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 :
Volunteer Work And Activities
Lastly, create a section for volunteer activities. This could be formal or informal volunteering, such as serving food at a local homeless shelter or helping your neighbor rake leaves. For each volunteer activity, include who you volunteered with, what your role was, the dates and hours you volunteered and a brief description.
Example of how to list volunteer work and activities in a resume:Coral Springs Soup Kitchen, Coral Springs, Florida 25 Hours Meal Prep and ServingPrepares, serves, and cleans up after meal service at a local homeless shelter on a bi-weekly basis.
Start With Your Basic Information
Your contact information should always go at the top of your resume. In this header youll want to include anything that could be helpful for a recruiter to get in touch with you. Usually, this means adding in:
- Your full name
- Your phone number
- Your personal email address
You might also choose to include other basic information, such as your LinkedIn or personal website URL, your GitHub , your social media profiles , or your address. If youre looking to move for a job, you may choose to leave out your address or write open to relocating to better your chances of getting an interview.
The key is to make this part as clear as possible. If a hiring manager cant reach you, theres no point in perfecting the rest of your resume.
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What If I Have No References
If you do not have any professional references, offer to provide twice as many personal references if you can. A personal reference can be from someone who knows you, but has never worked with you in a professional environment. For example, they could be a friend, a classmate, a teammate, a coach, a teacher, etc.
Add In Your Work Experience
This section will most likely be the bulk of your resume. Even if youre changing careers, employers still want to see where youve worked, what youve done, and the impact of that work to get a sense of your background and expertise.
Your Work Experience might be one entire category, or you might choose to break it up into Relevant Experience and Additional Experience to highlight the jobs that are most important for hiring managers to focus on. Either way, youll almost always want to have your most recent experience at the top and your older experience down below.
Within your work experience, youll want to include each official job title, the company , and the years you worked there. Below that, youll add in two to four bullet points explaining what you did in that job, the skills you built and exercised, the tools you used, and the results of what you did. If you accomplished a lot during your time there, focus on the responsibilities that made the most impact or youre the most proud of, as well as the ones that best align you with the job youre applying for . Its key here to list, if relevant, quantitative as well as qualitative accomplishments.
For example, you might write:
Associate Accountant, Finances and Co., Ann Arbor, MI
If you have a ton of experience and this category is starting to run long , consider kicking out your oldest jobs unless theyre super relevant to the job youre applying for, or extra impressive for your field.
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What Is The Best Resume Layout
The first thing a job recruiter notices about any resume is the layout.
Does it look organized or cluttered? Is it too short or too long? Is it boring and easy to ignore, or does it scream out Read me!?
Here are some of the best practices when it comes to your resume layout:
Resume Layout Must-Haves
1. One page in length. You should only go for 2 pages if you really, really believe that itll add significant value. HR managers in big firms get around 1,000+ resumes per month. Theyre not going to spend their valuable time reading your life story!
2. Clear section headings. Pick a heading and use it for all the section headers.
3. Ample white-space, especially around the margins.
4. Easy-to-read font. Wed recommend sticking to what stands out, but not too much. Do: Ubuntu, Roboto, Overpass, etc. Dont : Comic Sans
5. Pick the right font size. As a rule of thumb, go for 11 – 12 pt for normal text, and 14 – 16 pt for section titles.
6. As a rule of thumb, save your resume as PDF. Word is a popular alternative, but it has a good chance of messing up your resume formatting.
One more thing you need to consider in terms of resume layout is whether youre going for a traditional-looking free resume template or something a bit more modern:
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 dont 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 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 youre perfect for the job. In contrast with the largely out-of-date objective statement a line that describes the type of career opportunity youre looking for professional summaries arent about what you want. Instead, theyre focused on the value you could bring to a potential employer. Its worth noting that a professional summary isnt an absolute must-have if your resume is missing one, it probably wont be a dealbreaker but it can be a nice way to give time-pressed recruiters and hiring managers a quick, high-level overview of why youre the right person for the job.
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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:
Who Is Zety Resume Builder For
The Zety resume creator is a tool for anyone tired of fighting with formatting their application document in a word processor. Its even more valuable to job seekers pressed for time or worried about how the wording of their resume reflects on them as candidates. Zety can dramatically cut down on the time it would take to create a resume on your own. Weve heard success stories from job seekers in all industries. Interns, juniors, mid-level staff, all the way to c-suite executives. Even students writing resumes for college applications.
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The Best Font Size For A Resume
The size font you use on a resume will depend on how much you have written, as you need your content to fill up one entire page. A good place to start is using 16pt for your name, 12pt for your section headers, and 11pt for the body of your text. Experiment conservatively until your one-page resume looks complete.
Consider Adding Optional Sections
If you have significant white space on your resume, consider adding an achievements or interests section. This can help supplement a shorter resume, especially for those with limited work and educational experience. Makes sure that the achievements and interests you list support your career goals and are relevant to potential employers.
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What Is A Resume
Believe it or not, some people have never seen a resume before, let alone written one.
If youre one of those people, this section is for you!
So what is a resume?
A resume is a document used by job seekers to help provide a summary of their skills, abilities and accomplishments.
In other words, a resume is typically a short and quick way for a job seeker to introduce themselves to a potential employer.
Resumes are normally submitted to hiring managers along with a cover letter , usually via email or on online job posting.
Sounds pretty easy, right? Just take a piece of paper and put some basic info on it and wham, bam, thank you, maam, Im right for the job and can start tomorrow, right?
Unfortunately its not that easy.
In fact, writing a bad resume is much easier than writing a good oneand trust me, there are lots of bad ones out therewhich is why you want to make sure you have good oneno wait, a GREAT one so when employers look at it, they say, Heck yes, bring this kid in for an interview!
Tips For Submitting Resumes To Agencies
Some agencies accept uploaded resumes and resumes created using the USAJOBS resume builder, while some may only accept one or the other. Even though you may have both types of resumes in the Document section of your profile, the agency determines which ones to accept when you are applying online. The Apply button displayed on the job announcement page activates the process for a job seeker to complete an application.
USAJOBS automatically provides a list of available resumes and other documents to attach to your application, and will only display resumes and documents the hiring agency is willing to accept. For example, if the hiring agency only accepts resumes created using the USAJOBS resume builder, then your uploaded resumes will not be available to add to your application. Please pay special attention to the How to Apply section of the job announcement to find out which resume format and documents are accepted and how to submit them to the hiring agency.
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Making Your Content Shine
And Lets Wrap It All Up
If youve followed all of our advice until now, congrats! Youre probably an expert on how to make a resume.
To wrap it all up, lets brush up on some of the most important lessons weve learned so far…
- Use the rightresume builder. You dont want to mess around with formatting for hours before even starting to work on your resume!
- Focus on achievements. Mention your achievements instead of responsibilities, so that you stand out from all the other applicants.
- Include the must-have sections. That is, resume summary, work experience, education, and skills.
- Tailor for the job. Everything listed on your resume should be relevant for the job youre applying for.
- Perfect your cover letter. Its as important as your resume, so make sure you pay as much attention to it!
At Novorésumé, were committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our career blog to stay up to date with industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides:
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How To Format Your Resume
It’s important to choose a font and font size that are legible and will leave enough white space on the page.
You also want to keep style features to a minimum reserve the use of boldface for section headings and for quantifiable achievements that you would like to have pop on the page .
When you use a particular style, use it consistently. That is, if you bold one section header, make sure to bold all of them.
You should use consistent spacing throughout, and evenly sized margins on all sides if possible. Its generally best to stick to your word processors default settings, but in some cases, if you shrink the margins on the left, right, top and bottom, this can help buy more space to fit your resume on one page.
Although visual or infographic resumes have become trendy in some industries, it is always a safe bet to stick with traditional formatting: white page, black text, readable font. Choose a basic font such as Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, Helvetica, or Georgia. Ideally, your font size should be no larger than 12 and no smaller than 10.5.
Even if you are only sending in copies digitally, it is a good idea to print your resume to be sure it prints on a single page, and is easy to read in printed form. Reading over a printed copy of your resume will also help you ensure that there is plenty of white space on the page and it looks professional.
From Your Career Summary And Work History To Your Education And Skills Learn How To Make Each Section Of Your Resume The Best It Can Be
This is how to write a resume.
Need some basic information about how to write a resume that stands out from the competition? Or maybe youre looking for advice on how to fine-tune your career summary, craft your work history section, and show off your education and skills? Well, youve come to the right place.
Check out the following resume writing tips to learn how to make your own, optimizing each section for maximum success.
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List Your Professional History With Keywords
Write your professional history section in reverse-chronological order. Start with your most recent job and provide a short description including the company name, time period in which you were employed, your job title and a few key achievements during your time at the company. You might also include relevant learnings or growth opportunities you experienced while employed there.
When listing your professional history, you should keep a few best practices in mind:
- Use numbers to measure your impact, when possible. Including specific numerical achievements can help employers understand your direct potential value to their company.
Example: Developed new process for requesting supplies, reducing fulfillment time by 10%.
- Use keywords from the job description. Similar to your skills section, you should also include information from the job description in your job history bullets. For example, if the job description mentions the importance of meeting sales quotas, you could include information about how youve met or exceeded quotas in past roles.
Example: Achieved goal of reaching 250% annual sales quota, winning sales MVP two quarters in a row.
Follow the same process for other work experiences. If you do not have extensive professional history, you should also include internships and volunteer opportunities following the same format.
Proofread Your Resume And Finish Strong
Once youve written your resume and cover letter, youre in pretty good shape to send out that first application. However, youre not quite done yet.
The most important step before sending out any resume is to read it over and make sure that there are no issues that could get your application discarded.
To help make that process easier, heres a checklist you can go through to make sure your resume is looking spotless:
The Resume Genius Resume Checklist
Is your contact information accurate?
Does your resume NOT include details like headshots or sensitive personal information?
Does your resume fit on one page ?
Is your information easy to read ?
Is the design of your resume appropriate for the position youre applying for?
Did you include all relevant sections on your resume?
Did you include quantified achievements in your work experience section?
Does your resume address the requirements stated in the job ad?
Is your resume free of typos and grammatical errors?
Is all of your information clearly formatted and professional?
Feel free to use our on-page checklist, or and begin reviewing your resume.
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