Get Hired! Easy Ways to Bring Your Resume from Dull to Dazzling

Increase your chance of landing the job with these resume best practices

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Whether your job hunting or not, it’s always a good idea to update your resume and keep it in tip-top shape. You never know when a great opportunity presents itself and you want to be ready to grab hold of it!

Having an updated eye-catching resume to showcase your talents and skills will help you to earn more money over the long run, and that’s why I’m excited to introduce these easy-to-implement tips to take your resume from dull to dazzling, written by Amanda Sims, owner of Wanderlust, Naturally.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Use a Template

Sure, you could sit there and argue with Microsoft Word all day long to try and get your formatting correct. Or you could use a sight like Canva, Stencil, DesignBold, Snappa or Fotor, all of which have pre-made templates that are both eye-catching and professional. The best part? This doesn’t have to cost you money. While some of the templates may not be free, a substantial number of them don’t cost a dime.

Set Up Your Header

You want the first thing that a recruiter sees to be your name and contact information, which should include your address, phone number, email address and web site if you have one. Depending on which template you chose, you can also substitute your current occupation and reserve the contact information for a sidebar.

Job History

List each position you’ve had, the location of that job, and the time frame that you worked there. These should be in chronological order, starting with the most recent position.

If you have a lot of work experience, consider writing your list of jobs and what you did at those jobs in a separate document. You’re going to want at least three bullet points that state your responsibilities in those jobs. Aim to list descriptive duties for at least the first three jobs, but keep in mind that your resume should be no longer and no shorter than one full page. If you need to fill up space, you can expand on the descriptions and key contributions of each position. On the other hand, if you don’t have much work experience, you can talk more about volunteer experiences and what you did at those particular opportunities to add bulk to your resume.

Language is Your Secret Weapon

To write about your job duties, start each bullet point with an action word—and not just any action word. You want a juicy, attention captivating action word. For instance, “orchestrated” is a far more impressive word than “led.”

If you need help coming up with strong action words, you can visit sites like this article from The Muse to inspire you. And if you’re not the best with words, I highly suggest free writing. Open up a blank page or a notebook and let your mind just flow. Write down everything and anything that bubbles up in your brain. Try and focus in on that specific job. If you were a waitress, for instance, you can sell the skills you obtained by stating that you work well with others, perform well under pressure, or delegate tasks easily.

No matter what the job was, I guarantee that you garnered a skill from that position that could help you in future jobs. Figure out what those were and put them down on paper.

resume samples

Side Bar

A new theme for resumes is using a sidebar that includes quick information about you, such as education, skills, certifications, awards and/or social media profiles. In terms of education, GPA really isn’t that important, but if you received honors or earned above a 3.6 GPA, you want to include that along with your graduation date, if you’re a recent graduate.

Print Before You Send

Since you’re designing this online, make sure to print out your resume so you can see it the same way a recruiter will before you send it. This can help prevent errors like spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as helping you catch potential problems like inconsistent formatting.

Now, get out there and update your resume. Good luck on your job hunt!


Amanda Sims is a freelance writer, editor, and social media strategist. She focuses in on travel writing when it involves nature, wildlife, and preserving the environment. In the past, she wrote and edited for horse based companies Parelli Natural Horsemanship and Quarter Horse News. Now, you can follow her travels at

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