Writing a resume is an arduous task. Many resources are available that provides the writing tips and suggestions on how to write a resume for the first time. However, we advise you to write it in your own. We are here to encourage as well as guide you through the process of writing impressive resume.
What is Resume?
A resume is the document that unveils your personal and professional information such as work experience, education, skills and contact details. This document helps you to apply for a job.
How To Choose Professional Resume Format?
Choosing the professional resume format is important. It is all about how your resume will look like. Basically, there are three types of formats namely:
- Reverse chronological
- Skill based or Functional resume
Now, let’s see what is the difference between these formats? And which format one should choose.
1. Reverse Chronological:
Reverse Chronological is the most used format amongst the job seekers. The format is flexible and can be used by any level experience job seeker.
- Familiar to recruiters
- Shows vertical career progression
- Promotes upward career mobility
- Want to apply to similar kind of job.
- Don’t use if you have major gaps in employment history
- Changing the career path
- Frequent change in job
- Not creative
The bits and pieces from reverse chronological and combination format makes combination format. This format is used by the job seekers who have more experience working in a particular industry.
- Highlights the specific skill set within a specific career
- Master of the subject for which you are applying
- Change the career path that can emphasize the transferable skills.
- Uncommon and not too familiar amongst recruiters
- Lack in experience
- Not advisable for entry level candidate
3. Functional or Skill based:
Functional format mainly focuses on the abilities and skills of the job seeker. It highly emphasize on the qualification of the job seeker. Functional or Skill base format is more suitable for expert level or experienced job seeker.
- Gaps in employment history
- Changing in career industry
- Highlight specific skill set
- Entry level job seekers that can emphasize on skills instead of experience
- Negative impression on recruiters as it feels as if you are hiding something
- Lack in transferable skills
So according to your experience and skills you can choose any of the resume formats.
First Resume – Order of the Information:
After selecting the format, now it is important to include your information in the resume. Let’s see the general order to put your information in your resume.
1. Contact Information:
Contact information section is about informing your personal details. This section don’t need any label like contact details or contact information. This section includes following fields
- Email ID
- Mobile Number
- Communicating Address
- Link of any of your online portfolio
- Link of your LinkedIn Profile
- Date of Birth
2. Choose the Introduction to your resume:
Job seekers have choices for their introduction of the resume which includes summary of qualifications, career objective and professional profile. The goal is basically to grab the attention of the employer by highlighting skills and experience.
Apart from above mentioned points, there are lot many other points which a job seeker should keep in mind while writing resume. Other points are:
- Styling the resume
- Maintaining Margins
- Use of fonts
- Gap between lines
Here are few essential tips to make your resume stand out of the crowd in its process of attracting the interviewee.
How to Write a Resume for the First Time:
Use a Clear Layout:
The readability factor of your CV is a very important factor that one should maintain. If what you put in your CV is not clear enough to understand by the reader then it marks a negative point in your application for the position.
So, it is must to keep the CV easy and simple to be read and understood in the first go. This is because employees don’t have much time to spend on critically understanding what you wish to convey.
Try to keep it concise and to the point and it should not be a lengthy one more than 2 pages of A4 paper max.
Tailor your CV according to the position:
The CV should reflect your understanding and clear knowledge about the job position. This may be a bit time taking but the benefits of making the CV appropriate to the position is endless and can land you to the interview in most cases.
From this small tailoring, your motivation and affection towards the profession are reflected which is highly preferred by most of the employees in the candidates.
This is also a reflection of how keen you are about getting the job.
Use Industry related Keywords and buzzwords:
Your prime intention and aim are to achieve the job posting. When you add certain keywords in a CV that is related to the respective field then the reviewer comes to understand about your depth in the field and you make your way easily to the next round.
Keywords related to the job with supporting examples of experience are sure to add credibility to the candidature. But in this respect you should also remember that overuse of keywords in your CV can create a jargon jungle for you.
This would make the reader feel over-crowded and confused with keywords rather than practical information about your candidature.
Tell about yourself heart out:
Two pages of A4 size space is not at all a small place and you have the opportunity to use it well. So, make justice to space and add as much information about yourself as possible. This space is all yours and fills it with valuable and mention worthy information about you.
The CV is the only opportunity to showcase your life achievements till date. Jot your achievements in your past positions and back them with numbers to make them look really presentable.
You may also incorporate information about your team, budget management examples, achieving sales targets with supportive facts and figures to make your CV a strong one.
Make sure to keep it error free:
From the HRs mouth, it is pointed that an error-free resume goes long in the path to get you land to the face-face interview round at ease. A number of characteristic facets are revealed from such a well set CV.
A flawless grammar is sure to result in an extra interest level of the reader to go till the end of the entire CV. Another very important thing that you should not miss out is putting the important information in the front giving it an extra priority in your career.
You should also remember not to put anything negative about your previous employer in your resume.
Keep it updated:
Anything new demands an extra mention in your CV as it adds value to your career. Keeping your CV or resume updated not only marks your alertness regarding the field but also helps the reader to shortlist you based on your current acquisitions in your career.
Being up-to-date creates a good impression on the mind of the interviewee since it depicts about you going that extra mile to keep you ahead in the career race. Your skills are the latest in the field and this is sure to benefit the company hiring you. Your self-sufficiency is what that gets reflected here.
Get a professional and modern template:
There are professional resume services that help you in providing that perfect touch to your resume. But if you are not able to afford one such service, you need not worry about that. There are numerous ready to use templates available online that could give you a professional touch quite close to that of an expert.
You need to have that much skill to choose the right template for your resume so that important things are never missed to get a place in it. While choosing one for you, you should remember to check that all the guidelines for good resume are maintained in the template.
Use an attractive Font:
The default font on Microsoft is the Times New Roman. But for your resume, you have some good opportunity to experiment with a number of fonts. You can also select one over the web.
There are also much pre-loaded in the computer from which you can also choose if you feel confused with so many over the net. You may also stick to the simple thin font if you don’t like much experimenting with your resume.
For the better look on screen and on page Book Antiqua, Tahoma and Georgia are best options.
Clear contact information:
You should note that your contact information is one most important thing in the resume. Once you have finished the task of informing and impressing the reader with all your life achievements you would expect a call from the interviewer for the next rounds for which a neat and clean mentioning of your contact information is very much essential.
Your name along with the mail id and contact number is a must item that are required under the contact details section.
Skimming your resume is very important:
It is a very crucial point to note that people read differently on a computer screen than on paper. So, making your resume skimmable becomes very much essential here. Most managers prefer reading after skimming and scanning rather than reading every word. Thus skimming your resume would help you create a dramatic difference.
There are few tricky ways like highlighting the headlines and important facts with bold or italics, avoid cramped resume with white space around the headings, keeping the resume point wise, emphasize keywords or phrases in bold.
Avoid getting too artistry:
A little bit of experimentation is always welcome for your resume, but when it comes to major and highlighting achievements in your career a too much of artistic fonts may mar the show. Any sort of clip art or fancy lines or borders, confusing bullets are even not much welcome, in case of any designer’s resume.
A resume needs to be neat and clean rather than becoming clumsy and over-crowded. Unnecessary use of colors in case of fonts and headings is one thing that is highly rejected by most managers.
A black and white resume is the widely accepted norm while a smart addition of color is also not unheard of. A different colored monogram, dark blue headings other than black may also work well in creating an impression.
Keep the Industry need at the front and center:
In the midst of telling about yourself, you cannot afford to forget about what the industry needs are. Your industry appropriate skills and knowledge needs a special mention in your CV. This should be specially positioned as well.
No other place than the front and center of the resume could opt for such information since this is the place where the vision of the reader gets stuck in the first glance.
Customize it to tell a story:
The resume if treated as a short story writing about the career section of your life, then you could easily form the best CV for you.
This story written in a proper format with resume bullets points and highlights should be customized enough to keep the reader captivated to what you have to say through your CV.
Your resume should be long enough to tell your complete story but short enough to be skimmable in a single sitting.
Supplement with a cover letter:
A proper resume needs to be backed by a proper cover letter. A well-formatted cover letter sets the tone of your resume and also does the half work for it. It actually conveys what you have to say in a nutshell. So, proper use of a cover letter is must when you intend to do something positive with your career.
Your resume is the passport for the job interviews. So, one should make sure that the resume created should be appealing, short and crisp. So, take your time and create your resume with the help of the above mentioned guidance to win over any interview you face.