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Resumes that Get Noticed: 5 Golden Rules for Writing an Impressive CV

July 18, 2023

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As a Senior Technical Recruiter with years of experience screening thousands of resumes, I have witnessed firsthand the power of a well-crafted CV in capturing the attention of hiring managers. In this article, I will share 5 golden rules that can help you write an impressive resume that stands out from the crowd.

One issue with resume tips is that most of them are subjective. However, there are some proven, foundational principles we all should follow. Check out some practical resume writing tips you can use to stand out when applying for a job post.

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1. Integrate Your LinkedIn and GitHub Profiles 

In today's digital era, it's essential to showcase your online presence and professional network. Integrating your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles with your resume allows recruiters and hiring managers to gain a comprehensive understanding of your skills, experience, and projects. Include the links to your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles along with your contact details, such as email and phone number. This integration demonstrates your technological proficiency and enables potential employers to explore your qualifications further.
>>> Resumes with a LinkedIn profile see higher interview rates, but only 48% of resumes included a LK profile. 

Callback rates for LinkedIn profiles on resumes (source: CultivatedCulture)

2. Craft a Short Description of Yourself 

Start your resume with a brief description of yourself, summarizing your experience and expertise in software development. In a few sentences, highlight your key skills, relevant keywords, and soft skills that are important for the position you're applying for. Soft skills such as effective communication, problem-solving, and teamwork are highly valued in the software development industry. Including them in your description can give potential employers a glimpse of your well-rounded capabilities.

Average resume match rates for skills (source: CultivatedCulture)

Keywords and skills are a primary factor in success when it comes to applying for jobs online. However, most job seekers don't do a good job of including relevant hard skills, soft skills, and other keywords into their resume. To gain a leg up on the competition, job seekers can use a tool like to better understand the skills and keywords they should be including in order to increase their chances of getting a call back for an interview.

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3. Keep the Length Concise 

When it comes to resumes, brevity is crucial. To maintain the reader's interest and ensure that your resume is thoroughly reviewed, aim to keep it between 475-600 words in length. When describing your professional experience, include the position title, company name, field of the project, duration, main responsibilities, and the technical stack you utilized. Focus on the most relevant and impactful experiences, emphasizing achievements and results. Using bullet points instead of lengthy paragraphs can help you present information more concisely and effectively.

Ideal length for resumes (source: CultivatedCulture)

Unless you're a C-Level exec or a federal employee, keeping your resume in the ballpark of 475 – 600 words should boost your interview chances for two reasons. First, the TalentWorks data suggests that this range is the sweet spot for what hiring managers and recruiters want to see. Second, 77% of your competition is either under or over indexing, creating the opportunity to give yourself an advantage.

There are many easy ways to track your resume's word count. You can use the Word Count data from a ResyMatch scan. You can use the Word Count tool in your word processor (e.g. Microsoft Word, Google Docs). Finally, you can use an online word counter tool like WordCounter.

4. Include Measurable Results and Avoid Buzzwords

Quantifying your accomplishments and avoiding buzzwords can make your resume more impactful and credible. Instead of using generic phrases, employ the X-Y-Z Resume bullet point formula: Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y], by doing [Z]. For example, "Increased website traffic by 30% through the implementation of SEO strategies." This formula allows you to provide concrete evidence of your achievements and the value you can bring to potential employers.
Our mantra for resumes is that your writing should always be selling your experience, not summarizing it. Concision is at the core of great persuasive writing – the shorter and simpler your sentences, the easier it is to convey your value.

Buzzwords, fluff, and cliches are unnecessary and take away from your message, but the vast majority of resumes include them. If you take a few extra minutes to remove them from your bullets and focus on writing in the style / format mentioned earlier in this post, your value will be clear and you will stand out from the crowd!

5. Highlight Skills and Education

In the skills section, focus on showcasing your top skills that you are proficient in. Tailor the list to align with the job requirements and emphasize the technologies and tools you are most experienced with. This will demonstrate your expertise in relevant areas and enhance your chances of being selected for an interview. In the education section, include your academic qualifications, but also mention any certifications or courses you have completed that are relevant to the position. This demonstrates your commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

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Summing up

In conclusion, mastering the art of resume writing is crucial for making a lasting impression on potential employers. I have had the privilege of screening numerous resumes and identifying the key elements that make a CV truly impressive. By integrating your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles, providing a concise self-description with relevant keywords, keeping your resume within the optimal length, showcasing measurable results, and emphasizing your top skills and education, you can create a standout CV that grabs the attention of recruiters.
Remember, your resume is your ticket to opening doors and securing opportunities. By following these golden rules, you are on your way to crafting a remarkable CV that will set you apart from the competition and increase your chances of landing your dream job. Good luck on your job search journey!

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