The idea of trying to fit all of your relevant achievements, skills, and experiences when applying for a job on a single sheet of paper can be intimidating. Considering the fact that the average recruiter only spends 5-10 seconds looking over a resume, it is important to have a resume that is noticeable and eye-catching, while still not being overwhelming. Every good resume contains a few key parts and although no two resumes will look the same, here are a few guidelines to stick by to build a winning resume.
- Contact Information
- Summary and Objective
- Work Experience
- Achievements and Awards
- Relevant Skills
Your contact information should be the first thing displayed in your resume, with your name in larger-than-the-rest letters at the top of the page. Following this, you want to list your means of communication that an employer might need. Be sure to include:
- Full Name
- Phone Number
- Professional Email
- Address (or city of residence)
- LinkedIn Profile Link
Summary and Objective:
You should look at your summary and objective as a way to briefly introduce yourself and explain what you are looking for in a job. It should essentially look like steps 2 and 3 of your elevator pitch, which you can learn more about here.
Your work experience section is where you get the chance to share previous positions you’ve worked in the past and show how your past experience can benefit your new company. Your work experience section should list:
- The previous company’s name and location
- Your position at the previous company
- How long you worked there
- 3 bullet points shortly describing your responsibilities
The bullet points can be intimidating trying to describe something that seems second hand to you. If you get stuck, try referencing a website like zesty.com that gives really great example descriptions you can refer to.
All employers are looking for a source of education, but don’t be worried if your major does not match up to the position you are applying for. Often times recruiters are looking for having the degree rather than what the degree is in. Also, unless it is your only education, try to leave behind high school education and focus on your collegiate education. Your education section should include:
- Name of the school/university
- Your degree
- Your GPA
- Your graduation date
Achievements and Awards:
The achievements and awards section gives you the chance to demonstrate where you have gone above and beyond. This can include any awards, scholarships, recognition, or other achievements worth mentioning on your resume. Use this section to show why you are the best candidate for the position besides having the basic requirements met.
The relevant skills section is your opportunity to showcase your hard and soft skills that would be relevant to a recruiter. Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to quantify, while soft skills are like people skills or interpersonal skills. It is important to have a balance of these skills because recruiters often look for applicants who are well-balanced as well as highly-qualified.
Now that you understand what makes up a resume, you have to consider the appearance of your resume. You should tailor your resume to match the impression you want to leave on your recruiter. For example, if you are applying for a marketing or digital design position, you should use colors and creativity to compile your resume. Also, if you are applying for an engineering or computer science position you might want to make your resume look more visually organized and customized. In most cases though, a standard black and white resume should be fine. Besides this, here are a few do’s and don’ts to follow when writing your resume.
- Use no smaller than 10pt font
- Use a clear and easy-to-read font
- Use quantifiable information when you can
- Fit the whole resume on a single-sided page
- Save your resume as a PDF to send out
- Customize your resume for the specific job
- Use poor grammar or spelling errors
- Go over a single page
- Leave out any relevant information
- Forget to update your resume whenever you can
Hopefully, this article was helpful in teaching what makes up a standard resume! If you come to the end of this and still are confused or simply want someone else to write it for you, I plan to offer my services in developing professional resumes. Feel free to reach out below with any inquiries!