It’s no secret that landing an interview for a job can be a challenge, let alone landing the actual job itself. But when you know how to craft the perfect resume, you give yourself something that other candidates simply just don’t have – a chance! Thanks to this 10-step guide, you can be well on your way towards securing an interview with a well-crafted resume that’s specifically designed to draw the eyes of your interviewers.
So, let’s get started!
1.The Right Format Makes All The Difference
For many, they just don’t realize how important it is to choose the correct format for their resume. Traditionally, there are three distinct formats that should be used and they include reverse-chronological format, which is the most familiar to most applicants because it lists your most relevant experience first, followed by combination format, which is excellent for seasoned professionals who want to highlight relevant skills that can be transferred to a new career, and lastly, functional format, which is entirely skills based.
Now, it’s important to remember that there are pros and cons for each of these formats, which is why you’ll want to choose the right format that suits your experience, your skills, and most importantly, your purposes.
Why Microsoft Word resume templates are no good
- It is a very old fashioned way to write a professional resume and takes along time to create
- Anytime you need to update your resume it’s template breaks and you have to redo it all over again
- Whenever you want to change the template you’ll spend hours just trying to figure what section goes where.
2. Don’t Forget Your Contact Information
This may come as a surprise, but far too many applicants neglect to include their personal information and contact information on their resume – this is a big mistake! But why? Because your interviewers want to learn more about you – other than simply reading about your experience on a piece of paper or on their screen. For instance, basic contact information is a must. From there, you should include a link to your LinkedIn profile, so that your potential employer can learn more about what you can and have brought to the table.
You can even consider adding links to social media profiles, your website, a blog, or even a personal portfolio – but all of this comes after adding the basics like your name, title, mailing address, phone number, and email address – and let’s just throw your LinkedIn profile here as well. It’s all relevant information for a potential employer!
3. The Summary Says It All
The executive summary – also known as the heading statement – is an important component of a well-crafted resume that is not to be overlooked. And remember, because your likely employer will be flipping through resumes faster than you can swipe through your camera roll on your phone, you’ll have to make sure that you hit the nail on the head.
Don’t just go through your daily duties – write clear, concise, and short sentences that list off your accomplishments, experience, and skills one by one. Also, be sure to avoid the first-person tense!
4. Keep It Relevant
Many resumes fail to list what we’d call “relevant” work experience. Instead, applicants list every job they ever held – including their job at the bowling alley when they were 17. Remember, whoever is going to read your resume will probably want to get through it in a matter of minutes, if not less. This is your chance to show your employer that you have relevant skills and experience that they’d be interested in.
Now, when it comes to listing your relevant experience, this is how you should do it:
- Job Title
- Responsibilities & Duties
- Achievements & Accolades
- Relevant Keywords
Sounds simple, right? Also, be sure to remember that when adding multiple job experiences to your resume, you do so following the correct chosen format. If you choose reverse-chronological format – you must be sure to put the most recent position first!
5. Education Made Simple
Believe it or not, education is always somewhat of a grey area for many job applicants. Mostly because the ways in which it should be displayed on your resume are just too unclear. Here, we’d like to simplify it for you and make it easier than ever to showcase your hard work in academia the right way.
So, first, you’d like you place your highest degree first. If you’ve earned a master’s degree, that should be listed at the top. Everything else should follow suit in reverse-chronological order. If you’ve gone to college, no high school information should be included because it’s simply not relevant. From there, you can add any specialized courses that you’ve taken, any accolades and awards, or any honors.
Now, where exactly do you place your education section? That depends on how much experience you have. If you’re seeking an entry level position, it’s okay to place your education information above your work experience. If you’re a seasoned professional, place it just below your work experience.
6. Adding The Right Skills
There’s a difference between what we’d call hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are specific abilities that only few people know – for instance, perhaps you’re an amateur photographer and have become a master at Adobe Photoshop. This could be an important skill that could separate your application from others – even if it has nothing to do with photography!
Soft skills, on the other hand, are skills that are learned simply through experience. For example, these can include things like organization skills, leadership, adaptability, communication, and much more. But when you combine your hard skills and soft skills together, you present a unique skillset for yourself that potential employers will be interested in.
But remember, always be sure to add the right skills – this means add only relevant skills to the position that you’re applying for. So, if you’re applying to be a bookkeeper, your Photoshop abilities simply aren’t relevant!
7. Include Some Important Additional Sections for your resume
Resumes that warrant them can always benefit from some additional sections that can include things like your hobbies, your interests, any relevant volunteer work that you’ve done, certifications, awards, and the like. However, this should only be done when your resume warrants it.
You can even include information like any publications or projects that have your name included, second languages, portfolio information, and much more. As long as it’s relevant to the job that you’re applying for, it’s fair game!
8. Don’t Ditch The Cover Letter
Similar to the executive summary, a cover letter is a must. And for far too many potential applicants, they miss out on the job of they’re dreams because they’re too reluctant to write a cover letter. This critical piece of information can be considered your resume 2.0. It allows you to expand on your experience, to highlight the most important achievements in your career history to date, and it gives you the opportunity to quickly and clearly articulate just why you’re the most qualified candidate for a position.
And guess what? You can do it all in full, complete sentences.
9. Proofread Proofread Proofread your resume!
This should go without saying, but always be sure to proofread your resume before you save and send it out. And before you do that, have someone else read and proofread it for you as well. Double check your information for accuracy, use Spellcheck on Microsoft Word, use a third-party software like Grammarly, or bring it to someone who you trust.
Don’t miss out on your chance to secure an interview due to a misplaced comma, a forgotten period, or an incorrect date!
10. Be Confident!
Your last step for this 10-step guide is simple – just be confident. As long as you’ve followed each and every step listed above to the detail, your final task is to remain confident in your abilities, confident in your resume, and confident in yourself to land the job that you’ve always wanted.
And trust us, confidence can take you anywhere that you want to go! Goodluck!