Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » 10 Resume Writing Tips for 2023

Prepping your resume for a 2023 job search? If you want to make your resume stands out to hiring managers and recruiters, then following these 10 resume writing tips for 2023 will help you get noticed, so you get hired. In this article, I’m sharing my top 10 tips for writing a resume that conveys your accomplishments to employers so they’ll respond — because the current trend of apply + wait + get ghosted is no fun. Let’s dive in.

Resume Writing Tips for 2023

2023 Resume Writing Tip #1: Get Clear On Your Direction

It’s impossible to write a resume that will get interviews if you’re not clear on the industry, companies, and positions you’re targeting. Job seekers often ask me if they can use a general resume, and as much as I would like the answer to be yes because it would make things simpler, the answer is actually a resounding no

Your resume must specifically address the industry or industries you’re targeting and the position(s) you want. Here are five questions to help you get clear before you start writing your resume:

What role am I targeting?

Your resume needs to be geared towards one specific position. Employers want to hire specialists, not generalists. 

What companies am I targeting?

Knowing the company you are targeting helps you narrow down your research and be more specific in your writing. You can speak to the company’s pain points when you’ve researched them and know what they need.

What challenges are they facing?

Write resume bullets that show you’ve faced and overcome similar challenges. Include the results.

What skills are critical to success?

The answer to this question tells you exactly which keywords and hard skills you need to include on your resume. If you don’t know where to look, start by searching for the position on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will give you the top 15 skills/keywords needed for the role.

How do I add value?

Your resume must show how you can add value in a way that means something to the employer. Focus on accomplishments that resonate with your target company and meet their needs.

Once you’re clear, there are two crucial things you must do:

  1. Include the target job title at the top of your resume so there is no question in the recruiter’s mind about which role you want.
  2. Include the industry you’re targeting in your career snapshot/summary section. This can be easily changed as you apply to different industries, but it lets the hiring manager know you’re targeting their industry.

Now let’s talk about how you can stand out to hiring managers.

2023 Resume Writing Tip #2: Uncover Your Personal Brand

When we work with job seekers, we don’t set out to create their personal brand. We work to uncover it. Your personal brand is already there. It’s already part of who you are and the work you complete. All you need to do is look for it. 

The best place to start is by listing what you have in common with your peers. It’s usually easier to identify the similarities. Once that list is complete, make a second one with how you stand out from your peers. What’s different about you from other similarly qualified candidates?

The four foundational pieces of your personal brand

Next, we work on four foundational pieces to your personal brand: vision, values, purpose, and passion. 

Vision: What companies and roles do you want to target?

Values: What are your personal values, and what values are you searching for in your target company?

Purpose: What interests you? What brings you satisfaction and fulfillment in your work?

Passions: What motivates you? What makes you feel alive or like you’re hardly working at all?

Your unique promise of value

What makes you unique? This one is at the top when it comes to finding your personal brand. If you’re not sure, email 10 people you know, and ask them for five words that describe you. Then, compare the words to see what themes emerge. What about your LinkedIn recommendations and past performance reviews? Read through them to identify any themes as well. You’ll start seeing a picture emerge of what makes you different from others in your field.

What’s your promise? Your promise is how you work, why you work, and what you do over and over again no matter where you work. Again, you’re looking for themes carried through each role you’ve held. What do people come to you for? What can you do well no matter who you’re working for? How do you do what you do? Why do you do what you do?

What’s your value? Value is defined by the results and achievements that you deliver. Every position adds value to a company in some way. How is your role evaluated? How is your work reviewed? What makes you compelling? What makes you relevant to your target employers? The answers to these questions are how you define your value.

Once you’ve taken the time to document your vision, values, purpose, passion, and unique promise of value, you have the raw material for your personal brand. Now it’s time to communicate it on your resume. 

Gather career stories

Stories are what give our results and achievements context. That context is what helps us stand out from our competitors. To write a successful career story, you need three things:

  1. You need to share stories specific to the employer’s problems.
  2. You need to share the results. 
  3. You need to go beyond results and share the context of the situation or challenge. 

I use career stories to help my clients stand out from other applicants. Too many resumes have language that could be copied, pasted, and applied to any other job seeker in the same role. If you can take a bullet from your resume and put it on someone else’s resume, it isn’t specific enough to you. 

Here are two examples of branded resume bullets:

  • Launched shared-screen technology to allow designers to make client-facing presentations that better articulate offerings to prospects and help them make informed decisions, cutting designers’ time 20% and reducing customer cost. 
  • Increased projects 35% by estimating client’s budget and price range upfront based on historical data from similar projects, documenting everything, and sharing data with client, also cutting contract length 50%.

In these two bullets, you get the context of the career story. You see the challenge, a comparison, the transformation, or a before/after picture. 

When you set out to write your resume bullets, avoid adjectives and adverbs. They add fluff to your resume and dampen its impact. Trade adjectives for accomplishments. Instead of saying successful at, demonstrated success in, proven track record of, or results-driven, replace it with quantifiable accomplishments. Be specific about how you add value. Make sure what you’re writing can’t be copied and pasted. 

The next piece is choosing the right stories. Look for consistency. You don’t want to be redundant, but you want to show a consistent picture of the value you can deliver. Maybe it’s that everywhere you’ve worked, you’ve cut costs or generated revenue. Show your repeatable achievements — these are part of your personal brand. 

Now that you’ve identified your personal brand and thought about how to convey it through stories, you can choose three different resume formats to show off your credentials. Here’s an overview of each option, as well as the pros and cons to explain when they work best:

2023 Resume Writing Tip #3: Choose the Right Format for You

You can choose three different resume formats to show off your credentials. Here’s an overview of each option and the pros and cons of each:

The Chronological Resume Format

The chronological resume format showcases your work history in chronological order. It’s organized by the dates you worked at your previous roles with a short description of what you did at each one.

Most chronological resumes list your current role or the most recent role at the top and follow with each previous job in reverse chronological order. 

Pros of a chronological resume:

  • Straightforward style
  • Organized paragraphs and visuals
  • Rewards those with impeccable work history

Cons of a chronological resume:

  • Not exciting or modern
  • Doesn’t bode well for job-hoppers or people with large gaps in work history

If you’ve always used a chronological format in the past, you should keep reading to see if another resume format might work better.

The Functional Resume Format 

A functional resume showcases your skills, accomplishments, and career highlights instead of only focusing on when you worked somewhere.

To create a functional resume, you’ll first list your most relevant abilities and achievements as they pertain to the job you’re applying for. This will take up the majority of the page. You’ll get to your job history on a much smaller scale later.

Pros of a functional resume:

  • Spotlights your transferable skills
  • Draws attention to the value you’ll bring a company

Cons of a functional resume:

  • Sends red flags to hiring managers that you’re trying to hide something. Most recruiters assume if you do not include employment dates, there is an issue or reason why.

A Hybrid Resume Format

A hybrid resume format is a healthy mix of chronological and functional resume formats.

This option gives you the best of both worlds: it allows you to showcase the skills and accomplishments you’ve achieved at the top of your resume while also mentioning your chronological work history in the latter part.

Pros of a hybrid resume:

  • Showcases your value, qualifications, and stellar career history

Cons of a hybrid resume:

  • None!

There are a few other steps you can take to ensure your resume gets noticed and captures the attention of whoever reads it, such as:

  1. Make it enticing and visually appealing. Add some white space between sections, use a mix of paragraphs and bullet points, and include visual elements (such as charts or graphs) to help improve your resume’s readability. These are more appealing to the eye than straight walls of text. 
  2. Make sure your resume format reflects your brand. Try adding one color to your resume. Recent studies show that adding one single color to your resume engages the reader and holds their attention for longer — which means they’ll spend more time reading your resume. 

2023 Resume Writing Tip #4: Make the Most Of Your Contact Section

If you’re working with one of our resume templates, the contact section is already set up for you. You’ll notice your name is in larger font, followed by your city, state, and zip code. It’s no longer necessary to include your street address. Most location-based searches that recruiters perform are based on just your city, state, or postal code. 

If you’re not using one of our resume templates, here are a few tips for the contact section:

  1. Put your name in a larger font. Employers’ eyes are drawn there first. 
  2. Follow with your city, state, and zip code. Street address is optional and not required.
  3. Add a link to your LinkedIn profile URL and hyperlink it so all they need to do is click.
  4. Include your email and phone number. 
  5. Add a line to break up the text and separate this section from the remainder of your resume. 

One important inclusion is your LinkedIn profile URL. You want to ensure you include your custom link on your profile because 90% of employers will head to LinkedIn to find out more about you. It’s easier for them if you’ve already included a direct link. Plus, it eliminates the risk of them stumbling onto the profile of someone else whose name is similar to yours. 

Once you’ve added your LinkedIn profile and your contact information, it’s time to move on to the objective/summary section.

2023 Resume Writing Tip #5: Create A Snapshot Instead of a Summary

This section of your resume is critical. Outside of your name, eye-tracking studies show this is the first place an employer’s eyes will scan. This is where important information must go. 

Therefore, you need to start with your target job title. If you’re seeking a project manager role, put Project Manager at the top of the resume. If you’re a tech exec, write Chief Technology Officer or VP of Information Technology. Whatever your target job title is, you want to put that here. 

It immediately communicates to the hiring manager that you are targeting that role. So there’s no chance for them to miss that. They’ll know exactly what position you’ve applied to. 

If you’re targeting a role in an area where you have little to no experience — or if you’re a new grad, changing industries, or moving up — and are concerned that the title will not be accurate, state it like this: 


This clarifies the role you’re targeting but eliminates any confusion about whether you have previously held that role. 

Underneath your target job title, we will add three high-priority keywords. These are keywords that are critical skills for the functioning of this role — ones that you possess and are required. You can find these in the job postings you see online.

Choose three that repeatedly appear in those job postings, and include them underneath the job title. 

Next, you want to develop your personal branding statement. Think about the personal brand work you did from Resume Tip #2, and incorporate what you uncovered into a one-line statement that encapsulates your unique promise of value to your target employer for your target position.

Now, let’s talk about objectives. They’re outdated and unnecessary, so we’ll skip adding outdated statements like “To obtain a position that allows me to use my excellent communication skills and desire for growth to benefit the company.” 

You also want to avoid generic, adjective-heavy summaries that sound like: “Dependable, energetic project manager with 7 years of experience managing projects…”

If it sounds like it could be copied and pasted to someone else’s resume, then skip it altogether. 

Instead, we’re going to develop a career snapshot. It is similar to a summary — but instead, it’s branded, unique to you, and a lot more specific about the value you can deliver. 

Your career snapshot will include 3 – 5 sentences unique to you. You must evaluate each sentence to ensure it can’t be said about any other candidate on the market. 

In your lead-off sentence, you want to make sure you’re using the position title again or an alternate position title (for instance, if the role you’re targeting could have more than one title, you could use a different one here for increased searchability). Eliminate adjectives to make your writing more impactful. Even resume writers get out of hand when it comes to using too many adjectives, so we have to check ourselves. 

Here’s a lead-off sample sentence:

HEALTHCARE OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE, NURSING LEADER, AND CERTIFIED CASE MANAGER who transforms underperforming programs, clinical operations, processes, and teams to unearth $700K+ cost savings.

Here’s another example:

Award-winning client relationship manager who develops trusted relationships in 3 minutes or less. Leverages CRM tools to optimize call plan, set meetings, close 6-figure deals, drive $3 million-dollar revenue growth, and increase market share 30%.

And another example:

Inspiring marketing executive who drives $3 billion-dollar growth through digital transformation, identifying and eliminating $35M operational inefficiencies, and incorporating data into delivery pipelines to save $60M in advertising costs. 

Here’s an example of someone without a direct connection to revenue or cost savings:

Loyal receptionist who supports 1400+ clients annually as first point of contact, managing confidential communications, resulting in increased client satisfaction, repeat visits, and new referrals. 

Alright, now it’s your turn.

Use an action verb to describe what you do.

Add a result that includes high-priority keywords/skills.

State something unique about you — a special recognition, an award, or a compelling quote that is on-brand. 

2023 Resume Writing Tip #6: Noteworthy Accomplishments Get Priority

To help establish your personal brand and also give the employer a preview of some quick wins, add an accomplishments section in the top third of the resume. It’s easy to skim/scan (which hiring managers will do), but it also gives them a look at your unique promise of value.

You want to develop three achievement statements. As you review target job postings, identify three of the top requirements for the role. Based on those requirements, choose three important accomplishments. 

If you’re struggling to think of three off the top of your head, think back on the career stories you gathered from Resume Tip #3. Do you have any career stories, results, or achievements that correlate to the main requirements for your target role?

If so, select the top three and include them in this section. 

Remember that they don’t have to be revenue-based.

Every position adds value in a meaningful way. What were you hired to do? How is your role evaluated? How is your performance assessed? These give you clues to how you can articulate the value that you add. And numbers can come from all kinds of places, not just money.

I teach job seekers to look at comparisons, people, skills, teams, and so much more to find those value-added statements that make your resume stand out and increase your market value. 

Try this free executive resume template. It helps you write your resume much faster and gives you all the guidance you need to write a resume that impresses employers.

2023 Resume Writing Tip #7: Optimize the Skills Section

The skills section is one of my favorites because it’s a great opportunity to fit those all-important keywords. I talk a lot about high-priority keywords, and I want to take a minute to explain what I mean. 

High-priority keywords are the skills that employers require for the role. They’re also the terms recruiters use to find candidates that fit the role they’re looking to fill. These high-priority keywords are based on academic, technical, and professional skills. They are not soft skills, which are typically personality descriptors. 

There’s a big difference because employers don’t use soft skills to search for candidates — they use hard skills. 

Create a high-priority skills and keywords section in the top third of your resume after your career snapshot. You want to include 12-15 keywords that are the most important to your target role. 

You can discover and gather these keywords in a couple of ways. One is to review job postings and highlight skills that the different roles have in common — especially the ones required for the role. 

Another way to find relevant skills is to head to LinkedIn and review job postings. LinkedIn is great about alerting you if you have the required skills for the role, and if you have LinkedIn Premium, there are a whole host of other applicant insights that you can obtain. 

An excellent hack for identifying ten high-priority skills is to use the build a resume feature on LinkedIn. Here are some simple instructions for using the hack. While on LinkedIn, feel free to follow me for more great job search and resume writing hacks.  

2023 Resume Writing Tip #8: Conveying Experience That Shows Value

The work experience section is not where you talk about your responsibilities and duties. This is a pretty common mistake that job seekers make. Instead, include 1 – 2 sentences about the scope of your work; then, dive into how you added value.

Here are some ways you can make your experience section more impactful. 

  • Start with strong verbs. Every single bullet needs to start with an action verb. Here’s a list of over 100 to choose from, and if you don’t like any of the ones in the list, you can use to find alternatives.
  • When and where possible, quantify achievements. Incorporate numbers because they stand out and draw the eye in, ensuring the rest of the bullet gets read. 
  • Write in implied first person. It’s a concise form of writing and the proper format for a resume. Never use pronouns or refer to yourself in the third person. 
  • Be specific. Generalities weaken your resume and personal brand. Anything in your resume that is generic will only take away from you standing out to the employer.
  • Add context to give meaning to what you’re saying. This is also another strategy for personal branding. Context is a part of your personal brand. What was going on at the time? Was the market down? Was the industry hard-hit by COVID? Did you win back a major account or save a profitable relationship from falling apart? These details give context to the accomplishment and make it more powerful.

2023 Resume Writing Tip #9: Use Action-Packed Language

I could write an entire book about action-packed language on resumes. Too many job seekers fall back on passive writing. 

An example: Responsibilities included processing payroll, managing collection accounts, and accounts payable.

This could be written more impactfully by starting with an action verb and adding in some numbers.

  • Processed payroll for 300+ employees. Cut the time needed to process payroll from 5 days to 2 days by switching payroll processors. 
  • Decreased collection accounts 25%. Created new process for detecting potential accounts before they defaulted and worked with customers to secure payment plans that kept accounts up to date.

To write with more action-packed language, start with an action verb. Then, follow it with a result and the context for the result — maybe it was a challenge or situation you faced and you were able to make a change. 

2023 Resume Writing Tip #10: Get Noticed So You’ll Get Hired

All of the previous tips are geared toward doing two things. 

  1. Making your resume discoverable in applicant tracking systems.
  2. Standing out once your resume is in the hiring manager’s hand. 

This last tip will offer you additional strategies for getting your resume noticed so you get interviews and get hired. 

First, a great resume is only half the job search battle. You must also actively connect with employees and hiring managers at your target companies. Thanks to LinkedIn, this is relatively easy. In my popular LinkedIn Unlocked course, I teach job seekers exactly how to find the hiring manager, network with them, and get more interviews. 

A quick way to do this is to look for the hiring team when applying to a job on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will now include a link to the profile of the person who is posting the job or responsible for hiring for the role. If you have LinkedIn Premium, you can send them an InMail message. If you don’t, you can see if you’re a second-degree connection, in which case you can message them. 

I advise that you send them a note after you apply to the role, letting them know you applied and why you believe it’s a good fit. Focus on experience and values, and keep the message short. 

Not every hiring manager will respond. It’s a 20 – 40% response rate, but it sure beats the apply + wait + get ghosted stuff that’s happening all the time in today’s market. 

While doing that, you can also come at your job search from another angle. Head to the company’s LinkedIn page, and check out their People tab to see employees. Look through the list and see if there’s anyone you’re already connected to — a fellow alum or someone else, like a group member with whom you share a connection. Then, request an informational interview.

Do not ask for a job or a referral. Your goal is to gather information and advice. If a referral comes of your conversation, GREAT! But your goal is to gather more information to see if the company/industry/role fits you and to get advice from someone in the industry/company on how they found success. 

You will be surprised how many people are willing to help when you ask for a favor, and once you get to know each other, how many are willing to offer names of others you can speak to or who might give a referral for an open role. I go over this in more detail in LinkedIn Unlocked

One last tip: Find and follow your target company’s page on LinkedIn. Then, engage with what they post — whether that’s an ad, content, or something else. LinkedIn spotlights you as a candidate when you apply to a job if you’re engaged with that company on the site. It alerts the hiring manager that you’re more likely to respond if they reach out to you about a role, which makes you stand out even more as an applicant.

I’ve covered a lot in this 2023 edition of my Resume Writing Tips article — everything from a clear direction and target role to connecting with the hiring manager and sending a follow-up note. Would you like to make your next career move much faster?

Try this free executive resume template. It helps you write your resume much faster and gives you all the guidance you need to write a resume that impresses employers.

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. Michelle Catapang on January 11, 2023 at 1:20 am

    This is legit! Thank you for this content. Well-detailed and quite helpful.

  2. backrooms on July 10, 2023 at 3:21 am

    Examine the list to see whether or not there is someone with whom you already have a relationship. This might be a fellow alum or someone else, such as a member of a group, with whom you already have a connection. After that, you should make a request for an informative interview.

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