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How Should A Professional Resume Look

Striking The Right Balance On Your Resume

A résumé expert reveals what a perfect résumé looks like

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.

Write A Standout Resume Headline

A resume headline is a concise, one-line description of who you are as a candidate. A well-written headline can grab a recruiters attention and encourage them to take a more detailed look at your qualifications.

Your headline is a short but powerful addition to your resume, often the first thing a recruiter reads. Take advantage of the opportunity to make a strong first impression. Its also another opportunity to include a specific job title or keyword that might be used to sort your resume in the ATS.

How To Write A Convincing Cover Letter

Every job application consists of 2 parts – the resume and the cover letter. Now that weve covered the first, lets briefly explain the latter.

Most job-seekers flinch when they hear that they have to write a cover letter. What do you even mention in a cover letter, anyway? If you were good at writing cover letters, youd be applying for a writing job!

In reality, though, writing a cover letter is pretty simple, if you know its purpose.

You should think of a cover letter as a direct message to the hiring manager. You get to briefly explain why youre such an awesome fit for the position. When we put it that way, it doesnt sound as hard, does it?

Heres a format you could follow:

  • Introduce yourself – As a start, give a brief run-down on your work experience and mention why youre interested in working for the company youre applying for. You can also mention 1-2 of your top professional achievements to leave a good first impression.
  • Explain how youd excel at the job – Identify the top 3 requirements in the job ad. Then, dedicate one paragraph to explaining how you fulfil each requirement. So for example, if the requirement is Facebook Advertising Experience, mention how you have done Facebook ads in the past and how youve excelled at it.
  • Wrap it up and say thanks – Thank the reader for reading your cover letter and propose the next steps. For example, If youd like to know more about my experience with Project XYZ, Id love to chat!

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Resume Reference Page Example

Check out this properly formatted resume references example to see what a references list looks like in practice:

Note that in this example, the candidate matches the style of her reference page to her resume design.

If you need to include a list of references with your resume, be sure to match the formatting to the rest of your application.

Spelling And Grammatical Errors

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A recruiter survey by TopResume found spelling and/or grammatical errors to be the No. 1 resume mistake that could cost you the job. However, with a little effort, you can easily avoid this resume deal-breaker. Print your resume out in a different font, read it aloud, and ask someone with impeccable writing skills to edit your resume for grammar.

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The Best Format For Your Resume Is The High Score Resume

The High Score Resume focuses your resume on sharing the high scores youve reached and the achievements youve unlocked throughout your career. It is a format that enables you to present yourself in the most effective way possible without worrying about bragging. And it provides hiring managers and recruiters concrete proof of what youre capable of.

The High Score Resume also is very clear to people reading your resume about what youd like to do next, i.e., what your next level is going to be. By showing what youve already achieved, its easy to explain what youre capable of next. So while there are other parts of your resume that will deserve attention, the High Score Resume focuses most of your time and effort on the two most important sections of your resume: your work experience and your professional summary.

+ Effective Resume Examples

Knowing how to write a resume is one thing, actually creating a resume that stands out is something else entirely. Without inspiration, even top career experts might stumble on a roadblock or two.

Check out the following effective resume examples to get a better sense of what a good resume looks like…

Want to see more examples? Check out our compilation of 20+ resume examples for different fields.

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Add A Skills Section In Your Resume

Lead with the good stuff. The top of your resume should includecritical keywords and a quick snapshot of your core strengths, Leavy-Detrick says.

Hard skills, tangible attributes that can easily be measured, take precedence here, so highlight them accordingly. If youre in a tech-driven field, software and programming expertise is what employers want to see on your resume. If youre in a creative industry, design and communication skills might be your best bet.

List Relevant Skills And Keywords

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Resume keywords are important terms of interest that recruiters look for whether skimming a resume or searching within an applicant tracking system . The more role-specific keywordsoften hard skillsyour resume contains, the better optimized your resume is.

99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems to sort, filter, and search applicants. Some ATS, like Taleo, can automatically rank your resumes content against the job description, allowing recruiters to focus only on the best applicants. Recruiters often also search their applicant pool for important resume keywords, like customer service, accounts receivable, or Adobe Photoshop.

Where on your resume should you include important skills?

Its crucial to incorporate important skills throughout your entire resume, beginning with your headline which should, when possible, include the most relevant keyword: the job title. You can also list skills in a dedicated skills section of your resume if using the hybrid resume format.

How do you find keywords to include in your resume?

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Outdated Or Irrelevant Social Media Profiles

Do not include on your resume social media accounts that host unprofessional content, do not support your current job goals, and are not regularly updated. If you’re going to include the URL to a social media account on your resume, make sure it reflects your personal brand and serves to demonstrate why you’re qualified for the job.

In addition, create at least one professional online profile on sites like LinkedIn or GitHub and include the link at the top of your resume. If you work in a creative field, consider creating an online portfolio or blog that has a mobile-responsive design so employers can access your site from any device.


Why Are These The Best Resume Formats

These three resume formats are some of the best options because theyre easy to read and the most likely to be processed through an ATS without critical errors.

Recruiters often have to review many resumes for a single open role. They can read a resume in a standard format more easily and thoroughly because they know where to find the information theyre looking for. For example, if a role requires a specific skill, a recruiter will look for it in your skills section included either above or below your work experience. They have a limited amount of time to spend reviewing each resume, so they may move on and assume you dont possess the qualification if it takes too long to find the right information.

Also, most applicant tracking systems will perform a more accurate review of your resume if the format is simple, straightforward and follows a few basic rules. The three resume formats discussed in this article mostly adhere to these best practices, though some ATS may have difficulties scanning a functional resume, and can help ensure that your resume is successfully processed through an ATS review.

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+ Simple Habits That Make You Look More Professional

  • Magazine
  • 20+ Simple Habits That Make You Look More Professional

Professionalism is of utmost importance at the workplace. It is the key to being entrusted with more and more responsibilities and moving up the corporate ladder.

Unfortunately, many people confuse being a professional with having a college degree and dressing in a suit and tie. Being professional is more than that.

It entails a set of traits that make you come across as competent, respectful and reliable. It is about how you conduct yourself when interacting with clients and colleagues. It is about being at home in your chosen profession.

Most of all, being a professional is about giving others the confidence that they can actually trust you to do what you are supposed to do.

The good thing is that anyone can learn how to look more professional and thus increase their chances of success in the corporate world.

In this article, we look at 20+ simple habits that will make you look more professional.

Lets dive in.

Situational Recognition Or Industry Considerations

What Your Resume Should Look Like In 2018

On the optional fourth line, you can include additional skills, capabilities, and achievements provide additional color around the types of situations you are looking for internal, external, or industry awards and recognition or indications of industry interest that may not be clear from other items in your professional summary.

Examples might include Marketer of the Year 2018, Turnaround Expert, Growth Company Executive, Successful Public Speaker, Startup Leader, CPG Veteran, or Airline Expert.

Your optional fourth line is a great place to add additional flavor to your overall initial presentation, and round out the picture of who youd like to be next.

This specific ordering suggests a pattern to follow. If it makes more sense to you to change the order or the themes, you have the flexibility to do that. So while it makes more sense to group skills on one line and achievements on another, if the specific order of job title skills achievements awards does not work for your situation, you should change it as you see fit, and as reads best for you.

To repeat, theres no penalty for mixing and matching the themes on these various lines, but theres no benefit either. Save yourself the time and aggravation by keeping it simple and following this outline.

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When To Use A Combination Resume

A combination resume may be best for you if you’re making a slight career transition or if you have a diverse employment history where relevancy to the role youre applying for may not be immediately clear. For example, you might use a combination resume if youre applying for a people manager position and you have extensive experience managing teams but youve never officially had a manager job title. This format can help showcase your leadership accomplishments and transferable

How To Match Your Resume Skills To The Job Description

Many companies use an applicant tracking system , which acts as an electronic filter, to collect, scan, sort and rank resumes to narrow applicant pools to the most qualified candidates. Thats why you need to customize your resume and cover letter using keywords and phrases that match the job listing .

If an employer is looking for a graphic designer with mastery in Adobe Creative Suite, for example, you wouldnt just claim experience with software for creative professionals. List the software by name, give your expertise level, and if you have it highlight your Adobe Certified Expert certification. Likewise, if an employer is searching for an accountant with experience processing daily invoices and credit, then use similar language in your resume. Simply listing gathering receipts as a duty wont likely score well with an ATS.

Repeat common words and phrases from other postings of the same role, too. But remember, every job description is different. Tailor the keywords and skills on your resume and in your cover letter for each position.

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Be Ethical In Your Work

Professionalism goes together with ethics. Being ethical is about how you conduct yourself at work. It is about doing the right thing at all times and being a person of integrity. It is about striving to achieve excellence in whatever you do while holding the interests of your clients at heart.

For instance, lets assume that you are an automotive parts salesman. Your manager pays you a bonus every time you sell parts from a certain brand, but you know that they are inferior compared to another brand. Which brand would you sell to a customer who asks you to recommend to a good brand?

As a professional, you should recommend the superior brand, even if it does not come with a fat bonus, instead of getting the bonus and having the customer come for a replacement because you sold them an inferior part.

Professional Resume Summary Example Example For Retail

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Dedicated and hard-working storekeeper with a Business Administration degree. Eager to bring my strong attention to detail and accuracy to J& R inc. Adept at communicating with vendors and suppliers, coordinating various business operations, and maintaining documents and files in order. In the past jobs brought an extra $50k of sales per quarter and increased customer satisfaction by 20%.

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Choose The Right Formatting

There are three major formats to write a resume: chronological, functional and combination. Although most resumes follow a chronological format, the correct format may depend on the industry, your job title and personal preferences.

Restrict the length of your resume to a page or two. Depending on your work history, it may benefit you to focus on the most recent position you held and the most important educational qualifications you hold. Keep the descriptions about older jobs and less relevant qualifications as short as possible.

Related: Resume Format Guide

Resume Summary Example For Management

A Project Manager with 16 years of experience in IT projects. Responsible for the management of teams of up to 15 direct and 7 indirect employees. Has High level knowledge in project execution using best practices of waterfall and agile methodologies. High level knowledge of Jupyter Notebook, MS Project, MS Excel, MS Word.

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Resume Summary Example For It Managers

Committed IT manager with 8+ years of experience. Seeking to use intensive leadership skills to improve efficiency at Jennings-Groves Medical. At Atalah-KQC Global, led team that developed a corporate auditing system that saved $110,000 annually. Designed an employee intranet for information sharing that saved 140 labor hours per year.

Tailor Your Resume And Optimize For Applicant Tracking Systems

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Its very easy these days to fire off your resume to dozens of jobs, but if youve tried this method, you may have been disappointed by your success rate. Thats because you didnt take the time to customize your resume for each individual roleand recruiters can tell.

The most impactful thing you can do to improve your chances of getting interviews is tailor your resume to each and every job. Customized resumes that align with job requirements and include keywords from the job description will stand out to recruiters who often receive hundreds of resumes for each role.

When you tailor your resume to the job, youre also optimizing for applicant tracking systems., because many ATS allow recruiters to filter and search by keyword. Want to see if your resume is well-tailored? Use Jobscan to see your match score and discover missing keywords.

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Willingness To Take Charge

If you want to look like a real professional, you should be willing to step up and take charge, even when the situations is outside your comfort zone. Is there a presentation that needs to be made yet no one is willing to volunteer? Step up and volunteer to make the presentation. Has a mistake been made?

Take charge and rectify it, even if you did not make the mistake. Does your team need to do something yet the team leader is not around? Step up and get the team started instead of waiting till the team leader arrives.

The willingness to take charge, especially in times of crisis will go a great way in establishing you as a professional.

Rule : Exclude Irrelevant Information

Youve probably noticed that theres a lot of debate about which details belong on your resume. After writing thousands of resumes, and speaking with dozens of recruiters, we can confidently recommend the following:

  • Your name.
  • Your mobile phone number .
  • Your email address .
  • The URL of your LinkedIn Profile.

Its NOT necessary to include:

  • Your gender.
  • Your date of birth .
  • Your address.
  • Your references .

By the way, did you know that a CV and a resume require you to include different details?

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