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UMGC Career ConnectionTips to Take Your Resume from Good to Great

Ann Martin
By Ann Martin

Anyone can write a good resume, but it takes thought, strategy, and effort to craft a great one.

A successful resume is easy to read, persuasive, error-free, and written with the reader’s needs in mind. It tells a story, highlights relevant skills, experience, and education in a concise and compelling way, and is tailored to the needs of the employment marketplace and the type of position desired.

An essential component of a great resume is good formatting, which creates an organized, easily read, polished document. Good formatting allows both a human reader and an automated applicant tracking system (ATS), which is often used by employers to scan resumes and filter candidates, to quickly gather information from a resume. Disorganized, gimmicky, or overly formatted resumes risk being skipped over by human readers or may cause machines to miss important information or overlook the document completely.

Another component to a great resume is bulleted information in the work history section. Recruiters look for quantified information that substantiates a candidate’s contributions and achievements. Rather than simply listing duties or responsibilities, candidates should focus on how they carried out these duties and what they contributed. By being descriptive and providing appropriate, but concise, context, details, and quantifiable information, candidates can communicate their value to an employer. Performance goals and evaluations can be a great source of inspiration to write effective bullet points that focus on what is essential to the position and evaluate contributions.

For additional information on how to craft a great resume, you can watch the webinar Resumes That Get Results on demand.  Also keep in mind UMGC Career Services is available to help you plan and achieve career success. Set up an appointment with a UMGC Career Advising Specialist.

Ann Martin is a career advising specialist at University of Maryland Global Campus where she has worked for more than five years. She holds a master’s in mental health counseling from Bowie State University. As a mid-life career changer, she feels uniquely qualified to assist adult students in transforming their lives and finding their place in the workforce.