A resume is a written document detailing your education, experience, credentials and accomplishments. To apply for a job in most professional fields, employers require a resume and cover letter to enable them to determine if you are a potential candidate or not. In the crowded job market, you need a resume that stands out for a chance to be invited for an interview.
Modesty inclines us to downplay our capabilities most of the time. Consequently, we avoid blowing our horns and bragging about our skills and abilities. In a resume, this is one mistake you cannot afford to make. You have a single shot to sell yourself to the hiring managers as among the best they can easily and quickly select.
If you are submitting your resume to searchable computer databases, include as many industries and job-specific keywords as possible. This way, your resume will stand out since the employer is likely to select the resumes with the most hits on keywords. Make your explanations more concise with effective impact statements.
Highlight your skills and achievements, providing only sufficient information to support your premises. Most recruiters want your entire resume on one page, but up to two pages is adequate if you have a broad work history. Begin phrases or sentences with verbs, choosing powerful resume action verbs that show the impact you made on your team like “led”, “supervised” and “initiated".
Include just the headings and subheadings you need. If you have a college degree, for example, your primary and secondary education is not relevant. In a starter resume, where you are fresh from college or high school and are yet to hold any professional position, do not fill your work history with fictitious points. Instead, replace the experience section with relevant coursework, internships, academic achievements and any other extracurricular projects you may have been a part of that will paint the correct picture of your abilities.
Different Resume Formats
You can find a simple resume template online that can give you guidance to nailing that job. You have to ensure the format is right for you. We’ll look at three different formats that you can use to create your resume pdf and include a basic resume example at the end.
Reverse Chronological Resume Format
This format works best for a starter resume or an entry-level job position. It is the most simple resume format; the resume format employers see as ordinary. The work experience section gets the most emphasis with this format. Items are listed in order of most recent to oldest, with the work experience section coming before skills and education.
A reverse chronological resume format should include the following:
Contact Information: Write your current contact indicating
This format is mostly suitable for senior level positions and those applying for creative or skill-based roles like computer programming. It works well for those with unusually large gaps in their work history and career changers with relevant work experience to hide. This format is not very popular though.
A functional resume format should include the following:
Skills Summary (most of the content)
Just like you might have guessed, this format combines reverse chronological resume format and functional resume format.
A combination resume format should include the following:
This format features a flexible resume layout and you can choose the order of the skills, education and work experience sections. However, Additional Skills section has to come right after Skills Summary.
As you outline your accomplishments in the resume, think of the job ad you are responding to and follow any instructions that could have been laid out. If the employer asks for three referees on a separate page, for example, providing two referees would be detrimental to your chances.