20 Tips for Writing a Value-Based Résumé

An effective and powerful résumé communicates the value you bring to potential employers. It must showcase how you can contribute to them, how you can solve their problems, and how you can in a nutshell, meet their organizational needs. While there are no hard and fast rules in writing value-based résumés, there are some guidelines. Here are some time-tested tips. In the end, you’ll have to decide which best serve your résumé and job-search strategy.


  1. Make sure your résumé is free of all spelling, grammatical, or typographical errors.
  2. Keep the résumé as brief as possible without compromising your value messages. 1-2 pages are preferable, but there are exceptions.
  3. Think bottom line. How can you improve a company’s economics?
  4. Think goals. What can you do to further the achievement of the organizational goals?
  5. Then think about ways to exceed expectations. Examples would be making more sales than projected, bringing in more customers than expected, etc. (don’t forget to show #s and $s).
  6. Remember that your résumé is a sales tool. Don’t write a long autobiography!
  7. Carefully choose your words. Make them powerful and compelling. Make sure to include keywords the language of your targeted industry/role.
  8. Make the format reader friendly. Key points should be easy to find and easy to read.
  9. Use strategy opposed to gimmicks. Leaving out dates is a gimmick. Strategically positioning content to have all accountable but most important prevalent works with honesty.
  10. Test-market your résumé before sending it. Ask for feedback from people whose opinions you respect.
  11. Don’t be afraid to blow your horn! Your competition will! Just be truthful and factual!
  12. Show your human side. Capture the emotion behind your background and successes.
  13. Don’t include salary or other information not relevant to your career goal.
  14. Don’t use long paragraphs, as they are difficult to read. Use short paragraphs and bullets.
  15. Separate responsibilities from achievements in the experience section. Responsibilities can be outlined within paragraphs but achievements/successes can be bulleted to stand out. Typically, it’s not what you did but how well you did it that determines hireability.
  16. Know your audience before writing your résumé, and target your résumé to your audience.
  17. Don’t shortchange yourself when describing your past achievements and bottom-line results. These are the main draw to hireability.
  18. Identify, clarify and document your signature talents or brand, such as saving money, adding to sales, improving productivity, or enhancing efficiency. These have high-impact value!
  19. Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager or recruiter. What would he/she want to see on your résumé?
  20. Own your résumé with pride and confidence. It’s your marketing collateral. Learn to articulate its message in networking and interviewing. Transfer your written brand to all job-search activities!

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