How To Write A Good Resume
Your resume must clearly, concisely and strategically present your qualifications to get a recruiter interested in meeting you. It should convey your skills, work experience and assets. The resume is used to describe what you can accomplish professionally in a manner that also illustrates what you can do for an employer. Job opportunities can arise unexpectedly. An updated modern resume is the key to a successful job search. Here are some do’s and don’ts of how to write a good resume and what to include.
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 :
List Your Skills In A Separate Skills Section
If you want to support your professional experience with skills that are required by or relevant to the employer, you could include a separate skills section that highlights keywords from the job description. If you have extensive professional experience, your job history section should be highlighted as the first thing employers see. You can list additional skills in a separate section at or near the bottom of your resume.
Here is an example skills section for a payroll specialist:
*Relevant skills: Mastery of Quicken and Quickbooks, employee benefits administration, new hire onboarding, multistate payroll, employee relations.*
Don’t Miss: Resume Reason For Leaving
Stick With Two Fonts At Most
What should a resume look like so that you are memorable in a good way and not because you embarrassed yourself? Stick with simplicity. It’s tempting to use all of the typefaces at your disposal, but having more than two fonts in any document only lessens its readability. One font is all you really need. If you use two, make sure they complement each other. For example, use one font for the headings and the second font for the body text.
What Is An Associate Degree
Before we go deeper in the topic of associate degrees, we need to understand what exactly are they.
An associate degree is an undergraduate degree, awarded after post-secondary study.
It usually lasts for two to three years and is a middle ground between a high school diploma and a bachelors degree.
Even though associate degrees are considered lower than bachelors degrees, they are often considered as equals.
Their main purpose is to enable graduates for an early entry into the job market or to become entrepreneurs.
And thats because they are really skill-oriented.
Read Also: Is It Okay To Have Two Page Resume
Hiring Managers Want Clear Career Stories
Second, a study by TopResume on professional vs self-written resumes found that employers value resumes that provide a strong career narrative. In other words, recruiters want to see more than merely a timeline of your professional and educational experience they want to be able to read your resume like a story. In order to create that story, your resume requires additional components such as a professional summary, a section to list your relevant experience, skills etc. all of which take up more space.
Dont Worry Too Much About Gaps
One of the questions that Lees and Heifetz get asked regularly is how to account for gaps in a resume, perhaps when you werent working or took time off to care for a family member. If you were doing something during that time that might be relevant to the job, you can include it. Or you might consider explaining the gap in your cover letter, as long as you have a brief, positive explanation. However, the good news is that in todays job market, hiring professionals are much more forgiving of gaps. In a recent survey, 87% of hiring managers said that they no longer see candidates being unemployed or having an employment gap as a red flag.
Don’t Miss: Related Coursework In Resume
Guidelines For What To Include In A Resume
When you are writing a resume, there are a number of resume formats you can choose, including chronological, functional, and targeted resumes. However, regardless of the format you select, there are certain guidelines that most resumes should follow.
Here’s information on what to include in your resume, as well as what shouldn’t be listed on your resume. There are also guidelines for resume length, font, and page margins.
List Your Skills On A Functional Resume
If you are changing careers or industries and do not have extensive professional experience, you might decide to feature them at the top of your resume. This type of resume is called a
Any relevant professional experience
To include skills on a functional resume, create a separate skill section that lists your successes with key skills relevant to the position for which youre applying. Any professional experience you do have should go below your skills section.
Heres an example of how to list skills on a functional resume:
Process StreamliningCreated customer service email scripts used across the company to interact with customers. Single-handedly created customer service representative training manual, reducing the onboarding process from 8 to 6 weeks. Reduced average customer representative call time by 90 seconds with intuitive online training.
Complaint ResolutionAnswered an average 50+ calls per day from unsatisfied customers related to delays in shipment, order mistakes and lost orders. Achieved 97% average customer satisfaction rating, surpassing team goal by 12%.
Service-Based SellingConsistently exceeded application targets by 10% with innovative upselling techniques. Pioneered development of improved system for following up with unsatisfied customers, reducing customer churn by 6%.
Recommended Reading: When Should You Put Gpa On Resume
How To Make A Resume
Before you even start working on your resume, you need to decide how youre going to build it.
And no – you shouldnt use a basic text editor. While this IS the most popular method for creating a resume, its very far from the best.
With a basic text editor resume, youll need to spend hours playing with the formatting. You make a minor change and BAM! Your entire resume layout gets messed up.
Instead of using a text editor, we recommend choosing a resume builder, such as Novorésumé. Our resume builder is fast, easy, and to put the icing on the cake, a Novorésumé looks much better and can fit more information than your average, cookie-cutter resume…
To get the most out of this guide, you can head over to the resume builder and start building your resume on-the-go as you read this guide.
Should I Label It Hobbies And Interests
Here is where you may want to change it up. When you think of hobbies, you think of crafts, fishing, sports, music, etc. You may want to change the label of this section to be more professional.
You can label this section of your resume:
âActivities and Interestsâ
You can change the labeling a bit depending on what youâre putting in.
Recommended Reading: Is It Okay To Have A Two Page Resume
Think Beyond Your Job Duties
Hiring managers don’t want to read a list of your job duties. They want concrete examples of your accomplishments in previous positions that show how you can make a difference in this new position. Rangel noted that specific merits are more engaging to read than just your experiences. For example, “I reduced operating expenses by 23% in six months” is far more interesting to an employer than “I have 30 years of sales experience,” she said.
When deciding what information to keep or cut out of your resume, focus on striking abstract traits and qualifications in favor of concrete, quantifiable results.
“The best resumes highlight a job candidate’s actions and results,” said Bob Myhal, director of digital marketing at CBC Automotive Marketing. “Employers want employees who get things done, and who take great joy and pride in what they do. Rather than a laundry list of your qualifications, your resume should reflect your accomplishments and enthusiasm for your career.”
You shouldn’t ignore your skills section either. Sade reminded job seekers to list any industry-relevant apps or programs they’re familiar with, and find ways to incorporate examples of their soft skills into their job descriptions.
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.
Also Check: Help Train New Employees On Resume
Your Resume Format Is The First Thing A Potential Employer Will Notice Follow These Tips To Make Sure Its A Positive First Impression
A smart resume starts with a design that’s easy on the eyes.
Between optimizing keywords and jotting down your accomplishments, writing a resume is no easy task. However, from a recruiters perspective, your resumes look is just as important as its content. Think about it: When you have to evaluate hundreds of resumes each week, youre going to spend more time on the ones that are both easy on the eyes and better for your attention span. But what should a resume look like in order for you to stand out from the competition?
Resume design matters. For example, if your resume format features wall-to-wall with text, uses several different fonts, and is peppered with dozens of bolded, italicized, and underlined words and phrases, its probably not going to get the attention it deserves.
So what makes a resume visually appealing? When you can quickly scan the document because it makes good use of white space, features clear and consistent section headings, and uses bullet points to make important items stand out.
Resume Summary Or Objective
Your resume summary or objective should be a short, one to two sentence section that briefly explains who you are and why youre qualified. Carefully review the job posting for clues on which of your technical and soft skills will be most important and relevant.
Resume summaries and objectives are slightly different, and you should choose to include one or both depending on your background and the position youre seeking. A resume summary will describe your work experience, while a resume objective will state your short-term goals.
A summary is good if you have at least some work experience that can be quickly summarized. An objective statement, however, is better suited for those who have recently graduated from high school or college, or who otherwise have limited job experience.
Your resume summary could say:
Thoughtful construction laborer with over five years of experience helping manage teams toward successful and safe completion of housing projects.
Your resume objective could say:
Recent graduate eagerly looking to expand construction labor experience with a growing contractor.
In both your resume section and your summary, its important to avoid talking about topics more suited to a job interview, such as how much youre hoping to earn.
Read Also: Putting Coursework On Resume
How Many Pages Should A Resume Be
The short answer is that one page is the ideal resume length for most candidates. However, if you have a lot of relevant work experience, it can be two or even three pages.
Just note that unless youre applying for an upper-management position or an academic post, one page will be enough for hiring managers. Even Elon Musks resume could be tightened into one page.
If youre applying for an academic position, youll need to send a CV instead of a resume. Keep in mind that CV templates are often several pages long, and contain more information to show the progression of your academic career.
What Look Should Your Resume Have In 2022
Consider an extended summary and graphic elements, rather than the usual list of bullets.
Here, this example of a multinational executive resume blends unusual colors, a table of high-level positions, and an Extraordinary Results section. Click the link for a bigger image of this award-nominated resume.
By employing interim headlines and placing an Executive Contributions callout, and images depicting global influence, this custom design wont be mistaken for that of any other candidate!
How can you make your resume look like this in 2022? Find resume samples with different designs, taking note of new ideas for borders, color treatments, and other elements that can set off your experience.
Not sure you want to use bold colors? Even this Chief Medical Officer sample resume shows how to summarize a lengthy career in a single page.
If youre unsure how to change colors, add banners, or incorporate other elements, this guide on Microsoft Word may help.
Its important to note that if you change your resume design for a 2022 job search, it can often still be parsed by ATS systems.
To test what ATS will see,convert your resume to a text file and review the contents. Text boxes and charts wont be visible, but you should still see work history and other details.
Don’t Miss: Typing Speed In Resume
Write A Pithy Objective
Whether youre switching careers or feel slightly underqualified for the job you are applying for, Kim suggests including an objective at the top of your resume. This will help hiring managers understand the thought process behind your decision to change industries or why you are applying for the job. She says you can fill the gaps in between your experience by detailing the inspiration and motivation behind your move.
This objective statement should be limited to two or three sentences explaining what you are trying to accomplish and what you can contribute, Kim says.
And dont be discouraged by the job description: Schweikert notes that it is written for the perfect candidate and hiring managers know that so they likely expect that you wont fit each bullet point on a posting. Theres also a relatively simple way to determine if youre right for the role. Most job descriptions are written most important criteria to least important criteria, Schweikert says. So if youve got a lot of the first couple of bullets of the job posting, you are probably in a pretty good place.
How To List An Associate Degree On Resume
If you are reading that, you probably have an associate degree.
Which is pretty great.
Associate degrees can be of great help to your resume.
And hiring managers would definitely be happy to see one in your Education Section.
But how can you use your associate degree to boost up your resume?
In a few short paragraphs, we are going to show you everything you need to know to do that.
In this article, we are going to explore the questions:
- What is an Associate Degree
- Should You Put Your Associate Degree on Your Resume?
- How to Put Your Associate Degree on Your Resume?
And we are going to leave you off with some great tips and tricks and a great example of everything we talked about.
If you want to get some more general improvements on your resume, we can show you How to Make Your Resume Stand Out.
But if you are ready to learn all about including associate degree on your resume, stick around.
Read Also: Can Resume Be Two Pages
Here’s Everything You Should Include On A Resume
Always include your name and contact information, education, relevant professional experience and skills.
Tailor your resume for each job application by reviewing the job description for keywords and requirements.
Make your resume clean, professional and easy to reademployers only have a few seconds to review each application.
Your resume is one of the most important documents in a job search. The goal of your resume is to quickly help employers learn who you are and whether your skills and experiences match the position youre applying for.
Although each resume will differ depending on education, professional history, industry and position, there are a few key sections you might include on your resume. In this guide, well outline what to include on a resume you use for job applications. For inspiration on what to include on a resume, it might be helpful to look at examples of resumes in your position or industry.
How Long Should A Resume Be: The One
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to squeeze 15 or more years of work experience into a one-page resume. In fact, until recently, only entry-level candidates were urged to keep their resumes to one page, as most employers assumed someone who was new to the post-college workforce wouldn’t have enough information to justify more than one page of resume real estate. But, thanks to new data, this resume-length rule may no longer apply to most job seekers at any level, as career experts claim.
According to a study that involved nearly 500 recruiters, hiring managers, and HR professionals and nearly 8,000 resumes, recruiters are 2.3 times as likely to prefer two-page resumes over one-page resumes, regardless of a candidate’s years of experience.
So, why the change in opinion? I think there are two factors to consider.
Recommended Reading: How To List Side Projects On Resume