Business Resume: 7 Tips to Consider

A good resume is a ticket that even the most qualified candidate needs to get a job interview. When it comes to careers in business, it must fall somewhere in the middle between competent-looking and attention-grabbing. It is always an option to hire professional resume services. But if you are all about a good shortcut, follow these seven resume-writing tips.

#1 Study relevant job listings for keywords

Job seekers often send their resumes to dozens of companies based on the name of the position, especially if they need a job urgently. While understandable, it is a losing strategy. The title of the posting can be misleading.

To avoid having most of your applications unanswered, study every job listing in detail. In addition to position requirements and conditions, pay attention to keywords. Then try to include the most important ones in your resume. It is essential to make your resume ATS-friendly.

For example, a company that helps students with homework and provides writing help will likely have something along the lines of “order an essay online” or “academic assignments” in its listings. Pay attention to the wording and optimize your resume. Be subtle, though.

#2 Stay away from obvious cliches

An experienced recruiter or hiring manager has probably seen hundreds of thousands of resumes over the years. They know all the buzzwords that candidates like to include and are immune to them.

So unless a candidate wants their resume to look generic or eye-roll-inducing, they should stay away from cliches. Some of the words to avoid are:

  • Generic stuff that any candidate is expected to have or be, such as “hardworking,” “self-motivated,” and so on.
  • Cliches that all hiring managers are tired of seeing, including “good under pressure,” “team player,” and “detail-oriented.”
  • Jargon that a hiring manager might not know (“S.W.A.T. team,” “value added,” and the likes).
  • Skills that almost everyone has, such as “a good command of Microsoft Office.”

#3 Modify the resume for each job opening

While not all of them, most recruiters and hiring managers agree that each resume a candidate sends should be optimized to fit a specific job opening. It not only makes the candidate look better-suited for the job but also proves their commitment.

A resume is successful when it shows that a candidate is qualified for the position. So when studying the job listing, pay attention to what seems to matter the most. For example, if a company keeps saying that it expects strong negotiation skills, add at least one line in your experience that begins with “Negotiated….”

Avoid being too obvious, though. If your list of skills repeats the one featured in the opening basically word for word, it will look fake and underwhelming. Find the right balance.

#4 Include a short resume summary at the beginning

Job seekers tend to confuse a resume summary and resume objective. They are often used interchangeably but are actually two distinct ways to keep the person looking at the resume reading.

The main goal of the resume objective is to convey what the candidate is looking for. It used to be a go-to resume opener but is somewhat old now. Today, most recruiters and hiring managers prefer a resume summary.

The main difference between the two is that, unlike a resume objective, a resume summary conveys what the candidate has to offer. It is a short paragraph (two to four lines long) that comes after the resume title and the candidate’s contact information.

The best resume summaries are concise and specific. Include numbers and statistics that show just how great you are at what you do (for example, your success rate).

#5 Keep it short but not too short

One page has always been and still remains a gold standard for resume length. A rare recruiter is okay with reading a three-page-long resume, especially if it is not for a senior position.

That being said, the one-page rule is getting more flexible these days. Sure, it is still better to stick to it, but if you go over a bit, it is not that big of a deal. What matters more is to make sure that all main keywords from the job opening are in your resume. Otherwise, it might fail ATS scans and not even reach the actual reader.

Still, try not to go over one and a half pages unless you are a senior professional with decades of a relevant and remarkable experience. Find the right balance between being concise and detailed enough.

#6 Make your resume skimmable

Research suggests that recruiters rarely dwell on a resume for too long. In fact, the average time they spend reading one is about eight seconds. Unless something grabs their attention during this time, they will likely move on to the next candidate.

What helps is to make the resume skimmable. This implies having a resume summary at the beginning, using bold font when necessary, and adding subheadings and bullet points throughout. Also, adjust the spacing to prevent the resume from being unreadable.

#7 If possible, include your social media

Sure, no candidate is obliged to include links to their social media profiles if it is not something they feel comfortable doing. Work-life balance and boundaries between professional and personal lives still matter.

But most recruiters recommend including at least your LinkedIn profile and, if possible, Facebook (as long as it is somewhat professional-looking). It is not uncommon for companies to hire seemingly less qualified candidates for their social media presence and a personality match for the position.


Getting your resume right is not that easy of a task, but it is perfectly achievable. The number one tip is to pay attention to the job listing and adjust your resume to show that you are a perfect fit.

Also, respect recruiters’ time and optimize your resume by including a summary and making it skimmable. Finally, avoid overused buzzwords and skills that are no longer considered optional. Good luck!


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