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I originally created this as a 5-day email challenge. Those who signed up got 1 email a day for 5 days with a daily resume coaching email to take their resume from blah to amazing.

I have since decided to stop all emails and campaigns so I’m making all the info from the 5-day resume coaching challenge freely available to you below, so you can go through the emails and take my tips on how to write a professional resume.

I do hope you enjoy it!

Day 1

I’m so happy you decided to join the Resume Star Challenge.

You’ve taken a huge step in the right direction & I can’t wait to show you how a few small actions can help your resume stand out and get you more interviews.

Before we start, I just wanted to let you know that I’m running a special offer on the Resume Star bundle. If you need a template for your cover letter, a resume template to fill in, and audio questions to practice answering interview questions, then GRAB THIS BUNDLE before we move along.

This bundle will give you the EXACT layout and content that we talk about in this challenge.

Over the next 5 days, I’ll show you how to plan, update, and format your resume to start applying for jobs right away.

Are you wondering how long to make your resume?

Let’s talk about that before we start adding content.

The length of your resume is a major factor in getting invited for interviews – recruiters get hundreds or thousands of applications and they don’t have time to read through long resumes. If yours is too long it will probably be ignored.

Making your resume short is the BEST way to get a recruiter to read through it.

Here’s what two recruiters said about the one page resume template in the :

This is the best resume I’ve ever seen.’

I just went through an interview process to hire for an open position and I saw this format on two resumes. It caught my attention in that it gave A LOT of info in such a small space. I’m one of those people who frown on two page resumes. If I see more than two pages, I automatically discard that applicant.’

This is straight from the source – the people who will call you or ignore you – the BEST resume length is 1-2 pages.

But you might say, ‘Monique, I need more.’

Taking the advice from professional recruiters, you may be able to make a longer resume if you’re on a higher professional level. Here are some guidelines:

  • Graduate resume: 1-2 pages
  • Mid-level Professional / Manager resume: 3-4 pages
  • Senior-level Professional / Manager resume: 3-5 pages

So, as a guide, keep your resume as short as possible. Make it one or two pages if possible, and not more than four pages if you are a senior professional and have to provide more information that’s important.

Here is YOUR action plan for today

  1. Look at your resume to see how many pages it is
  2. See if there’s any ‘fluff’ that you know you can remove to make it shorter

Day 2

Today is all about what headings and sections should be in your resume. Most of us put too much or too little information about ourselves. From contact info to references – there are some key opportunities to give the right amount of information to recruiters without overwhelming them with our childhood hobbies or references from every person we’ve ever worked with.

Here are a few examples of what headings and the type of information to put in your resume:

  1. Contact Details: Name and surname, the state you live in, phone number, email address
  2. Professional Profile / Summary: One paragraph that highlights your strengths, years’ experience, industries worked in, etc. Graduates could replace this with a ‘Career Objective’ – what they are looking for in their career and next position
  3. Professional Experience: A list of all the jobs you’ve had that are relevant (we’ll talk more about this tomorrow)
  4. Education / Qualifications: A list of relevant qualifications, such as courses, diplomas, degrees etc.
  5. Skills: A list of relevant skills – what you’re really good at doing
  6. References: List up to three references (name, company, position and email address) if you want, or say ‘References available upon request’ to keep your resume short

I suggest having all or most of these headings and sections in your resume – they give the recruiter the information they need.

But you might be scared that all these sections will make your resume longer than you want it. It’s absolutely possible to fit all of this on one page, even if you have some experience under your belt – I did this in my own resume with some clever formatting and editing.

Here is YOUR action plan for today

  1. Decide which headings and sections you need to have in your resume (I suggest using all or most of them)
  2. Add any missing sections to your resume or update your current resume with these headings and info (leave professional experience for tomorrow – when I share my three top tips to make this section the star of the show)

Day 3

Yesterday we covered all the sections that could and should be in your resume. One of those sections is your Professional Experience. This is a very important section to have in your resume as it gives information about all your previous jobs that are relevant to the one you want now. It’s also often the longest section and can be difficult to get right.

Luckily, I have three top tips for you today. All of them are very easy to use and will make your work history the star of the show…

Top tip #1

List your work history in chronological order – from most recent to oldest. Start with your current position, if you have a job, and work back from there.

Leave out irrelevant experience like baby sitting or side hustles. These won’t help you in your new job and will make your resume cluttered.

Top tip #2

If you have a long work history, consider creating a simple table of all the positions you’ve had over the years. Give the dates, company, and job title for each role.

Now write a more traditional professional experience section for the relevant jobs you’ve had in the last 10 years only. Recruiters will ask you for details if they are interested in earlier jobs listed in your employment table. (You’ll see what details to give for the last 10 years in the next tip.)

Top tip #3

Here’s what details to give for each position in your professional experience: The dates you started and stopped working there, the name of the company, your job title, your responsibilities, your achievements during this time. Try to keep this down to a paragraph or two, or list your responsibilities in short bullet points.

Here is YOUR action plan for today

  1. Make sure your current position is listed on your resume and is up to date with your responsibilities and achievements
  2. Put all your experience in chronological order, from most recent to oldest
  3. Make sure the relevant information is included for each role (see top tip #3 above)
  4. If you have many years’ experience, give a table of all roles you’ve had then go into more detail about relevant roles over the last 10 years

Day 4

Today is fun because you’ve done most of the hard work and now it’s time to make things pretty. Why? To help recruiters enjoy reading your resume when it pops up in their inbox.

Don’t you hate it when there’s something you want to read but the font is tiny or difficult to read? Or when there are very long paragraphs of text with no breaks in between.

Do you carry on reading? Probably not!

The same goes for recruiters reading your resume. You want to format your resume correctly to make your content easy to read – the clearer, simpler and easier it is to go through and understand, the higher your chances of getting called in for an interview.

Here’s a short list of guidelines to make sure your resume passes the ‘pretty’ test:

– Make sure your font is big enough to read: use a font size of at least 10-12

– Choose a font that’s easy to read: the most popular resume fonts are Arial, Verdana, Calibri (they’re popular for a reason)

– Choose a more creative font if you’re in a creative field (design, art, etc.), but make sure the font is still easy to read

– Use headings to break up sections in your resume: Make your headings bold or another color. If you go for color, use darker colors that are also easy to see. Headings can be slightly bigger than your paragraph text, but don’t make them huge (size 12-14 should be good). Go back to Day 2 for a list of headings you could use

– Make sure there’s white space on every page: Don’t fill every inch with information or your resume will look cluttered and overwhelming. Make sure there’s some space between lines of text and paragraphs, and that your spacing is consistent. If possible, keep your paragraphs to 2-3 sentences each

And that’s all you really need to do to make sure your resume is well-formatted and easy to read.

Here is YOUR action plan for today

  1. Choose your font, colors, spacing, paragraph text and heading sizes
  2. Go through your resume section by section and make sure it’s formatted correctly and there’s white space on each page

Day 5

Congratulations for sticking this out & welcome to Day 5 of the Resume Star Challenge!

It’s the last day and your resume should be looking good by now.

It’s time for the last few checks, to make sure nothing slipped through the cracks.

Today’s challenge is to check your resume for spelling and grammar issues, then get feedback from at least one person.

Keep yourself open to constructive criticism here. This person should be able to tell you if your resume is easy to understand and if the content makes them want to meet you to find out more. If this reviewer tells you there’s a problem, thank them for their feedback and decide if this is something that needs to be fixed. If it does need to be changed, then do the work to fix it.

Version 2 will be even better than Version 1.

Here is YOUR action plan for today

  1. Read through your entire resume to see if you can find any mistakes to be fixed or formatting issues you missed yesterday
  2. Run your resume through a spellcheck or online editor
  3. Ask someone to look at your resume and give you honest feedback – do they understand everything without you having to explain it to them (you won’t be there to explain things to the recruiter when they read through it). Do they see any formatting, spelling or grammar issues?
  4. Make any changes that need to be done, then start applying for jobs!
  5. If you took advantage of the Resume Star bundle offer, now’s the time to work through the audio file of popular interview questions. Listen to a question, pause the media player, then practice answering the question out loud. This will prepare you for those real-life interviews 🙂

Technically, our 5 days is up, and we’ve covered a lot…

Good luck with the job hunting!