Resume writing can be a laborious task especially when you have freshly stepped into the practical life. Whether you are applying for a job for the first time or looking for a new job, your resume needs to be perfectly drawn. Having one simple resume isn’t enough to get you through.
You need to put out your priorities first and take the company’s JD (job description) into account.
First of all, let’s see what your resume should not entail.
- It shouldn’t tell a story of your job history
- It shouldn’t look like you are bragging about your skills
- It shouldn’t have any loopholes that would make you look a suspicious candidate
If you want a perfect resume, then you have to represent it in a way that would catch the recruiter’s attention right away. If you have the relevant expertise, you can get started right now otherwise it is recommended to hire Free Resume Builder by professional services to help you achieve your dream resume, or use a resume template.
So let’s dive in!
First, you need to see your marketing tools, your strengths and what is that one unique thing that is going to set you apart from other potential employees.
Select from 3 Formats
First and foremost, you have to assemble all your information and organize it in an orderly manner. For example, in which year and which school you graduated from and when did you complete your degree (Bachelors/ Masters). This will help to draw a perfect picture of your academic career and you will get to know about your weaknesses and strengths.
Thereafter, jump to your desired resume format. Make sure it is attractive and looks appealing to the eyes. Well-formatted resumes coupled with attention grabbing details will automatically set your bar high. Studies have suggested that 8 out of 10 are put aside in a “no” pile with only a 10 second glance. This means if your resume is not attractive or well structured, the hiring manager would automatically discard without looking at your credentials no matter how impressive they are.
Generally, a resume format is usually categorized into Reverse-Chronological, Functional and Combination. It depends upon you which one you’d like to go for because each set has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s look at how all three of these work for you.
This is the most popular format and is commonly used by all potential employees. One reason for its common use is due its flexibility. It can be used by everyone regardless of their experience level.
What You Need for this Reverse-Chronological Format?
- Contact Information: The most relevant and approachable contact information should be listed in this section. For example your phone number, landline number, email address etc.
- Resume Subject: This is the resume introduction which helps the employer to get to know you personally.
- Work Experience Section: Under this section, you are supposed to jot down a chronology of work experience history. Make sure you do brag about your skills.
- Skills and Specialities: Now there’s a difference about showing off your skills and displaying those that you are proud of. Put only those specialities on the resume which you think are unique and would place you ahead of other candidates.
- Achievements: This will probably earn you bonus points. Make sure you mention all your impressive honors and awards.
The difference between Reverse-Chronological format and functional one is that the former is more focused on career progression/advancement while the later one emphasizes on skill-based resume. This format throws a major portion of the spotlight at applicant’s qualifications so obviously it is more suitable for those who have a large amount of experience to tell. It is almost the same as chronological one but has some differences which are listed below.
What You Need to Put in Functional Format?
- Contact Information: Whatever field you are applying to, this one stays the same for all formats.
- Resume Subject: When it comes to Resume Subject, this format uses a more solidly laid introduction from asking you to mention your qualifications to strongest skills and expertise.
- Work Experience Section: This section is relatively small which means it is not as crucial as other sections. Needless to say, it does require filling the section and would obviously want the candidate to tell their work experience history for a holistic review but this needs to be to-the-point and not very comprehensive.
- Skills and Specialities: If you do not have an impressive work history, this is your chance to turn the tables. You can list your impressive skills and specialities here that might overshadow your lack of experience.
- Education Section: Enlist your highest degree obtained and do not feel shy to put in a few impressive certifications that you are proud of.
- Achievements: Notable awards or achievements need to be put under this section.
As the name suggests, this format is a combo of both chronological and functional formats. The functional format emphasizes on specific qualifications but the layout of the whole resume demands a more professional tone, just like chronological one. Those who have a great amount of experience, they usually go for this format.
What You Need to Put in for Combination Format?
- Contact Information: By now, you must have guessed what needs to be fed here. That’s right. Your relevant contact details as explained earlier.
- Professional Profile Section: This section caters to serve a more professional outlook for the users of this format in an efficient way.
- Work Experience Section: In Combination Format, the work experience needs to be discussed in great detail than chronological and functional format.
- Education Section: Although it does not hold as much importance as other sections does, it needs not to be ignored. Make sure it is concise and short. You do not need to mention awards or achievements.
How to Write an Attention-Grabbing Intro?
As a job seeker, you will have 5 choices to select from when doing a resume intro:
- Identify and write Resume Subject, also known as Career Objective.
- A paragraph or a short summary of qualifications summary.
- You will also need to look into a professional profile or resume profile.
- There is also an “About Me” section where you write a small personal profile of yourself.
- Resume summary.
One pro tip to write a winning resume introduction is to keep in mind the goal of grabbing the attention of the hiring manager by pointing out relevant skills.
Qualifications summary does not need to be lengthy or comprehensive. Rather, it is more appropriate to arrange the points in bullet form so it is easier to read through. Make sure you do not go for something that is mainstream or the hiring manager might just get bored. Represent your skills in a unique way.
A resume subject also known as career objective is no more than a 2-3 sentence statement that gives an insight into your skills and achievements. This type of introduction is more commonly used by fresh college graduates with little to no experience.
Professional Profile Section
A blend of both career objectives and qualifications summary. The best thing about it is that it is very flexible and can either be listed in a short paragraph or even in bullet points.
This section, as you have read above, highlights your past achievements and honors. What you need to ask yourself is how to make it stand out? You can get started by putting down a subheading in bold letters and then continue with your most unique traits.
When you’re into writing skills, make sure you read the job description carefully of the company you are applying to. Target the skills they require the candidates to possess. Do not write the exact same words. Instead, try using your own.
Write Down Your Relevant Work Experience
This section is the most important part of your resume. This section subtly corresponds to the section of your skills. You can also label this section as Professional Experience or Relevant Experience.
One thing you need to take care of is to list down your experiences in reverse chronological order and make sure that you put down the experience that is related to the field you’re applying to. If you have worked for more than one company, you need to write the full name of the company, city in which it is situated, your position and the dates of the employment.
Design your Job Experience the Job Advertisement
One trick to make your experience section look better is to keep in mind the objectives of the company you are applying to. Pointing out specific key verbs and occupation specific nouns along with identifying the company’s language is a great way to have the manager stop at your resume and give it a read.
Write an Impressive Education Section
Your education section will help the hiring manager to analyse your expertise, knowledge and even your I.Q. Moreover, if your professional profile is lengthy, then make sure you sum up your education in a concise yet informative way.
If you are confused about what to include under your Education Section, here are a few tips:
- Names of school, college and university.
- Location and branch of your educational institutes.
- Date of Graduation (Date, Month and Year)
- Degrees and Diplomas
- If you have taken any online courses relevant to your field, do mention them.
Spread Your Hard and Strong Skills All Across Your Resume
While writing down an essay of your skills might not necessarily get you the job, spreading your abilities and capabilities in an orderly way will definitely catch the attention of the hiring manager.
What are Hard Skills?
Hard Skills mainly refer to quantifiable qualities of a candidate. This may include:
- Language fluency
- Data Representation
- Web Architecture
- Technical Reporting
- Software Development
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Content Management System
- Mac, Linx, Unix Systems
- Java Development
- SEO and SEM
- HTML, CSS
What are Soft Skills?
Contrary to the above, soft skills are more personal centric skills which tells the hiring manager about your qualitative skills. These include:
- Career oriented
- Logical reasoning
- Decision making
- Time Management
- Stress Management
- Cultural Intelligence
Remember, a good resume will have a healthy balance of both hard and soft skills.
Some companies’ requirements differ from other companies. For example, an IT company would want certain requirements to be fulfilled by the candidate. So if you are applying to an IT company, make sure you draw out a different section of technical skills. For example, you may write:
- Expert in Microsoft Office Suite, Visio and Oracle
- Excel at C++, HTML, Python, etc.
Write Down About Impressive Certifications, Awards and Honors
This section will strengthen your resume. Although adding a certification or a certain license mainly depends upon your industry niche, it can still have you win brownie points.
If you are applying to a field that demands a lot of writing, you may want to consider creating a publications section under which you will list any of your published articles. You can also attach a portfolio of your articles or put down a link if you are sending the CV online.
Awards and Honors
This section comes at the last and adds a “final touch-up” to your resume. Adding relevant awards and achievements is one of the ways to make your resume unique. It is more appropriate to break it up into sections like;
- Academic Affiliation
- Volunteer Work
All in all, after getting done with the difficult job, you need to organize your resume outlook. Nobody wants to waste time on a lengthy resume that has unnecessary information. The bottom line is, if you think that any extra information is going to strengthen your resume, feel free to add an extra page.
Make sure your font size is appropriate, readable and clear to the reader.
So what are you waiting for? Start building your research today!