We may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.
Recruiters get hundreds of resumes and spend an average of 6 seconds deciding if they should read the entire
Recruiters are tasked with finding the
Recruiters eliminate resumes not only on content but also on how they look. If they are poorly formatted, too short or really ugly content almost doesn’t matter.
By the end of the
Absolutely. That’s why presentation, format, and content are all equally important.
You’ve probably heard hundreds of times that your resume is the most important document in your job search (because it is). But if you want to stand out from the competition, you need more than a great-looking
Do you need a resume writing strategy that will work best for your career situation and current job search? Do you need the writing skills of a certified, published, and skilled resume writer? Look no further.
There are five simple steps to creating the
Step One: Gathering Your Information
A Summary of Your Skills and Objective
Make a list of all of your skills. This includes computer skills you have and other skills that are relative to your industry (like accounting Pronouncements, medical procedures, etc.). Your skills list should include both your hard skills (skills you can teach) and your soft skills (interpersonal skills).
List as many skills as you can think of, the list can be adjusted as/if needed when you build your resume. Where you put your skills section on
You should gather the key facts about your
Another key fact may be appropriate, like GPA, clubs and extracurricular activities, special courses, awards, and any other important fact that will help your
If you’ve not yet finished your degree, you should still put it on your resume and list how many credits have been completed to date and the expected date of graduation.
Your work history is the “meat” of
This is mentioned up above in the Work History section but the topic deserves some special focus. Hiring managers will not only want to know that you’ve got the experience for the job, but they will also want to know that you can “get it done”. Nothing shows this better than listing your achievements. Add facts like “automated X
Extracurricular Activities and Hobbies
Employers want to know what you do in your spare time. This topic spans both, what you did during your college years as well as other activities you are involved with. This includes charity work/organizations, clubs (only appropriate clubs), additional languages you may speak, sports, etc.
Resume Builder That Will Help You Stand Out
There’s nothing worse than having an incomplete
It’s All in the Format
Several years ago a friend of mine was out of work due to bankruptcy. He had tons of experience and felt he would quickly land another job. One of the things that he was particularly proud of was his
You know what? He was wrong.
Working with an
You’ve collected all of the information needed to put
Contact Information – Pretty obvious – Your name, address, telephone number and email address
Your Headline – Take a look at – How to Write a Resume Headline for tips on adding a title to
Objective -Your career goal and what you want out of a job – Tailor Your Resume Objective
Skills – What are you good at and why should someone hire you? You should list the skills that will help market your strengths. Top Skills You Need On Your Resume
Work History / Experience – This is where you will list the work history you collected from Lesson 1. Take a look at some formats – Resume Experience Section Example
- Degree (BS, BA, AA, MBA, etc.)
- Major (Finance, Economics, History, etc.)
- Year graduated (or expected graduation date)
- Name of the School
- GPA (depends on how well you did and when you graduated)
- Honors (Dean’s List, Honor Society, etc.)
Types of formats
There are tons of
Chronological – This format is exactly what the name suggests – basically listing your experience and history in reverse chronological order – Sample Chronological Resume
Hybrid – Sometimes called a combination
I remember when my son got his first really complicated Lego set. It was one of those really large boxes of Legos and I’m sure it was some type of spaceship.
He wanted me to help him put it together and we decided to do it in pieces. You know how it is with Legos, you have a picture of the “finished” product, but no real set of instructions.
Many of the pieces look the same when you are looking at a picture of them and it’s not until you have half of the thing built that you realize the last piece that you need was used somewhere else and now you have to take the whole thing apart to get to the piece you need.
Font & Type
You don’t want to use any font or type that will make your resume look particularly unusual unless you are in advertising, marketing or applying for another creative job. It’s essential that
Spacing & Margins
Generally speaking, margins of 1/2 inch to 1 inch is fine. Use single spacing with a blank line between sections.
Videos Resumes versus Print Resumes
Visual resumes have been around for a while. They’ve not grown in popularity as had been expected, but they are still used and have a purpose. Typed resumes are rarely exciting so if you send in a video
If you take the time to make a video, there’s a good chance they will take time to watch it. A video
Ordering Sections for
This is the easy part. And it should be easy to find. Your Contact Information always goes at the top of
Your career goal and what you want out of a job– This is optional, but if you want to use it would look something like this. A good objectives statement is lean and mean. None of that extra fluffy stuff like “looking for a challenging position” or “utilizing my skills and experience to advance my career.” It’s crap.
Be sure your objective not only focuses on what you want but also focuses on what the company is looking for. A successful objective is tailored to appeal directly to the job they are applying to. Tell them how your experience and your goals will benefit the company.
What are you good at and why should someone hire you? You should list the skills that will help market your strengths. Figuring out which of those skills you should include can be challenging. Start by identifying two of the biggest (and proudest) projects you’ve worked on in your career. Then think about the biggest challenges you faced during those projects.
What did you have to do to overcome those challenges? What steps did you take to overcome those obstacles?
Did you write those down? Good, because those are the skills you need to highlight. Moving on.
The standard method of organizing your work history on a
Use strong verbs is the best way to bring life to your past work experience. Include metrics if you can such as sales numbers, employees managed, etc.
How far back should you go? You don’t need to go back in time for more than 15 years. The 2 years you spent clearing tables at 20 isn’t really going to help you get you land a copying writing job at 35.
Put it Together
Put all of your sections together and you are set to go.
It’s About the Content
A few months ago, I was looking to fill a few junior-level positions for the firm I work for. We used a few recruiters to help find and screen some candidates. Most of the resumes we received were good – but not amazing.
They had good formats and did a good job of explaining their work history. There were a few excellent resumes and, of course, there were a few bombs. The perfect resumes did a great job of using the right keywords, summarizing their job experience, and highlighting their skills.
In today’s digital world of job search, content, the right content, is what will get
Do you really need keywords? Absolutely. Keywords help demonstrate your level of experience and accomplishments.
Hiring managers will recognize industry-specific keywords and this will help in getting an
The most comprehensive reference of its kind, this powerful resume-writing resource gives readers instant access to 2,500 indispensable keywords germane to 300 careers in nine employment categories
Where to start?
- Review job listings for your title/position and make a list of keywords used
resumesamples for your industry for keywords
- Visit trade industry sites for your field
- The following links should help you find and leverage the keywords that work best for your career and
You won’t get an
Soft skills are just as important as professional skills – like being able to think analytically and communicating with team members. Even if you aren’t applying for a leadership role, employees who can successfully interact with colleagues and collaborate with others are great to have on board.
This, of course, is your job experience that demonstrates that you have worked in similar roles. If, as an example, you are applying for a job as a bookkeeper, you would list out prior experience on highlight accounting and bookkeeping responsibilities in each of your jobs.
The best approach is to:
- Create a draft document and list out your job experience by an employer
- Segregate relevant jobs/responsibilities from other jobs/responsibilities
- Create a list of responsibilities by an employer
- Create a list of accomplishments by an employer
- Take the information gathered above and create your relevant experience section.
I’m a big believer in “follow by example”, and it’s usually easier to follow something that’s been done before in order to create your document.
What we haven’t covered is how to construct a
- Include jobs you held while in school (even if not relevant)
- Include volunteer work you’ve done
- Include any internships
- Activities while in college (sports, clubs, etc.)
- Special training and certification
You Need More Than One
Have you ever had a
Or maybe you’ve worked in several different industries and want to focus on one particular industry.
There are many reasons why you may need (and should have) multiple
Maybe you’ve worked in several different industries but in similar roles. Let’s say, as an example, you are an accountant and worked at an aircraft manufacturer but have also worked at an automobile manufacturer. You’ve decided to find a new job, but want to focus on aircraft manufacturing.
Using the example from above, perhaps you would like to work for a company that manufactures satellites. You need to re-write
Let’s say that you have a lot of experience but have worked in different roles in your career. While you would be open to any of these roles in a new company, you may need to have
Maybe you want to do something completely different than prior jobs. Maybe you’ve just graduated from school with a new (but different) degree/training. Whatever the reason, you need to have a version of
Which Version is Best for You
There are several types of versions you can have, depending on your needs and the purpose:
What You Do
Focusing on the type of role/position you want as your new job drives the focus of this
Where You Work
Maybe it’s not about what you do, but where you do it (meaning your industry). In that case, you will want
Okay, you’ve got these great multiple resumes, now you just need to keep track of which one you’ve sent to who. If you read our post on using Indeed.com you will know that most sites allow you to upload
A few will allow you to upload multiple documents and resumes. Most of these are company career sites and not search engines. There are a few platforms like Huntr or you can use the good old-fashioned spreadsheet like Google Docs spreadsheet app which is free.
If you're looking for help in reviewing and updating your resume, we've created a list of our resume review and resume writing partners. Many will provide a free review of your resume.