Tips and Steps to writing a resume that can get you the job.
Do You Know? Resume do MATTER!
First things first: What is Resume?
A resume is a formal document that provides an overview of your professional qualifications, your relevant work experience, skills, education, and notable accomplishments. Usually paired with a cover letter, a resume helps you demonstrate your abilities and convince employers that you are qualified and hireable.
A Resume is different than a Curriculum Vitae (CV). A CV is a complete look at your career, covering every aspect of your education, work and experience without the restriction of the length. But a Resume is a summary of those experiences and skills, and typically covers only 10 years’ worth of employment. Unlike a CV, a resume should be tweaked and edited for each specific job for which you apply, and it should be just 1–2 pages long.
Steps and Tips to create an Attention-Capturing Resume
Choose the most suitable format: There are various types of resumes used to apply for job openings. Depending on your job profile, you can choose a specific type of resume (Explore types of resumes below). Consuming time to choose the best type of resume for your job application is well worth the effort.
Types of Resumes :
a. Chronological Resume: It starts by listing your work history, with the most recent position listed first. Below your most recent job, you list your other jobs in reverse chronological order. Employers typically prefer this type of resume because it’s easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have worked at them.
b. Functional Resume: It focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your chronological work history. Instead of having a “work history” section at the top of your resume, you might have a “professional experience” or “accomplishments” section that lists various skills you have developed over the years. Functional resumes are used most often by people who are changing careers or who have gaps in their employment history.
c. Combination Resume: It is a mix between a chronological resume and a functional resume. At the top of the resume is a list of one’s skills and qualifications. Below this is one’s chronological work history. However, the work history is not the focus of the resume and typically does not take up much space on the resume.
Some more types of resumes are Infographic Resume, Resume with Profile, Targeted Resume, Non-traditional Resume and Mini-Resume. Different types of resumes are used for different purposes and can be selected based on the demand and the circumstances
Tip: Use Resume Examples and Templates
Use a resume example or template to help you write your resume. An example can help you decide what information to include. Templates can help you format your resume. Make sure to customize your template, a simple copy/paste isn’t enough.
Arrange your contact information: One important element that should appear near the top of your resume is your contact information details. A well-organized contact information section should be complete and easy to find so a potential employer can reach you easily and efficiently.
First Name Last Name
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Email Address
Your Phone Number
Physical Mailing Address (Optional)
LinkedIn or Personal Website URL (if you have one)
Link to your Portfolio
You can format your contact information so it is left-justified or centered. Here are the steps you can follow for either format :
- Write your full name in bold and slightly larger font at the top of your resume. Make sure it is legible with a simple, professional font.
- Write your email address under your name.
- After the email address, add your phone number.
- Include physical mailing address next (optional).
- Finally, include your professional profile link, if you have one.
- When you finish writing your contact information, proofread to ensure it is error-free with clean, easy-to-read formatting.
Write a winning resume introduction section : There are four primary types of resume introductions used by job seekers today:
- The resume objective (also known as a career objective)
- The resume summary (also called a professional summary)
- The summary of qualifications (or qualifications summary)
- The resume profile (sometimes referred to as a professional profile)
a. Carrer Objective: They are great if you’re just entering the workforce or only have 1–2 years of experience. A good career objective tells the hiring manager what you’re looking for, what you have to offer, and why you deserve the position.
b. Summary of Qualifications: A summary of qualifications is best if you have numerous skills or achievements and are switching industries. A qualifications summary contains 5–6 bullet points emphasizing your Authority, Creativity, Efficiency, Recognition, Management and Communication. The order of points can be the most relevant and impressive goes first.
c. Resume Summary: A resume summary is a right option if you have many work-related accomplishments to showcase. Resume summaries are also versatile because they can be used if you’re seeking work in the same industry or are trying to enter a different one.
d. Resume Profile: A resume profile is a mix of the best of a career objective and qualifications summary. Your resume profile should include four main points Years of experience, Specialty or job duty you excel at, Transferable skills, and Career achievements.
Highlight your relevant work experience and additional sections : This section details your work history in a consistent and compelling format. The Work Experience section should include company names, locations, employment dates, roles and titles you held and most importantly, bullet points containing action verbs and data points that detail the relevant accomplishments of each position.
Tips to write precise description:
Begin each item by stating the name of the place, location, dates, and job title. List experiences in order of most current experience first.
Describe your responsibilities in concise statements led by strong verbs. Focus on those skills and strengths that you possess and that you have identified as being important to your field. Show potential employers exactly how you will fit their position and their company. (Sample Action Words)
Be sure to vary your action words. You do not want all your descriptions to sound the same. Use relevent tenses based on the working time at that position.
Avoid using “I”, “and”, “the” and the use of any pronouns and prepositions.
Whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments and responsibilities. That is, use numbers, amounts, dollar values, and percentages.
Avoid summarizing or describing what a company or organization you worked with did or does. Describe your responsibilities and accomplishments in relationship to the job/organization, not the job/organization itself.
Limit your description to the three or four most important points.
An optional, but potentially very valuable, addition to your resume is Additional Experience. This is a catch-all section at the tail end of your resume that allows you to highlight volunteer experience, awards and hobbies. Again, it shouldn’t be too long — you don’t want it to detract from your skills or work experience — but it can be a good way to provide a more well-rounded picture of who you are.
Additional Important Resume Sections
- Hobbies and Interests: Your interests and hobbies showcase how you are as a person and what you like to do in your free time. For example, having a hobby/interest in playing team sports showcases that you prefer to remain fit and you are a team player and possess Leadership qualities.
- Volunteer Work: Studies show that volunteering boosts employability. For most job seekers, listing any volunteer experience as one of your additional CV sections is a great way to show your commitment and values. It also lets them know that you don’t only care about the money. For entry-level or first-time applicants who have no experience, volunteer work makes an excellent stand-in.
- Internship Experience: Listing internships on your resume is only OK if you’re fresh out of school, had one or two other jobs, or you haven’t been on the market for longer than 4–5 years.
- Languages: Listing language skills on a resume only extends your usefulness as an employee, particularly in international corporations or localities where there is a large population speaking that second language.
- Projects: You can include projects as a separate section if you’ve done a bunch or simply mention one or two below each job description.
- Publications: Have articles written for a blog, newspaper, or scientific journal? Mention those publications on a resume. If your published material isn’t online, create a short bibliography of the works you’d like them to acknowledge.
Create a clear education section: Since many jobs require a certain level of education, it’s important to mention your academic credentials on your resume. However, this section shouldn’t take up too much space. In most cases, simply listing where you went to the school, when you attended and what degree you attained will be sufficient.
Add hard and soft skills to your resume: Once relegated to the bottom of resumes as an afterthought, the skills section has become more and more important as recruiters and hiring managers increasingly look for candidates with specialized backgrounds. Rather than making the folks reading your resume hunt through your bullet points to find your skills, it’s best to clearly list them. If they see right away that you have the ability to get the job done, they’re much more likely to take your resume seriously.
Here is a list of some common skills to put on a resume:
- Communication skills: These can include social skills, non-verbal communication, listening skills, and interpersonal skills.
- Technical skills: Knowledge required to perform specific tasks, like computer skills or clerical skills.
- Job-specific skills: Particular prowess the company specifically requires.
- Leadership and management skills: Ability to be a good manager, leader, and supervisor.
- Critical thinking skills: Ability to make your own, thought-based decisions and take initiative. Includes analytical skills, decision-making, and problem-solving.
- Organizational skills: A knack for planning, organizing, and seeing initiatives through.
Tie in key certifications, awards, & honors: Got any certifications, licenses, or proud awards to show off? If they are relevant to the job and industry, include them!
Placed first in a chili cook-off at the state fair? If you’re looking to be a cook, it will definitely help. Likewise, a food safety certification or food handler’s license that you already have would surely be in your favor.
Styling and Formatting your resume: Professional resumes need to have consistent formatting. For instance, if you use bullet points to describe your responsibilities and achievements at one position, be sure to use bullet points in all other positions as well.
Also, make certain that the bullet points are formatted the same way throughout. For example, don't use circle bullet points in one section, and diamond bullet points in another section. Be consistent with font, font size, and style (such as the use of bold and italics)
For sizing, many resumes follow a 24, 12, 10 format. This means that the name is 24 pt, the body headers are 12 pt, and the bullet points are 10 pt.
Font & Size Do’s
- Choose easy-to-read fonts.
- Use the same font throughout.
- Change sizes in descending order for your name, headers, and bullet points.
- Choose a font that fits with the text sizes you’ve chosen.
Font & Size Don’ts
- Don’t choose small sizes to fit everything on one page.
- Don’t pick wacky fonts.
- Don’t have one uniform text size throughout.
- Don’t go below 9 pt.
- Don’t spend too much time thinking about your resume font.
Design & Formatting Tips: The subject matter of your resume is ultimately what recruiters care about most. However, that doesn’t mean you should slack off when it comes to design and formatting. A cluttered, visually confusing resume makes it more difficult to read, and therefore more likely that recruiters and hiring managers will cast it aside. On the other hand, a sleek, polished resume will have the opposite effect. Use these rules of thumb to ensure that your resume looks its best.
1. Use an easy-to-read font of no less than 11 pt.
2. Add margins of at least .7 inches.
3. Make sure there’s sufficient white space between sections.
4. Don’t go overboard with intricate design or decoration — touches of color are fine, but avoid any clashing or visually busy details.
5. If you’re going to print out copies of your resume, invest in good paper and use a high-quality printer.
6. Don’t save your resume as a PDF unless the application specifically says it accepts PDF files. Some applicant tracking systems scan PDFs as if they were one big image, which fails to capture your information.
7. Keep your resume to 1–2 pages max, unless you’re in a field like academia or medicine and must cite papers and publications.
Write a matching cover letter: Now that you know how to write your dream resume, you might be wondering: is a cover letter necessary? The answer is yes, always include a cover letter if you have the option.
Knowing how to write a good cover letter and then pairing one with your resume will round out your application and boost your chances of landing an interview.
Your cover letter gives you a chance to connect with a hiring manager on a deeper level than your resume does, and together these two crucial documents work in tandem to get you satisfying work. But be sure to check out our full list of cover letter tips when you write yours to guarantee you’re hitting all the right points.