How to build a resume: 7 steps to making a strong resume

By An Nguyen on October, 2 2020


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An Nguyen

An graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in economics and has 3 years of experience within the digital marketing landscape.

Every resume submission is an advertisement you're sending out to employers, and it's pitching the final product: you.

The modern-day resume's role is to create interest and influence the recruiter's decision so that they ultimately decide to buy into the product - aka, give you an interview. 

Having a strong, up-to-date resume is essential for every phase of your working life.

But how do you make a strong resume?

We spoke to a few of our in-house recruiters here at KP Staffing and researched what recruiters at some top companies in the world look for in a resume.

Our recruiters have screened through tens of thousands of resumes, and have provided 7 simple guidelines on how to make your own resume below.

 Pile of paper
1. The 10-second rule

With piles of resumes to dig through, recruiters typically take 10 seconds to screen a resume and make a decision on whether they want to consider next steps with you.

Read through your resume within 10 seconds and see what takeaways you gather from it.

Is it easy to spot your strengths? Is it difficult to find necessary information, like your phone number or work history?

Make the recruiter see what you want them to see in 10 seconds.


2. Don't make recruiters search for your contact info – they won't

A confused office worker in trouble  making silly face using magnifying glass with illustrated question mark bubbles concept

Every resume starts with the basics – how the employer will contact you. Your name, phone number, city and state, and email address should be quick and easy to see, so always place it within the header, at the top of the page. 

Pro-tip: use a professional-looking Gmail, Outlook, or personal domain email address. If you're like me, you had or have a shameful email address created at 16 that... is somewhat less than professional. If you're still using that email address, it might be time for a change.

Worried businessman sitting at the table and reading papers over gray background

3. Keep it short

Keep your resume to 1 page, unless you have extensive experience in a wide variety of different industries and are seeking a highly skilled position. 

Recruiters and potential employers don't want to dig through pages of information to find key information.


4. Paint a picture

The work experience of your resume should be more than a bullet list of your jobs and the accompanying responsibilities. It should draw up a story of what you have been able to accomplish throughout your career.

Where possible, you should add numeric values to quantify those achievements. 

Closeup of paintbrush in woman hands mixing paints on palette







For example:

What a generic description of responsibilities looks like:

  • Unloaded trucks and built pallets

What a quantified description of responsibilities looks like:

  • Unloaded 20 pound boxes from trucks and built pallets for the shipping and receiving department


5. Include industry-specific key or buzzwords

Many employers are using software that automatically scans through and filters for certain keywords within resume submissions.

What are keywords? Just the terms people usually use to describe something, or common responsibilities or skills within a job.

So if you're applying for a packer position, be sure to highlight any packer roles you've had in the past – and don't call it something unusual that employers are unlikely to search for.

Thinking woman in glasses looking up with light idea bulb above head isolated on gray wall background

Tailor your resume for every job you apply to – make sure you sprinkle keywords with language that each job posting has. 


For Example:

Our industrial maintenance tech positions require applicants have experience with "repairing hydraulic machinery and electrical systems."

So, if you have that experience, be sure to include that wording within your resume instead of a more casual phrase like "repaired industrial machines."

Focused casual businessman working at his desk in his office

6. Software isn't always your friend

Always save your resume as a PDF, never as a Word or Google Doc. You never know how a doc will look on someone else's computer – sometimes the format changes, making all your hard work look like a pile of chaos. 

PDFs operate more like photographs - they'll always open exactly how you saved them.


7. Don't get lost in the sauce

No one wants to be lost in the abyss of potential employers' inboxes. When emailing or submitting your resume, name it "(First name) (Last name) - Resume."

This keeps it short and sweet and makes it easy for recruiters to find your resume in their files if they want to move forward.


What are you waiting for? Get to it! 

Every job, every industry, and every employer is unique and will be looking for different things in your resume, so make sure you adjust yours' to each job you're applying for.

When you consider starting your resume, keep this takeaway in mind: employers want to hire people who can make an impact at their business. Let your resume elevate you above the rest!
At KP Staffing, we've made things even easier for you; take a look at our resume template! You can download it here. Fill in the blanks and send it our way. Call your closest KP Staffing branch today.


We have connections with warehouses all around the metroplex, so if you’re looking for a job, we know where they are. We can help you narrow down the search and find a job that’s a perfect fit for you. Our recruiters are dedicated to finding the right job for you.

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What else do you think is important to include on a resume? Let us know in the comments below! 

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