Resume writing is easier said than done. When you write a resume, you must take into consideration that you only have 15 seconds to catch the hiring manager’s attention. As a newbie in resume writing, can you create a professional resume that will land you the interview and eventually get the job?
Your resume is like a product brochure of yourself. Selling yourself to the employers is your main goal. Whether you like it or not, you must accept the fact that you are represented by your resume.
No matter how hard you try, no matter how you look or dress, Employers will still be looking at your resume first.
Remember, first impressions last. Competition is tight that’s why you have approximately 15 seconds to make your resume noticeable and stand out from the rest of the pack.
So before you throw out your great speech, build a good resume and make it look good.
Basic rule of writing your own resume: Be Brief. The more you write, the longer your professional resume gets, especially if you have long years of career experience. “Brief” can no longer be achieved.
To resolve this, start by making a plain long version of your resume. Write everything that you can think of which can help you not forget anything that describes your career.
Start by listing categories such as Personal Information down to the Work Experiences, Relevant Skills, Honors and Awards and Trainings. Don’t worry about formatting, we’ll come to that later on.
Add another category if you prefer, as long as it adds value to your professional resume. Then fill out every category to complete your list.
The next step in writing your resume is to trim down your long version resume. Trimming down your long list is a bit difficult.
You want to include everything that you have listed, but that’s impossible! Let go of the irrelevant facts about you. Include only the most important details.
Anything that is out-dated should go. Delete those work experiences that has nothing to do with the desired position you’re applying for.
So get rid of your five month service on the neighbourhood fast food chain if you’re applying for the supervisory position in a huge IT Company.
After you have trimmed down your resume, you can now format it to make it look good. There’s no standard format for a professional resume for as long as it’s neat, organized and concise.
Here are our 10 basic things you should do in writing your own resume:
Be Concise and Neat.
It is easier to read your resume if it is organised. In writing a resume, it is important to be concise with every sentence you have written. HR folks are not fond of spending twenty minutes in reading your professional resume. The hiring managers has a limited time reading everything you’ve written.
Piece of advice, just cut the crap off and get to the point immediately. If you want to include something in your resume, write it down but make sure that you polish your sentences. It is easier to read a professional resume that is concise and neat.
Resume will not be complete if you don’t cross to the customization of your personal brochure. Most people prefer to submit the same resume template for all the job application they went to.
Do not settle with only one format for your resume. The same template will not work for all companies. Maintain at least two different executive resume formats. Each one will highlight different types of work, skills, and experiences that you have gathered from the past.
Customize your resume depending on the needs of the position you’re applying for. Writing your resume is hard if you have no idea on how to do it, but for starters, you can just download a free resume template from us.
Just make sure to avoid phrases that are heavily used and profanely abused. This will elevate your resume among the others. Avoid these phrases such as:
- Responsible for
- Experienced in
- Excellent written communication skills
- Team Player
- Good Leadership Skills
- Meticulous to details
Most professional resume uses this approach to satisfy their customer’s needs and it is proven to be more effective. To level yourself higher, at least come up with an interesting and attention-grabbing phrase like what a professional resume writers do, something that can position you at the middle of the stage.
Employers love applicants that jump out of the box. Be more creative. Instead of saying “Successful” or “Good leadership skills”, why not incorporate the phrase to your previous work such as “Successfully spearheaded a team to transition the production department from regular to contractual employees.”
Specify the value of your accomplishments.
The best way to handle your accomplishments from your current position is to highlight them in your professional resume by specifying the financial impact, whether cost reduction or raising revenue to the company.
Resume with quantifiable accomplishment has a higher value than those without. An accomplishment written like “Decreased the annual production cost by 40%” is more appealing than “develop a production cost savings”. Bear in mind that Employers want to know what you can do for them, how you have contributed in your previous position or company and how you are going to be an asset for them. Employers love catching big fishes, that’s the reality.
Keywords, Keywords and More Keywords.
In resume writing, instead of using cliché words, we suggest that you use keywords that can grab the attention of the HR folks. Consider highlighting job related keywords in resume so it’s easy for them when they scan your resume.
Don’t just put any keyword, match them to the job requirement to be more attractive. If they’re looking for a candidate that have an extensive experience on a specific computer software and by any chance you’re proficient with it, then you have the right to put it in your resume.
The “MMMM DD, YYYY” Format
As much as you want to hide the fact that you’ve been job-hopping from quite some time now, you can’t. They will notice it while looking at your professional resume. Companies hate job-hoppers because they’re bad for business. If you’re guilty with this crime, you have to do some significant modifications in your resume. Rather than highlighting the dates, divert their attention by putting the years of your employment terms.
Stick to one.
A resume is advisable to keep it very short, brief and straightforward. Many claim that a resume can be as short as a one page resume but how long should your resume be? Think of this, what if you have enough experience and credentials to really showcase your career, knock yourself out and add another page. But if not and you just want to write irrelevant stuffs, believe me, stick to a one-paged resume. Rule of thumb: Restrict it to two pages maximum.
Print out and Proofread.
Experts say that it is easier to proofread a document when it is printed. True. Start your proofreading by running a wrong spelling and grammar check.
Take your time, you don’t have to rush. You have one shot to make a first impression and you don’t want to mess it.
When proofreading your resume, mark all your changes before you go back to your computer. Another proofreading technique is to start from the bottom of the page upward.
If you’re still in doubt, get someone to review your work. You may get used to reading your resume that’s why you almost memorize every single word written there. Unfortunately, common errors occur when you reach that state.
Trust me, you want to catch the common mistakes entry level candidates makes!