6 Ways to Move Your Resume to the Top of the Pile

When applying for a job your resume is the first and sometimes the last thing your potential employer will see. This is why it is pertinent that your resume exemplify all that you want your future employer to know about you. How it’s worded, the grammar you use and the layout of the page are all taken into account when your resume is being reviewed. The biggest benefit of your resume is that it will be the most important information used in the hiring process. In most cases the actual interview is only a confirmation for the employer of your skills and the ultimate question of whether or not they feel that you would be a good fit for their business.


The resume is the one part of your hiring process that is completely controlled. Any mistakes or lost opportunities can only be blamed on the lack of preparation and reviewing that your resume should have received. Be cognizant of the words you choose in your resume and speak in plain English. The actual content you use is more important than your extensive vocabulary. Get to the point and leave the fluff for everyone else’s resume. Remember, the interviewer doesn’t want to spend all day reading resumes. Give them the facts and they will be thankful.

2. No Random Ordering

When adding content to your resume, there needs to be some methodical ordering in each section. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first is chronological and this works best in the education and work experience sections. Put your most recent position or degree first in the list and work backwards. In other sections, especially in a certifications section, put the most relevant and important certifications first and work backwards. Again you want to make it easy for the resume reader to see what you want to highlight. If you save your most important achievement for last then you run the risk of the reader not even getting to that point because the certifications leading up to it are uninteresting.

3. Paper

The paper used for the resume is a small fix to give your resume those extra bonus points. Using a heavier weighted paper and not copy paper will give your resume a more professional feel. However, you should avoid any paper color but white and be realistic about the weight of the paper. You do not want to send poster board weight paper, but find that happy medium between copy paper and poster board. Your local office supply store will have resume paper for you to purchase.

4. Font

Resumes have a certain feel and look that makes it easy for interviewers to quickly glance over multiple resumes. For this reason, you should have a resume that is easy to read and without looking at the words has a good organization to it. To help in this endeavor use a commonly used font that is easy to read. The font is not the place for differentiation; leave that to your content. Times New Roman is always a good bet.

5. Length

Because you are trying to accomplish the goal of easy and organized reading, the length of your sections and the resume as a whole should have limits. As a general rule of thumb, your resume should be at max one page. Keeping information to the point and relevant to the particular job you are applying for will aid in this goal. If you have additional information, add a line at the end of your resume that invites the reader to request more information or detail on any section of the resume they would like.

6. Updating

Keep your resume updated and a constant working file on your computer. If you complete a new certification or attend a particular type of training that you think will be relevant for future applications add it to your resume. This keeps you from having to remember every accomplishment between updating. This along with the one page goal allows you keep the information relevant. If you are 35 and applying for a massage therapist position and need more space on your resume, you can eliminate the work experience you had as a restaurant host in high school.