How To Write A Resume Like A Pro

How To Write A Resume Like A Pro

To write an effective resume, you have to learn how to write powerful but subtle advertising copy about yourself. Sounds hard, but if you follow these simple principles you’ll be writing great advertising copy in no time.

You do not need to hard sell or make any claims that are not absolutely true. You do need to get over your modesty and unwillingness to toot your own horn.

People more often buy the best advertised product than the best product. That is good news if you are willing to learn to create an excellent resume. With a little extra effort, you will usually get a better response from prospective employers than people with better credentials.

Follow these proven A.I.D.A. advertising principles:

    • (A – ATTENTION) – grab the reader’s attention
    • (I – INTEREST) – persuade the employer (or recruiter) you are the best person for the job
    • (MORE INTEREST) – promote your strengths, skills and achievements
    • (D – DESIRE) – closely match your strengths and skills to the job requirements
    • (A – ACTION) –get invited to an interview

The A.I.D.A. advertising principle is commonly attributed to American advertising guru and sales pioneer, E. St. Elmo Lewis. In one of his publications on advertising, Lewis outlines at least three principles to which an advertisement should conform:

“The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader, so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it; then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement.”

Here’s how to write a great resume ‘advertisement’:

1. Stop ‘telling’ and start ‘selling’!

When presenting a resume to a prospective employer, you are essentially selling yourself.

This includes not only selling your qualifications and abilities relevant to the job you are seeking, but also selling your character, personality, and what makes you unique.

Your resume should highlight what your employer will find most important: any top skills and abilities you may possess, your best attributes and characteristics that will contribute to the job, and what makes you unique and best suited for the job.

2. Use key words to match your resume to the job

Make each resume and cover letter ‘job specific’. Identify the key words of the job and then weave those words throughout your resume.

Key words help an employer quickly determine that you are a good match for the job. They make you stand out and get noticed. Whether your resume is scanned by software or visually, employers look for key words that link your capabilities to those required by the job.

Key words are found in the job ad, in job descriptions, on the employer’s website and in industry publications.

3. Give your resume focus … lead with a dynamic personal profile summary

Like the trailer to your movie, the top one-third of your first page is where you write a dynamic Personal Profile about yourself and the benefits you bring to the job (one paragraph).

This consists of several concise statements that highlight the most compelling demonstrations of why an employer should hire you. Then list your key competencies (about 6-8 relevant bullet points) that highlight your greatest strengths and confirm your suitability for the job. (Use key words).

4. Make it rock with action words

Use actions words that convey participation, involvement and accomplishment.

They have a strong impact on the reader. Powerful action words make your resume more distinctive, creating a dynamic picture of your abilities and skills.

5. Include accomplishment statements … what have you done; what can you do?

On any major job board, 95% of all resumes lack accomplishments. These all-important statements allow employers to visualise your contribution to their organisation. Accomplishments motivate employers to call you.

An easy way to approach this is to ask “So what” after each statement and then add facts/achievements/benefits to support it.

6. Always include a cover letter

Your cover letter is a critical companion piece to your resume. It’s your sales pitch. Many employers and recruiters will simply toss your resume if there is no cover letter or it doesn’t immediately pique their interest! You should create a cover letter template that can easily be modified for different job applications.

Each job application must have a tailored cover letter that tells employers why you are the best person for the job. Use your cover letter to write great advertising copy about yourself.

7: Proofread and check

Many recruiters tell us that mistakes on a resume can easily disqualify a candidate.

Your resume is your marketing tool. So, proofread it to perfection to get the job. Print it out to make it easier to proofread.

Check dates of all prior employment. Check your address and phone number – are they still current and correct? Proofread it several times and give it to a friend or colleague to review as well. The same applies to your cover letter.

You may also like:

What Do Employers Look For In Student Resumes
A Modern Resume Template For Students
5 Steps To Writing A Killer Cover Letter


“It’s not about how smart you are – it’s about capturing minds.” Richie Norton



Want to write a resume like a pro?

MyResume is an online resume assessment that provides you with everything they need to write a professional resume, including the right words to use in your resume. Stand out from the crowd. Get invited to the interview. Get ready for your dream job!

About the Author

Nathan Chanesmanis Founder & Chairman of online career assessment company of for student career planning and resume writing.

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