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.
A Core Skills Section
If you really want to make a big impression in the first few seconds of your CV being opened, then you should include a core skills section just underneath your profile.
This snippet of an example CV shows how it looks
Essentially, a core skills section is a bullet pointed list split over 2 columns which highlight your most important skills and knowledge for the roles you are applying for.
The effect this section has, is that it creates a very quick snapshot of your abilities so that readers can get a great idea of your talents from just a quick glance. This will really help you to make a big impact when your CV is opened
Pack your core skills with factual skills and experience that recruiters will be searching for , and avoid generic clichés like hard working, team player, and strong communicator
Top Hard Skills For Your Resume
Hard skills tend to be more technical, and each industry or type of job will usually have its own required set. Finding out what range of hard skills youll be expected to have in your field might require some research. Here are hard skills examples that tend to be in-demand across many industries.
Computer Software and Application Knowledge
The list of professions that does not require you to use computers and certain types of software is very short. You could very likely break up computer skills into two or three specific technical proficiencies for your field.
Aside from the obvious professions like graphic or web design, there are jobs in marketing, advertising, branding, engineering, and construction that require some type of design skillseven if its only for drawing up presentations.
Understand data is very much in vogue right now, and there are a lot of jobs out there where you will be called upon to analyze metrics and extrapolate a practical use from it, making analytical skills extremely valuable to put on your resume.
There are many jobs that involve selling a product or service, purchasing stock or merchandise, brokering deals for production or transportation, establishing partnerships for advertising or investments, and so on.
Read Also: How To List References On Cv
Importance Of A Good Cv
Think of your CV as your own living, breathing personal pitch a pitch that succinctly answers all the questions a recruiter or hiring manager has about you. The degree to which you present the reader with the information they require to make an informed decision can determine whether you are invited to interview.
This includes why you are applying for this job, with this organisation and in this industry, what value you can bring to the organisation and whether you have what is required to be successful in the role.
To leave the reader with no doubt about your suitability, you must present a strong CV that clearly conveys this information.
To do this, below youll find our tips on how to write a resume. Alternatively, you can download our resume template.
Next Steps: Tailoring Your Resume To The Job
Now that you know what sections to put on your resume, let’s talk about its content.
It’s essential that any information you’ve mentioned on your resume is relevant to the job.
We really cant emphasize enough how important it is for you to check every section you have put on your resume and make sure each one is tailored to the job/position you are applying for.
Because the hiring manager wants the job seeker that’s applying for THEIR position, not sending a mass application to 50+ different companies.
So, heres how youd tailor your resume to the job youre applying for. As step #1, take a look at the job ad and identify top requirements and skills.
Lets use the following ad as an example:
As you can see, the most important requirements are:
- 5+ years of experience in the field
- Skills in Copywriting, Photoshop, and email marketing
- Practical experience creating and optimizing landing pages
Now, you need to make sure you mention all of these in your resume, in whichever section theyre relevant.
Now that you know exactly what to put on a resume, we thought it would be helpful to also cover what NOT to put on a resume.
Don’t Miss: Putting Relevant Coursework On Resume
Follow This Final Resume Tip
There are plenty of pitfalls to duck and dodge when writing a resume, so when you finally have it in good shape, you’ll want to get it reviewed to be extra-certain that it’s ready to go. Need help? Send it to the experts at Monster for a free evaluation. We’ll look for any lingering errors so you can correct them and start your job search with confidence. Consider it an insurance policy for your resume.
Detail Your Work Experience
The work experience section is the heart of your resume. Employers look at this section closely to determine whether your job history and prior accomplishments make you a promising candidate.
Thats why its important to detail not only your job responsibilities but also your competence in prior roles. The work experience section is your chance to show recruiters and hiring managers how you have added unique value to other companies.
The first things a recruiter looks for on your resume are the job titles youve held and the caliber of companies youve worked with. Make this information easy to find by sticking to a familiar format.
List each job in reverse-chronological order. Each job should have its own subheading that includes the following information:
Recommended Reading: Indeed Skills Section
Hard Vs Soft Skills: Whats The Difference
Heres the difference between hard skills and soft skills:
Hard skills are quantifiable, job-specific abilities learned through education, training, or on-the-job experience. Language skills, computer skills, and being able to operate heavy machinery all count as types of hard skills.
Heres a list of 24 popular hard skills to put on your resume:
Which Skills Are More Important
The debate rages on about which of these two types of skills are more important.
According to executive consultant and Forbes contributor Naz Beheshti, There is an ongoing debate about the relative importance of soft and hard skills that imply a competition between the two. However, they are both necessary and complementary to one another.
On one hand, in a tough job market, job seekers with a proficiency in a specific hard skill may get hired more quickly as companies look to hire people that can deliver value with fewer resources .
However, we are also seeing that many hiring managers are choosing to hire candidates with highly developed soft skills.
Because they feel that they can always train the candidate in the hard skill that is required to complete the job, but soft skills are often skills that cannot necessarily be taught.
So what does this mean for you?
Show Passion For The Work
If you love your work, say so in your cover letter. But dont just say youre passionate. Impress the hiring manager by proving your passion with achievements and hard numbers.
Heres an example:
For as long as I can remember, Ive been obsessed with creating stunning visual art. Ive applied that obsession to my graphic design career, winning 5 international design awards and helping my company increase organic traffic from Google image searches by 20%. I believe my passion for graphic design makes me a great candidate for Johnsonville Onlines Visual Content Specialist position.
How To Actually Use Them
You could say:
Responsible for IT strategy and team meetings.
But you should say:
Supervised customer service team for retail operations.
But you should say:
Co-ordinated and led the customer service team to improve customer satisfaction for retail operations by 29 percent in six months by harvesting best practices from unrelated industries.
Also Check: How To Attach Resume To Common App
Writing Your Role Descriptions
Within each of your role descriptions, you should aim to demonstrate who youve worked for, the skills youve used and how your presence has benefited the employer.
Format your roles like the example below to create a pleasant reading experience for recruiters, and allow them to find the information they need easily.
Never delve into the details of your roles without setting the scene first or you risk confusing readers. Write a quick intro to show recruiters who you work for, where you sit within the business, and what the overall goal of your role is.
Bullet point your responsibilities to detail exactly what you do within your role, who you liaise with, and the skills and knowledge you apply.
To prove the impact you make in the workplace, its important to list some achievements you have made that have had a positive effect on your employers. Where possible, try to quantify these achievements with numbers so that readers can really understand the difference you make.
Check out my video guide to adding achievements to your CV
These are some good examples of achievements
- Implemented new admin process which saved the company 3 hours of resource time per week
- Won 3 new clients which generated £300k for the business
- Resolved 90% of customer complaints within recommended time of 24 hours
- Saved customers an average of £300 per year by advising on new products
+ Things You Should Not Include In Your Resume
What NOT to Include in the Contact Info Section
- Date of Birth – Age should not matter to a hiring manager. Its not important for their decision-making, and at worst, it might lead to age-based discrimination.
- – Especially in the US and in the UK . Hiring managers dont need to know your appearance to evaluate your resume and application overall.
- Your exact address – very few businesses use mailing services nowadays to communicate with potential hires. Its inefficient, and its simply safer to use your email.
What NOT to Include in the Resume Summary or Objective Section
- If you have a few years of related work experience, then you should not include a resume objective.
- Your resume summary or objective should also not include any requests, demands, or salary requirements.
What NOT to Put in the Work Experience Section
- Jobs that arent even remotely relevant to the position you are applying for. No one cares about your experience as a cashier if youre applying for a designer gig
- Fluff that doesnt say anything. This is a lot more common than youd think. Make sure all your duties and activities listed are practical
- Jobs that you had for a short time period . This shows that youre a job hopper and unlikely to stick around for job .
- Any illegal jobs
What NOT to Add to the Skills Section
What NOT to Include in the Education Section
- Your GPA
- Your high school degree
- The entire list of all the courses you attended in college
Also Check: How To Put Relevant Coursework On A Resume
What Else Should You Be Wary Of
The advice above can help to shape a CV, but doing any of the following can seriously damage your chances of acquiring the customer service job that you crave.
Writing in Third Person
CVs should never be written in third person. Use first person and choose the present or past tense to showcase the most important and relevant information to your employment goals.
So, for example, do not say: James Bell is, instead state: I am.
Removing Personal Information
Things to include: your address, postcode, mobile number and email address! So many people are not including this information, making it very difficult for agencies and organisations to know where candidates are looking for work and also to register the CVs on their systems.
It also makes it impossible to find candidates again when searching in specific locations.
Including a Headshot/Photograph
This is just a waste of space, especially as you should already be struggling to cut your CV down into two pages.
Also, dont save your CV as an Infographic. These may look good, but they cant be used by agencies and often wont upload to company career sites send your CV as a PDF or Word document and keep the formatting simple!
Expanding Margins and Cutting White Space
No one wants to read a CV that is formatted with a tiny font and no white space! White space allows the eye to rest between reading and absorbing the content, and it acts as a cue to important information the employer should read with care.
How To Answer Interview Questions About What You Need To Improve
Heres how to answer what areas need improvement? when employers ask in your interview.
First dont give some cheesy answer like well, I work too hard sometimes, so I need to learn how to take breaks and not work so much.
No hiring manager will be impressed with that. When hiring managers ask interview questions about areas of improvement, they want to really hear something legitimate that youd like to improve and feel you could improve upon.
Also, dont name anything thats vital to the job. For example, if this is a supervisor position, dont say you need to improve your communication skills or get better at delegating tasks
Those are vital pieces of a supervisors role, and the hiring manager is going to have serious concerns about your ability to lead if you give that type of answer when they ask about your areas for improvement.
Thats essential stuff for being a good supervisor and theyre less likely to hire you if you say youre lacking in those areas!
Talk About How Youre Fixing These Areas Of Improvement
Whatever skill or weakness you say youre trying to improve and whatever answer formula you follow above you should talk about what youre working on right now to improve in this area.
I cant stress this enough. Theres such a big difference between saying you need to improve something in the future, and saying youre doing it already.
The interviewer is going to be a lot more excited if you show youre taking initiative to improve your skill set right now even before you begin their job!
You never want to sound like youre waiting for a company to hire you before you start addressing a weakness! Thats not going to get them excited about hiring you. In fact, thats a mistake thatll cost you many job offers.
So to conclude, name a real area of improvement, but make sure it wont create doubt about your ability to do the job. Then, wrap up by talking about what actions youre taking to improve this weakness, and how you plan on addressing it.
As a final recap, here are the ALL steps we covered in this article
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What Is The Best Way To Layout My Resume
Your resume must look clean, clear and well structured, with enough white space to enhance readability. Use a simple font like Arial 10 or 12 point, and keep formatting, such as italics and underlining, to a minimum. Bullet points are extremely useful as they allow you to highlight key points succinctly and keep the document tidy. Start each one with an action verb if you can , rather than I.
Spelling and punctuation must be perfect, so after you proofread and spell check your resume, give it to a friend to do the same. Hiring organisations are inundated with so many applications that unnecessary mistakes can see yours rejected.
As for the document layout, most organisations will upload your resume into their database so make sure it is in a commonly accepted format that follows the below structure. We recommend a cleanly formatted Microsoft Word document or PDF with no graphics, images, no fancy formatting or fonts. While a creative CV may look good, graphics and special fonts can be difficult for an ATS to process.