5 Tips to Create a Great Resume (The Old School Kind)

With the explosion of video and infographic graphics, and other non-traditional resume formats, you may be asking, “Do I still need a plain 12pt font white paper resume? The short answer: Yes, you do (emphatically). While non-traditional formats are a hot button point of debate right now in the hiring world, these new emerging formats are still the exception, not the rule.

Here are five tips to create a great resume formatted for today’s market geared toward technology and digital professionals:

Accomplishments Statement- Lose the objective

If you still have on your resume, “seeking a position,” it’s reminiscent of a post college statement, which will be off putting to anyone other than companies attending a university job fair. People want to know what you can bring to the party, not what you want from them. Think of your accomplishments statement as your elevator pitch. It’s the equivalent of you just walked into a room, and there’s Elon Musk standing in the corner alone. You’ve got exactly ten seconds to tell him why he should hire you. What do you say? That’s your accomplishments statement.

Use a classic format

In our time-crunched world with ADD attention spans, people do not have time to sit down and translate your resume. When you submit a format that is different from everyone else, you make it really tough for someone to compare you as apples to apples. You are now the orange among a hundred of apples. The result: You get tossed out of the pile for being the odd high maintenance duck in the group.

Two pages max

I recently received a six page resume from a developer. While I understand it can feel impossible to fit your resume, especially when you have massive technical skills, on one or two pages, it is an absolute must. If you have less than five years of work experience, under any and all circumstances, there is no reason for your resume to exceed one page. If you’re at senior level, okay, two pages. But two pages is the absolute cut off.

As a recent article in Forbes on tips for the perfect resume points out, data reveals the optimal resume length is between 600 to 700 words. People don’t want the ‘war and peace’ version of your career. They want to know in 30-seconds or less what makes you valuable, unique and the tangibles you can contribute. Focus on your strengths and what differentiates you from all the other Jane and John Doe’s you are competing against.

Art directors and designers may be asking does this apply to me too? Yes, it does, and you also need a well-rounded broad portfolio to pair with your resume.

City, State and Social Profiles- drop the street address

Okay, some of you may still be holding onto the nostalgic notion of mailing resumes via snail mail (you can buy stamps at the supermarket), there’s really no reason to give a recruiter your home street address. The city and state you work out of will suffice. Plus, it gives you more space to include the things that are relevant such as links to your Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook profiles and website.

Also, for security purposes, it’s prudent to not send out an unsecure document with your personal home address on it all over the web.

Make it mobile friendly

There’s a strong probability your resume will be viewed either on a mobile device or an iPad. Review your resume on different devices (not just your computer screen) before you send it out. Can you scroll through your resume and easily read it? Embed links to your social profiles, websites and work samples. Make it easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to quickly check you out.


In today’s fast moving world, you are likely to go from one position to the next at warp speed. Your resume gets exactly 5 seconds of attention. The key to hooking someone into your sales pitch is your accomplishments statement, and everything on your resume else needs to back up that one statement.

Store your resume in a Dropbox folder that is accessible from your mobile phone. If you run into someone who requests your resume, you’re prepared to fire it off on the spot. You will be able to immediately act on an opportunity when it appears, and keep moving FORWARD.