No matter how experienced you are, you’ll always find it hard to write a resume since each one differs based on what kind of job you’ll be applying. The goal of writing a resume is to sell your best assets to the employer, convincing them that you are the best person for the offered job. This is especially hard for first timers or people who’ve been in their old jobs for too long that they forgot how to write a resume.
If you are one of the mentioned above, then you’ve come to a right place. We will tackle the basics of writing a resume to give you new insight or refresh your lost knowledge on writing a resume. We’ll also address the tips for writing a resume that will surely land you the job you desire.
For starters, what is a resume?
A résumé, or also spelled as resume, is a document used by anyone that highlights their background, their academic achievements, extracurricular accomplishment, work history and exceptional skills. Don’t get confused with the CV, or the curriculum vitae as these two are the same, but the term CV is more commonly used in the UK.
How should it look like?
There’s no particular format to follow when it comes to writing a resume. You could ask your family or your friends if they have a copy of their resume for a guide, or a quick search into any search engines will give you an idea of how it looks like. There is, however, an unspoken rule in writing a resume and that is to keep it clean and concise. Don’t decorate it too much or bring many colors into the paper but instead make it simple and easy to read, highlighting the information for easier access to the employer.
This is what you should include in your resume and follow the order of the items:
- Personal Details (full name, phone number, current address, email address) – This should be located at the leading part of the resume. Treat this as a header for your resume and make your name stand out more by increasing the font size.
- Personal Profile (optional) –This part is optional, and it’s a short statement that outlines your characteristics. It should inform the employer of what kind of a person you are, personality, unique qualities, and mindset when it comes to getting the job done.
- Core Skills (optional) – It’s recommended that if you included a personal profile in the resume, you should also list down your core skills in a bullet-type list for your employer to quickly see what your capabilities are and in what field you’re good at.
- Work History – this is the part of your resume where you show off all of the jobs you’ve experienced in the past. Do this in a reverse chronological order in which the last position should be at the top, with the first job at the bottom. Make sure to give more supplementary information to the latest task.
- Education, Achievements, and Qualifications –In here, you’ll list down all your academic achievements from your elementary school to college or more. Make sure to include those honor awards and additional awards, as some employers find it pleasing to hire and work with an achiever. If you’re fresh out of school, then maybe you could place this before your work history since there’s not much to put at the work history section.
It’s also wise to include all your extracurricular or internships on your resume especially if you’re a fresh graduate.
As mentioned above, its forbidden to use bright color backgrounds or any decorations that are over the top. If so, how does one write a resume that could succeed in its function in 2018? How does one write a well-done resume in contemporary society?
Your resume should fit the position you’re applying for
Make sure that the resume at hand is specially made for a job that you’re applying. Don’t use the same resume repeatedly for different positions because sometimes your created resume might not work well when applying for a different place. An example of this would be when you built a resume that highlighted your writing experience, hoping to get a journalism job but then you suddenly decided to work as a waitress. The information provided would be irrelevant to the other job you want. You don’t have to start from scratch all the time, simply make adjustments to highlight the experience that could match with the position that you want.
Advertisements should guide you in writing
There’s a high chance that you found out about the job through a poster or an advertisement. Usually, those advertisements have the qualifications that the company wants and through that, tailor your resume to fit exactly what the company you would like to apply is looking for. An example of this is that when the company is looking for someone with experience in journalism writing, include in your achievements section that you were a writer at your school publications or past experiences with journalism. If the advert mentions that they’re looking for someone with leadership experience, then include in the details of your resume the managing jobs you’ve had no matter how small it was.
Present information in the reverse-chronological order and stick to it
Don’t go sidetracked when detailing your work history, stick with the preferred reverse-chronological order. Creating a long list of accomplishments and skills rather than making a chronological work listing makes it hard for employers to understand your work history. You should know how to create subtopics for such achievements without having to disturb the reverse-chronological that was mentioned above.
Identify which parts of the resume should be given more importance
You must give importance to the most recent jobs than the jobs you had several years ago. They’re already considered irrelevant since humans can adapt to changes, and your oldest records would not reflect such information. Make sure to go into detail more on your recent jobs, preferably the last two posts you’ve had then briefly mention the rest. When it comes to your academic qualifications, give more importance to your most recent educational attainment, disregard your high school GPA and focus more on your college or masters grade.
Provide examples and experiences
It’s easy to say in your profile that you are a “hardworking person who gets the job done on time” which is an obvious thing to write and overused by many candidates. What would make you different from other candidates is by citing examples or experiences that you’ve encountered before? Prove your words with evidence and examples. If there was an instance that the moment you stepped into a job, and it caused an increase in their production or sales, you must insert this on your resume. No one, even employers, like people who don’t prove their worth.
Make it reader-friendly
We always have this notion that the longer the resume, the better the outcome. This is not entirely the case because if your resume goes on for around three to four pages, people will lose interest in your resume. The purpose of your resume is to make yourself look fantastic in the eyes of the employer. You only have to write about the vital information about you and what makes you qualify for the job. Set the maximum limit to two pages, but if you want to add another paragraph or two, three’s the limit.
There’s an exemption for this tip, and that is if you’re applying for an academic role. For academic resume, you would have to list every publication history, presentation experience, and many more experiences needed. Its only for these roles that the rule of “the longer, the better” applies.
Appropriately use Bullets
Bullets may seem informal for many people due to what they learned in school, but it’s not. In the business world, using the bullet points to summarize information is a reasonable thing to do and makes reading more comfortable.
Some key areas to include bullet points on your resume are: The most appropriate parts of your resume that could consist of bullet points are:
- Your core skills
- The different positions you held at your previous job, detailing every promotion
- Your academic achievements and educational attainment
Never place your photo
Yes, this is a weird tip to give to anyone since the first thing that comes to our mind when we create our resume is the appropriate picture to place. Our narcissistic side makes us think that this is a natural thing to do in which many employers seem to disagree. There is no need for employers to know what you look like because it’s not your face that’s going to get you your job, it’s your skills and qualifications. It seems too informal and unprofessional, so the employers now discourage the use of photos in your resume.
There is also a need to avoid logos or other image formats since it’s a waste of precious space and time. One should learn to stick with their keyboards and let your experience do the talking.
Use a professional email address
Nothing is more embarrassing than having your official email as firstname.lastname@example.org. It merely makes you appear unprofessional and just the thought of using that embarrassing email… it should make you want to change it immediately!
You could opt for any email services such as Gmail, Yahoo, and a variety of email services. It doesn’t really matter what kind of email you use, as long as you’ll be able to send and receive emails. Gone are the days where the most complicated emails are the coolest, now the cooler emails are the ones that are simple and straightforward. You could use your full name with a little touch of your birthday.
Double check, triple-check your spelling and grammar
Typographical errors are probably the most embarrassing error one could make in making your own resume. Making a tiny mistake is harmless, and all but having several of them makes it a terrible resume. Make sure to proofread your resume over and over again to avoid a somewhat embarrassing moment in your life. As much as possible, involve other people and let them correct anything from your article. This way, you could see the resume from the perspective of others. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help from time to time!
This way, you could edit the formatting, you could polish the entire resume to make sure there are no more minor errors.
I know there’s quite a bit to take in here, and you might feel overwhelmed before you’ve even begun on your resume. There are many things to consider when writing the resume and the overwhelming information from this article proves how much detail must go to make sure you could make a successful resume.
I wish you the very best of luck with your job search, and I hope you find and land the perfect role for you. Start attacking the issue with small steps. Start doing this little by little, getting closer to your ideal resume. I hope that you’ll be able to do good in the job searching, make sure to take these tips by heart, and you’ll be good and get any job easily. Of course, you still have to get through the interview part which is pretty hard, but in the end, the first impression always last.