If it has been some time since you last applied for a job, then it has probably been a while since you have thought about or looked at your resume.
But, if you have decided to change careers, you’re applying for a job in the same industry, or you just want to refresh your resume to keep the option open, you have likely forgotten a few things. What’s more, there are probably a few things you didn’t know about resumes, too.
A captivating resume is essential when applying for jobs. The recruiter or HR manager who reads your resume will use it to distinguish you from other candidates and use it as a reference during an interview.
Any information you add about yourself should help employers assess your talents and skills.
It is hard for most people to view their history and accomplishments with a discerning eye, making writing a resume a struggle for most.
Add to this struggle a lack of understanding of what should be on a resume, and you’ve got a situation that can lead to disappointing returns and missed opportunities.
To help you in your job search, we’ve put together this list of resume basics. Some details may be a refresher, while others may be entirely new for you!
Here’s what you need to know about resumes:
What is a Resume?
A resume is a document produced to outline your education, work experience, skills, and accomplishments. Job applications merely ask you to fill in the blanks, and there is not very much space for a hiring manager to get to know you.
With your resume, you are marketing your worth to HR managers and recruiters. A well-written resume provides information that expresses your merit and entices the reader to want to know more about you. Your resume is a brief synopsis of everything that you have done in your work or education history.
Like certifications or relevant volunteer experience, anything further will help your prospective employer view you as a skilled asset to their organization.
But, the above is only true if your resume is well-written.
Where to Start
When you begin writing your resume, you will want to simply write down your personal histories, such as past employment, experience, and duties. You may want to write down descriptive words that contextualize or elevate your past work in terms of responsibilities and tasks.
Follow this by your educational history. Markdown the names of the university or college you have attended, the dates you attended, degree earned, and any certifications, professional development, or publications you have completed.
How to Write Your Resume
Once the brainstorming of your skills and experience is complete, you should organize your information into a straightforward document that is, at most, two pages long.
If you use a search engine for help, it will likely guide you to one resume template or another. Resume templates are outdated and will do nothing to help land a job. Instead, it would be best to use several keywords, like those used in the job posting of interest in your resume’s job description section.
Your name, address, email, and contact number should be carefully proofread. You may want to include your social media and professional networking handles if relevant to your industry and career objectives.
If your email address is not professional or doesn’t include your name, you may want to create a professional one to be included in resumes. You will also want to ensure that your voicemail is working and has a professional greeting.
Your professional experience should be the most extended section of your resume. It will include your past employment and details about the positions you held. This is where your brainstormed list will come in handy. You should list your previous roles in descending order, and you should describe your most recent posts in more detail; be sure to add achievement-focused statements.
Your resume’s education section will list your college, university, or trade school you have attended and the years you went there. If you are entering the job force shortly following graduation and without a lot of work experience, you can write more about your educational background or include a coursework section.
You may wish to include an additional information section that outlines extra items that may help you secure employment. These can consist of any special projects you have completed, languages you speak, and professional affiliations.
It is essential to include:
- Any volunteer work relevant to the industry you desire—especially if you do not have relevant work experience.
- An explanation for gaps in your work history; you may not want to put this in your resume but be prepared to explain it in an interview.
- Any continuing education that adds a benefit to your career change
- Any awards you have been given in a service industry position, if applicable
Just as a template is outdated, it is important to note that a resume objective is also obsolete.
Professional Resume Writer
Even armed with the information you need to write a resume, it can still feel daunting. Perhaps you aren’t comfortable with your writing skills or have employment gaps that you don’t know how to explain. Whatever the reason is, you will benefit from the help of a professional resume writer.
Choose wisely; a good resume writer knows how to leverage your skills and experience to craft a resume that covers gaps in employment and laud your accomplishments in a way that does not sound like bragging. A professional resume writer is also continually staying up to date on hiring trends to see what hiring managers are looking for in an applicant and their resume.
An award-winning resume writer, like Career Marketing Centre, can create a resume for you that is well written, concise, and uses keywords that will give you a leg up on the competition.
Contact Career Marketing Centre today to learn more about what we can do to help you land the job of your dreams!