Some people struggle because often, landing a job is a race against time, against a sea of equally-competitive applicants. In about six seconds or less, hiring managers can already see whether you’re worth their time or not. This is when a perfectly-written resume comes in handy.
If you’re having trouble writing your resume, you’re not alone. According to a recent study by TopResume, about 76% of professionals are worried and insecure about their resume-writing skills.
Are you a part of the majority of professionals who struggle with resume-writing? Don’t give up just yet – it’s simply not everyone’s cup of tea.
The good news is – we hear you and we’re here to help you! Have what it takes to stand out from a job-hungry crowd and follow our ultimate guide on writing a winning resume:
What is resume exactly?
Think of your resume as a marketing tool to sell yourself to the company you’re interested in. In two pages or less, it must contain all the qualifications you have that make you suitable for the job.
Resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV): What’s the Difference?
If you’ve been inside the job-hunting rabbit hole for a while, you might have encountered the word CV or Curriculum Vitae. While it is commonly used interchangeably with resume, they’re not the same thing.
While you have to write your resume differently for every position you’re applying for, you don’t have to do so in a CV. Instead of the CV itself, changes are usually made in the cover letter.
A CV can be more than two pages, while a resume must not be any longer than two pages.
What a Winning Resume Looks Like?
While formats might vary per job application, most of them can be divided into five sections. Want to know how to effectively write each section? Read on below to find out more:
1. Contact Information
Make sure to put only your updated (latest) contact information. Nothing’s more saddening than being qualified only to find out you’ve written an old contact number.
Save yourself the trouble and include your name, phone number, email address, and location right at the top of the page.
In writing your summary, always make sure to answer the question – “What do you bring to the table?”
Describe your best professional skillsets and accomplishments within three to five declarative statements. It would also be best to use the language from the job description.
Use your potential employer’s job description as a guide in writing your skills section. It is ideal to have a bullet list of six to eight “hard” (technical) and “soft” (interpersonal) skills that are relevant to your desired position.
4. Work Experience
If you’ve worked numerous times, this section must stand out the most. Highlight your work experience by including your job title, company name, employment dates, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Start with the most recent job you had up to the very last.
5. Educational Background
Although this might not matter much on more experienced applicants, this section is vital to fresh graduates or entry-level applicants. Highlight your education background by starting by your highest degree backward.
A Step-by-step Guide
Now that you have an idea of how the perfect resume looks like, how do you write your own? Follow these steps:
1. Make it simple.
If you want to make your resume stand out, it’s easy to follow the advice that tells you to make it bold and creative. While this might be perfect if you’re applying for creative jobs like a graphic designer or a photographer, this won’t be too appropriate for office jobs.
With this in mind, keep it simple and readable. Avoid fancy fonts and opt for fonts like Arial or Calibri. To make it readable, make sure to use a font size 11 or bigger. For your name, adjust the font size to 14. To make sure page(s) don’t appear cramped, opt for an inch of margin all over.
While you’re free to design your resume, keep it minimal and classy. Slight hints of neutral colors will do. Sharp, linear designs are also recommended for a sleek look.
2. Make it organized.
As mentioned, a resume is divided into five sections. However, you can make as many sections as you like. It is also advisable to use bullets for lists and bold any important words you want to highlight.
3. Write an impressive career profile.
Think of it as a written answer of by far the most commonly-asked question by recruiters – “Why should we hire you?” While it’s easy to fall on the trap of lengthy answers, make it short yet full of impact.
4. Let the work experience and education sections do the magic.
Here’s a tip in describing your work and education history – use active verbs. This will make your resume easier to understand. Grammar and wordplay are extremely important here, so make sure to use the right words. Find the right balance of wordings that won’t make you a sloppy or a try-hard.
5. Let your additional skills add a little personality to your application.
If you’re fluent in a foreign language, why not include that on your resume? Additional skills in linguistics, social services, and other slightly different fields give you the impression that you’re a well-rounded individual.
What are the Dos and Don’ts in Writing a Resume?
· Update your resume
· Highlight your tech skills
· Proofread the content
· Let your references know they might get a call soon
· Lie on your education and job experience
· State the reasons for leaving a specific job
· Be too personal
· State “References available upon request”
· Include your company contact information
· State your high school, middle school, and elementary education if you’ve graduated college
· Include your GPA unless asked or you’re a fresh graduate
The Next Step
Whether you’re looking for employment or simply wanted to give your resume a quick update, knowing the essentials of a winning resume can get you places towards a soaring professional career. So, don’t wait any longer. Take the tips from this article and write your perfect winning resume.