How To Edit Your Resume: 8 Steps To Make Your Resume Perfect

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 17, 2021 | Published April 14, 2020

Updated March 17, 2021

Published April 14, 2020

Writing a perfect resume requires meticulous and rigorous editing. To make the best possible impression on an employer, you'll want to learn how to thoroughly edit your resume. In this article, we discuss why it's important to edit your resume, how to properly edit it step by step and also offer a few strategies you can use to make the process more effective.

If you're interested in professional and personalized resume feedback, learn more about Indeed's free and paid resume review services at indeed.com/resumehelp.

Why is it important to edit your resume?

A resume is an advertising and marketing tool that testifies to your career qualifications and potential. If your resume is well-written, well-organized and free from grammatical errors, you'll likely make a good impression on the reader. A resume that stands out from the competition increases your chances of being called in for a face-to-face interview.

Related: How To Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

How to edit resumes

Here are some of the most important things to be aware of when editing your resume:

1. Check your resume for typos and grammatical errors

A resume free of typos and grammatical errors indicates your attention to detail, so scrutinize your resume for accuracy before sending it in. To catch errors when editing your resume, use spell-checking and grammar-checking software. Then, print out the document and read through the hard copy, as spelling and grammar tools are not always intuitive and can miss errors.

Related: Writing a Resume With No Experience

2. Check for formatting issues

Make sure that the format of your resume is suitable for your background and industry. Scan your resume to make sure spacing is consistent, margins and indents are aligned perfectly and sections have page breaks in the right place. If you're writing your own resume or using a resume builder, download and print it out to ensure consistency between print and screen, as hiring managers often view applications in both formats.

Your choice of font is also important. Choose a font that makes your words easy to read. Simple, clean fonts such as Verdana or Arial guarantee the readability of your text. More ornate fonts, such as Chiller, Roman or Informal, may give your resume more personality but could render it unreadable by viewers and automated scanners. Choose a font that makes your resume look professional. Stick with one choice (such as Verdana) and a couple of styles for variety.

The correct font size is also important. The resume font size should be between 10 to 12 points. If you want to reduce the white space, choose a 12-point font. If you have plenty of information on your page, start with a 10-point font and increase it if there's still space.

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Tips and Examples)

3. Check your resume's keywords

Jargon changes quickly in nearly every industry] and so do the terms hiring managers, recruiters and applicant tracking system look for while scanning through your resume. To make sure you have all the necessary keywords listed, take a look at some job descriptions posted in your industry, then read through your resume's skills and experience section. Add them to your resume if they are missing.

Related: Words To Avoid and Include on a Resume

4. Make sure your resume is tailored to the job description

To make your resume a good match for the job you're applying for, it's important to tailor it based on the requirements and wants of the employer for the position. For instance, suppose that you have had working experience in both accounting and finance, but you are currently applying for a job that is strictly accounting. You will appear to be a better fit and make a stronger impression if you prioritize your accounting-related accomplishments over your finance experience.

5. Check for missing information

Check your resume for missing information such as dates for work history and education, or city of employment. Also, make sure that your resume has the basics like title, location, company and a short description of job duties. For education, you don't have to include a description of the degree or program is self-explanatory. If your resume is less than one page, include optional sections such as volunteer positions, hobbies and internships.

Including quantitative metrics in your resume is a beneficial way to show the hiring manager how you will help the company based on a track record of measurable impacts. For instance, instead of saying something general like "Increased sales through the use of social marketing techniques," you could say "Increased sales by 50% in one month with social media advertising."

6. Check for weak and passive verbs

Make sure to revise weak and passive verbs in your resume, which can make your resume less engaging. Instead, use powerful action verbs. Actions words are specific and clarify your contributions. They also give a confident tone, especially in the accomplishments section.

For example, instead of saying "Conducted weekly status meetings to share customer updates," you could say "Spearheaded weekly status meetings to communicate the revenue growth of the company" to make your statement stronger and more detailed.

To make your statement more impactful, you can combine action verbs with quantifiable results. This allows you to show both what you did and its result. For instance, "Leveraged user feedback in program improvements, resulting in a 40% increase in customer satisfaction ratings."

Here are a few action verbs to give your resume an edge:

  • Achieved

  • Supervised

  • Surpassed

  • Exceeded

  • Steered

  • Sharpened

  • Accelerated

  • Expanded

  • Instituted

  • Performed

  • Trained

  • Conveyed

  • Conceptualized

  • Drafted

  • Visualized

  • Designed

Related: 195 Action Verbs To Make Your Resume Stand Out

7. List your most relevant and impressive achievements first

Make sure to list your most outstanding accomplishments first on your resume in the appropriate sections. This helps you make a great first impression as soon as the employer or hiring manager begins reading your resume.

Related: Listing Accomplishments on Your Resume (With Examples)

8. Check your resume's objective statement

Hiring managers do read the objective statement of your resume, but they may skip vague statements like, "Seeking a position at a leading organization that offers professional growth." Give hiring managers something specific and something that focuses on their requirements. Here's a good example of a resume objective statement:

"To secure a challenging entry-level marketing position that allows me to use my experience and skills in fund-raising for non-profit organizations."

Related: Resume Objective Writing Guide (With Examples and Tips)

Tips for proofreading your resume

Once you have checked your resume for spelling and grammatical errors, formatting issues, keywords and missing information, review the entire resume again and proofread to make sure you are showing yourself in the best or most positive way possible. Here are a few strategies you can use when proofreading your resume:

Related: 27 Proofreading Tips That Will Improve Your Resume

Read your resume out loud

Reading your resume out loud allows you to better articulate the ideas and sentences you are trying to get across. It also helps you catch errors, typos and sentence fragments quickly.

Ask someone else to read your resume

Ask someone — preferably a friend or family member who writes for a living or studied English in college — to check your resume for missing punctuation, contextual spelling mistakes and formatting inconsistencies. You may also ask someone who doesn't work in your industry to read your resume for a few minutes.

Then, take your resume away and ask that person to tell you what type of position you are applying for and why you are eligible for such a role. If they fail to answer your question easily and quickly, it indicates that your resume needs some more editing to effectively communicate your qualifications and career goals.

Rest and read your resume again the next day

Getting some rest helps clear your head. If you just spent the entire day writing your resume, take a break, get some sleep and get back to it tomorrow. Better yet, do this a few days in a row and you can review your resume a couple of times with a clear mind before sending your application.

Hire a professional

There are plenty of resume review services that you can find online. Professional resume reviewers are well-versed about certain industry best practices and they can incorporate these into your resume. They can provide objective feedback and tips to make the content more impactful. They will also tell you how an applicant tracking software reads your resume so you know if it explains your skills and career goals effectively and if it passes this initial electronic review.

Read the text backward

Take the time to read your resume out loud from the bottom to the top. Reading your resume backward and line by line forces you to slow down and pay close attention to each word, sentence and phrase. It also prompts you to think differently about what you're reading and even helps you catch unclear thoughts and sentence fragments in a more precise way.

Print it out and read

Print out your resume and read through the hard copy. It's easier to catch errors in physical copies. To help you concentrate on just one line of text, get a ruler and place it under the first line of your resume. If there are no errors in that line, move the ruler down to reveal the next line and carefully review that line. Continue edging the ruler down until you have reviewed each line.

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