When a person is just getting started in a business, writing an impressive resume can seem like a daunting task. A good resume is only a page long, and it should be easy to scan. Yet, it also needs to pack a lot of impressive information about a person into that small space. Resumes are important tools that tell other businesspeople and the general public what a person does best.

Word choice is key when it comes to resumes. Experts advise using action verbs. Active voice is much preferred to passive voice when it comes to a resume. It’s also key to use numbers wherever possible. Think of it this way: people making hiring decisions want evidence to back their choice up. 

A candidate who tells them exactly how much they drove profits up will be much preferred to someone who’s vague. Some hiring professionals will prefer dollar amounts, and others will want percentages. Try not to worry about that too much. The important thing is to quantify accomplishments where possible.

There are some words and phrases that have fallen out of favor when it comes to resume writing. Currently, most people don’t want to see the phrase hard-working on a CV. The idea is that good candidates should know to work smarter and that the amount of effort doesn’t necessarily impact the outcome. 

Another once-standard phrase that’s now considered past involves references. It used to be normal to add “references available upon request” to the bottom of a resume. Today, some hiring managers are annoyed by that. They feel empowered to ask for references whether or not the candidate can supply them. An additional faux-pas is including proficiency in MS Office. Although many job descriptions include this requirement, HR pros assume all applicants can use Office. Specifying that makes a candidate look like an outsider.

It’s important to submit resumes for desirable jobs quickly, but that doesn’t mean it’s prudent to hit send without editing first. One trick is to read the resume from the bottom up. That can make it easier for the eye to catch errors. If possible, sleep on it. Looking at a resume with fresh eyes is a wonderful way to find mistakes. Finally, always use spell check.