When searching for employment, the important document to have is your resume. It quickly presents your identity and background to prospective employers. Furthermore, it describes your experience and skill set. Resume structures, content, and style may vary. The 10-second resume rule can help here. Apart from that, there are universal takeaways that every resume must contain which is what you'll learn as you read on.
Your Contact Information
This section of your resume must contain your name and how you can be contacted. So, your name should go along with your email address and phone number. This section can also include a website or portfolio link if it is a requirement. A correct example of your contact information should look like this:
Name: John Baker
Address: Leeds, Yorkshire
Phone number: (+44) 7891234567
To have the attention of your employer, you can adopt using your name as the resume title. Since your contact information is the first section, format it so that it will attract attention.
Without complete contact information, the recruiter or prospective employer will have no way to reach you.
Resume Objective or Summary
As the name of this section implies, it should be brief. Don't bore your prospective employer with a long summary. Keep it to at most a couple of sentences. Let it focus on describing who you are and what makes you a qualified job applicant. Review the job listing and pen down the precise skills you have that are relevant to the job.
On the other hand, your resume objective should highlight your short-term goals. Keep it short too. If possible, you can include a highly summarized work background in your resume summary if you have considerable experience in the field.
On the flip side, a resume objective is ideal for those who just graduated from school and have little or no employment background. A good example of a resume objective looks like this:
"A fresh graduate willing to boost his technical experience with a growing tech firm."
A resume summary should look like this:
"A qualified construction manager with more than 6 years of experience supervising teams and gearing them towards the completion of building projects per safety requirements."
You can use tools such as Draftable to experiment with different objectives or summaries till you come up with the ideal one.
This section should be included if the job requires academic qualifications. Ensure you include the most recent and relevant education in this section. This section should include:
- School's name
- School's location
- Degree obtained
- Year graduated
- GPA (leave this section out if your GPA is below 3.4) (optional)
- Relevant academic achievements (optional).
This is your work experience section. It's where you will highlight the value you provided to your previous employers. You have to list all the important and relevant job experiences for your prospective employer. You should list them starting from the most recent. Ensure the job experience you list covers your work experience between 10 to 15 years.
Let us give you an instance: if you're applying for an advertising job for several years, list your previous work experience covering a maximum of 15 years and ensure it's relevant to advertising and leave others out. On the other hand, if your employment experience is brief, list every employment you've had, whether it's relevant or not. Prospective employers can use that to have a profile on what type of employee you can be.
Moreover, some of the skills you'll list can apply to the new industry you intend to move into. You can also list volunteer work experience if any, especially if you had a position or numerous responsibilities.
Highlight Your Relevant Skills
This is where you will list your soft or physical skills. This can include professional certifications and tools that you've gained mastery of. Ensure the skills you list are relevant. For instance, don't include your skill as a violinist for a job that has nothing to do with music. Ensure you include skills such as attention to detail, organization, team player, etc.
You should present your resume in a readable font style and size. We recommend fonts such as Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, etc. Recommended font sizes include 11 or 12. Avoid having a font size or style that will make your prospective employers or interviewers squint or reach for their reading glasses. Good typography will boost your chances of getting a job interview.
A lot of recruiters spend less than 1 minute reading a resume. So you have to make it readable. Format your resume to make it easy to skim through. They will scan your resume for keywords and valuable information. Make good use of headings, spacing, margins, punctuation marks, bullet points, etc.
A lot of recruiters use automated tools such as Affinda's CV Parser to review and screen resumes for the applicants who are a right fit for that job position.
These are the seven tips you need to remember when preparing your resume. This way, your chances of filling the spot increase as you get an edge over your competitors. What other things should one consider when making a resume? Please feel free to let us know in the comments.
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