HOW TO WRITE A RESUME: FORMATS, SAMPLES, & TEMPLATES

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Applying to work? Think of a resume as an instrument for marketing yourself.

Resume showcases your background, your skills, and your education so that a potential employer can quickly and easily able to see how your individual experience can contribute to a company’s success.

Here’s what you need to know about writing a resume, the step-by-step procedure, samples, and tips to help you create an impressive one.

WHAT IS A RESUME?

A resume is a concise written account that summarizes an applicant’s personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience written when applying for a job. It is probably one of the most important tools in assisting you for a job whether in the private or public sector.

Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae

RESUME VS CURRICULUM VITAE

These two documents differ mainly in terms of what each is used for, the length of it, what details are included, and how it is formatted.

 

Resume

CV

Purpose Most job applications Usually for applications in the academe, medical fields, and scientific research
Usual length One to two pages No page limit
Amount of information As short and concise as possible Contains a lot more information
Customization Highly customized to match the specific requirements per position No changes unless there are new achievements of qualifications
Layout Creative or minimalist design with bullet points, colors, icons, and other design elements Minimalist design with plain text, more sections, and no bullet points

 

HOW TO WRITE A RESUME?

Writing a resume shouldn’t be that complicated. Make it as simple as possible. Below are the tips and procedures you must consider.

INFORMATION YOU NEED TO INCLUDE IN YOUR RESUME:

Here are the important elements you must consider in writing your resume:

  • NAME – Your true and full name.
  • CONTACT NUMBER – Your contact number should be the active one – so that the employer can contact you easily when you got the job.
  • E-mail Address – Other employers send an update about the application in E-mail Address. As much as possible your E-mail address should be the combination of your first name and surname.
  • HOME ADDRESS – The employer should consider how far you’re away from the workplace.
  • OBJECTIVE – What is your objective in applying for the position you are looking for?
  • WORK EXPERIENCE – Include your past work experience so that the employer will see what you are capable of and what you’re already good at.
  • EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT – This is important especially for those who are fresh graduates that don’t have any work experience. Believe it or not, other employers consider the school you graduated from.

Steps in Writing an Effective Resume

Since your future career depends on the quality of your resume, it is important to make the most out of it. Make it simple and concise.  Provide a clear structure so it satisfies your recruiter in the beginning.

STEP 1: Find the right resume format.

Resume formats differ in the qualifications they emphasize. So choose a format that highlights whatever you want recruiters to notice on your resume.

You may consider your work experience, skillset, career goals, and the job you’re applying for.

Here are the different resume formats you can choose from:

a. Reverse-chronological. This classic resume format that highlights career progression by listing work experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with the latest and working back through past jobs.

b. Functional.  It emphasizes an applicant’s skills rather than work experience.

c. Hybrid. It is a combination of both reverse-chronological and functional formats. This format consists of two parts: the first part highlights relevant qualifications and skills, while the second part lists your work history.

d. Infographic. This format uses graphic design elements such as colors, illustrations, icons, charts, and font styling instead of just basic text.

STEP 2: Type in your header.

Always put your name and contact information at the top regardless of the resume format you use.

Must-have information on a resume header:

  • Full name
  • Location
  • Telephone number/Mobile number
  • Email address

Optional information on a resume header:

  • Professional title (e.g., “Marketing Professional,” “Web Developer,” etc.)
  • LinkedIn profile URL
  • Website/Blog URL
  • Link to an online portfolio

STEP 3: Write the introduction.

The introduction highlights the candidate’s most important qualification and it’s placed somewhere at the top of the page.

There are different ways to present a resume introduction. The right option depends on the job applied for, as well as the candidate’s skillsets and work experience.

a. Qualifications Summary. This is a list of key career accomplishments with four to six bullet points. Use this type of intro if you have a great list of work experience with quantitative achievements and distinct skill sets.

b. Career Objective. This field states in two to three sentences why you want a specific position in the company. This introduction is ideal for fresh graduates, entry-level candidates, and career-switchers with little or no relevant work experience.

c. Professional Profile. This introduction combines the qualifications summary and career objective and its perfect if you are applying for a position in the same industry, have particular expertise in your field, and have a major career achievement to highlight.

d. Professional Summary. This section highlights the top skills, experience, and achievements in your career. You can also mention the job title and years of experience.

STEP 4: Make a list of your relevant work experience.

The work experience section is your chance to prove your qualifications to possible employers.

Just choose up to three to five experiences that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for instead of listing your entire career.

How to list work experience on your resume.

The standard format for listing work experience includes the following information:

  • Job title
  • Company name and location
  • Employment dates
  • Key responsibilities and achievements

STEP 5: Add-in your Educational background.

The education section shows that you meet any academic requirements for a specific role, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field.

How to list education on your resume.

List your education by starting with your highest degree. Follow this format:

  • Degree
  • School name
  • Location (city/province or country, if you studied abroad)
  • Graduation date (month and year)
  • Honors and awards received (e.g., cum laude, dean’s lister, leadership excellence, scholarship, etc.)

If you have a college degree, no need to add your high school and grade school information.

STEP 6: Male a list of your hard and soft skills

Your resume should have a good mix of hard and soft skills because employers are looking for both in a candidate.

Hard skills are qualitative abilities that get a job done like a video editing, bookkeeping, and social media management.

Soft skills are personality traits such as leadership, professionalism, teamwork, initiative, persistence, and self-motivation.

How to list skills on your resume.

  • Select five to eight of your hard and soft skills that are most important for the position you’re applying for.
  • If you have a long list of hard skills, group them into categories. For example, if you’re a virtual assistant, you can categorize your skills into administrative, email management, social media management, etc.
  • For each hard skill, include your proficiency level if you are a beginner, intermediate, advanced, or an expert.

STEP 7: Personalize your resume with additional sections.

Include a personal touch to your resume. Depending on your profession or industry and what you prefer to highlight, here are the optional sections you may list on your resume.

a. Certifications/Licenses. If you’re in a profession with certification or licensing requirements (such as nursing, medicine, and engineering), make sure to include any relevant information in your resume.

b. Volunteer Work.  Your volunteering experience is worth adding to your resume. Studies find that listing volunteer work raises a candidate’s chance of getting hired. By showing that you help the community, you give the impression that you’re a loyal, committed employee.

For this section, the typical format lists the name of the organization, inclusive dates of volunteer work, achievements, and a short description of volunteer experience.

c. Languages. The ability to communicate in two or more languages is a valuable asset especially in fields such as translation, ESL teaching, writing, and customer service.

d. Hobbies and Interests. The hobbies and interests section may be the least important section, but it can boost your resume if it’s related to the position you’re applying for.

STEP 8: Review your resume multiple times.

Save yourself from possible humiliation and rejection due to obvious mistakes. When you’ve finished writing your resume and cover letter, edit and proofread them multiple times to catch and correct errors.

Remember these pointers when proofreading your resume and cover letter:

  • Read the document slowly from the beginning. Then read it backward per phrase. Pay close attention to every phrase.
  • Proofread your resume several times at different times of the day.
  • Run a grammar and spelling check on your computer. You can install online tools like Grammarly to help you spot errors you missed from your manual proofreading.
  • Ask a friend or family member for help. Take note of their feedback and suggestions for improvement.

TIPS IN PREPARING YOUR RESUME

Resume writing tips

Below are the tips that might help you in preparing your resume:

  • Select the best 2×2 photo that you have – you should look presentable and pleasant to the eyes of the employer. To make it simple, you should look professional. Remember that the first impression lasts! The background of your photo should be plain white.
  • Choose a font that is readable and looks formal – Arial, Calibri, and, Times New Roman. Also, consider that your font size shouldn’t be that too small or too large. Font size 12 is the standard size that you must consider.
  • Make sure that your layout must be neat and clean because it reflects your personality. What does it mean by a clean/neat layout? Don’t use multiple font styles.
  • Print on a short bond paper – it depends on the size required by the employer. Don’t use specialty paper and scented paper. Don’t impress your employer too much.
  • A resume is not noble – make it as simple as possible. The employer only needs the important information that he/she will get from you.
  • To finalize, ask for help! Let one of your family members or friends, to read and proofread your resume.

Click here if you want to know HOW TO WRITE AN AUTHORIZATION LETTER.

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