Tips for Resume Writing from Google

Rebecca, a recruiter at Google, and Kendall, a software engineer, are sharing general resume tips, and specific advice for business resumes and engineering and technical resumes.

This 8 minutes video contains a lot of tips on how to write a resume. By the way, if you are not sure what is the difference between as CV and a resume, please check out our previous post 'resume versus cv, what is the difference'.



  • Author Nicole C
  • Category Resume Advice
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Automated tracking systems can reject your resume before it even reaches a real person

Organisations and recruitment agencies are becoming more reliant on technology, with many opting to use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to automate the recruitment process and get the best employee for their needs. According to a <a href="">recent article in PC World</a>, as much as 75% of talent management is now reliant on ATS technology.

An ATS scans for certain keywords and compliance requirements and will accept or reject applications accordingly. Your resume doesn’t only need to showcase your skills and experience, it must match the electronically programmed criteria to avoid being put on the reject pile. 

You may well be considered the perfect candidate for the job if a real person was reading your resume, but even one minor mistake can have you rejected by a piece of software. 

What can you do to avoid rejection?

The basic requirements of a good resume are an accurate and concise summary of your skills, employment history, experience, qualities, achievements and references. But resumes specifically tailored to relate to the selection criteria and addressing all employer requirements as stipulated in the job ad and position description will really stand out. Be sure to think like both an ATS and a human and include all relevant job-specific keywords throughout your document. 

It's also important to choose a resume design that is suited to the position. The layout of your resume should be well structured, with fonts, dates, titles etc consistently formatted and relevant to the company and job title you're applying to. If you're looking for a technical position in an established firm, then a standard two-page CV format with serif font may be expected. If you're applying for a more modern role within a digital marketing start-up, for instance, a colourful, eye-catching one-page resume with sans-serif font might be best. Spelling mistakes can also be costly, so be sure to edit thoroughly and ideally have someone else check before sending. Follow any directions and submit your resume and cover letter in the requested file format, whether Rich Text or PDF. 

Investing in professional help

Your resume is your best chance at landing an interview. It's where you get to highlight your unique ‘fit’ for the advertised position and stand out above the crowd.

This is one of the most important documents you will ever create, which is why many applicants now consider it a worthwhile investment to get a professional resume writing service to help put together a resume that tells their story, communicates their history, reveals their accomplishments and makes it more likely to progress to the interview stage.

  • Author Nicole C
  • Category ATSResume AdviceResume Content
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3 big red flags recruiters watch out for

A recruiter’s job is not just to match the best available candidate for the position, but also to minimise potential risks for the company. They are trained to watch out for red flags throughout the recruitment process. If you’re on the hunt for your next role, make sure you avoid these red flags at all costs. 

1. Your resume doesn’t match the job requirements

When a job description is created by a company, it almost always includes a list of requirements desired by the person to fill the position. This may include having a minimum number of years in the industry or having experience using a particular CRM software. From a recruiter’s perspective, they will only bring in candidates for an interview that match most of the requirements, if not all. When reviewing a job posting that you want to apply for, make sure you include details of how you fulfil each requirement in both your resume and cover letter. 

2. Your online presence does not match your resume

Remember that recruiters are like the company’s FBI agent. A big part of their role is to investigate the candidate’s professional background and check that it is consistent offline and online. Make sure that your online presence, like on LinkedIn and social media, is consistent with your resume. Want to improve your LinkedIn profile? Read four hacks for improving your Linkedin summary.

3. Unexplained or inconsistent gaps in your career

You want to make your resume and CV as seamless as possible, and this means making sure your timeline is correct and accounted for. A recruiter wants to know that you were working consistently with minimal gaps in your career. Of course, they will understand that we all take time off work once in a while like taking a gap year after graduating or a career break after being in the industry for a few years. But always make sure you address these gaps with a small note that states why you took time off work. Don't keep them guessing. 

As you delve into the recruitment process, do your best to avoid making these three red flag mistakes. Don’t give a reason for the recruiter to dismiss your application.

  • Author Nicole C
  • Category Resume Advice
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Judging A Book By Its Cover


Tips for Selling Your Own Story

No matter how many times your mom told you not to judge a book by its cover, it’s still one of life’s inevitable occurrences. Luckily, by thinking of a hiring manager as someone browsing a bookstore, you can make a great impression with three easy strategies. 


Grab their attention.

Once a hiring manager has found the right “genre,” in this case a pool of qualified applicants, they’ll start perusing the shelves for something that looks interesting. Think of your resume as your professional dust jacket. It doesn’t matter how great your story is if no one ever picks it up. In a sea of Times New Roman and Helvetica, a well-designed resume is an easy way to set yourself apart and make recruiters want to pull your book off the shelf. Plus, an excellent design can speak volumes about your personality, organization skills and taste before a recruiter ever reads a word.


Get to the point.

The text of your resume functions as the blurb, and nothing is more frustrating than flipping a book over only to find that you still have no idea what the story is about. Be sure to include as much detailed information about yourself as concisely as possible. Talk about your experiences and the direct results of your actions. Being able to quantify your skills will help hiring mangers determine if your return on investment is more valuable than that of the next person.


Give them a reason to believe.

Finally, include an “about the author” section — or in this case, a cover letter. Just as every book has an author bio, so should every job application include a cover letter. This is your chance to tell employers why you would be a good fit and to frame your experience within the context of their company. And don’t be too humble to include a “praise for” section, either. Just as you’re more likely to pick up a book with a quote from the New York Times, recruiters are much more likely to respond to someone who mentions that they have been referred by an employee or an acquaintance than to take a chance on a complete stranger.


Don’t be daunted by the thought of limiting your story to one or two pages. With a little bit of creativity, you can take that simple piece of paper and turn it into a ticket for an interview. X
  • Author Dat Le
  • Category Career AdviceFirst ImpressionGet The JobInterview TipsJob AdviceLife LessonResume AdviceResume ContentResume Tips
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Six seconds to impress

Six seconds. Yes, that is how long it takes a recruiter to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job. Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes a week for each job they advertise. You only have a small window of opportunity to impress them with your resume writing skills.

But according to a number of top recruiting agencies, 75% of applicants are not qualified for the job they apply for. A recruiter, therefore, will spend valuable time sifting through each resume in search of a job skill match.

It is vital that you put in extra effort to ensure your professional resume is not one of those which ends up in the recycle bin.

So how do you do this? These tried and tested techniques will help you stand out from the crowd.

Apply for the right job 

Many people do not read the job advertisement or contact the inquiries officer. A simple phone call will ensure you know exactly what the job is so your professional resume and LinkedIn summary can be tailored appropriately. 

Keep it short

When it comes to resume design, the ideal length for a professional resume and cover letter is two pages. Recruiters are pressed for time and therefore will skim over each resume looking for keywords relevant to the job advertised.

Keep it concise and relevant

To attract the recruiter’s attention, put your most relevant experience first and keep it short and to the point. Tailor your experience and skills to the job requirements in your cover letter and professional resume. Not every job you have had may necessarily be relevant.

Proofread and spellcheck it

The most frustrating thing for a recruiter is to receive a curriculum vitae or professional resume full of spelling and grammatical errors. This will count against you, especially if the job requires close attention to detail. 

Finally, once you finish, give your professional resume or curriculum vitae to someone neutral and ask them to read it. Even ask them what stands out on the page. 

If you're going round in circles with your resume and still can't get it right, give Loft Resumes a call for our expert advice on resume design and professional resume writing services.
  • Author Nicole C
  • Category Resume AdviceResume Content
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5 key phrases to include in your CV

It is likely that your CV is the first document a prospective employer has access to, so it forms a huge part of your first impression. Consequently, the 'wow' factor required goes beyond tidy formatting, immaculate grammar and punctuation, and sufficient detail. The key to really standing out from the crowd is in the words and phrases you employ in outlining your professional (and personal) strengths. Partnering with a professional resume service will give you the edge here, as will including the following five keywords:

1. Lead

Leadership is widely regarded as the most important quality in successful employees. If you aren't in a role where you lead a team, don't be tricked into thinking you can drop the ball on this crucial front. Good leadership shows confidence, patience, communication and organisational skills - all of which add a huge amount of value to any business. 

2. Present

An ability to communicate with ease and confidence, and give a presentation to senior stakeholders, will be vital for many industries. Showing you can engage with stakeholders of different levels and backgrounds speaks to your character as well as your professional capabilities and makes you an attract feature prospect to an employer who is looking to bolster communication ability in his or her team.

3. Deliver

Ultimately, any prospective employer is looking for your ability to achieve task - which means delivering results! Highlighting on your CV instances where you have delivered such an outcome will definitely meet these criteria, proving that you can act as well as speak! 

4. Negotiate

Ability to influence groups of difficult stakeholders, get your agenda to the top of the pile, and see both sides of a challenging situation are all vital! An ability to negotiate effectively also shows you can prioritise, you know what is important, and what you can trade off. Plus, negotiators tend to take a collaborative approach, which will impress a prospective employer from a cultural perspective.

5. Improve

Showing that you can improve a project or environment is crucial. This could be in turning around a struggling business unit, improving employee engagement, meeting a greater number of KPIs - whatever the case - your ability to improve indicates a combination of initiative and problem-solving skills. 

Does your CV contain all of these crucial concepts? Even if you have communicated your abilities in some of these areas, a great resume with even more "action" oriented words will do wonders for landing your next dream job. The team at Loft Resumes is here to help - get in touch today!
  • Author Nicole C
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You, The Brand


You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating: there is only one you. Now, don’t quote us on this, but we’re pretty sure that makes you about as valuable as the Mona Lisa (there’s only one of her, too.) No one else can offer the unique combination of skills and personality traits you can bring to the table. That one-of-a-kind combo is what constitutes your personal brand. 

When you’re building your career, a good way to get noticed is to think of yourself as a brand.  A personal brand is simply what you want people to think about you. Every piece of communication you put out there for potential employers to see should tell that story—your website, your (public) social media profiles, and of course, your cover letter and resume. It’s no different than any other kind of advertising, except in this case, you’re the product. So how do you start creating your brand story?

Know yourself: Your first step is to figure out exactly what you offer. You should be able to state it succinctly, meaning in a single sentence or less. It’s not enough to just be a photographer or a wedding planner or an accountant. You have to isolate the unique combination of skills and personality traits that sets you apart from all of the other photographers/wedding planners/accountants. Then you have to tell people about it.

Find your strengths:  Start by talking to your friends, colleagues, professors, group members, and anyone else who has worked closely with you and knows you well. They’ll see your strengths in a completely different light than you do, and talking to them will probably help you uncover some positive attributes you never knew you had. You might also consider taking a personality inventory like the Myers Briggs test. It’s not a crystal ball, but it can reveal things about your personality and leadership style that can help you formulate your personal brand. You can also make a mood board as an exercise to focus your personal brand concept.

Know your audience: To make your brand work its hardest for you, you have to know who you’re talking to. Think carefully about the kind of person or company you want to work for, and tailor your personal brand to appeal to them. What do they need in an employee? What unique niche can you fill? Answer these questions, and then build your brand accordingly.

For more in-depth personal brand-building tips, check out this article

  • Author Emory Cash
  • Category Career AdviceCover LettersResume Advice
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Totally Desperate Job-Hunting Attempts That Actually Worked

In total, 13.1 million Americans are out of work—more people than live in Beijing or Sao Paolo. The city proper populations of New York and Los Angeles combined do not equal the unemployed population in America.  Over four million of those job seekers have been unemployed for more than a year, and some are resorting to some pretty bizarre tactics in order to attract employers’ attention. Here are some wild job-hunting stunts that actually landed a job:

Tempting Fortune: Samantha Goldberg now works in television, but several years ago, she was trying to get a sales job at a Chicago boutique. She included a fortune cookie with her resume and cover letter. The fortune said: “If you hire me today, I promise good fortune with your sales.”   The owner gave her the job but unfortunately the business closed down a year later. Goldberg says she still uses the fortune cookie stunt to add flare to proposals at her current job.

Help a Guy Out: Peter Shankman, who now runs, a successful web service for journalists (HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out), was so desperate for work back in 1997 that he spent 12 hours on a cold New York City street corner wearing a sandwich board with his resume on it.  He handed out 1000 resumes, got 479 calls, 78 interviews and 37 offers.  The long, cold day landed him a job with the New Jersey Devils working on web policies.

Highway Bribery:  Javier Pujals walked around Chicago wearing a sign that said: “Will Buy Interview.” He also created a site called According to, Pujals' sign got him exposure from local media, and within a month, he had four job offers without actually ever paying for an interview.

Will Pay for a Lead: CNN Money reported on Jacob Share, 33, who sent his resume out to friends and family and asked them to send it out to their contacts. Share offered a $150 reward to whoever led him to a Web development manager position. He quickly got a job from one e-mail forward from a friend.

Google It: Alec Brownstein got hired after buying a Google ad targeting five creative directors who worked at his top-choice firms.  He paid 15 cents an ad to move his ad up to the top of the list when the executives googled their own names. When Ian Reichenthal of Young & Rubicam saw the ad, he called Brownstein for an interview and later hired him. 

Bright Lights, Big Job: Last December, Liz Hickok strung holiday lights on her house in Alpharetta, Georgia that read: "My wish, HR job, Liz Hickok, Linked In." According to CBSAtlanta, Hickock has gotten attention from employers as far away as Italy, but she is sifting through LinkedIn views and offers to find the right opportunity in Atlanta.

  • Author Emory Cash
  • Category Career AdviceFirst ImpressionGimmicksResume Advice
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Don't Let Your Cover Letter Blend In

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can't reread a phone call.”
Photo by cinnamon girl

Agency Spy posted a pretty dead-on universal cover letter that made us laugh because it’s A) funny and B) instructive. Let’s go through it and see what we can learn, shall we? 

Zany greeting no one uses in real life!

Even if you’re applying for a job in a creative field, don’t get too wacky in your cover letter. Your personality should show, but remember that you’re making a first impression, and you should come across as a professional.

Introduction to myself in case you can’t read who this email is coming from. Brief background about myself because the only way I “know” you is by 5 degrees of LinkedIn separation.

You do have to introduce yourself, of course, but try to let your personality shine through. Remember, hiring managers read an awful lot of these things, so you want to make it interesting. Think about your audience and what they want to know about your background, and tailor your introduction accordingly.

Sentence full of innuendo that boils down to me being unemployed. Predictable comment about how your agency and me belong together, ignorant to the fact you are probably friends with several other recruiters I’m sending this exact letter to. Generic compliment that applies to every agency but, for the purposes of this email, “specifically” yours.

We all know we should be writing a new cover letter for every job we apply for, but does anyone actually do that? If you ask us, a lot more people should. Writing your cover letter specifically for the job you want allows you to make a case for why you’re the best candidate for that position. This is a great opportunity to sell yourself; don’t waste it.

Let’s talk about me some more, because I’ve forgotten all of the following information is on my resume, which I made in Microsoft Word even though I call myself creative.

By all means, be sure your resume stands out in a sea of boring Word docs—especially if you’re going into a creative field. We can help.

I’ll make a list here in paragraph form, beginning with the college I went to that taught me nothing applicable to this position. This would be the perfect place for an unfunny joke about how good the football/basketball team is going to be this year! Giant stretch here talking about my experience, because this position I’m emailing about requires 3 more years of experience than I really have.

Don’t waste space in your cover letter by restating your resume. Instead, use this opportunity to explain what those experiences have taught you and why they make you the best candidate for the position. Also, don’t overstate your qualifications. Just use your actual experiences—professional and otherwise—to make a convincing case.

Here is where I mention the name of someone you actually may know in real life, who gave me his business card once in college. I hope the name drop makes you more likely to respond to me, but what I don’t know is that guy I just mentioned got let go 8 months ago. Plus, he was kind of a [jerk]. It is now clear just how desperate I am.

Don’t be desperate. If you do happen to have a connection, you can bring it up in the letter or include that person as a reference, but make sure it’s a good, solid connection and not just some guy you met once. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with anyone you plan to name-drop to make sure that person is OK with it. You don’t want them to be blindsided if they get called for a reference, especially if they have no idea who you are.

A one word, drinking based farewell that implies I’m a fun person, and a wish that I hear from you soon.

“Sincerely” will do just fine. Remember that this is still a professional letter; don’t get too casual.

A warning/threat that I will follow up with another template email in a week if I don’t hear back from you.

It’s fine to touch base, but bugging them can be off-putting. Follow up with care.

I hope at this point that you haven’t realized I’ve spent 30 minutes writing this, but not 30 seconds proofreading it.

Please proofread your letter. Do you really want a misspelled word to be the reason your resume goes into the reject pile?

-First name

And last name. Again, professional. Plus, it can’t hurt for them to read it a couple of times so they remember it.

What’s the takeaway here? Hiring managers see roughly a million cover letters a day (probably not, but we’re sure it feels that way.) Avoid falling into these traps to make yours stand out.

  • Author Emory Cash
  • Category Career AdviceCover LettersFirst ImpressionResume Advice
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Tiny Shoes and Other Gimmicks

For sale: baby shoes, never worn (Ernest Hemingway)
Photo by Alastair Humphreys

Someone we know once received a package at his office that contained a baby shoe and a note that said, “I'll do anything to get my foot in the door!” There may have been a resume and a cover letter buried in there, but our friend's office was so amused (and not in a good way) by the baby shoe thing that the important stuff was completely overlooked. But even if it hadn't been, who wants to be the person who hired the baby shoe guy?

Creativity isn't a bad thing, and the baby shoe guy was obviously committed enough to getting the job to put time and effort into his presentation. His problem was that his gimmick undermined the substance of his resume. The overall feeling in our friend's department was that baby shoe guy didn't have a lot to offer in the way of actual experience, so he used an attention-getting tactic in the hope that they wouldn't notice he wasn't particularly qualified. That's the trouble with using gimmicks: they automatically suggest that someone is trying to put one over on the people doing the hiring. “Hey, look at this cute thing!” it says. “Please don't notice that my cover letter is written in crayon!”

“Hey, wait a minute,” you might think. “Aren't your fancy resumes just another example of this?” That's a question we hear occasionally, and it's a good one. The way we see it, the defining quality of a gimmick is the element of subterfuge. If you're flashy enough with your baby shoe or your cookie bouquet or YouTube video or whatever, maybe no one will notice your shortcomings.

A well-designed resume, on the other hand, is meant to highlight your qualifications. Our layouts bring the story of your career to life using proven design principles. If your qualifications are solid, we contend that a well-designed resume is the frosting on the cupcake of your professional achievement. However, if you majored in underwater basket weaving and your most impressive accomplishment is playing Call of Duty for 14 hours straight, there is no font, no color combination, no design element that can convince someone to hire you.

  • Author Emory Cash
  • Category Baby ShoesCareer AdviceGimmicksResume AdviceResume Content
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