Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » Resume Writing Tips for Career Growth and Advancement

Writing a resume for career growth and advancement requires a different approach than simply writing a resume for a similar position or horizontal move. Showing the employer the tangible benefits you’ve delivered becomes increasingly more important as you position yourself for growth either within your company or outside of it. Here are a few resume tips to help you position yourself for advancement and growth.

Resume Writing Tips for Career Growth and Advancement

Tips for How to Write a Resume for Career Growth or Advancement

1.) Know Where You Want to Go.

Carefully consider where you want your career to go over the next few years. Without a clear vision of what you want to do, you’re not going to be able to successfully communicate that to employers. I suggest you start by asking yourself where you want to be this time next year or in two years or five. You may already know the position you want and the steps you need to take to get there. If so, great! But if you’re not clear on those things here are some questions to help:

Why do you do the work that you do?

What values are the driving force behind your work?

What part of your current work do you enjoy and what are you passionate about?

Answering these questions can help you frame a vision for your future. It will also help you formulate your answers in upcoming interviews when you’re asked why you’re interested in the position or the company.

2.) Use Visuals to Present Results.

You can add testimonials to your resume to incorporate third-party validation of your results. Use a chart to highlight skill areas or industry expertise. Use bar charts to show revenue growth, customer satisfaction score increases or some other type of number-driven data that shows you’ve delivered tangible results. Visuals communicate information faster and more attractively than simple text. Incorporating visuals into your resume help show progression and growth in your career and set you up for advancement.

3.) Write Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems.

When you apply for jobs online, you want to make your application attractive to applicant tracking systems (ATS). Write your resume specifically for the position you’re seeking. Use keywords throughout the resume that are relevant for the position. Especially include them in the Key Competencies or Areas of Expertise sections. Use specific technical skills or job responsibilities as keywords in your resume instead of just general words like “full-time” or “team player.” Make an ATS version of your resume that does not include any graphics, charts, etc. Also, use a .doc file for your online application to preserve formatting, not .docx or PDF.

Additionally, you can use a free word cloud creator online to find which skills are mentioned most in a particular job post. Then use those words as keywords in your resume. By paying close attention to how to optimize your resume for ATS, you can avoid your resume being among the 75% of resumes that are ignored before they ever even make it to a hiring manager’s desk.

4.) Put Your Best Stuff at the Top.

Put your LinkedIn profile URL by your name and contact information at the top of the resume. Update your LinkedIn profile, and make it as strong as possible to show that you’re a solid candidate for the positions you’re applying to.

Avoid objective statements, instead, write a targeted statement with metrics. Those metrics speak to employers about why you’re the right person to hire.

Include industry- and position-specific keywords in a separate section at the top of the resume. Eye-tracking studies have proven that recruiters are paying great attention to this section so what you put here will help position you well for advancement.

5.) Avoid Too Much Fluff.

While it’s important to let the employer know that you’re a team player, you don’t want to overstuff your resume with fluffy descriptions of your soft skills. While these are definitely essential to a position, employers want to know what hard skills you possess. These hard skills also end up being the buzz words employers use when they search applicant tracking systems to pull candidate resumes. Write your resume to reflect what you can actually do on the job, how you can tangibly benefit the employer. Use numbers to help validate the tangible results that you’ve delivered. It’s not very impactful to say you’re “results-driven”; it’s better to state what results you’ve created and to use numbers to quantify those results.

6.) Tell Your Story.

Use the results of your successes on the job to tell employers how you are the right person to hire. Think about some challenges that you have had on the job and how you overcame them. Then consider the results of those actions. First, write down the result of the problem. For example, you might say, “Landed 3 new lucrative accounts worth $1 million.” Then discuss how you reached those results. You could write, “Developed rapport with competitor’s clients, instilling trust and confidence resulting in new contracts worth $1M.” Finally, write what the problem was in the beginning. That might be, “Competitor-led territory where XYZ company had no presence.” Put this information into bullet points to succinctly tell your story on your resume. This helps you avoid writing a long list of adjectives that don’t directly tell an employer how you can help them increase their bottom line.

When you put all the information together, you’re painting a great picture for the employer of how you charged headfirst into competitor territory, developed a great rapport with your competitor’s clients, built trust, instilled confidence in the company’s products, and ultimately won three new contracts worth $1M in new business for your employer.

7.) Create a Modern Resume Design.

The overall design of your resume should be modern and clean, essentially unlike any other resume out there. Avoid using too many capitals, bold, and italics in your text. Stay away from Times New Roman font; it’s overused and not attractive to the eye. For examples of modern resume design check out the resume samples here.

Telling a complete but concise story that shows measurable results is essential to your career progression.

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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. […] May 25, 2018May 25, 2018 By job-search-bot This post was originally published on this […]

  2. Soji Joseph on July 2, 2018 at 5:26 am

    The article is simple and easy to understand. Adding relevant keywords is really important while making resume. So it is always better to update the resume with keywords significant for particular job profile.

  3. hca careers on March 31, 2023 at 4:38 am

    An updated resume is important because it serves as a representation of your professional experience, skills, and achievements. It is often the first impression that potential employers have of you, so having an updated and polished resume can increase your chances of landing your desired job.

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