The University Network

Writing a Resume That Brings High Salaries

What is the purpose of your resume? Do you write it to get invited to a job interview? Wrong.

You write it to indicate a professional value and let hiring managers see your cost as an expert. If you can sell your skills via a resume, it won’t be a problem to do that at interviews.  

Every word of your resume should cry about your worth for employers to understand you deserve a high salary. But what exactly should you write there and how to do that to succeed?

1) Customize It

You go online and borrow a one-size-fits-it-all format for your resume. What a mistake! You need to customize it as often as running for different positions, demonstrating the significant aspects of each one.

Also, forget about plagiarizing or paraphrasing resumes from others. When you run for an office manager position, show flexibility to recruiters; if you apply for design, creativity is your ace in a sleeve; completed projects mentioned in your resume would help to attract hiring managers if you run for a marketer position, and so on.

Think what in your resume fits a particular position best – and customize it accordingly.

2) Structure It

There’s a resume structure that works best for most recruiters:

  • Put your full name first.
  • Add a professional photo.
  • Mention the city and your phone number. (Don’t write your post address: no one is going to check whether you live there.)
  • The desired job position goes next.
  • Write about your competencies: knowledge, skills, personal qualities, achievements.
  • Tell about a job experience. Start with the latest one.
  • Also, you can mention some additional information in your resume: driving license, courses you’ve finished, languages you know, etc.

It appears that a font, size, and format of your resume matter too. Calibri and Arial (size 10-12) work best, but don’t use charts and make sure your CV is no longer than two pages: one page is okay for graduates looking for their first jobs, but 3-4 pages are too much because most hiring managers will not read them (they simply don’t have time to do that).

Speaking about formats, you might want to save a resume in DOCX. Others might fail to open and some (PDF, for example) don’t allow recruiters to make notes.


3) Use Business English

Though a resume is not a college essay, your every word and writing style matter because they can tell recruiters a lot about your professional background and personality.

What language do you need here?

  • Use common words.
  • Avoid cliches.
  • Don’t be too formal.
  • Write short and clear sentences.
  • Don’t forget to proofread.
  • Edit if necessary.

Business English doesn’t equal long words and hard-to-understand passages. Be concise, sound clear, make a positive impression with your language. As well as formalism, gobbledygook is the last thing you need when applying for well-paid jobs.

4) Demonstrate Qualities and Success

Gone are the days when your resume was nothing but a sheet of paper with cold facts about your education and job experience. To bring you high wages, a CV should tell the story of your success as well as showcase personal qualities that make you a perfect fit for the position.

Do you have achievements? Demonstrate how they relate to this particular job and your personality. Don’t write you are good in sales,but measure your selling success in numbers. For example: “I’ve increased the sales by 25% for 3 months.”

The same goes for qualities. Describe them in a way to demonstrate your personality. Try something like “I’ve developed the marketing strategy for two projects of my department after the team lead had left” rather than “I am a good leader.”

5) Earn Scores

Let’s reveal the secret of every recruiter: they have scores for each section of your resume. The more scores it gets, the stronger chances are you’ll be invited to a job interview. With 5-10 seconds spent on scanning each CV, hiring managers pay most attention to your name, photo, job experience, and education.

With that in mind, do your best to get maximum scores for these sections:

  • Make sure your photo is of a high quality.
  • Pay attention to keywords you use.
  • Remember about the format of your resume: make it easier for a recruiter to scan and find the core information.
  • Your success stories and brands for whom you previously worked matter too.
Anything else?

Having a well-written cover letter is a big plus to your professional resume. Even short, it helps recruiters understand who you are, why you want to work with them, and what you can do for employers.

To get a top-paying job, write a resume that would sell your professionalism and personality, not a mere set of skills you’ve got in college. Imagine your CV is a program interface: is its design and features attractive enough for you to download it? Your resume is your interface for recruiters: demonstrate your worth and make them want to buy you.

RELATED: 12 Rules for Resume Perfection!



Lesley Vos is a tutor and career specialist for college students. She is a content evangelist, sharing experience on writing, education, and self-development to corresponding publications.