HOW TO WRITE A GOOD RESUME
23 January 2019
A resume or CV is the most integral part of finding a job. A good resume is your most important marketing tool when you are trying to sell yourself to a hiring manager. A resume should include your skills, qualifications and work experience. When drafting your resume, you must always ensure that there are no grammatical errors, flashy fonts or inconsistent formatting. Your resume should look clean, clear and professional.
If you want to be invited to an interview for your dream job, you will need to apply with a well-written resume. As this can be an extremely daunting task, we have provided some guidelines below that will help you to write an attention-grabbing resume.
In drafting your resume, try and ensure that it is only one page, unless you have a decade of experience. Hiring managers are attracted to well-formatted resumes with eye-catching details. Studies suggest that 8 of 10 resumes are rejected in a 10-second glance. Therefore, you need to ensure that your resume stands out from the others to be invited to interview, where you can have the opportunity to demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help to make your resume one of the best.
- Choose any of these three formats:
Since there are no general rules for formatting a resume, the choice of formatting will be determined by your job searching requirements and should be one of the below three options.
1. Reverse-chronological: This is the most common and traditional format and the one that most people use. It is good for candidates of any level of experience. You should use this format if you want to provide a vertical career progression and/or if you are applying in the same industry. However, you should not consider this format if there are long gaps in your employment history or if you have changed jobs often.
2. Functional: The functional format heavily emphasises a person’s skills, abilities and qualities. Therefore, a person with a high level of experience should use this format. The functional format is also easy to use if you are changing your job industry or have large gaps in your employment history, as this format will highlight your skills. However, do not opt for this format if you are an entry-level candidate.
3. Combination: The combination format is the mixture of both the reverse-chronological and the functional formats. This format is best if you want to demonstrate your qualification and professional experience. You should use this format if you have a specific skill set in a specific industry with a high level of experience. This format is also good if you are looking to change your career path.
- Contact information:
The beginning of your resume should have a section with your personal and contact information. It is important to maintain an updated resume with contact information that is up-to-date and accurate, so that hiring managers will be able to easily contact you. This section must include your full name, cellphone number and email address as a minimum. Adding details of your LinkedIn profile is optional.
- Objective statement:
The objective statement comes next. This statement is a summary of the job that you are seeking, your skills, experiences and the reason to hire you. It can also state why you would be the best fit for the job. Remember to customise this objective statement to suit the particular job that you are applying for.
- Show your contributions:
Most of your resume will include your work experience, which should be listed in chronological order. In this section, you should describe your past jobs from the most recent to the oldest. When detailing your jobs, include descriptions of your accomplishments or your duties in each job. In today’s result-driven approach, it is important to detail to the hiring manager how your contributions benefited each employer. This detail should explain how you excelled in the position by using action verbs and quantifiable data.
- Showcase your skills:
In this section you can demonstrate your qualities and soft skills to the hiring manager. Your resume should provide details as to how you utilised your skills to achieve a specific goal. It is always better to show examples of the projects that you have accomplished based on your expertise and talents.
- Include your technical skills:
As a certain amount of technical skills are required for most jobs, in this section you can showcase your technical knowledge or experience. Use the job description that is provided in the job posting as a basis to help you understand the type of technical knowledge that the employer is looking for, and then highlight your applicable technical skills in your resume. Employers assume that the candidates have MS Office experience, however, mention your level of proficiency, or if you have completed any related courses or training.
- Describe special talents:
You can include your specialised skills or talents, such as having a foreign language fluency. Also, include any awards or recognition that you have received, which are related to the job position. Do not waste valuable space by including your personal interests or hobbies, only include information that is relevant to the job and can be helpful in securing you an interview.
- Adding keywords:
Some employers may scan your resume in search of the keywords that they used in the job posting. Make sure to include some of these keywords.
It is important to update your resume for each job application, including the keywords tailored to each job. Employers prefer resumes that are tailored to the specific job. It also demonstrates that you paid attention to each detail of the job listing, which creates a good impression to employers.
One simple mistake in your resume can cancel your most awaited interview. An employer who is swamped with resumes will quickly discard your resume if there are any errors in it. Therefore, it is vital that you always proofread your resume to check for any spelling and grammatical errors. It is also recommended that you ask your friend or a relative to double-check your resume before you submit it.
Follow these guidelines to draft a professional-looking resume that any employer will be impressed by and will hopefully call you for an interview.
Below is an example of well-compiled resume.