Resumes & Cover Letters

4 Best Resume Practices to Start Using Right Now

Written by Kate Lopaze

If your resume is a snapshot of your career, what should it look like in 2019? What are the best resume tips in 2019? As workplaces and career opportunities change all the time in this digital age, so do the tools. There are plenty of standard resume tips and resume best practices out there. Here are some of the best resume tips to get you ready to compete. (Sorry, no hologram resumes…yet.)

Best Resume Practice Tip 1: Be creative, but concise

The average recruiter or hiring manager looks at a new resume for 5 to 7 seconds before moving on to the next. That means you have to make an impression fast, and it needs to be a good one if you hope to get an interview.

No one wants to see a solid block of text that looks like a page in a book. A resume laid out clearly, with easily read segments of information, will be a welcome sight. You want the reader to see you and your accomplishments, not a novel. Imagine that you’re using a more formal version of Twitter, and try to keep bullet points under a certain length.

Another way to save space: don’t bother with an “objective” statement. The hiring manager at ABC Financial already knows you’re seeking a position in a large financial company, trust me.


Best Resume Practice Tip 2: Make it action-packed

It used to be common in resumes to list areas of responsibility: I was responsible for auditing quarterly reports. I was responsible for managing interns. Instead, in this at-a-glance world, be bold and make active statements about your past jobs. I audited results quarterly. I managed 6 interns. It shows assertiveness, and it’s just plain clearer. The reader knows right away what you’re trying to convey.

And whenever possible, make sure you’re including concrete information. I managed a team that generated more than $400,000 in revenue in 2014 is better than I was responsible for a revenue-generating team.

Best Resume Practice Tip 3: Make a visual statement

Consider using a video resume to show your stuff. This doesn’t mean you should dust off your old audition video for The Bachelor or your short film from freshman Film Studies, but rather create a (short) video statement that showcases you and your qualifications for this job. If you do choose a video resume, it absolutely must be relevant to the job you’re seeking. It would be embarrassing (and probably unsuccessful) to send a video that talks about your passion for hockey when you’re applying for a job with the NFL, no?

If you stick with good old print (a classic for a reason!), you can still make an eye-catching statement. We all have access to great text design tools online these days, so don’t be afraid to use visual elements like text boxes or even a small chart or infographic, if your resume includes concrete numbers or statistics.

Best Resume Practice Tip 4: Don’t forget the basics

And finally, remember that some things never go out of style—like good writing and a close proofread. Viral fame will no doubt also be in play, and you probably don’t want to be the person whose unintentionally hilarious resume gets passed around under the link, “Check out this guy!” Clean, clear, and creative will be the way to go.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.