Constructing an appealing resume can be challenging, but a few strategies can help you use your resume as a showcase of what makes you the best candidate for a job. Having an idea of what to include in a resume can help you build a resume that will impress hiring managers.
In this blog, we describe 13 practical steps for building a resume that can show employers that you are the best fit for their position.
How to build your resume
Follow these steps to build your resume:
1. Add your contact information
The first thing on your resume should be your first and last name, a phone number and an email address. Consider also including additional contact information so that potential employers have several ways to reach you. You may, for example, include your professional networking platform page or an online portfolio link. You can also include your address, whether it’s the full address or just your city and state. Many companies prefer to hire local employees to reduce relocation time and expenses.
2. Include a professional summary
Since employers may only spend a short time reviewing your resume, you want to display your positive qualities precisely and clearly. The resume should illustrate the qualities that make you an attractive candidate while also describing the professional personality you bring to work.
Your summary statement should include a brief overview of your work experience. Try to focus on your experience as it relates to the role you are seeking to stand out to hiring managers.
If you have less experience , you can provide a resume objective, which is a brief display of your skills and qualifications as they relate to the specific position you are seeking. The skills and qualities om your resume should be concrete.
3. Add your work experience
The work experience section of your resume should be more than a simple list of your previous positions. It should also effectively describe your work experience to enhance your chances. Some of the information you provide in this section is self-explanatory, such as job title, company location and dates employed. Where you can distinguish yourself in this section is with the descriptions of your previous positions.
In each description, explain your previous responsibilities, notable achievements and keywords that will make you appear the right fit for the job. List both your responsibilities and accomplishments and emphasize items that are relevant to the prospective employer. ”
Many companies use software to sort through large numbers of resumes and identify more promising applicants using keyword algorithms. You can supplement your resume with keywords in the job description. If a company is looking for someone who can develop products that guarantee a high return on investment (ROI), you could mention in a previous job summary that you “consistently increased ROI by guaranteeing high productivity on my team.”
How much work experience you include will depend on your prospective position. If you are seeking your first job, for example, you may not have any previous professional experience to include, but you can include relevant internships or volunteer work. If you are a mid-level applicant, you may have a mixture of experience both related and unrelated to the open position.
4. Include your education
Most jobs require at least some education, and employers seek this information on your resume. List your highest level of education completed first, then subsequent degrees and diplomas. You may also choose to include any active licenses or certifications. When entering a degree or diploma you are currently completing, add the date you began pursuing it and leave the end date blank.
If you are in high school or just graduated, include this information. If you have completed a university degree, however, it is not necessary to include information about high school. In addition to listing degrees, include information about any recognition or academic awards. Typically, you don’t add your GPA unless an employer specifically requests it or you were top of your class.
Near the end of your resume, you should include a section for any skills that may be relevant and can enhance your appeal as a candidate. When including your skills, choose both hard and soft skills that relate to the role. Soft skills may be abilities such as communication or leadership while hard skills could be computer programs or technical knowledge.
6. Explain your achievements and awards
Employers may be more impressed if you can prove that your abilities have been tested and that you have found success despite challenges. You can emphasize your victories by including a brief section in your resume that outlines your relevant achievements and awards. Maybe you received “Employee of the Month” many times in your previous job or received an award for generating the most sales on your team in one quarter. These awards can set you apart from other candidates with similar experience.
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7. Use a business format
The format of your resume quickly tells an employer if you can follow directions and communicate effectively and concisely. In a way, your resume format is the first test of your experience before a potential employer even reviews your document. Your resume’s format should reflect the expectations of your audience. For example, most employers will expect that your resume is one page.
A professional resume format also generally includes a header with your name in a font larger than surrounding text and the rest of your contact information nearby. You should use an easy-to-read font, like Times New Roman, and space content so employers can clearly and quickly scan each section. Remember that when potential employers review your resume, they frequently scan through it quickly, which means you should make important information stand out. Consider using bold text for job positions and section headers.
8. Include keywords
Use words that directly relate to the position in which you’re applying. Consider reviewing the job description for keywords and incorporating them in your resume. For example, if the posting states the need for “excellent time management skills,” you can list time management in the skills and work history sections of your resume. Using keywords can help you relate directly to the hiring manager, making it more likely they will review the rest of your application materials.
9. Review samples
Reviewing other successful resumes can help you become familiar with the format, language and sections of a professional resume. When looking for samples, take two different approaches. First, look at samples to learn the general qualities most resumes share, such as format and standard sections. Then, find samples of resumes in your specific field. These examples may feature optional sections that other resumes omit, or they may use certain language or include similar skills that you would like to include in your own document.
10. Select a template
While you can certainly draft your own resume using a word processor, you can also simplify the resume-building process by using a resume template. These templates allow you to fill in blanks with relevant information, offering a complete, professionally formatted document. For example, Indeed provides a series of professional resume templates you can personalize to your industry and the expectations of your potential employer.
11. Know Yourself to write an authentic job objective
Copying from someone’s resume is quite popular but equally risky practice. The job objective which is the first part of the resume should be matching with your own career aspirations. Hence, be clear and straight about the same.
e.g. To build a career as a SAP-SD/CRM Consultant with a growth oriented and reputed organization to utilize my skills and knowledge in achieving organizational goals.
Be specific about your sports and social achievements. Leading school/college team in sports or other competitions shows your leadership and team building skills so do include such achievements in your resume but again in simple and short sentences. E.g. I was Captain of the Champion Football Team for consecutive 3 years.
Though you may have a range of different hobbies, write only 2 or maximum 3 hobbies in your resume. The reason is that the interviewer may ask you tricky questions and you may need to answer elaborately. E.g. about hobby –reading, you may be asked “which is your favorite book or author and why?”
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