Tips for Writting a Resume

Having a solid and effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing that dream job. Your resume must present information quickly, clearly and in a way that makes your experience relevant to the position in question. That means condensing your information to its most powerful form.
 

Here are some tips to use in writing a Resume:

Know the purpose of your resume

Some people write a resume as if the purpose of the document was to land a job. As a result they end up with a really long and boring piece that makes them look like desperate job hunters. The objective of your resume is to land an interview, and the interview will land you the job.

Back up your qualities and strengths

Instead of creating a long list with all your qualities (e.g., disciplined, creative, problem solver) try to connect them with real life and work experiences. In other words, you need to back these qualities and strengths up, else it will appear that you are just trying to inflate things. 

Make sure to use the right keywords

Many companies are already using digital databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. If your resume doesn’t have the keywords related to the job you are applying for, you will be out even before the game starts. 

These keywords will usually be nouns. Check the job description and related job ads for a clue on what the employer might be looking for.

Use effective titles

Like it or not, employers will usually make a judgment about your resume in 5 seconds. Under this time frame the most important aspect will be the titles that you listed on the resume, so make sure they grab the attention. Try to be as descriptive as possible, giving the employer a good idea about the nature of your past work experiences.

Don’t forget the basics

The first thing on your resume should be your name. It should be bold and with a larger font than the rest of the text. Make sure that your contact details are clearly listed. Secondly, both the name and contact details should be included on all the pages of the resume. 

Proofread it

It would be difficult to emphasize the importance of proofreading your resume. One small typo and your chances of getting hired could slip. Proofreading it once is not enough, so do it twice, three times or as many as necessary.  

Use bullet points

No employer will have the time to read long paragraphs of text. Make sure, therefore, to use bullet points and short sentences to describe your experiences, educational background and professional objectives. 

Put the most important information first

This point is valid both to the overall order of your resume, as well as to the individual sections. Most of the times your previous work experience will be the most important part of the resume, so put it at the top. When describing your experiences or skills, list the most important ones first. 

Avoid negativity

Do not include information that might sound negative in the eyes of the employer. This is valid both to your resume and to interviews.

Use numbers

If you are going to describe your past professional achievements, it would be a good idea to make them as solid as possible. Numbers are your friends here. Indicate that you increased the annual revenues of your division, say that you increased them by $100,000, by 78%, and so on. 

One resume for each employer

One of the most common mistakes that people make is to create a standard resume and send it to all the job openings that they can find. Sure it will save you time, but it will also greatly decrease the chances of landing an interview. Tailor your resume for each employer. The same point applies to your cover letters. 

You don’t need to list all your work experiences

If you have job experiences that you are not proud of, or that are not relevant to the current opportunity, you should just omit them.

Analyze job ads

Analyze the job ads for companies on the same segment or offering related positions. You should be able to identify what profile they are looking for and how the information should be presented. 

One or two pages

The ideal length for a resume is a polemic subject. Most employers and recruiting specialists, however, say that it should contain one or two pages at maximum. Just keep in mind that, provided all the necessary information is there, the shorter your resume, the better. 

Use action verbs

A very common advice to job seekers is to use action verbs. But what are they? Action verbs are basically verbs that will get noticed more easily, and that will clearly communicate what your experience or achievement were. Examples include managed, coached, enforced and planned.

Update your resume regularly

It is a good idea to update your resume on a regular basis. Add all the new information that you think is relevant, as well as courses, training programs and other academic qualifications that you might receive along the way. This is the best way to keep track of everything and to make sure that you will not end up sending an obsolete document to the employer. 

No scattered information

Your resume must have a clear focus. If would cause a negative impression if you mentioned that one year you were studying drama, and the next you were working as an accountant. Make sure that all the information you will include will work towards a unified image. Employers like decided people. 

No jargon or slang

It should be common sense, but believe me, it is not. Slang should never be present in a resume. As for technical jargon, do not assume that the employer will know what you are talking about. Even if you are sending your resume to a company in the same segment, the person who will read it for the first time might not have any technical expertise. 

Careful with sample resume templates

There are many websites that offer free resume templates. While they can help you to get an idea of what you are looking for, do not just copy and paste one of the most used ones.

No pronouns

You resume should not contain the pronouns “I” or “me.” That is how we normally structure sentences, but since your resume is a document about your person, using these pronouns is actually redundant. 

Consider getting professional help

If you are having a hard time to create your resume, or if you are receiving no response whatsoever from companies, you could consider hiring a professional resume writing service. There are both local and online options are available, and usually the investment will be worth the money.