How To Ace Your Next Interview
Youve perfected both your resume & cover letter. Now, its time for the next step – the dreaded job interview.
Whether youre an extrovert or an introvert, you probably hate the interviewing process. After all, sitting there while someones prodding into your past experiences and judging the hell out of you isnt the most fun experience.
Did you know, though, that most interviewers ask the same questions? Yep – all you have to do is learn how to answer some of the most common interview questions, and youll be an interview away from landing your dream job!
Want to learn more? Check out our complete guide to Job Interview Questions and Answers.
How Is A Resume Supposed To Look Like Examples
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Include A Summary And Your Contact Information
The first few lines of your resume are among the most important when grabbing an employer’s attention. You can make a good first impression with a compelling summary. At the top of your resume, the summary or overview section should highlight your key skills, experience, qualifications and achievements.
You should also add your name and email address at the top of your resume so that its easy to find. Making your contact details readily available will help a hiring manager who wants to contact you. Its usually enough to include only your city, state and zip code in your mailing address.
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Customize Your Resume As Much As Possible
Dont use a generic resume for all your applications. Its important to highlight specific skills, attributes, and experiences you have that would be an asset to your new employer.
Employers want to know why youre the best fit for the specific job youre applying to. Tailor your resume to each job. Just make sure you attach the right version before you hit the send button.
When Should Your Resume Be Three Pages
Your resume should rarely be three pages or more. Most of the information for a three-page resume is better suited for a LinkedIn profile or a comprehensive CV.
âThough we generally advise against a resume length beyond two pages, sometimes itâs necessary,â says Jennifer. âSome professions and industries have a different set of standards when it comes to resumes and therefore require more information.â
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Free Collection Template Example
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Elaborate Formats And Designs
When it comes to selecting a design for your resume, less is more. Not only do elaborate designs and unconventional formats confuse most applicant tracking systems, but they also annoy recruiters who are accustomed to quickly scanning a resume for specific information they expect to find in particular spots within the document. Don’t make recruiters hunt for the information they care about. Play it safe and stick to a clean resume design with a clear hierarchy. Not sure what works? Check out TopResume’s library of free resume samples.
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Write For An Applicant Tracking System
An applicant tracking system is software used by companies to review, rank and sort applications received for a job or internship posting. An ATS prioritizes and ranks resumes according to their use of the specified keywords related to the job posting. Resumes with the least amount of keywords or those not formatted for an ATS are ranked lowest.
General best practices for writing an ATS-friendly resume include:
- Review the job description for character traits and skills needed to be successful in the role.
- Collect a list of keywords from the listed preferred and required qualifications.
- Use standard headings like Experience, Skills and Education.
Avoid complex formattings such as images, columns, tables, headers and footers.
Pro Tip: Submit a word document when applying to jobs online. It may be tempting to submit a PDF file since this format does not readjust your formatting, but not all ATSs can scan this format properly.
Read more: How to Write an ATS-Friendly Resume
Striking The Right Balance On Your Resume
Omitting information can make recruiters suspicious, especially if there are large gaps in your employment history. So make sure your resume doesnt have too much white space, or gaps in time, without including relevant information. If you worked outside of your current industry while in-between positions, for instance, you can account for it by including it in an additional experience section.
Still, refrain from including every little detail about your personal life if you took some time off to raise a family, or self-publish a novel, youre probably better off leaving that for the cover letter.
The resume is a high-level snapshot of your skills, experience, and accomplishments, Leavy-Detrick says. If a hiring manager has to scan through a really bulky one, theyre more likely to miss key responsibilities.
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How To Pick The Right Resume Format
There are three types of resume formats: reverse chronological, functional or skills-based, and a combination of the two. The choice depends on the type of job you are applying for and your level of experience.
The 3 resume formats are:
1) Reverse chronological resume format – This is the most popular resume format and is ideal for people with plenty of work experience that is relevant to the position theyre interested in.
2) Functional/skills-based resume format If you lack relevant work experience because you are a student/recent graduate, or you are looking to make a career change, the skills-based format is a better choice.
3) Combination resume format The combination resume is a great choice for job-seekers with a very diverse skill-set. Its useful if youre applying for a role that requires expertise in 3-4 different fields, and you want to show all that in your resume. Say, for example, youre applying for a senior management role, and the requirements are expertise in Management, Sales, and Software Development.
So, which one do you go for?
In 90%+ cases, youd want to stick to the reverse-chronological resume format. This is the most common one, and most HR managers are used to this. Hence, in this guide, were going to focus on this specific format.
If youre a recent graduate, or possess a diverse set of skills & work experience, you might want to pick one of the other 2 formats. Check out our guide to resume formats to learn how to write either.
Why Your Resume Should Be One Page
Your resume can safely stick to one page if that is all you need to market yourself. One page resumes can be scanned over quickly by the human eye, so a one-page resume could appeal to in-person scenarios like job fairs and networking events.
If you have a two-page resume with no work experience, it probably contains filler words and information that isnât relevant to your current job application. Cut your resume down to one page by tailoring your resume to your relevant experience.
If youâre making a career change, your past experience is unlikely to be fully relevant to the new job target. Try to lead with your transferable skills and abilities if youâre in this position, rather than experience. A functional resume format may be better for you.
The same goes for recent grads. Odds are that you donât have two pages of relevant experience. However, some graduates have multiple internships, volunteer work, on-campus activities, or publications that belong on a resume. If you just graduated, read more about how to search for a job as a recent graduate.
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How To Write A Resume In 2021
For most job-seekers, a good resume is what stands between a dream job and Choice D. Get your resume right, and youll be getting replies from every other company you apply to.
If your resume game is weak, though, youll end up sitting around for weeks, maybe even months, before you even get a single response.
So youre probably wondering how you can write a resume that leads to HR managers inviting you to interviews daily.
Well, youve come to the right place!
In this guide, were going to teach you everything you need to know about how to make a resume:
How to Write a Resume – Step by step
So, lets dive right in!
Do Use Keywords In Your Resume And Cover Letter
Keywords are the heart of electronic resumes and job banks. Many employers and recruiters use keywords to search resume databases. The more keywords that you have to match the companys keyword search the better odds your resume will be viewed. A keyword search will look for words of skills, knowledge, abilities, personal traits, work experiences, and academic requirements. When writing your resume, it is a good idea to precede your keywords with an action verb and end each statement with specific facts and figures. Your base resume should contain as many keywords for the position/career youre looking for as possible. We recommend reviewing about 10 job postings for your position and make a keyword list from each, and then you can compile a solid list of words you need to include.
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Add Your Education Certifications And Any Other Relevant Information
There are other resume sections that may be worth adding, depending on both the job and your unique experience. These sections include things like education, awards and accolades, volunteer experience, and certifications. Keep in mind that your resume should always be showcasing your skills for that particular job, so anything in your history that doesnt support the image of you being a perfect candidate for the role doesnt need to be included.
Its common to include your education on your resume, especially if you are applying to a job that requires a degree. If youre a few years into your career, your resumes education section can be minimized at the bottom of your resume. Unless youre applying in a career that puts extra emphasis on education , most job seekers can get away with providing only the following information on their resume:
- Name of Institution
Awards, Accolades, & Certifications
All three of the aforementioned things can be embedded in the work experience and skills sections of your resume. However, if you would like to highlight them, they could warrant a section of their own. Either way, relevant certifications, and honors will increase your credibility.
College Student Resume Example
Here is an example of a college student resume, based on the tips above:
Horatio HillerCollege Town, NY I 917-555-1234 I
OBJECTIVEI am a creative and highly motivated student seeking a part-time internship where I can lend my knowledge of digital advertising to help your organization improve profitability and grow my industry experience.
EDUCATIONNew York UniversityMajor: Advertising I GPA: 3.8 – Expected Graduation Date: May 2022
Relevant Coursework:Media Planning, Psychology in Advertising, Communication LawClubs:Ad Club, Student Newspaper, Students for Environmental Action
EXPERIENCEGrey Media Agency | New York, New YorkDigital Advertising Intern, May 2019 August 2019
- Served as lead advertising intern as part of a summer-long apprenticeship program
- Assisted in building, launching and managing Google AdWords campaigns for leading clients
Successfully grew client ad spend return-on-investment more than 30% quarter over quarter
Student Newspaper | New York, New YorkAdvertising Sales Representative, August 2017 Present
- Act as the primary point of contact for a subset of publication advertisers
- Scout new advertiser opportunities and build relationships with local businesses
Helped newspaper increase annual ad sales nearly 20% from 2017 to 2018
SKILLS & ABILITIESTeam leadership I Verbal and written communication I Time management I Problem-solving I Adobe Creative Suite I Google AdWords Certified I Fluency in English and French
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
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Resume Example #: Translator
Resume analysis: This is one of my favorite examples of good resumes. Pamelas resume has almost everything I want to see. I like how she highlights a Profile portion up top, lists her experience, and then her education and activities.
I would love to know more about what makes Pamela tick. Also, I would consider removing her earliest work experience and expand a little more on her interests. Resume Rating: 8.5/10.
How To List Skills In Your Resume
When mentioning skills in your resume, there are 3 essential steps to follow:
Step #1 – List Hard Skills with Experience Levels. For each hard skill you list, you want to mention your proficiency level:
As a rule of thumb, you can divide them by:
Beginner – You have some experience with the skill, whether its from some entry-level practice or classroom education.
Intermediate – Youve used the skill in a work environment with a good level of understanding.
Advanced – Youre the go-to person for the skill in your office. You can coach other employees, and understand the skill on a high level.
Expert – Youve applied this skill in more than a handful of different projects & organizations. Youre the go-to person for advice about the skill, not just in your office, but even amongst some of the best professionals in your field.
Make sure to NEVER lie about your skill levels. Otherwise, its going to be pretty awkward both for you and your employer.
Imagine your first task at work as an Illustrator – to create a graphic vector to go nicely with an article. If you end up delivering a hastily drawn stick figure colored with a paint bucket tool in Microsoft Paint, youll be out of the job before your probation period ends.
Step #2 – Tailor Your Skills to the Job. You might have some super rare, awesome skills, but theyre not always going to be useful. For example, its awesome that you know accounting, but would you really need it at your new job as a line cook? Exactly!
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Why The Design And Layout Of Your Resume Is So Important
A great resume is about substance, so while it might be tempting to dress up your resume with fancy fonts and graphics, its much more compelling to have a clean and fuss-free design and layout. According to Hallam, there are other good reasons to ensure a simple resume design:
- Resumes with graphics and too many columns wont actually get through Applicant Tracking Systems , so a poorly-designed resume may not ever be seen by potential recruiters.
- Fancy or hard-to-read fonts are distractingbusy recruiters and employers wont view them favourably.
- An aesthetically appealing, functional resume is a reflection of who you are as a potential employeeit shows your professionalism.
This doesnt mean youre expected to come up with a knock-out resume design yourself, thoughchoosing a simple resume template and making it your own is the best way to go.
Keep Employment Dialogues Open
It never hurts to keep employment dialogues open, even if you dont currently plan on leaving your company. Its a courtesy to them to have a discussion.
You never know when someone wants to pay you big bucks for a guaranteed length of time to join their organization!
Generally, Im the one who is evaluating resumes, so it was kind of exciting to update my own to send to someone else.
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Lack Of True Interest
For me, being underqualified generally isnt a deal breaker, but a lack of effort is. A lack of spelling and grammar errors on a resume certainly isnt reason alone to hire someone, but too many errors shows that the candidate isnt serious about the position.
This goes beyond the resume itself, and has to come out most notably in the short questionnaire we ask applicants to fill out. If someone wants to answer with one-word responses, that tells us all we need to know about their interest in the position.
, CEO and Co-founder, Choosing Therapy
If someone cant put in that effort to shine on a resume, what does that mean for their effort in the workplace? As we enter the hybrid work model, it is crucial that each employee is prepared to carry their own weight to make remote collaboration and genuine team-building successful.