Here are steps and surefire tips for building a resume that will stand out and increase your chances of being called for the job interview!
10 Steps to Writing the Perfect Resume
Your resume is your co-pilot in the labor market. It helps you open doors, causes a (hopefully very good) first impression and will make you know your future company.
You probably don’t realize it, but maybe your resume has already been dropped from some job selection solely because of the look and feel (or lack) of information presented.
What makes an ideal resume?
There is no ideal resume. Each employer will look differently at what you have on hand. So the key is to know the company where you want to work and structure the information according to the profile of the place – and never lie in your resume, of course!
Remember that the person responsible for analyzing resumes will, most likely, have a lot of material at hand. On average, more than 75 other resumes are vying for space with yours. So how do you excel? What do you do to get noticed in this crowd? The first step is to strike a balance: neither too much detail nor too little information. Not so long, not so short.
Remember that there is a difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae. Resumes are shorter than CVs and are just the summaries of your experiences and skills in a page or two. But other secrets involve making a good resume. Let’s unravel them step-by-step below!
Key steps to writing the perfect resume
- Save on the amount of personal data
You do not need to fill the resume with all kinds of personal data. It is not a CV. The prospective employer does not need to know your ID, social security number or your parents’ name before he hires you. This shouldn’t even feature in your CV. Instead, just put:
- Full name
- Contact phone
- Address your profile on professional networks, such as LinkedIn (if you have one). Avoid including personal social networking profiles.
- City where you live
- Age or date of birth (optional)
Here’s an important note: Beware of the names you use in emails and social network addresses. Internet nicknames or associations with movies, comic and video game characters may give the reviewer a negative impression. To look more professional, create an address with just your real name and no more information.
- Specify an area of expertise
After personal data and before the description of your experiences and training, it is nice to present a well-defined area of practice, with good prominence, using few words.
- Social Networks and Online Advertising
- Human Resources and People Management
- Finance and Controlling
- Nursing and Health Care
This is not the place to enter the desired position (purchasing manager, business assistant, social network analyst). It is important to know how to differentiate positions from practice areas!
- Describe Your Formation
Briefly describe your undergraduate and graduate courses. Use the following data and always use the order from newest to oldest. Here’s how to do it:
- Course Mode
- Course Title
- Course Location
- Course period (if it is already completed or still being completed).
- Master in Marine Biology – University of Miami (Florida) – 2018 (ongoing)
- Degree in Biological Sciences – University of Calgary (Alberta) – 2011 – 2014.
- Summarize your qualifications
In a nutshell, summarize your main qualifications by describing the areas of expertise and their role in each. Example:
- Social Networks: content production, interaction with the public on Twitter and Facebook, crisis management, request forwarding, etc.
- Digital Advertising: Google advertising experience, campaign definition, cost planning, etc.
Avoid placing too large a list of qualifications, even if they are important. Choose only those that have more to do with the company.
- Your work experiences from most recent to the oldest
This is one of the most important parts of your resume, you need to treat it with special attention. Here, you should enter your most current and relevant experiences.
The order of experiences must always be from newest to oldest.
The data that should appear is:
- Name of the company where you work or worked
- The period you worked for this company (or are still there)
- Very brief company description
- The last position held or position held
- Description of your activities in this company
- Courses and other activities
If you have had technical courses, international experiences, or attendance at events that could boost your chances, list them at the end of the curriculum. No need to fill in details or make a long list of events. Just enter the title, institution, location, and date.
Training course in social media monitoring by the International Media Institute. Abuja, 2014.
Advanced course in network management by the Canadian Association of Digital Media. Alberta, 2015.
- Forget Photos and Other Graphics
Many career experts don’t recommend including a photo in your resume. Do not put photos on the resume unless required by the company. And if you have to include your photo, try using a simple one that looks natural and nice. Avoid selfies, photos in swimwear, travel or parties. A simple image with good light and a neutral background can count much more in your favor.
Nor do you need to use graphic resources to grace the resume. Avoid borders, floral elements, different fonts, shadow effects or excessive colors. Be simple.
The text font should be simple as well. Avoid cursives that look handwritten or overly embellished – they can make reading difficult.
- Observe the language!
There’s nothing more compromising for a professional than presenting a resume saddled with grammatical errors!
Make a detailed review of your resume. If you are unsure about the spelling of a particular word, refer to it in an online dictionary. If you are not confident of your writing or editing skills, ask for help from experts. There are great resume writers or sites on the net, one of which is CraftResumes. It is just not worth sending a bumpy resume to the evaluator.
- Note the format
If you are not a designer, artist, or architect who usually has more graphic resumes (so-called portfolios), try not to invent different formats to impress the reviewer.
The key to success is often not to be afraid of looking ordinary: use an A4 size – which is the standard everywhere – and use fonts with little size difference in headings and text. Try to focus the information on at most two pages. No trying to impress by volume!
- Simplicity is the best way.
Huge resumes full of difficult words and unnecessary details impress no one. On the contrary, they get lost in the pile of other resumes. Sometimes, in an attempt to get the evaluator’s attention, we end up exaggerating the amount of information and the result is that the document ends up in the trash can.
Use simple, everyday words, get away from fussing and trying to look smart. Be practical and objective. A good career always starts with a good resume! Good luck!