If you are looking for a job, the first thing you need to do is write a good and comprehensive resume. A resume is simply a complete record of your work experience, education, achievements, certifications, and skills.
It should also include all of your contact information, such as your day telephone numbers and any other information that can make a case for you to get the job. A resume is the first contact between you and the company you wish to work for.
- What Is a Resume?
- The Right Resume Form for Your Needs
- Creating a Header
- Start with a Summary
- Keep the Content Brief
- Highlighting Soft Skills
- Don’t Forget Technical Skills
- Retest for Spelling/Grammar Errors
- Write a Cover Letter
- What to Avoid When Writing a Resume
What Is a Resume?
In some countries, this document is called a Curriculum Vitae, or CV.
So, if you are applying for a job overseas and find them asking you to supply them with a CV, they are asking for a resume.
A resume should be a one-page document that summarizes your personal and previous employment information.
Employers will want to see everything they need on this one page. Therefore, it is important to learn to consolidate all of the information you would like to showcase.
Deciding on the Type of a Resume
There are usually three main types of resumes: a chronological resume, a functional resume, and a combination of the two.
You may consider more than one format if you are going to be applying for multiple jobs at the same time.
The Right Resume Form for Your Needs
Chronological is the most traditional form of writing a resume. It includes a list of all your experiences in the order of how they took place.
This is great when giving it to someone older or for a field that is a little bit conservative.
The functional form of a resume lists your experiences as per your skills. This format is usually great if you are planning on changing your career direction and do not have direct experience.
It, therefore, displays your skills first and then your work experience.
Best of Both Worlds
This combines the best of the functional and chronological styles.
You must be careful, though, as it’s likely to get very long.
However, this format is a great option if you have some relevant work experience but also feel that your skills are more valuable for the position.
Creating a Header
When you start writing the resume, the first thing you need to do is create a header. This should have your name, email address, and phone number.
You can also include a mailing address, although it is not necessary.
Use a phone number that you know you pick up every time someone calls you.
You can also change your voice mail message, so it sounds more professional in case one of the companies you are seeking to get employment with decides to call.
Importance of a Designated Email Address
Also, ensure that the email address is professional. For example, you shouldn’t use addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
These show that you are not serious, and the company is not likely to reach out to you, regardless of how qualified you may be.
Start with a Summary
In a few sentences, you should summarize your work experience and list all the relevant skills needed for the job.
Again, keep this very simple, but also extremely strong.
The summary is useful when explaining why you have decided to apply for the position and how it fits into your career path.
You may also choose not to include this, especially if your experience is enough to speak for itself.
Listing Skills and Experiences
Start this list with your most recent job or the current job you have. List all your previous experiences as well.
This is an important section in the resumé as it shows when and where you have worked before.
It also shows the accomplishments you have achieved over the years.
Keep the Content Brief
Remember that the content shouldn’t be more than one page. So, choose wisely what you wish to share with your potential employer.
Don’t bother listing small-time gigs that do not add any value to you as an individual, such as eating 30 pies in 20 minutes.
Just list all of the most important experiences on your resume.
By adding too much unnecessary content, the employer is likely to assume that you are trying to cover a lack of knowledge/experience in the sphere they need an employee.
Don’t Get into Explanations
The key to making a good impression with a resume is to explain your background without using too many words.
You should leave that for the job interview, as the employer will probably ask you to talk about certain parts of your resume.
Highlighting Soft Skills
One of the most common mistakes people make when writing a resume is leaving soft skills out of the equation.
Leadership, great communication, flexibility, and collaboration are things that any employer wants their employees to have.
To avoid making it seem like you are bragging without providing proof, you are best off showcasing your soft skills by linking to work from your portfolio.
In our experience, a presentation video is just perfect for demonstrating that you have traits such as creativity, time management, and an extensive vocabulary.
Ask Your Friends
As we are all interconnected through social media, your future employer will probably look at your profile.
You can use it to your advantage by asking some of your colleagues (from previous work) or friends to write a recommendation that would highlight some of the soft skills that you possess.
Don’t Forget About the Technical Skills
In the times that we are living, almost every job requires knowledge in the tech sphere.
While you may not need to master C++, Python, or Java, some positions require proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
You should list any software educative program or certification that you have acquired over the past years.
One option is to highlight your knowledge of a certain application by including it in some of your work experience.
The key to creating a spectacular resume is to stay calm and not get overwhelmed by pressure.
With that in mind, you should look to express what makes you unique, whether it is a particular passion, knowledge of a foreign language, or the ability to set goals for a group of people.
Retest for Spelling and Grammar Errors
The importance of proofreading your resume before sending it to your potential employer is something that we can’t stress enough.
No matter how confident you may be in your writing skills, running another check on the spelling/grammar errors will costs you just a few minutes.
On the other hand, it can save you from losing that job opportunity. Make sure to avoid complex words that the reviewing commission may not be familiar with that.
In addition, you are best off asking your friend or family member to go through the text one more time.
Resume writing specialists focus on scanning through each job posting to find the most relevant keywords.
The second step is to use those keywords in your resume as it will guide the potential employer that you’ve read the whole job posting and are pretty aware of what they are looking for.
Write a Cover Letter
One of the methods to increase your chances of getting interviewed is to write a matching cover letter.
Unless the company posting the job prohibited writing anything apart from the resume, it is a move that can set you apart from other applicants.
The cover letter will allow you to communicate your ambitions through a first-person perspective. Therefore, it should accompany the resume with a positive tone.
Make the cover letter readable by keeping it to a single page and using a font size above 12 (Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman).
Each Job Posting Deserves a Cover Letter
One of the most common mistakes is sending the same cover letter to different companies.
It doesn’t matter if it is not the same position; you are ruining your chances of looking competent.
Thus, hitting the right points with keywords and demonstrating that you have reviewed what they need will boost your chances.
What to Avoid When Writing a Resume
Apart from mistakes such as grammar/spelling errors, missing out on keywords, and including too much information, you shouldn’t write a resume that doesn’t meet the objective.
The main reason why you are submitting a CV in the first place is to show that you are a tailor-fit for that job position. The second thing to avoid is being too modest.
While you shouldn’t include irrelevant duties or awards, you shouldn’t shy away from the programs you have completed and the certifications that you have acquired.
Again, your Curriculum Vitae is the perfect document to discuss your accomplishments.
Don’t Undermine Online Resources
There isn’t a reason to skip using online writing tools that can help you make your resumé more readable and precise.
Our personal favorite is Grammarly, a grammar/spelling error checker, and a paraphrasing app that provides relevant suggestions.
Since this is a competition, you must ensure that you come out shining and have the best resumé in the group.
So spend time doing a good job, and don’t take anything for granted.