Writing a professional resume that stands out from the competition and effectively communicates your value through relevant keywords tied to your industry and profession increases the probability of an interview.

The resume should be front-loaded with relevant accomplishments and strengths that are easy to extract by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and prospective employer. The resume should tell your story in a manner that allows the reader to visualize you working in their organization—based on your value-added contributions. 

For executives, writing a good executive resume that showcases your history of achievements, career progression, key milestones, and passion will strengthen the alignment of your value with the position requirements. If you are an IT Director, writing a good IT Director resume may include communicating your leadership, vision, and long-range planning abilities in terms of how the IT infrastructure supports broader business objectives.

Regardless of the position you are pursuing, be sure to include relevant industry-specific keywords for computer scanning and to help get past the 10-second human review. Below are some free professional resume tips from a career expert.

  • Determine your career focus and use this information as a roadmap for guiding the relevant skills and qualifications that you will use to align with your job target.
  • The objective statement is not as commonly used today as in the past. Try replacing the objective with a compelling qualifications summary. The summary can be stated in 3-4 lines and should provide the reader with a focused overview of how your skills relate to the targeted position. Suggestions for inclusion of quantifiable achievements for this section are specific awards, industry-specific licenses or certifications, or achievements stated in percentage format. 

Personal Branding for Executives:

Sample Qualifications Summary for a Transportation Management Executive:

More than 15 years of experience as a top-performing executive leading end-to-end transportation management, performance–based contracting, bid/proposal analysis, inventory management, P&L, and team development. Forged strategic alliances and steered business development; efforts spurred a 30% upturn in product demand across a 5-state region.
  • Allow possibly 3-5 succinctly written, keyword rich bullets with action oriented verbs per job to showcase your accomplishments as opposed to articulating duties and responsibilities. An assortment of quantifiable achievements should be balanced against your value-added experiences and interspersed throughout the resume. Note: In some cases it may be necessary to extend the bullets beyond 3-5, depending on the amount of relevant information.
  • Percentages are often more effective versus raw numbers in telling your story. Bullets are easier to navigate compared to paragraphs unless it is a job where the announcement requires paragraph style.
  • Consider incorporating a branding statement and/or tagline strategically under your contact section or include the position title under your contact information. Tailor the resume to meet the specific needs of each job you are targeting based on your skill level.

Personal branding statement for a non-profit candidate:

Alliance Building Champion • Program Management Specialist • Fundraising Expert

 Resume Presentation:

  • The presentation and layout should reflect your industry and audience. The format should be easy to navigate and extract key information. There should also be good use of white space throughout the document for breathability.
  • With the ever-evolving transition to Smart phones and handheld devices, format and substance are two primary components for an effective resume; the document should be the embodiment of brevity to maximize the reader’s time and should include industry-specific keywords.
  • Visit our samples page for free tips on how to make your resume stand out. A few professional resume examples have been provided for the following industries or roles: IT Director resume example, executive resume samples, sample healthcare executive resume, business development resume example, entry-level resume example, sales resume example, sample logistics/supply chain resume, as well as other professional resume samples for various industries.

Job trends and employment-industry changes, and the effect these have on resume writing strategies should be carefully considered when crafting your resume. Partnering with a professional resume writing company can provide a valuable benefit in helping you to design a resume that shortens your job search.