Knowing how to write a good resume is one of the most important tools for job hunting. Your resume will show employers why you are best suited for the job. Read on for tips on how to make sure your resume gets noticed.
Firstly, it’s important to know there are different kinds of resumes. A functional resume lists skills you have gained through previous jobs, volunteer work and other activities relevant to the position you are seeking. A chronological resume lists your experience in order from most recent to least. There is also a combination resume.
A resume should not be considered one-size-fits-all for every job. Tailor your resume for each employer to demonstrate why your particular skills and experience make you a perfect fit. Remember that resumes are not read; they’re scanned. You only have a few seconds to stand out from the pack. Here are a few more resume writing tips you can utilize:
Honesty is the best policy – period. Accurately represent your experience. Do not embellish your experience or capabilities. This will most definitely come back to haunt you.
Provide your contact info first
At the top, list your contact information including full name, mailing address, email address and phone number. If you have numerous email addresses, use only one. You may opt to include a photograph though it is not necessary. (Some recommend against using photos in resumes. In today’s socially connected world however, profile pictures are a common thread, so this thinking tends to be industry-specific and the standards are evolving. Decide for yourself.) Always keep it professional and limited to a headshot, if you do decide to go with a photo. If you have a profile on LinkedIn – and you should – use the same photo.
Summarize your goals
After your personal information, summarize your experience and professional goals in a short paragraph. You want to get their attention and quickly set yourself apart. Incorporate relevant keywords from job postings you are interested in where appropriate, but avoid heavy use of industry jargon.
List your relevant experience
When listing your job experience, note the most recent roles first. Include your position, the company name, location and website address. Summarize each role in a sentence or two, but use bullet points to highlight your accomplishments.
After your experience, list education from most recent to least as well as any groups or associations that you were a member of. This is where you can call out any special skills not mentioned under experience — computer programs you are proficient with, volunteer work, languages you speak, extracurricular activities, etc.
Create a simple layout
Keep it simple. Hiring managers should be able to print your resume on standard 8 ½” x 11” paper. Avoid overly designed layouts, fancy fonts or use of graphics. It should be easy to read with wide margins, one standard font and selective use of bold and italics.
Double-check (and triple-check!) for errors
Typos and grammatical errors will land your resume in the wastebasket. Check, recheck and check again – especially your contact information.
Once you learn how to write a strong resume, and be able to get your foot in the door to the job of your dreams – the rest is up to you!