Pick The Ideal Resume Layout
The hard part is over. Youve written your resume, and are feeling confident about getting that interview. Now its time to take a moment and consider your resumes design.
Depending on the industry you work in or the job you want, you may need to adjust your resume layout to fit the expectations of the hiring manager.
How To Write A Resume In 7 Easy Steps
Looking for a new job can be a grind. With so many details to attend to researching prospective employers, lining up professional references, practicing interviewing skills and checking the salary range for your role its tempting to recycle an old resume and top it off with your newest work experience.
Resist the impulse. If youre hoping to score an interview for that dream job, you need a freshly polished, customized document thats going to grab readers attention from the start.
Components Of A Good Resume
A good resume can become a great resume by improving its readability factor.
A standout resume is one that is easy to read. Resumes that cram too much information in small spaces can be hard for hiring managers to digest. Confusing layouts can force readers to toss your resume in the trash. A good resume has:
- Contact information
- An encompassing list of your current and past employment
- Education history, key skills, and details about your career goals
- A clean, easy-to-read structure
- No grammatical errors or typos
Effective professional resumes, student resumes, graduate, and entry-level resumes are descriptive and intriguing in both format and layout. Keep reading to learn how to structure and write a resume that will help you stand out among the hundreds of other applicants.
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The Purpose Of A Resume
Your resume serves to introduce the relevancy of your skills, experience, qualifications and achievements to a recruiter and potential employer. A recruiter or employer may not spend longer than a few minutes reviewing your resume, so it should succinctly convey your most relevant achievements. If the reader thinks you are a suitable candidate for the role, your resume will have achieved its purpose an offer to attend an interview.
Design & Formatting Tips
The subject matter of your resume is ultimately what recruiters care about most. However, that doesnât mean you should slack off when it comes to design and formatting. A cluttered, visually confusing resume makes it more difficult to read, and therefore more likely that recruiters and hiring managers will cast it aside. On the other hand, a sleek, polished resume will have the opposite effect. Use these rules of thumb to ensure that your resume looks its best.
- Use an easy-to-read font of no less than 11 pt.
- Add margins of at least .7 inches.
- Make sure thereâs sufficient white space between sections.
- Donât go overboard with intricate design or decoration â touches of color are fine, but avoid any clashing or visually busy details.
- If youâre going to print out copies of your resume, invest in good paper and use a high-quality printer.
- Donât save your resume as a PDF unless the application specifically says it accepts PDF files. Some applicant tracking systems scan PDFs as if they were one big image, which fails to capture your information.
- Keep your resume to 1-2 pages max, unless youâre in a field like academia or medicine and must cite papers and publications.
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Write A Matching Cover Letter
Now that you know how to write your dream resume, you might be wondering: is a cover letter necessary? The answer is yes, always include a cover letter if you have the option.
Knowing how to write a good cover letter helps you round out every application you ever send out, and boosts your chances of landing an interview.
Cover letters are a valuable tool in your job-hunting arsenal because they give you an opportunity to provide context to your resume, show off your personality, and express enthusiasm for the job youre applying for.
Heres an example of what a resume paired with a matching cover letter might look like :
How To Create A Professional Resume
Your resume needs to be professional and polished because, if not, your application materials probably won’t get a second glance from any hiring manager.
An unprofessional resumeone that is difficult to read, confusing, covered in errors, or unrelated to the job the person is applying forwill get tossed in the trash right away. Hiring managers often get dozens, even hundreds, of applicants for each job. An unprofessional resume makes you look unprofessional as a job seeker and will cost you a possible interview.
Sloppy resumes that are riddled with typos will be ignored and resumes that are inconsistent bullets in some places, dashes in others, bold in some headings, plain text in othersmay not get a second look either.
Your resume, to be effective, needs to be consistent, concise, and clear and easy to read. Avoid tiny fonts, dense blocks of text, vague language or excessive jargon, and inconsistent formatting.
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Resume Summary Or Objective
Its not a secret for anyone that first impressions matter, whether theyre in your personal life, or your career.
If you leave a bad first impression, chances are, its there to stay. After all, its very hard to change someones opinion of you.
The same applies to your job search – the HR manager spends around 6 seconds scanning each resume. Yep, your carefully-worded, hand-crafted resume only gets 6 seconds of attention. Unless, of course, you manage to leave an amazing first impression.
The way you accomplish this is through either a good resume summary or objective. Both are placed at the top of your resume, right around the contact information section:
So, heres what you need to know about the two:
Additional Sections For Your Resume
Now that we’ve learned about the most important sections to add on your resume, let’s explore some other ways to demonstrate your full potential to future employers.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all model. Every person, every situation and every job is different. Your resume should be tailored based on a variety of these circumstances.
Here are some sections you can include on your resume:
Keep in mind, that you should only add these sections if 1) you have extra space or 2) it’s very relevant to the job you’re applying for.
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Summarizing Your Job Experience
Your resume experience section is the most important aspect of your entire resume. It’s a summary of your career experience and progression that outlines your responsibilities and achievements.
This is the section that you’ll most likely spend most of your time on. It’s good practice to make sure you consistently jot down any new experiences you’ve had, even if you’re not looking for a job.
For example, if you recently landed a $200,000 deal by bringing on a new client at your firm, write that down somewhere you can remember. Over time, you’ll have dozens of bullet points you can copy over to your resume when you are ready for a new job.
Here’s a simple example of work experience
Server, Red Lobster
- Greeted incoming guests and directed them to comfortable seating.
- Memorized and informed guests of daily menu specials.
- Made recommendations about food and beverages as well as other services provided by the restaurant.
- Provided exceptional and friendly customer service by taking food and beverage orders and entering them in our PoS system.
Here are the key pieces of information that your resume objective should include:
- Job Title = e.g. Server
- Company Name = e.g. Red Lobster
- Start & End Dates = e.g. November 2018 – Present
- Location = e.g. New York, NY
- Responsibilities & Tasks = e.g. Made recommendations and answered questions about our food, beverages and other restaurant functions and services.
This is a simple example, but it can be improved by adding more detail.
How To Write A Resume
The ultimate step-by-step resume writing guide
A resume is a summary of your personal education, professional experience, qualifications, and skills listed in one document and then used as part of a job application. Professionals and first-time job-seekers alike often find it difficult to list everything theyve ever done professionally in a succinct way, but learning how to write a resume is vital for your career progression.
This resume writing guide will help guide you through the process of writing a resume and debunk every myth youve ever heard about how to write an effective resume. Follow along step by step to create a resume that will land you more interviews!
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Hard Skills And Soft Skills To Include
First thing’s first: When it comes to determining what skills to include on your resume, it’s important to understand the difference between hard and soft skills. Hard skills are the more technical skills listed on a resume they’re applied skills you’ve learned, and they’re more easily measured. A few general examples of hard skills include machine operation, computer programming, and accounting.
Showcasing soft skills on a resume, on the other hand, are interpersonal skills you often use each day. They’re tied into your emotional intelligence and often describe your more innate, natural abilities that are more difficult to quantify. A few general examples of soft skills include teamwork, leadership, creative problem solving, and time management.
It’s important to include both hard and soft skills on your resume. The best way to start brainstorming your skills is to simply brain-dump: grab a piece of paper and start making a list. Think about the skills you’ve had since you were a child, the skills you’ve acquired in school and through training, the skills you’ve used to succeed at your job, and the skills needed to excel in your industry.
Now that you’ve got a large list, it’s time to narrow it down and pick the strongest of the bunch. Use these resume tips to help make your skills section really stand out:
If you’re still struggling, use this general list of the top 10 job skills employers look for as inspiration:
Knowledge of new social and digital media
Present Your Skills In A Unique Way
On average, recruiters take six seconds to look at a resume. So, if youre looking for a distinctive way to highlight your skills, Canvas templates offer unique designs that will help you stand out.
From infographic timelines to one-page pitch decks, and even pie charts, with a few simple clicks you are able to clearly display all your career highlights so far.
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Education And Professional Development
Create a record of all your education, beginning with your most recent degree. List the institution, its location, the name of your degree, your major and minor, your graduation year, and any honors associated with the degree, such as summa or magna cum laude. Do the same for any relevant certifications you’ve obtained or additional training opportunities or workshops you’ve attended.
Customize Your Resume For Your Industry
People are often encouraged to include personality in their resume, but unless they are applying for a job in a creative industry, they may want to rethink that strategy. A lot of pictures and fonts and colors and a whole lot of personality just doesnt align with the jobs we have here, says Schweikert, whose team recruits for positions in sales, product and marketing. If I was in an organization that, for example, was in web design, then I would want to see those design elements in a resume.
Kim agrees that resume layout is wholly dependent on the position you are applying for. If you are applying for a designer role, I want to see something creative there. If youre applying for a finance role, I want to see numbers, she says.
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Step : List Your Contact Information And Write An Introduction
Apply a unique heading with your name and contact information. Usually, this includes your name, phone number, email, and any relevant online links.
Next, you will write an introduction. This may be called a resume objective, summary statement, or qualifications summary depending on the resume format you choose. Remember, the best intros are ones that grab the attention of a potential employer.
Top tip: Forbes magazine estimates that it is vital to demonstrate your worth in the first 15 20 seconds of its reading to get results. This means that the top third of your resume must be the most intriguing.
Catch the readers eye by demonstrating why YOU are the perfect fit for the role and the company in 4-6 sentences. If the reader likes what they read, theyll continue on to the rest of your document.
Contains Data And Metrics Instead Of Only Text
One of the best ways to make your resume stand out is to include numbers, metrics, and data, rather than just text.
Putting numbers catches the eye and makes the resume more interesting and therefore more likely to get read closely!
And you dont need to be working in sales to add numbers. Practically anyone can do it.
Lets say you work at a healthcare company, managing their blog and social media. That doesnt relate to sales whatsoever, but you could write resume bullets like:
- Grew social media following by 212%
- Managed blog read by 220,000 people per month
Thats a lot more impressive than just saying, Responsible for managing company social media accounts, or, Responsible for managing company blog.
In fact, you should NEVER start a resume bullet with Responsible for.
Ill explain more below
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What Tools Should You Use To Build Your Resume
Tip: Use an online resume builder. Don’t use Microsoft Word. Always use an online resume builder. You’ll never have to worry about finding files and you can export your resume as a PDF.
So youâre ready to get started on your resume. The most obvious of choices is to open up Microsoft Word, create a new document and get writing. If you havenât already done this before, formatting in Microsoft Word is a painful experience.
You’ll end up with an ugly resume template that has poor legibility and incorrect margins. Or due to the lack of design options, youâll end up with a resume that looks standard and boring. In both cases, the chances of potential employers overlooking your resume are pretty high!
Crazy isnât it? You’ve spent years building job experience but have to use Microsoft Word to tell that story. And if you canât navigate around complicated tools, it’ll lead to poor results. You might miss the opportunity to land your dream job. That doesnât sound fair, and it isnât.
Why should you use a resume builder?
Luckily, there are other options that exist. Weâve created the fastest and easiest resume builder available online. With a variety of pre-existing templates that are professional and field-tested. And thereâs no messing around with font sizes, margins or colors. Weâve taken care of all that for you.
The benefits of using an online resume builder like the one weâve created are much higher. Here are some of the top reasons to use a resume builder:
Ditching Your References On Your Resume
When it comes to listing references on your resume, the process is simple: Don’t do it. Employers typically don’t ask for references until you’ve at least completed an initial phone screen so you’re just wasting valuable resume real estate.
When the time comes to provide references, you can prepare a simple list of at least three references and include your references’ names, titles, relationship to you, and contact information. Before you pass this list along, make sure each person is comfortable being your reference and that you have their best contact information. You should also send them a copy of your resume and explain what type of job you’re seeking. Then, they’ll be fully prepared to speak on your qualifications.
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Plan The Framework Of Your Resume
Next, consider the basic framework of your resume. More isnt necessarily better, so aim for conciseness over length. Employers are looking for a synopsis of your credentials not everything you have done in your career. In many cases, a one-page resume is sufficient. If you have extensive experience, longer may be necessary.
In general, shorter is better, with a few bullet points for each job, brief sentences, descriptions that are action and accomplishment oriented, and plenty of white space on the page.
Your goal is to wow the hiring manager and present a document that promotes you as an ideal candidate for the position. Review these tips for building a resume that will help you get job interviews.
Add Your Name And Contact Information
The top of your resume should include the following information:
- Email Address
- LinkedIn profile URL
It might seem obvious, but job seekers sometimes forget a key piece of contact information in this section. Double check and make it as easy as possible for recruiters to contact you for a job interview.
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How To Structure Your Resume
No two resumes will look exactly alike , but generally, resumes should have the following sections.
Header & Contact Info: At the top of your resume, always include a header containing your name. Your contact info should be close by as well. After all, you donât want there to be any confusion over who the resume belongs to, or make it difficult for recruiters or hiring managers to reach out to you. However, you may want to avoid putting your contact info in the header or footer of the document itself â the headers and footers can sometimes be overlooked by the software that scans your resume.
Professional Summary: The professional summary is a brief, one- to three-sentence section featured prominently on your resume that succinctly describes who you are, what you do and why youâre perfect for the job. In contrast with the largely out-of-date objective statement â a line that describes the type of career opportunity youâre looking for â professional summaries arenât about what you want. Instead, theyâre focused on the value you could bring to a potential employer. Itâs worth noting that a professional summary isnât an absolute must-have â if your resume is missing one, it probably wonât be a dealbreaker â but it can be a nice way to give time-pressed recruiters and hiring managers a quick, high-level overview of why youâre the right person for the job.