Top Resume Optimization Tips in 2020

How to Optimize Your Resume 

Your resume needs to make a good first impression, and fast.

Most companies have integrated applicant tracking systems (ATS)—these systems are meant to identify “weak” or “unqualified” resumes before they reach the employers desk.

Even after your resume make it through the ATS, hiring managers usually spend 30 seconds or less reviewing resumes. With this short time frame, it is important that you highlight the skills you can bring to a job quickly and clearly.Beat the ATS

Fear not! Below you will find the recipe to ensure that your resume not only gets past the ATS and into the hands of human hiring managers but also grasp their understanding of what your unique value can bring to a company or organization.

Customize your Resumes

    • Know your audience
      • Target each resume for each job and employer. Identify specific skills required in the job description and match them with your skills.
    • Choose the right font
      • Use a professional-looking fontChoosing the Right Font Essential
      • Use a font that will be easy for a machine and employers to read
      • Keep font size above 11 and try not to go any bigger than 14 except for headers
    • Simplify your resume
      • Divide your resume into clear sections
      • You may be the perfect candidate for the position you are applying for, however, if your information is not easy to sort through, it will not be noticed and will be tossed aside.
      • Simple formatting, to-the point sentences and bullet points
      • This will allow employers to identify and match qualifications easier
    • No mistakes
      • Proof-read your resume. Poor grammar, misspellings and incorrect information are candidacy killers.

How long should a resume be?

Traditionally, resumes were supposed to be one page, no exceptions. Whether you’re a fresh college grad or a seasoned CEO, you were expected to limit your resume to one page. Moreover, you will probably need two pages to include all the relevant keywords ATS is scanning for.

Below you will find a simple format that you can use to create a professional resume.

Resume format

Contact Information

    • Start with your name- short and simple. Use your preferred first and last name as opposed to listing your full name.
    • Email, location in which you are interested, and preferred phone number should be equally short and simple
    • Social media—If haven’t done so, create a LinkedIn and use the information to reinforce your expertise
    • The top of your resume might look like:

First Name Last Name

City, State


LinkedIn URL

 Resume Headline

    • Located at the top of your resume, under contact information
    • A brief phrase that highlights your value as a candidate
    • This allows you to condense your skills and work experience into a brief phrase that will quickly impress the hiring manager.
    • Support your headline with three-part value statements


Analyze your most outstanding and relevant accomplishment using STAR story. Do not tell the whole story in your resume, only list the results so hiring managers will want to interview you.

    • Example: Increased sales by 24%, installed a new ordering system


The skills section may sound easy- you pretty much just list all the things that you are able to do particularly well. Everyone knows what they are good at, right? Not quite…

    • Pay attention to job listings and adjust your skills to better match the listing you are applying to.
      • If the role is technical, weigh your skill section towards your applicable hard skills (computer programming and mechanical engineering)
    • Your skills section is the best place to make sure you match your keywords with the keywords required by the ATS.
    • Where to place the skill section in your resume is also important. Please refer to the image Resume Skills


  • Work experience should be listed in reverse chronological order
    • Begin with the current or most recent position and work your way backward to the earliest job
  • Include your job title, the company’s name and dates worked.
  • Add up to 5 bullet points that summarize your achievements there.
  • Tailor your work experience section to the job opening—focus on your most relevant responsibilities and duties


  • Education should also be listed in reverse chronological order
  • Begin with current or most recent education
  • Include the title of achievement earned, name of the school and the dates that you attended

Key Points

Check List

      •  Your resume reaching an employer’s desk is tougher than ever
        •  The solution to this is to balance the content and aesthetic appeal of your resume to delight both ATS scan and hiring managers
    •  The look of your resume matters
  •  Good organization makes it easier for ATS and hiring manager to quickly locate relevant information
      • Use professional fonts
      • Resume length should be two pages max.
    • Keep your information relevant and tailored to the job post.
      • Get to the point quickly
      • Make your resume easy to read and make it obvious that you are the right candidate for each job
    • Maximize your resumes skill section
      • Match your skills exactly to the job description


Learning how to make your resume stand out is more complicated than its everYOU'RE HIRED been. Resumes must impress a computer and the hiring manager. However, with the right tools, techniques and resources you can give yourselves the best chance of landing that dream job!

Good luck with your job search!