En Route: A Career Blog

Do You Know What Constitutes an Effective Resume?

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: October 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

Most of us know when our resumes need to be refreshed or overhauled completely.

However, do you know that updating your resume isn’t as simple as adding new job duties or removing old material that might date you unnecessarily?

There is a proven method to creating the most effective resume possible, and at ResumeEdge we adhere to these practices and standards. What are they? These rules were compiled with hiring managers and recruiters in mind, learning what they most wanted to see in a resume. After all, these individuals are your audience. Whether your wife, BFF, colleague or family likes your resume, their well-meaning opinions aren’t what will secure an interview.

Our certified team of editors at ResumeEdge adhere to these guidelines, ensuring that every client receives a resume that will go to the top of the stack.


1. Resume Design: Selecting the right design template to showcase your accomplishments based on your industry is important. ResumeEdge offers numerous templates. ResumeEdge editors can advise or select the design template based on your industry and personal preference. Please note: All orders come with one design choice only. Before editing begins, resume design is agreed upon.

2. Page Length: Recruiters and Hiring Managers prefer resumes to be two pages or less. The editor and you will agree on the length of your resume prior to starting the editing process. Please note: All orders come with one page length choice.

3. Qualification (Opening) Summary versus Objective Statement: ResumeEdge uses the best practice of creating Qualification Summaries for their customers versus creating objective statements. Recruiters and Hiring Managers want to see what candidates can bring to their organization in terms of performance rather than simply stating a position they want.

4. Quantify Accomplishments: A resume must have quantified accomplishments not a reiteration of a job description. Example: Increased productivity 58% within three months of hire by retraining staff on latest accounting software. Providing percentages, dollar figures, and timeframes strengthens achievements.

5. Strong Data Prioritization & Organization: The resume needs to be organized in standard sections. Within each section, the data is presented in reverse-chronological order (the last job or school listed first). The information is prioritized based on value to the Recruiter and Hiring Manager. Information pertinent to the targeted position should be showcased first. For example, if Education is the most important qualification it is presented before Work History, rather than last on the document.

6. Non-relevant & Repetitive Data: An effective resume focuses on enhancing your candidacy and avoids repetition and inclusion of non-relevant information. For example, hobbies & interests should only be included if relevant to the job. Personal information (birth dates, marital status etc.) is included in some oversea resumes.

7. Language: Use of business language is critical to the professionalism of a resume. Resumes should avoid the use of personal pronouns (“I’ “my” “we”) and slang at all times.


As you can see, many factors go into a winning resume. Don’t shortchange yourself by believing that a modern resume is simply a listing of your professional and academic background. It’s not.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every month!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

My writer cared about me as an individual. She educated me on why my last resume did not produce the results I desired--in a constructive way. I am very satisfied with all her efforts. She did a terrific job!

— Phillip T.
Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

Resumes Written This Month
Resumes Written Since 1998