Creating a Strong Resume: The Basics

University is a great time to start building your resume if you haven’t already.  As you get started, there’s a few basic things to keep in mind. In short, focus on the right job, right person, and use the right key words! Again, use the right key words!

A resume is your sell sheet.  It tells potential employers who you are in a snapshot and acts as an enticement to have them call you in for an interview to get to know you even better.

University is a great time to start building your resume if you haven’t already.  As you get started, here’s a few basic tips.  They are great strategies to keep in mind before you put pen to paper, or, keyboard to Word document.

Position it for the Right Job

It can be tempting to create a one-size fits all resume or to not think too much about what you are going to use your resume for before you start writing it.  However, if you want to use the right key words in your resume (and you do!), then you need to know what type of job your resume is going to be utilized for.

Most employers filter their applicants by an automated key word filtering system.  The key words are selected based on the position that they are seeking to fill. So, if you want your resume to get past that filtering system and into the hands of a real person, then you want to make sure that you have right key words based on the job you are applying for.  And to do that, you want to make sure your resume is written with that type of job in mind!

Speak Their Language

Let’s stick with key words a bit longer because they are so very important. It’s not just the industry key words that you want to keep an eye on.  If a job posting uses a phrase or buzz word repeatedly try to find a way to get that word into your resume or at least your cover letter.  If you want to work for them, it’s a great idea to start showing that you are one of them, that you speak their language already.  In other words, you are already on the same page with them.

Send it to the Right Person

Most job postings do a great job sending you link to exactly where to send your resume.  However, especially if you are “cold-calling” on a company, you may have to dig a bit to find the right person.  Generally you are looking for the hiring manager or key Human Resources contact.   LinkedIn is a great resource for this and it’s well worth the extra time to do so.  Carelessly sending your resume out to anyone and everyone will most likely get you no where and will waste your time.  As they say, work smarter, not harder.


If you haven’t heard from an employer for a while, sending them a note indicating your continued strong interest in the role is a great way to get your name in front of them again and call attention to yourself. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate statement. In fact, something short and to the point will suffice. The main point is to show your continued interest in the position. In addition, you may also want to remind them why you would be a great fit.

How do you position your resume?

Many struggle with creating their own resume. Hopefully this article will give you some starting points.   As you start thinking about creating your resume, what are some things you think about?  What strategies have you found work best for creating your resume?


22 thoughts on “Creating a Strong Resume: The Basics

  1. So important to have a strong resume if you want to get that job! These are all such great tips for it too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. These are all great tips for building your resume. It is so important to tailor your resume and cover letter to each position and make sure it gets into the right hands. I’ve even gotten job offers months after applying because my resume stood out, and for whatever reason they didn’t fill the job for awhile, but they remembered me when it was time to fill it.

  3. I enjoyed reading your post. It’s important to have a strong resume, such great tips. I’ll have to forward this to my friends ????.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing these tips Lisa! Really interesting post. It’s definitely so important to get the resume right 🙂

  5. I was always so bad at this sort of thing. Glad I’m done with that season. I’m sure a lot of people will be glad for these tips!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Jennifer – resumes can be hard to wrote. These tips should give someone a great jump start on their resume. 🙂

  6. This is a great post! I never thought about how employers would look for keywords before, i’ve learnt something new from you today! I’ve never followed up before, I’ve always thought if they don’t reply they’re just not interested! Maybe I will follow up from now on! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you got so much out of the post Courtney – that makes my day!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments!

  7. Something I always struggle with is putting myself out there, but calling them back is such a great way to back to the forefront of their minds. I’m going to try doing that more and fingers crossed. Thank you for the tips. 🙂

  8. These are great tips. I’ve been in the talent acquisition field for over a decade and one of the most under appreciated aspects of a job application is the cover letter. You’re right many clients do not even consider looking at your resume if your cover letter is bland and lacking personality. Speak their language and understand their company culture.

    Good post. 🙂

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