16 Main Resume Rules 2018

When was the last time you updated your resume? Can’t remember that? Seems like you need to think about that once again or start thinking about that. But most job seekers even don’t know where to start. What should you do to enhance your chances compared to other candidates OR how to update your resume on the weekly/monthly basis?

We faced too many issues, trying to help job seekers answering the most obvious questions. And based on these answers, we decided to prepare a set of rules for those, who want to win. Such rules are not hard to follow. All you need to do – to read and follow our rules. NO FEAR – this is your chance to get the job, because your resume must be better than other candidates resumes.

Most Common Resume 2018 Rules

#1. Keep it concise. Keep it one page

resume rules 2018

Whatever you do and whenever you write your resume in 2018, keep your resume to a one page

According to the latest polls across the hiring managers, an average time HR spend to scan candidate’s resume is not more than six seconds. If you still believe that hiring manager read each letter in your resume – you are deeply wrong. You MUST catch HR’s attention in any possible way.
There are too many ways on how to do that, but the most simple one – to keep your resume to concise. One page resume is the best format to reach this goal. Why one page is the best option for you? Because you have a great chance to include the most important and worthless information to your resume. Stop doing mistakes, writing a huge (more than 2 pages resume). The only one exception could be – federal resume format.

#2. Grammar/Spelling mistakes

resume 2018 rules

When you feel you have already checked everything, it’s a good idea to scan your resume for grammar and spelling mistakes

When you are writing a resume, you are concentrating on resume content. And this is the right strategy, because you pay attention to what your resume contains. But you even can’t imagine what hiring managers pay attention to! Grammar and spelling mistakes – these are like red flags for hiring managers.

If you have chance, please ask somebody to proofread your resume. Switch the spell-checker on in your MS WORD or any other software you use to write a resume. And after you have your resume already written – proofread it once again.

#3. Past tenses in resume

resume tips 2018

It’s not a good idea to use a past tenses in your 2018 resume

There are some rules you need to follow, when you are writing or updating your resume. But you need to remember that if you are writing about your previous experience – you need to use the past tenses overwriting that. Never write about your past experience in current tense. Keep attention to these details.

#4. Personal Pronouns in your resume

resume suggestions 2018

Don’t use too many personal pronouns in your resume

When a hiring manager read a resume and all the time see “I” or “ME” or “MY” – it’s not the best experience for them. Please, do not do that, because it’s not a story about only YOU. Your resume is kind of marketing document, where you need to sell your achievements and skills. Instead of including too many personal pronouns, it’s better to concentrate on your accomplishments.

#5. Use the proper extension to your file (PDF, DOC, DOCX)

latest resume tips

Use only the most common file extensions to save your resume

When you are coped with your resume, it’s a good time to think about what extension to use for your resume. The best file extension for your resume are docx or pdf. Why? Because each hiring manager has software to open your resume on their computers.
What file extension you should not use for your resume? Try to avoid .txt or .rtf file extensions. If you are going to use them – you will not have chance to use right resume template to attract hiring manager’s attention.

#6. File of your resume

2018 resume rules

Name of your resume file should be written according to the common rules

Seems like you have already coped with your resume and checked if everything is fine, but you haven’t check one and the not less important – name of the file of your resume. Some candidates forget about that. When you finished everything, write the name of the file. How it’s better to name?

FirstName_LastName.docx(pdf)

Why do you need that? Because there are tons of other files on HR’s desktop or repository. You should help them to navigate there or better say – to help them find exactly your resume in all that mess.

#7. Resume format. Which one to use?

resume 2018 format

Do you know what resume 2018 format are you going to choose for your resume?

Whenever you are writing your resume, you need to understand what resume format to choose crafting your resume. Each format of resume has it’s own pros and cons. And before you are going to use exact format of resume, it’s a good time to answer all the question to yourself before you use proper format of resume.

Never do the most common mistake, when you choose your resume after your resume is already written. If you would like read more about all the strengths and weaknesses of each resume format, you can do that following our link (resume 2018 format with docx templates).

#8. Does your resume is easy to read?

latest resume rules

You should follow one main rule – write an easy to read resume!

When you are writing a resume in 2018, it’s a bit different approach to how you wrote your resume in 90’s. You are writing your resume for a hiring manager, because this is the only one person who is going to read your resume. That’s why you need to pay attention to such important detail as – easiness to read.

You can write an outstanding resume and beat all your competitors, BUT your resume is not well-formatted and absolutely hard to understand who you are and how to read your experience. And what is the final result? Hiring manager simply tired to understand or read twice to understand and all your endeavors are in HR’s trash pile. And it’s not a myth, it’s reality.

#9. Use professional resume template

resume templates 2018

There is no reason to create your own resume templates, if we have already did it for you!

Some hiring manager would say to you that resume template is useless if candidate is too good for an announced position. And somehow it’s a truth, but if you would like to understand how it really works, you should not listen to them.

As you remember, hiring manager needs 6 seconds to scan a candidate’s resume. Only six seconds to understand if the candidate is good enough or not! And even you are not so good as other candidates you have some other instruments to attract HR’s attention. Which one’s? Professional resume template – a powerful instrument, which is not only help you to structure all the data, but can help to increase your chances to be selected in a special resume pile. Do not hesitate to use only the latest resume 2018 templates and boost your chances to get a new job!

#10. Follow a chosen resume format

resume rules in 2018

If you have already chose a specific resume format, you need to keep follow write your resume in this format

Even you did not decided yet which resume format you are going to choose, you need to keep your resume consistent. And it’s only because of resume structure reasons, it’s because your resume must be easy to read.

Once you decided how to optimize your resume for a specific resume format, you need to make sure, you are using the one format for the whole resume. It’s not a good idea to mix different resume formats. As an exception, only the combination resume format can be. In other cases, if you decided to use one resume format. You should follow it till the end of your resume.

#11. Provide more details

latest resume rules 2018

Provide more context, when you are writing about your resume experience

When you overwriting your experience or achievements you gained on your previous places of work, it’s a good idea to provide more context. Why do you need to do that? Because hiring manager do not have enough time to investigate how it really was in your case.

For example you used to work at the same company, but in the different cities. And you wrote in your resume two different strings. How HR should understand that you were not fired from a current position and transmitted to another city? Give them a bit more context to understand that!

#12. Number, numbers, numbers..

resume rules for 2018

Hiring managers would like to understand how well you were. Show them some numbers!

The only one thing hiring managers like in your resume the most – Numbers. Because only numbers in your resume could tell them a bit more about how successful you was and results you have reached.

Do you have something to brag in numbers? For example you reached some good results and it’s possible to show this information in numbers. If YES – you need to do that. Because it’s a really the best way on how to measure your income on previous companies.

#13. References in resume

latest resume writing resume

Do not include references to your resume. Nobody need it until you are invited for an interview!

It’s a bit outdated information, if you still thinking about to include such information to your resume or not. Do you still believe any hiring manager will phone to people you left in your resume even before an interview?

Nope. Nobody will do that! Even though, nobody cares, if you have references included to your resume or not. There is one main rule – if after a real interview a hiring manager would ask you to provide some phone numbers to call, only in that case it’s a good idea to share some contacts. In other case – you only waste a space in your resume.

#14. Target your resume

targeted resume 2018

Target your resume for a specific position, if you want to enhance your chances

Whatever you did or whenever you did something or worked in any company – the best way to sell your candidacy is to target your resume. It’s a quite hard and needs more time and involvement into a resume writing process approach, but at the end – you will be impressed.

Any hiring manager is looking the most relevant candidate for announced position. Let’s say – you are not the best one to fit announced position, based on your current resume. BUT what if you can craft your resume and rewrite some achievements and experience in other manner? The way your hiring manager would like to see that? And if you are considering some position at the same time, you need to have two or more targeted resume already written and crafted for each position.

#15. Think about reader

resume tips 2018

Writing your resume, you should remember that you are writing it for a real people, not an ATS

Before you start even writing your resume, you need to understand the main thing – your resume is going to be read by a human. What does it mean for you? It doesn’t mean that you should not think about an ATS and do not optimize your resume with a proper keywords. We’re talking about how you manage spaces, bullets, bold text across your resume.

Why it’s important? Because it’s really easier to read, when you stress more important details and do not pay too much attention to other things. Doing that right way, you help hiring manager to read your resume till the end. And if HR will pay enough attention to your resume, you will have some additional chances to be invited!

#16. Cover Letter

Cover letter 2018

Want to enhance your chances to be considered? Know how to write a winning cover letter!

Some people (most likely the same job seekers as you are) would say to you that to write a Cover letter is useless activity. “Nobody read them”. It’s not right, and such people only losing their chances. Additional chances to be considered and invited for an interview.

We faced such situations, when a some candidates were invited for an interview, only because of an outstanding and creative cover letter. So, do not lose a good chance.

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