I will explain how to make a good and complete resume in the following 8 steps:
- Choose a format and style for your resume
- Clearly state your name and contact details
- Add a strong resume objective
- State your work experience
- Make a list of the most relevant skills
- List your previous education and certifications
- Make sure your resume is ATS proof
- Check your resume
Step 1. Choose a format and style for your resume
Open a new document on, preferably, your desktop. In either Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc. Here we can start with choosing the style of your personal resume.
- The font
- The colors
- Making use of sectioning
To keep your resume formal. For instance, when you apply in an industry such as finance, it must be taken into consideration that your resume should be clean. It shouldn’t have too many colors or use too many graphics and icons. For these industries you should stick to a more traditional style resume. Darker colors are seen as more appropriate.
In contrary are the creative jobs. When applying for a job such as in marketing, it´s appreciated more to use a design that is more modern and shows more personality. You can use more colors, graphics, icons and modern font (such as Trebuchet MS or Garamond). For our recruiters, fonts and templated resumes are harder to get through the system and would give them extra work. Therefore, I would advise you to use a simple template.
When this is done, you can choose out of 3 different formats for your resume. Each of these formats will highlight a different part of your performance throughout the years. The 3 formats are chronological, functional and combination. The right format for you is based on a couple factors, such as your past working experience, the skills you have and the type of job you’re applying for.
The first format we are going to go over is the chronological format. Using this format is in your best interest when you have a lot and relevant work experience. This is because this format will highlight your previous jobs. Your most recent job will be on top, in this way your resume is easily edited in the future. However, this format does put an emphasize on any time you were unemployed, also known as employment gaps. If you want to show the hiring managers your progress over the years, then this is the format that will get that message across in an efficient and clear way.
Secondly there is the functional format. This format is in your best interest if you want to highlight your skills. Here your skill categories will be listed on top. Under the list of skills, you will be adding evidence or support that you attained these skills. The best way to do this is in bullet points. The instances that you will use this format are if for instance if you have decided to make a change of careers or when there are cases of long employment gaps. Keep in mind that this format will not make you very popular with the recruiters. Skills don’t give them enough information to decide if you are a good fit or not.
At last, we have the combination formatted resume. Just like the name implies, this format is a combination of both previously mentioned formats. This format was created for job seekers who have the experience and the skill set to support this. In this format you can let both have as much attention as you want. This is generally the best for almost all people who are looking for a job. The recruiters also get a good overview of your experience and the fitting skills.
Step 2. Clearly state your name and contact details
The first thing to add to your resume is your contact details. These should be right on the top and the first thing anyone gets to see.
The contact information should include:
- Your name
- Your phone number (including country code)
- Your location of current residency (country, city and zip code)
- Your email address (make sure it is a professional email address)
Other things you could also include is:
- Your LinkedIn profile
- A headline (one liner of your experience)
- A digitalized portfolio
- A professional picture
Step 3. Add a strong resume statement
Recruiters go through quite some applications every day. With competition like that you have to make sure that your resume gets the time of day. This means your resume has to stand out. How do you do this? By making clear that you are the right person for the job you’re applying to. That is exactly what you put down in your objective. The objective is a short overview of the most relevant skills and previous experience. Keep it short and sweet. Around 4 to 5 sentences are more than enough.
Step 4. State your work experience
Now we start writing the rest of the resume, we first start with the work experience. The information that must be included in the subheading is:
- Title of the job
- Time of employment
- Company’s name
- Company’s Location
After that you state not more than 5 bullet points with your achievements and what you were responsible for in your position. Start with your most recent job. So, as mentioned before, it is easy to add new jobs in later. Tailor the mentioned skills to the job you are applying for. Look for clues of what skills they want to see in the job description of the job you applied for.
Step 5. Make a list of the most relevant skills
Your most relevant skills should be displayed in a different section. In this way our recruiters can see in a glance if you’re qualified for the job. The list of skills has to be a mix of soft and hard skills. Hard skills can only be learned through training, experience, workshops or something you had in school. These skills have to do with usage of certain programs on the equipment used while working in a business. Examples are SEO, public speaking, Adobe Creative Suite. Soft skills are skills that describe you and the way you operate around the workplace. This is important for the recruiters, to see how you go about a workday and how you deal with clients and colleagues. Examples of soft skills are being responsible, empathic, patience.
Step 6. List your previous education and certifications
In general, your education comes last. However, if you have never had a job or if you’re still a student you could put it before your experience. This is what should be included in this section
- Name of the degree
- Name of the school/college
- Date of graduation
You could add your GPA if it is 3.5 or up and your honors and certifications you achieved.
Step 7. Make sure your resume is ATS proof
An ATS system is a system that is used to scan your resume. It takes out specific keywords to find out if you are actually qualified for the roll. When making use of creative resumes or when using graphs in your resume, it is harder to get through the ATS system. With some particular fonts, such as fonts that are designed cannot be read by the scanner. So, make sure that you keep the resume simple but strong. Remember that what is in the resume is more important than the looks of it. Unless you are applying for a creative job.
Step 8. Check your resume
The last step is to check your resume. Don’t send your resume without checking it once or twice, if possible, even more. Make sure there are no grammar errors. Spend enough time on reading through it or let someone else go through it to check. There are also sites you could use to check for spelling errors. Don’t forget to change tenses when you talk about jobs you’ve done in the past and what you’re doing right now.
When you’ve done that save your resume into PDF to make sure that nothing can be changed or moved when you send your resume. Or that when you’ve sent it, they have a different layout then intended. Since this was the last step, you are now all ready to apply for a new job! And I am sure we might have something you are interested in our vacancies. You can now use your fresh and approved resume.