Constructing Your Resume

how to write a resume

When it comes to crafting your resume it can be difficult to know exactly what information you should include, what you can leave out, and any other tips that could help improve it. A solid resume is one that is cohesive, clean, and concise. But there is so much more to it! Check out these tips on crafting your resume, below!

Be Clear and Concise 

Your resume should be as clear and concise as possible. You want each bullet point to clearly describe your job responsibilities without being too wordy. One of the best ways to do this is to write out all of your responsibilities as if you were describing them to someone else. Then go back and edit them, and make adjustments so your sentences are more concise.

Tailor As You Go

Tailor your resume to fit the industries you are applying to. For example, if you are applying to a role in the medical field, you want to expand more on your medical skills and experience than other past jobs that may not be relevant. Use similar terminology as the job description that is listed for the position as well. When the hiring manager/recruiter reviews your resume the keywords they are looking for are cohesive with their job description and will stand out.

Simple Is Key

Although the templates can seem impressive and pleasing to YOUR eye, they make it difficult for the hiring manager/recruiter to find your information. Especially when a vast majority of recruiting companies use candidate databases that pull information for them. So the easier they can convert your resume into their system to find the information they are looking for, the better off you’ll be.

Keep The Font Basic

The more your resume flows, the easier it is to read. If it’s too complicated, the hiring manager/recruiter may scrap it and move onto the next one.

  1. Stick to fonts that are easy to read, and are consistent. Once your resume is all typed out, check to ensure the font is cohesive throughout. 
  2. Instead of using colors and different fonts and images, use different formats of the font. Utilize the underline and bold formatting, as well as capitalization to make your headers, stand out as headers.
  3. Abbreviate dates when possible. Like this:  Jan. 2015- May 2017.
  4.  List all of the job responsibilities and skills as bullets underneath each job. Using bullets create fluency and simplicity.

Avoid Using Photos

Putting your photo on your resume can lead you to unwanted bias/assumption of bias and can make the entire process, messy. Most recruiters prefer not to have your headshot on your resume so there is no intentional or unintentional discrimination.

Reverse Chronological Formatting

When you’re organizing your resume, you want the most relevant information first. List your job experiences from NEWEST to OLDEST (or reverse chronological order). When a hiring manager or recruiter scans your resume, they’ll know your most recent experience. If you have been working for 10+ years since school/college, list your experiences before education.

Page Length

Stick to 1-2 pages. The “Your resume should only be one page” is a myth. As long as the information isn’t tedious, a two-page resume is completely acceptable. Remember it’s all relevant to YOU and what YOUR experiences are. It’s not a one-size-fits-all template.

Include a Summary

If you are looking for a job in a specific industry or position, having a summary is the best way to sum up your intentions. List the Summary section at the top of your resume under your contact information, so the hiring manager/or recruiter can easily decipher what you’re looking for. It doesn’t have to be a full paragraph, just a few sentences that sum up what you are looking for is plenty.

Utilize LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an incredible tool you should use when crafting your resume. Hiring managers and recruiters will likely check your LinkedIn before reviewing your resume. By adding your LinkedIn link to your resume you create “real-time” information to them. So check that your LinkedIn profile is up to date.

Include Your Skills

Although your work experience may list your skills throughout the job responsibilities, make sure you have a skills section to make it easier to skim through. You’ll want to include everything from technical skills, hard skills, and soft skills that show WHY you are a great potential candidate. If you are applying for a specific field or position, try to have these reflect the qualifications of the job description if applicable.

Add Additional Experience

In addition to including your work experience, you also want to include experiences that will further describe your accomplishments. In the “Additional Experience” section, add things like volunteer work, clubs, organizations or associations, awards or certifications you have received etc. Get as specific as possible.

Remove Irrelevant Information

The amount of time hiring managers/ recruiters take to look over your resume is around 5-7 seconds, so the more straightforward you are, the better. Use descriptive words such as: managed, coordinated, collaborated, assisted, utilized, developed, handled. These words will easily describe what your task was, with minimal verbiage.

Find a Proof-Reader

After you’ve completed your resume, pass it on to someone to proof-read it. A fresh set of eyes is the best way to double check your work because they are most likely to see errors you may have missed. Ask a coworker, advisor, mentor etc rather than a family member, as you want your feedback to be constructive and unbiased. By asking someone who knows you in a professional setting, they will give the most honest constructive feedback.

What’s Next?

The best way to disperse your resume to companies you are trying to get hired at is AFTER you have narrowed down a place and location, and even had an encounter with them. Whether it be over the phone, in person, or as a reference, when you send your resume out after you’ve had an introduction, they are more likely to review it and consider you as a potential candidate.

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