shaped pattern. The letter pattern is determined by how a person’s eyes will read across the page.     

6. Get Help   

Three ways to get help with writing your resume include:  

1. Have Others Proofread Your Resume  

 Having a second pair of eyes is beneficial to anyone. They can point out mistakes or find a better way of explaining your job roles.  

2. Look at Other’s Resumes  

Looking at other’s resumes can help you with how to format your resume. Also read resumes of those in a similar job position you are trying to obtain, to find descriptions, formats, and/or skills, you share in common, that pertain to the job, to help you with writing your resume. For example, an aspiring software engineer would want to read a seasoned software engineer’s resume to get a better idea of how to write theirs.   

3. Use Resume Templates   

Resume Templates, like these from Indeed or Ladders Inc., help format your resume in an easy-to-read format.  


Overall, a winning resume is the first step in getting recognized by a recruiter, to hopefully be called in for an interview. Resume writing can be difficult for even a senior employee, thus these tips should provide some much-needed guidance to writing a winning resume, that will land you the job.    


This blog post is a follow-up to a LinkedIn Post @HEPCOINC