The quality of your resume has a significant influence on your chance of landing a new job. The labor market is becoming intensively competitive. Therefore, every technique is essential to make your application stand out. As a result, you need to master how to write a resume a professional resume that captivates the recruiter’s interest and stands you out among fellow applicants.
WHAT IS A RESUME?
A resume is therefore a document that entails your work experience, professional achievements, education history, certifications, publications, and other relevant details that can stand you out when applying for a job. In other words, it is the document you submit to the employer for consideration into a new role.
WHAT A RESUME IS NOT
- A resume is not a document containing the summary of your skills
- It is not in any way related to being a log of your job history
- It is not an automatic ticket to getting a job
WHAT A RESUME IS
- A resume is an advertisement for your expertise as a professional
- It is also what goes ahead of you to grant you an interview session with an employer
- It is as well considered to be your professional image.
9 STEPS TO WRITE A PROFESSIONAL RESUME
Choose the format that suits your level
Firstly, when you are about to start writing a professional resume, select the most suited resume format. This could either be a reverse-chronological format, combination format, or functional format. Each of these formats is applicable, depending on the level of experience and nature of the job in question. Nevertheless, these resume samples have their peculiarities.
- Reverse-chronological format
Potential employers are very familiar with this resume sample format because it uses the traditional resume style.For some people might, it is not preferable because it doesn’t involve the need for any creative design format. It emphasizes an applicant’s duties, work experience, and other relevant information. For this, you list your positions starting from the most recent. However, it is considered the standard resume format since it is the easiest to read and scan.
- Combination format
This is suitable for experienced professionals and frequent career changers to highlight their transferable skills. This resume sample is not ideal for entry-level job applicants.
- Functional format (skills-based)
This resume sample is skill-inclined. In the same vein, it could be useful for entry-level applicants to emphasize their skills since they have little or no experience to highlight. However, the demerit of this is the suspicion it might attract from recruiters who might think you are hiding something.
Write your personal details and contact information.
It is compulsory to include your contact information and personal details on your resume. Such as:
- Name: First name, last name and middle name (optional)
- Phone number: This should be your private cell phone number and not your home phone number.
- Email address: Write a valid email address because you are very likely to be contacted through your email.
- LinkedIn URL: Recruiters now develop interests in the activities of an applicant online. Having a LinkedIn account could be a plus. Open one if you don’t have any.
Don’t include any information that reveals your date of birth or age. Also, stick to just one email and phone number to avoid confusing recruiters.
Start with a resume summary.
It is the first piece that catches the attention of a recruiter. It is more like a heading statement. Therefore, it is essential to make it witty and tailored towards the role you want to land. When writing a resume summary, summarize your skills, experience, achievement, and motivation tailored towards the description of the job you are applying to. Example;
“Confident and dependable bilingual secretary with 4+ expertise in a multinational organization. Received the organization’s best customer relation satisfaction rating – according to submitted reviews from customers. (99.2%). Seeking to advance my career by translating with the ECOWAS team.
You can also check the ten must have interpersonal skills for resume
List your relevant working experience and key achievement.
Since technology is transforming every sector of human endeavor, more substantial companies now employ the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to review resumes. What this software does is checking for specified keywords that are related to the job description.
We therefore recommend the following format method to arrange your information regarding your relevant work experience:
- Job title: It should be at the top of each new entry of work experience. It should be in bold and close to other sections of information about the job.
- Company name, city, and state: Write the name of the company you worked for and its location.
- Date employed: Add the year or the month, and the year you were employed and when you left. If you are still working there, write, “till date.”
- Key responsibilities: Focus on your responsibility while working with the company. The use of strong keywords is necessary here.
- Key achievements: Highlight your relevant project along with your performance on the project.
NOTE: Avoid the use of passive expressions in this section and the previous one.
Your level determines the length of the experience include in your resume.
- Senior-level applicants: This includes applicants seeking executive and managerial position in an organization. They are expected to list up to 15 completed projects in their CV. The list should be in bullet points.
- Mid-level job seekers: These applicants have experience working for organizations- for about 5 years. They are thus expected to include a detailed description of their relevant positions to the job and any other ones.
- Entry-level candidates: These applicants have little experience below 5 years. It could be one year experience. They are thus expected to list all their paid work and not hesitate to record their achievements and responsibilities relevant to the job.
- First-time job hunters: These applicants have no work experience can add other histories like leadership engagement, internship, or volunteering experience to fill this space.
List your academic qualification correctly.
You should not only list your education history under this section. Also include the relevant coursework, honors, and awards you received. Add extracurricular to increases your chance too. The order here is to start with the most recent academic qualification you obtained.
Put relevant skills that fit the job.
There are two types of skills you should list on your resume; soft and hard skills. Hard skills are specific abilities that require learning from a professional. Examples are editing, web development, photography, etc. On the other hand, soft skills are part of our self-development and attributes we learn through life experience. Examples are social and adaptability skills. The combination of these two makes a compelling skillets section on your resume.
Add an additional important resume section.
Under this section, you include other relevant details like your hobbies and interests, volunteering work, internship experience, certifications and awards, language proficiency, projects, and publications. It is important to note that anything you include here must align with your application’s job description.
Complement with a professionally written cover letter
Most times, recruiters request for a professionally written cover letter to complement a resume. For this reason, write a professional cover letter tailored to the job description and increase your chance of landing the new role. To write a professional resume, follow the steps outlined here.A good choice of resume sample format that fits your job and a professional cover letter gives an edge!
Proofread, save and email your resume
The last thing to do before sending your resume and cover letter, as the case may be, is to use some writing software like Grammarly to proofread it and also send to friends or professionally resume reviewers for double or multi-checking. You may decide to either save it in word document or PDF. Most recruiters prefer PDF format. After doing this, save it using your name, hyphens or underscore, the position you are applying for and the word resume or cover letter. With this, you are good to go.
Many unsuccessful job applications are not due to the ineligibility of most applicants. It is as a result of a poorly written resume. With the steps listed above, you can increase your chance of being employed anywhere by making use of a perfect resume sample.