Learning how to write a resume can take your career to the next level. Whether it’s a resume for your first job or more advanced positions, it’s vital to make a positive first impression. Employers and hiring managers are busy people, so your resume has to capture their attention and tell a comprehensive story of your achievements and potential. If you want to write a good resume, follow these simple steps:
Define Your Goal
You should not have one simple resume that you send out to every job you apply to. Instead, it needs to be a dynamic document that you personalize according to your specific goals at any particular time. When applying to a specific position, first define what it is you want to achieve. Do you want to take on more responsibility? Do you want to lead a team? Do you want to diversify your skillset into a different area? Your goals will determine how you write a resume.
Decide on a Template
There are three main types of resume formats. Firstly, a chronological resume lists your work history in reverse chronological order, which makes it the best option for those looking to advance further in their field. Secondly, a functional resume highlights your skills and is a better choice for people who have a varied work history in different fields or who are at the beginning of their career. Lastly, you could use a combination of the two formats to showcase your skills as well as your work history.
Start by Listing Personal Details
At the top of the document, include your name and contact information. If relevant, you can also provide a URL to your website or portfolio. Make sure all the information is accurate and check the link to ensure it works properly.
Summarize Your Experience Using Keywords
In 2-4 sentences, mention the specific job you are applying for and the most relevant skills and accomplishments you would bring to it. Write in the third person. Make sure the words you use align with the job description you’ve read. For example:
Seasoned account manager with over ten years of experience in working with large-scale clients. Skilled at revenue generation and handling multiple projects. Strong leadership skills.
List Your Relevant Skills
Make a list of your relevant hard and soft skills. Hard skills include technologies, software, or languages you’ve learned. Soft skills include personality attributes like communication, teamwork, leadership, etc. Use bullet points and quantify your skills where possible. For instance, instead of writing, “Expert typist,” it’s more impactful to say, “Ability to type at 70 words per minute, producing error-free copy.”
List Your Work History
Summarize your experience in reverse chronological order, mainly focusing on your current or last job. Highlight the impact you’ve had in your roles. For instance, list specific targets you achieved or any initiatives you took. Did your colleagues appreciate your work? Did you receive an award of some sort? Remember that a good resume is about selling yourself, so use compelling verbs and data. Make sure you don’t go into too much detail, either. Aim to fit your resume within a single page. It needs to be easy to read.
List Your Educational Background
List your degrees with the highest one first, including the month and year you graduated with each. Remember to also list any relevant awards, honors, or certifications you’ve acquired. If you don’t have any degrees, list your high school diploma.
Edit to Tell a Cohesive Story
Ultimately, you have to write a resume that tells a holistic story about your professional life so far. Once you’ve completed all the steps above, look over it all and see if you’ve made it as relevant, concise, and compelling as possible. Go over the job description once more and make sure you’ve used relevant keywords related to it. Remove anything that seems unnecessary. Once you’re satisfied, you can confidently apply for any job you’re after.
Now that you know how to make a resume, remember to edit and personalize it for each job that you apply for. Good Luck!