3 tips for writing an easy to read resume

Person at Addison Group writing an easy to read resume

Resumes are non-negotiable when applying for a job.  In the early stages of the hiring process, it’s how hiring managers see if you’d be a good candidate for the job. Although writing a resume doesn’t seem complicated, there needs to be thought and intention behind it.

Many people get creative when they write their resumes. They incorporate an interesting layout, different colors, or add every bit of work history. However, resume writing is one instance where you shouldn’t be out of the box. If anything, this is the time when you want to keep it clean and concise.

Hiring managers want resumes that are easy to skim and showcase the skills you have that match the job posting. Trying to be different and adding too much detail or over-the-top styles can cost you the job in the end. To help you ensure your resumes are easy to read and will get noticed by hiring managers, we’ve outlined some important tips below.

1. Keep a simple, easy to read resume format

Everyone wants their resume to stand out from the rest of the competition so they can hear back from hiring managers, but adding colors or an out of the box layout isn’t the way to do it. Although this may seem like a good way to stand out to the competition, it’s not the best format. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking at hundreds of resumes for each job posting and on average only view each resume for about seven seconds – requiring your resume to be simple and logical.

Get the most out of that short time frame and stick to a basic format. Below are some simple formatting tips to implement.

  1. Include your name and contact information at the top of the page
  2. Bold your job title for each job experience you list
  3. Include the location and time span you worked in that role
  4. Use bullet points to list specific initiatives you accomplished while at your organization
  5. Use classic fonts like Arial or Times New Roman.

2. An easy to read resume isn’t too lengthy

In the same vein as keeping your resume simple, keep it condensed. If you have under 10 years of experience in your respective field, it needs to be a maximum of one page. You want to highlight the most recent jobs you’ve had and keep that experience at the forefront. If you’re early in your career, going over a page can indicate to a hiring manager that there is a lot of fluff on your resume.

If you’ve been in your field for more than 10 years, your resume can be around two pages. Two pages should be enough to cover the scope of your work experience. More than two pages can lead to some recruiters and hiring managers tossing your resume for being too long and can potentially cost you an interview.  


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3. Include action verbs from the job posting

When highlighting job experience, you want to lead with your most impressive accomplishments in your resume. To do this, use action verbs.  Action verbs help you start off strong by emphasizing different things you’ve accomplished at past jobs. Action verbs help draw the eye of hiring managers and recruiters, helping your success stand out. Here are some examples action verbs you can include in your resume:

  • Led
  • Drove
  • Managed
  • Organized
  • Directed

Even more importantly, tailoring your resume to the action verbs in the job description is a great way to get your resume noticed. First, it helps draw the hiring manager or recruiters’ attention to your skills and helps them make the connection as to why you’re a good fit. Second, if the recruiting team at the company you’re applying to uses an applicant tracking system (ATS), it ensures the system gets your resume to the hiring team.

Need jobs to apply to?

Preparing an easy-to-read resume for the job search can help hiring managers quickly see you’re a qualified candidate for the job. Now that you have a well-written and simple resume, you need to find roles that fit your career goals. For more than 20 years, Addison Group has connected people with roles that match their skills and career goals. Visit our jobs page or connect with us to get started!


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