Let’s dive into these five game-changing resume hacks will help elevate your resume to the next level. I’ll skip the basic rundown on format and proofreading to bring you straight to the gold – insider tips that will truly set your resume apart.  

Title Yourself Clearly: 

The number one hack I share with candidates is simple yet impactful: title yourself effectively. Cater to the reader and assume they are non-technical and may not understand what you do. Sure, they can look at your current job title, but for many, your company-assigned job title may be something nebulous like Engineer III. Clarify it for the reader to understand by titling yourself as a Senior Cloud Security Engineer and writing it out at the beginning of your resume. I like to see it right at the beginning of the first bullet point of the summary or as a title header at the top of the resume. Remember, be clear but not overly specific. As a bonus, it is also an effective way of stating your objective. 

Reverse Engineer Key Words: 

As most recruiters know, there are too many resumes out there to manually read each one. You must use a keyword or Boolean search to filter through all the resumes and find the best matches. As a job seeker, if you apply to a job online or load it into a resume database like Indeed, you need the right keywords if you actually want it read. So, what are the right keywords? A great hack is to find a well-written job description that matches the job you are seeking. In the required experience section, identify a couple of keywords and terms they list and find a way to responsibly add those to your summary and work responsibilities (if you truly have that experience). This way, when companies search through hundreds of resumes, your resume will appear in the top results, boosting your chances for an interview. 

Acronyms vs Abbreviations: 

In fields like technology, acronyms for technical terms and certifications are common. If you have a marketable certification, like a Project Management Professional, it helps to add PMP in parenthesis afterward. Not only does it make it more visible to readers, but it makes your resume more searchable for recruiters if they use just the key search term PMP, not the whole certification title. Conversely, using abbreviations in the wrong places can hurt you. If you write MSSQL instead of the complete term, Microsoft SQL Server, you have made your resume less searchable. When in doubt, find responsible ways to write out both the full term and the abbreviation. 

Hyperlinks Are Effective: 

Let’s face it, few people print out a resume to read anymore, so why not make your resume more interactive by adding a few hyperlinks? Add a link to your LinkedIn profile, personal websites, design portfolios, publications, or work examples. They provide additional content while saving space. One of the best uses I have seen is embedding a hyperlink for the companies listed on your resume. Especially if it is a small company most people don’t know, it allows the reader to quickly look them up while adding valuable context to your job responsibilities. Pro tip from BridgeView – use the About section from the company website. 

Professional Finishing Touch: 

After all the hard work of perfecting your resume, make sure your last step is to convert it to a PDF. It’s a clean, universally compatible format that supports hyperlinks (Tip: Adobe Reader is free to download). Be sure to save your resume with a file name that is more helpful to the reader, not you. “LastName, FirstName” is classic and gives the reader one last reminder of how thoughtful and organized you are. 

These insider tips are designed to give you an edge in a competitive job market. Your resume is your career narrative – craft it carefully. And remember, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at BridgeView for additional guidance. 

Written: January 2024