Writing a resume can feel nearly impossible as a first-time job seeker, or an wannabe graduate. And with so many formats, layouts, and software programs to keep track of, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, with just a little prep and some basic knowledge of how resumes work, you’ll be ready to land that job in no time. Keep reading for our handy guide on how to write the perfect resume.
What is a resume?
A resume is a document that lists your employment history, education, skills, and any relevant job experience. It’s often the first thing employers look at when trying to determine if you’re a good fit for a role. Resume formats vary depending on the industry you’re applying to, but most resume examples follow a standard layout.
The most important part of your resume is your work history, so make sure you spend the most time on this section.
Before you start writing, make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish with your resume. Is it to attract the attention of hiring managers and show them you’re a fit for the role? To show that you have relevant experience to back up your skills? To show where your career goals are and how your background connects to those?
Why you need a resume
You’ve gone through all the trouble of putting together your resume, so why on earth would you need to put in the effort once you’ve secured an interview? Why not just send your full applications without the resume? It’s true that employers may not look at your resume when reviewing your application, but they will be looking at your cover letter and other relevant information.
When you don’t have a resume, an employer can’t get a clear idea of your work history, what you’ve done, where you’ve done it and when. A resume is also a great place to highlight your achievements, skills, and experience.
You can use this document to show employers what you’ve done in the past and how that relates to the job you’re applying for.
Tips for writing your first resume
- Keep it short: A good rule of thumb is no more than one page. If you have more information you’d like to include, then consider splitting it across two different documents.
- Make it easy to read: Make your resume easy to read by condensing the information down to the core points you want an employer to know about you.
- Keep it current: Your resume should be as current as possible – ever since the internet came along, resumes have been scanned, so make sure yours is up to date.
- Proofread: It may not be a typo – sometimes the hardest thing to get right is your own resume. Take the time to proofread it thoroughly to make sure there are no mistakes.
How to write a functional resume
A functional resume focuses more on your skills than your job history. Functional resumes are more common in industries like engineering, where you’ll be focusing heavily on your skillset. This style is often used as a substitute for a resume, as you can get a similar impression of your work history and experience with a functional resume. Functional resumes are often single-spaced and shorter than other types – usually between one and two pages. This makes it easier to highlight your skills and how they relate to the job you’re applying for.
To write a functional resume, start by listing your skills and the jobs or projects you worked on that involved those skills. Next, you want to tie your skills to the job you’re applying for. This is where you want to show your knowledge, skills, and experience in a way that makes sense for the employer reading your resume.
How to write a combination resume
Combination resumes are a hybrid of functional and chronological resumes. They do a mix of both functional and chronological information – much like the way many job ads are currently formatted. With a combination resume, you want to start by listing your skills, experience, and projects related to those skills.
You should also include your education at this point as well. Next, you want to take what you’ve already written and put it into chronological order. This means that if you’ve listed your education first, then it will be listed in reverse chronological order on the paper.
There are many ways to format your resume, depending on its purpose. If you’re looking for a new job, you’ll likely want to follow a specific format, while if you’re applying to graduate programs or volunteering, you can use a different resume format.
Final Words: What to Keep in Mind
If you’re just starting out in your career, you may be surprised at how difficult it is to find a job, even with a great resume.
Put all your energy and time into improving your resume – it could make the difference between getting that first job and having your career stagnate. Keep in mind that employers may not even read a resume before making a decision.
However, they will usually spend anywhere from five to 15 seconds scanning your resume before deciding whether or not to continue reading. If you want to land your first job, you’ll need a killer resume.
Make sure it gets the attention it deserves, by following these steps. Make sure to share this article with your friends if they’re struggling with the same issue.