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6 tips on how to improve your résumé

Q: I recently was told by a hiring manager that my résumé needs to be improved. What does that mean? Why would someone say that? I was given no specific comments.

I don’t know what your résumé looks like, but let me share some tips that address common résumé problems.

1. Different fonts and inconsistent spacing make résumés look sloppy. A résumé with a consistent and legible font is easier to read. Spacing should also be easy to follow.

2. You are not allowed to have typos or spelling errors. Have a few others review your résumé to catch these mistakes. Sometimes we don’t catch our own errors.


3. Your contact info should be readily available at the top of your résumé: your name, address, phone numbers, and maybe a URL for your Linkedin address. Don’t make it tough for a recruiter to track you down!

4. In addition to some of your responsibilities, think about what you accomplished in a past role. An example: Hired 12 Ruby engineers at an average cost per hire of $6K. Or, worked on CRM implementation, saving the company $100,000. Most recruiters like to see metrics on what you have achieved or what you have accomplished.

5. Grammatical errors are unacceptable. Know the difference between there, their, and they’re and to, two, and too.

6. Too dense or too much information. A résumé should be, at most, two to three pages. My résumé is just under three pages and includes lots of white space and font size 10. Remember, a résumé is selected highlights, not every task you have ever completed. Search online using the term “sample résumé” and many sample résumés will be found. It is sometimes helpful to review résumé samples to think about new formats, wording, or how to condense.

Lastly, when you have a final version ready, put it down. Don’t share it. Review it a day or so later with “fresh eyes” and confirm that it is the best version it can be.


Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group in Hopkinton.