You’ve probably heard or already know the importance of a good resume. However, all talk and no action is not going to get you anywhere.
Want to improve your chances to land your dream job? You can with your perfect resume! Here are 10 ways for you to create your perfect resume!
1. Choose the Format
There are various formats in which you can structure your resume:
- Starts from the current experience and goes to past jobs in reverse order.
- Underlines your duties and experience at past jobs.
- It’s familiar to your employers.
- It’s easy to browse through.
- Not very creative.
- Focuses on specific skills and particular experiences you have that will play a huge role in the job that you are applying for.
- A more comprehensive view of your abilities.
- Excellent for experienced individuals.
- Not for entry-level.
2. Fill in Your Contact Info
You shouldn’t include all personal details on your contact info. Stick to your:
- Name: First and last names.
- Phone number: It’s better to give your personal handphone number.
- E-mail address: Ensure it looks professional – not something like email@example.com. Instead, use a email like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- LinkedIn profile: The URL to your profile allows employers to look for additional info regarding your work experience.
If you want your resume to look better, consider including the following info:
- A catchy title before your name, like “Coffee aficionado and content writer extraordinaire.”
- Social media accounts that are related to your job, especially if you’re a photographer or designer.
- Link to your blog, website or portfolio that are relevant to your skills and experience.
3. Resume Summary
You need a catchy statement or inspiring image to attract your potential employer’s attention. Consider that employers spend just a few seconds browsing resumes and don’t pay attention to everything.
A professional heading statement attracts their interest and makes you look like an attractive, witty candidate.
This statement should summarize your resume, so include your work experience, objective and measurable results in three sentences or less. Focus on major accomplishments and skills, not your everyday duties.
Example: Web designer with 7 years of experience. Have worked with major customers like Airbnb with 47 projects completed and 93% customer satisfaction. Looking to use my creative and analytical skills with Kraken Media.
If you have no work experience, fret not. Choose a resume objective statement, which underlines your skills. Focus on transferable abilities and highlight your biggest accomplishments with numbers and percentages. Use short, straight-to-the-point sentences.
Pro tip: Don’t use the first person in these statements. Instead of “I have been a web designer for 7 years” it’s better to write “Web designer with 7 years of experience.”
Pro tip: Personalize your resume by naming the company you want to work for.
4. List Your Experience and Results
Highlight your work experience by listing the most important jobs. For each job, add the following lines:
- Job title
- Company and city
- Dates employed
- Key responsibilities
- Key accomplishments
This section should be near the top, so your employer can read it fast, right after your resume statement. If you’re an entry-level candidate, replace your professional experience with your education section.
The key accomplishments section is essential. If you don’t have any measurable results to include, add activities that transcended your daily work obligations and that show you’re a motivated employee.
Pro tip: Use keywords in your resume. The majority of large companies are using Applicant Tracking System software to score your profile, which is why you should use keywords for your main responsibilities and bullet points.
Here are other tips to consider:
- Don’t make your resume longer than one or two pages.
- Use action words instead of descriptive words.
- Use the active voice.
- Describe only your relevant job positions and briefly mention the non-relevant positions.
- If you’re an entry-level candidate, describe all your paid work positions.
- If you have zero work experience, include internships, volunteer experience or roles in various student organizations.
5. Education Section
- Start with your highest degree.
- List your degrees in reverse-chronological order.
- Don’t list high school or middle school degrees if you have a university degree.
- Don’t list your GPA.
- Add all your awards, honors, training, and courses.
- Don’t lie about your education.
6. Relevant Skills
Differentiate between your hard-skills aka know-how and particular abilities (Adobe Creative Suite, social media analytical tools) and your self-developed soft skills (flexibility, teamwork).
- Include only the relevant skills for a work position.
- Add your skills throughout the resume.
- Include a Skills section.
- Tailor your skills for different companies.
- Include communication, critical thinking, and technical skills.
7. Add Extra Relevant Sections
Personalize your resume with sections that emphasize your accomplishments and recommendations, such as:
- Hobbies and interests
- Volunteer work
- Certifications and awards
- Publications and projects
8. Make Your Resume Readable
After you’ve included all these sections, make sure your resume is easy to read:
- Choose a standard font, like Arial or Times New Roman. No Comic Sans and no cursive allowed!
- You can alternate serif and sans-serif fonts for headings and text sections.
- Choose 1.5 line spacing.
- Make sure the font size is 11-12pt and 14 or 16pt for the headings.
- Use bold text to direct your employer’s attention to certain words.
- Don’t use underlining text.
- Use italics for supporting text.
- Show consistency in formatting dates and using British vs. American English. If you have used an icon or image for one of the sections in your resume, you should use icons throughout it.
9. Edit, edit, edit!
Before sending out your resume, you should double-check everything. Proofread it to make sure it’s error-free. You can even ask someone you trust to do another check and give you their opinion. As a precautionary measure, you can also use online tools such as Grammarly for a free check.
An error-free resume might not be impressive, but one sprinkled with grammatical errors sticks out like a sore thumb and tells your employer that you lack attention to detail.
Another thing you have to edit is your online presence. If your social media accounts have offensive public posts, make them private or remove them altogether. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and complete.
If you’re sending an online resume, a PDF file has a clean look and isn’t prone to formatting issues. On the other hand, a Word doc is easier to read by ATS software. That’s why it’s best to send your resume in both formats.
Personalize your e-mail to make it stand out. Instead of “Dear Sir/ Madam,” find out who will read it and address your e-mail by using their first name. Now make sure your e-mail is error-free too and press send!
What Not To Include In Your Resume
1. Irrelevant Work Experience
If you’re applying for a job as a social media marketing executive, it’s best to include relevant work experience in the field such as internships and attachments.
It doesn’t add much value to your resume if you add your part-time retail or waitering jobs.
2. Personal Information
By personal information, we do not mean things such as your name, date of birth, contact number, etc.
We mean things such as your height, weight, political affiliation and religion. More importantly, employers should not make employment decisions based on these factors. You should also not give them a chance to.
Ensure on keeping your resume focused on your strengths and the facts.
3. Flowery Or Bombastic Language With No Value Add
Each phrase on your resume should showcase a skill or accomplishment that you have. Flowery or bombastic language might prove to be a distraction and distract the employer from focusing on your achievements.
4. A Picture Of Yourself
Unless you are applying for a job in the entertainment industry, or your job requires you to have a picture of yourself on the resume, there is no need for this.
Your photo gives the employer a chance to make an unnecessary first impression of you. It might also inadvertently lead to discrimination. There is no need to provide your employer with your photo until they have considered you for the job based solely on your experience and achievements.
With the above dos and don’ts, you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect resume!