Tips On How to Write an Effective Resume That Will Get You a New Job

We live in times when everybody is either losing a job or looking for one. Are you looking for a new job right now? Think about what to do first. Sure thing, you need to update a resume in order to make it fresh! Find out what format is applicable to the area of business or industry you wish to enter and follow this format. Although there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” solution,  for composing an effective and high-quality resume.

A well-structured resume should not only provide a list of your skills and experiences. But also it should convince potential employers – you have great potential for achieving more. But what if you didn’t really have impressive successes or a showy career path? Then take your time while re-working a resume content. How? Let’s talk about what things to pay attention to. Read some hints on how to make a positive spin in your resume to end up with a high-quality resume on hand.

guy looking for a job and holding his resume

What is the purpose of a resume?

In actuality, the main purpose of any resume is rather plain. It is a brief presentation of who you are, a list of the exact things you’ve already done, and what you can contribute. However, resumes don’t exist just to tell a straightforward story. They exist to impress those recruiters and convince them – you’re the best fit.

Helpful tips for building a resume that stands out:

  • Remember, a person in the HR office is reading 100’s other resumes. And he/she does it every freaking day. So, you’ve got about 15 seconds to impress.
  • Try to avoid broad statements in your resume, especially while providing reasons why you’re the best candidate. Be straight to the point and don’t irritate recruiters.
  • Provide an outline of most relevant to the new job experiences and achievements you had in the past. Remember, anything that happened over ten years ago or so careerwise usually is not applicable.
  • It is better to have descriptions bulleted and succinct. Avoid long paragraphs!
  • A verifiable quote from managers you’ve worked with in the past in regards to your past career experience can be very helpful.
  • Because many recruiters utilize keyword scanners, make sure to include important keywords in a resume that are related to the desired position you apply for. Repeat only those words that make sense and use them in the correct context.

Most effective resume formats  

Let’s go over formats used for building resumes. Read this info and pick one that will work more efficiently. Years ago, job seekers could impress recruiters by printing on expensive paper and inserting in a nice customized duo-tang. Today, putting some effort into digital design and presentation online is always rewarding. However, a resume that has formatting which is a little bit “too much” can work against an applicant. 

Today, lots of businesses want to receive all resumes via plain text – meaning no formatting. So, a good solution is to compromise creating two versions of a resume and keep them handy. One version should be specifically styled as text and another should be a hosted/secure version. In the text copy, invite readers to go into more details provided in the online version. Remember, each case is different. One particular resume format that worked well with one recruiter won’t work with another HR specialist.

The most common format used for building a resume is called chronological. It is perfect for showcasing professional duties, as well as any accomplishments which are fully relevant to a target job. It works well for people perfectly presenting their successful career path who started from an entry-level position and then went up on the professional ladder.

If you wish to change a career, then try the functional format. Highlight those skills which you think are the most important. Even list any voluntary (unpaid) jobs you had in the past (it’s okay to list them, as long as they are relevant).

Another format is called the combination format. It lists the priority sections starting from the top moving to the bottom of a resume.

Last but not least, there is a targeted format with the main objective to list only relevant career experiences. Let’s say, you started off in the engineering field. But for some reason shifted to the call center at some insurance company. Then the decision was made to return back to engineering. This particular case shows when the targeted format should be utilized because that way you can talk only about the related experience skipping any irrelevant parts.

However, sometimes to follow a particular resume format can be a part of the strict company’s requirements. For example, if you apply with Google’s companies, then you’ll have to use Google Docs for submitting your resume. If you apply with Adobe, then use PDF. You’ll have to use Lotus Notes for applying with MSFT. And so on.

How to write a high-quality resume

recruiters holding long sheet of paper looking surprisingly at candidate during job interview

Obviously, a resume is the first important thing an HR manager sees before he/she meets you face-to-face. So, include everything whatever helps to make you a good fit. Need some help? Reach out to resume writing services either online or traditionally. You might spend an extra buck but you’ll end up with a professionally-looking resume that will move you to a higher career level.

Developing an effective resume is an art and skill. You can start mastering this art with online courses that teach resume writing strategies. Some really useful courses are available on the Grinfer learning platform. Check out an online course “Resume writing and cover letters for Beginners”.

This course was created by a university instructor, Richard Blazevich, who is a professional career development coach too. He has been recruiting people for marketing jobs for 20 some years. Richard’s course teaches not only about powerful weapons used for building resumes but you’ll also learn all the pros and cons of composing successful cover letters. Those are often requested by recruiters to be sent along with the resume. Take this online course today and learn the most up-to-date tricks and hints for resume writing. Start creating your high-quality resume with high-quality information and also learn everything about cover letters too.

A well-written resume should:

  • Be aesthetically pleasing (avoid using a 10-point font).
  • Well-structured.
  • Go beyond buzzwords while listing professional results/impacts.
  • Be grammatically perfect.
  • Don’t make it too long or too short. Keep it down to 2 or at most 3 pages. Use bold letters for highlighting information. Most importantly, check for any grammatical errors and misspellings.

Essential points to recollect while creating a resume:

  • Avoid copy-pasting;
  • Be professional while writing;
  • Avoid jargon;
  • Stick to a simple language;
  • Do some customization, if needed;
  • Use relevant language while highlighting key skills;
  • List particular outcomes of previous jobs you had;
  • Consider the audience (think who will review your resume – computer or HR manager).

Major sections to list in a resume:

  • Personal Info
  • Summary
  • Education/Academic Background
  • Work experience
  • Professional skills

Personal Information section should include Email Id, Address, Contact Number, Date of Birth. Most profiles demand adding a Profile Picture now and some may even request to list a Blood Group.

Profile Summary. It briefly talks of what you’ve done, learned, and how you’re going to implement learnings. The purpose is to catch the recruiter’s attention encouraging him/her to keep on reading.

Resume summary examples:

“With specialized skills in consumer behavior, marketing research, and strategic planning, marketing are both: my love and forte. I believe that with the right research and understanding of the target audience, a brand can make an impact and grow. This is what I do.”

“Trained in accounts, finance, and compliance; I seek a position in a challenging and healthy environment that offers mutual growth, allowing me to apply my knowledge and skills.”

Education/Academic Background section – course details, research or course projects, academic achievements. If you’re a highly experienced professional, it doesn’t hold as much weightage as the other sections. But any recent industry-specific educational qualifications ought to be highlighted.

Work Experience section – past work-related responsibilities/achievements. It helps to match the prospective requirements. Use bullets for dividing the sentences and write everything in brief. Also, focus on achievements more than on responsibilities. Provide information only about relevant achievements. Use the limited space wisely while fitting the content.

Skills section. Must have keywords like Equity Research, Technical Analysis, Turnaround Management, Drafting, Compliance, Management Research, Product Styling, etc.

More tips and tricks on resume writing

Cute Robot looking for a job

Since it takes time to create a well-structured resume, start building it early. Go through as many rounds of revision as you need for having end results. Don’t rush, otherwise, you’ll inevitably make mistakes, grammar errors, and will have to remake it anyway.

Don’t distract the recruiter’s attention by including some irrelevant info which does not help in assessing how you fit as a candidate and what are your strong sides.

Usage of professional language demonstrates – you know your stuff. But try not to go too crazy with it. The terminology used for describing professional skills can hint at an applicant’s “real” qualifications. Most recruiters tell right off the bet whether a person knows his stuff just by glancing at a resume he/she provided.

Brand yourself by emphasizing specific aspects of your professional capabilities. Adding a personal brand helps to stand out by adding something “extra”.

Provide a cover letter, if one is needed. A well-written cover letter complements a resume in many ways. Some things can’t be listed in a resume and belong in a cover letter instead.

Stay away from personal pronouns. Avoid using the following void words  – I, me, my, our, your, since you do not address directly to anyone. These pronouns are more appropriate in cover letters.

Don’t be overwhelming in design. Some people create resumes with vibrant colors, charts, or even pictures. Grab recruiters’ attention with words, not colors.

Use bullet points. To be completely honest, no one is going to read your three-paragraph long job descriptions. Bullet points are much easier to comprehend. However, make sure that they are presented with complete sentences too.

Proofread! Any errors in punctuation, spelling, or grammar can spoil the picture and make any resume look totally unprofessional. Some recruiters even turn such resumes away just because of errors in the text.

Don’t depend on resume templates which are offered all over the Internet today. Since many people use online resume templates, you will not be different from the crowd. Apart from this, most of the online resume templates have complex layouts that are difficult to read and are rather outdated. Thus, if you rely too much on online resume templates, you may lose the chance of getting hired.

Again, don’t rush with anything and take your time. Much more important to build the final version of your resume that looks professional. It should provide the clearest view of the skills and qualifications that you can bring to the table.

Conclusion

So, got your well-written resume on hand? Turn it in! Most human resources managers say that the best day to send your resume is Mondays between 8–10:00 a.m. Usually by Friday HRs are mentally on their way to the upcoming weekend and odds are your resume won’t get proper attention. Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. is also a good time for submitting a resume. Why? Because after the lunch hour is when people have an opportunity to relax and spend extra time reading them.

Use power words like extensive, discover, limitless, focused, effort, progress, and success because they have an impact. If you wonder whether a resume should have such an area as “Hobbies”? Sure, it wouldn’t hurt. But in reality, most recruiters don’t care much about this section. Mention any extra activities like certifications, community work, awards, etc. More importantly, your resume should reflect that it’s been created with respect to the position you’re applying for.

Stay safe and good luck with your job search!

Grinfer

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