10 Résumé Hacks That Are Proven To Work And 7 That'll Probably Just Send Your Application To The "No" Pile

It's about to be a new year, which means it's the best time of year to be dusting off those résumés and getting ready to take a leap in 2023 with your career. According to Business News Daily, January and February are the best months to look for a job. So, let's avoid getting dumped into the "Thank u, Next" pile and get hired right away!


Résumés seem so simple, but some hacks will actually help you advance to round two in the job application process. If you're tired of applying and feel like you are hitting a dead end, check out some of these hacks that will guarantee you receive a callback.

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1.Bullet Points

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Make sure to use bullet points instead of summaries under work history, education, and skills. Bullet points make it easier for automated systems to decipher if you are right for a job or not. Zip Job recommends bullet points over paragraphs because it's easy to read.


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Sometimes, the same résumés work for similar jobs, but sometimes, candidates must adjust specific keywords just to hear back from employers. Remember, a lot of times, it's an automated system dictating your future before you hear back from a recruiter or HR, so think, what would a "robot" want me to put on a résumé and job application for this specific position?


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A lot of articles recommend tailoring your language when describing your work experience. Resume Worded says your résumé should be "achievement-based," not responsibility-oriented. Instead of stating your job duties, mention what made you stand out in that role.

4.Meaningful File Name

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Stop turning in résumés labeled "Résumé." It's that simple. At least add your last name or the job position you are applying to.

Indeed's employment site recommends candidates keep the file name under 24 characters. A perfect example of a file name for a résumé would be Brenda-Murphy-Resume.docx or AustinStaadt-Resume.pdf.

5.Active Voice

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Though résumés are meant to be short and concise, it's still important to engage your employer to get the job. The way to do so? Active voice. Passive sentences drag out the point instead of getting straight to it and are more difficult to read.

Seek gives examples of what active voice looks like on résumés:

—"Developed a new training manual which was adopted by the entire company.”

—“Established new sales targets to help our company achieve a greater share of the market.”

—"Initiated the development of a sales strategy.”


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Now, stay true to yourself, and make sure you actually understand what you wrote on your résumé, but mix it up a little. Instead of saying "responsible," say "create," "increased," or "developed." It's all about expanding your vocabulary to not sound like every applicant.

Check out Indeed's 195 action verbs to use on your résumé.


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No matter what, before you hit that submit button, make sure to proofread and proofread. Reading out loud will really force you to hear how you sound and can save a job application in a heartbeat.

CNBC Make It reports grammatical and spelling errors are one of the top five mistakes candidates make on their applications.


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Depending on your field of interest, hyperlinks can be an amazing way to showcase your skills. For instance, many people can include the title of an article or piece of work and a link to where to find the entire project or story. It adds value to your résumé by giving employers access to your work.


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Time flies by when you're applying for jobs, and things change often. Whether it's explaining a recent job gap, a new project, or new articles, make sure to keep your résumé updated!


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The great rule of thumb when making a résumé is to use the résumé for the job you are applying to. If you are a graphic designer, your résumé will surely look a lot more creative or vibrant than an accountant's résumé. Or, maybe an accountant's résumé will bring elements that a graphic designer may not necessarily need.

However, in general, contact information should always be first and present. It shouldn't be hard to find your phone number or business email. How the rest of your résumé page looks is subjective. Work experience is the most relevant.

Canva has amazing templates for résumés, cover letters, portfolios, and more.

And here are some things that will definitely not move you on to the next round of the job process.


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Objectives are split down the middle. While some recruiters believe it states the obvious, candidates feel it's a great introduction and explains your goal. If you feel the need to fill some space, the Muse recommends adding a summary or profile information section, skills section, or simply nothing at all.

If you use a summary or profile section, remember not to use first-person. Clearly, the résumé is about you — recruiters don't need a reminder; instead, replace "I" with action verbs that describe you, like your current position and what you do in addition.


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Photos are a complete "NO" because a photo isn't needed if it's not a modeling or acting career. If you feel a photo is important, then a great workaround would be to include your LinkedIn page in a hyperlink.

LinkedIn says, "Résumé standards have changed, but photos on résumés are still rare." Unless it's necessary, photos shouldn't be on résumés.

13.Personal Information

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Maybe adding your address was useful back in the day, but employers don't need to know where you live. A city and state will suffice. Also, never include your age; recruiters shouldn't ask your age. Though there isn't a law advising against it, it could be viewed as evidence of bias.

They'll do the math from your birth year if they really want to know.

14.Over a Page

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Recruiters just don't have the time to read résumés that exceed a page. Play with fonts and formatting if you're having trouble fitting everything on one page. Another rule of thumb is just adding relevant information, whether jobs or education; the extra fluff makes your résumé boring.


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Yahoo's article on the top mistakes hiring managers found that candidates made was lying.

The 2019 article says, "A study by HR firm HireRight found 85% of employers uncovered a lie or misrepresentation on a candidate's resume. That’s up from 66% five years ago."

A survey by Robert Half recruiting surveyed 1,000 workers, finding that "76% of candidates have lied about job experience, 55% have lied about job duties, and 33% have lied about their education."

Most candidates don't realize that it's very easy to find out if you're lying. If you advance to the next round, recruiters will screen based on specific keywords used. So, just stick to your accomplishments and update your information.


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You don't need to add references unless a recruiter requests one. If you're having trouble filling up space on your résumé, consider adding a skills section or a recent projects section; you can always make the text bigger as well.

17.Unprofessional Email Address

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If you don't have a business or professional email address, maybe you should create one now.

Fetcher reported that 85% of recruiters still rely on email addresses as it's proven to be the most effective.

What résumé hacks have you heard?