Do You Know What a Perfect Resume Looks Like?

John Krautzel
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As a job seeker, your primary goal is likely impressing hiring managers with a professional resume and cover letter. However, if your resume doesn't win over recruiters or employers within the first six seconds, your opportunities begin to decrease. Learn how to make your application materials stand out from the competition to nab respect and an interview.

Tailor to the Industry

Document skills and experience relevant to the position you're applying for when crafting a professional resume. Scrutinize positions you've held to offer insight into your skill set to perform the job rather than including every job you've held. Search job advertisements and job descriptions to locate keywords commonly used within your field, and include these keywords on your resume to describe your experience.

Highlight Your Online Portfolio

Hiring managers typically search for applicants online, making it important to provide a link or URL to your online portfolio or LinkedIn account on your professional resume. Make it easier for potential employers to confirm your experience and area of expertise by creating a portfolio and social media accounts that provide evidence of your accomplishments rather than showcasing your personal life.

Provide Company Descriptions

Outline the nature of your previous experience by providing brief descriptions of each company you've worked for in the past. When listing your experience in reverse chronological order, resist the temptation to simply name the company. Offer a one-sentence explanation of the company's industry or an overview of the products and services it offered to save your hiring manager research time.

Incorporate White Space

Resist the urge to impress hiring managers with your graphic design skills. In fact, a professional resume that's too busy may distract from the information you include. Utilize white space to make your resume look clean and fresh, and avoid dense blocks of text. Also, be sure to format your resume to ensure it retains a consistent look, and format your cover letter in the same manner. These simple things display your attention to detail to hiring managers.

Prioritize Information

If you recently graduated and lack substantial experience, then your education first. However, if you're already a professional with ample experience in the field, move the educational portion of your professional resume to the bottom of the page. Highlight your skills and experience first versus your educational career so employers can see you're well prepared to assume job responsibilities right away.

Job seekers must carefully compile application materials that accurately display their skills and experience, but also adopt a visually appealing format. Ensure your professional resume captures attention with a clean-looking document with ample white space and information relevant to the position for which you're applying for to increase your opportunities in the job market.

Photo Courtesy of Suwit Ritjaroon at


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  • Sheri D.
    Sheri D.

    As a former cooperate worker, having been injured and returning to the workforce; I'd initially wanted to Thank you for the suggestions.

  • Sheri D.
    Sheri D.

    Thank you,

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Mary Braund thanks for your comment. So true - short, sweet and to the point. Asking the interviewer what he/she likes about your resume does not seem to be helping you. Your resume seems to be fine if you are getting interviews. Are you following up after the interview with a thank you note? Are you asking why you did not get chosen for the position? 3 years is a long time to be going on interviews but not getting acceptable offers.

  • Mary Braund
    Mary Braund

    I was always told there is no such thing as the perfect resume. Just to keep it clean but not too much white, and to keep it to the point and short. I have been looking for a job for the last 3 years and my resume turns heads, I get interviews. At the end of my interview I ask what did you like about it. The employer will be honest and say what they like and dislike. Make mental notes as to what they say.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the comments. There is no way to "show" a perfect resume - just to offer tips on how to write a perfect resume. If this article had contained nothing but a resume, we would have received comments that the resume doesn't help because it's not in your area of expertise or the headings are wrong or, or, or.. As for the headings, you want Experience, Education, Skills, Summary - if you want to include it and that's about it. That's what hiring managers are looking for - short, simple and to the point. If you decide to include links to your social media - such as Facebook and LinkedIn, make sure that you have cleaned it up.

  • Terrence W.
    Terrence W.

    Now you don't really think they are going to show you their version of the "perfect resume" do you? It's a service they SELL under the Career Resources tab at the top of the page so .........

  • Kenneth R.
    Kenneth R.

    Clear and concise!

  • Daniel F.
    Daniel F.

    Good tips , but article has nothing to do with what a good resume looks like there were no examples, should have been titles tips for your Resume.

  • Fred T.
    Fred T.

    Thanks for the tip about the education

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for your comments. If you click on the link in the paragraph under "Tailor to the Industry", you will get a good idea what a good resume should look like. Hope that helps. But remember, just as @Stephen Kimball commented - everyone has an opinion on this and even the professionals disagree on what a perfect resume looks like. If you follow the steps, you, too, can have a great resume.

  • el nora d.
    el nora d.

    you should what a perfect resume looks like

  • Rich M.
    Rich M.

    Well, I guess we'll never know what a great resume looks like if you don't show it! It'll be your little secret!

  • Mourad B.
    Mourad B.

    your advice has a good sens, looks simple and clear.

  • Stephen Kimball
    Stephen Kimball

    Everyone has their opinion on this subject. Even professional resume writers with a certification will argue about this topic.

  • Heriberto Marchand
    Heriberto Marchand

    The tittle: "What a Perfect Resume Looks Like" ... great, but it was not shown!

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