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How to write a resume that will get you hired

Tips on Writing a Great Resume That Will Get You an Interview

     Writing a resume can prove to be tricky sometimes, especially if you are not aware of your own capabilities, skills, and knowledge. Like any other form of writings, resumes have their own blocks that can make you stare at a blank paper for hours because of not knowing what and what not to write.

Today’s article is pretty straightforward and to the point. In this post, you will find precise and concise tips as well as some examples on how to craft an AMAZING resume that will make your recruiter consider having an interview with you and not simply throw your resume in the dumpster the moment he takes a look at it.

With that being said, let’s start with the first step:

  1. Choose the Right Resume Format

     Writing a resume is something which is completely different from writing an essay or an article. Apart from being a different type of writing, you cannot also brainstorm what you have in mind and simply start writing on a blank paper. You need to have a format in mind, but before that, you need to know the different standard resume formats.

There are three widely used types of resume formats: 

  • Reverse Chronological Format
  • functional or skills-based Format
  • A Combination of the Two 

Your choice of the format depends on which job you would like to apply for as well as your level of experience within a given field. 

  1. Reverse Chronological Resume Format: Mostly known as the most popular resume format out there. The reverse-chronological format is for those of people who are experienced enough for a given job.
  2. What is good about it: This type of resume is the most traditional one and, thus, there’s a high chance that your employer is pretty familiar with it. It also shows a vertical career progression and promotes an application for jobs related to the field of study of the applicant.
  3. The Problem with it: By being too traditional, this type of resume mostly lacks the creative aspect and may look like any other resume on the desk. Not only this, but this summary can indirectly showcase the unreliability of a certain employee, especially if he/she changes jobs every few months.
  • Functional/Skills-Based Resume Format: This format concerns the recent graduates and the students who apparently lack the needed experience for a certain job.
  • What is good about it: the best format for entry-level job hunters since it highlights skills over experience.
  • The Problem with it: employers and hiring managers may prioritize experience over skill and this can prove to be a drawback, especially if you are a student with no experience at all.
  • Combination Resume Format: In most cases, this format is the ideal one for those who are willing to apply for a job that requires a diverse skill-set. So, if you are applying, for instance, for a job that requires you to be experienced in software development, team management, and telecommunications, then this format can be pretty useful since it put into light your various skills. The combination resume is a great choice for job-seekers with a very diverse skill-set.
  • What is good about it: This is the perfect format for those who are willing to showcase their ability to adapt to different environments and show that they can reach high performances in “hybrid” conditions (software development and team management for instance).
  • The problem with it: This format is uncommon and can prove to be a bad choice for entry-level job seekers.

In most cases, it is preferable to stick with the reverse-chronological resume format since it the most common one, and most employers are familiar with it

  • Set up Your Contact Information

Before I proceed into this step, there is an important remark that should be highlighted:

No matter what, make sure to check and re-check over and over again that you have written your contact information correctly. Such a mistake may cost you your dream job!

Writing a resume without any contact information is like buying tires for a car that you don’t have. Contact information represents the linking bridge between you and your employer, this is why it is highly important to mention the NECESSARY contact details that can guarantee that your employer will find a way to contact you if he ever decided to.

One thing to have in mind is that your contact information should be professional as much as possible. So, if you are willing to apply for a job, make sure to have a professional email that includes both your first and last name and never fill resumes with emails like this one down below:

Necessary Contact Information:

This includes your full name (first and last name -middle name if nay-), email address, phone number, and location. (location is pretty important so that the company would decide whether it would sponsor your relocation or not)

Optional Contact Information:

Most people may add their LinkedIn URL since many employers are used to working with this kind of platform. You can also add links to your portfolios or website(s) as long as it is related to the job. So, if you are applying for a writing job for instance, then providing a link to your blog can prove to be a smart move if you ever wanted to showcase what you can deliver. Developers can use their GitHub URL and designers can implement their Behance or Dribble URL.

Contact Information to Avoid:

You should avoid writing your date of birth (unless you were asked to) since this can prove to be a drawback sometimes because of some employers linkage to experience and qualification. You should also avoid any unnecessary contact information such as your Instagram page or anything which is not related to the job.

  • Introduce your Heading Statement (Resume Summary or Resume Objective)

Veteran Tip: first impressions matter in both your personal life and career

This is when the fun part begins. According to recent studies, the average employer or hiring manager will spend about 6 seconds to skim your resume. Simply put, no matter how perfect is your resume, it will only get 6 seconds to be checked and this period cannot be extended unless you make a good first impression that will push your employer to read the rest of your resume and consider hiring you.

Your resume summary statements resume objective statement is super important simply because they represent a “summary of what you can do and offer”, and this is why it is preferable to put it at the top of the page and make short and direct to the point.

A resume summary ranges from two to three sentence long and it is a short and quick recap of your career. Bear in mind that your summary is the section that your recruiter is most likely to read, this is why you need to make sure that your summary includes:

  1. Your job and years of experience: Customer support representative with 5+ years of experience in the IT industry.
  2. 1 or 2 top responsibilities: Specialized in technical support, customer care, and user retention.
  3. The Desired goal: Looking for new opportunities as a support lead.

                                                              credit: Andrei Kurtuy

here’s an example of a resume summary provided by Christian Eilers for

Personable and dependable graphic designer with 4+ years of expertise in a fast-paced global marketing firm. Achieved company-best quality satisfaction rating according to internal review (99.76%). Seeking to advance career by growing with the DeZine team.  

if you don’t have any relevant experience to summarize, make sure to highlight transferable skills from different areas. By doing this, you’ll prove that although you don’t have the necessary experience for this particular job, you do have experience which is related to it.

here’s an example provided by Andrei Kurtuy for

  1. here’s how that would look like if you’re a student:

“Hard-working recent graduate with a B.A. in Graphic Design from New York State University seeking new opportunities. 3+ years of practical experience working with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, creating illustrations & designing UX / UI. Looking to grow as a designer, as well as perfect my art, at the XYZ Design Studio.”

  • Or, on the other hand, if you’re going through a career change:

“IT project manager with 5+ years of experience in software development. Managed a team of developers to create products for several industries, such as FinTech and HR tech. Looking to leverage my experience in managing outsourced products as a Product Owner at XYZ.”

  • List Your Education Correctly

You haven’t spent all these years studying for countless hours just to misstate your education in your resume in the end.

Here’s how to introduce your education properly:

  • You have to always place your highest degree first.
  • After that, add degrees in reverse-chronological order.
  • Add any relevant coursework, honours, or awards you received.
  • If your GPA is not perfect, consider skipping it as it may turn the odds against you

Start by mentioning your program name, then your university name and the years of attendance. When the previous points are covered try to add the optional RELEVANT educational pros such as the GPA (use the format of 1-4/4), the honours, the academic achievements, and also your minor studies if any.

  • List Relevant Key Experiences and Achievements

Relevant key experiences and achievements are of great importance because they add to your credibility and worthiness for the job that you have applied for. Simply put, if you ever wanted to list your key experiences and achievements, you may want to start with your most recent job history entry and consider the following format:

  • Job Title: it goes at top of the entry of work history. It should be written in bold letters and try to increase its font size by 1pt or 2pts from the rest of the entry.
  • The company, City, and State: add the previous employer’s company name and the city and state of the previous location that you have worked at.
  • Dates Employed: this is very important. You should not forget to add the period of your employment because it mostly reflects your experience. You can state the year or even the month.
  • Key Responsibilities: focus on the duties which are relevant to the job that you have applied for.
  • Key Achievements: THE MOST IMPORTANT part of this section. Employers want to know how good did you perform in your last position.

 if you have no professional experience, make sure to put your education section above your work history.

How much work experience should be included?

It depends on what kind of applicant you are. If you are a:

Senior-level applicants (executives and managers): You may want to list up to 15 years of relevant work experience.

Mid-level job seekers: Make sure to detail your job descriptions and briefly mention any other position 

Entry-level candidates: Describe all your paid work, highlight your previous responsibilities and achievements.

First-time job hunters (no previous experience): Include other histories, such as volunteer experience in order to fill the experience section.

  • Put Relevant Skills to the Job

Everyone knows that there’s a difference between talent and skill. The former represents a gifted ability that a person was “born with it” and the latter one represents the voluntary effort of a given individual to learn a new ability.

As far as employers are concerned, they give some importance to the skill section as well since it represents the level of dedication of the applicant to learn new skills which, most importantly, need to be relevant to the job.

Here are some of the skills to put on your resume:

Make sure to add your level of expertise next to each skill, this can be achieved by denotatively adding a word that represents the level of expertise such as “beginner, intermediate, advanced, professional) or you can simply use certain images and illustrations that represent your level in every skill that you have listed.

  • What You Can Add as Well

You can also add in your resume the number of languages that you master without forgetting your level of expertise in each one of them. In addition to that, you can mention your hobbies as well as your voluntary work.

If you ever wanted to “add more spices” to your resume, you can also mention your previous projects and publications as long as they are relevant to the job.

To sum it up, it seems fair to say that writing a resume is a process that takes time and energy. Resume writing needs to follow the above-mentioned rules and the more you get creative in writing your resume, the higher the chances that you will get hired.

Make sure that your resume is specific and to the point and never try to make it broad by thinking that this will increase your chances. As a last tip, try to hit your employer on his “pain points” by illustrating why does a given recruiter need someone like you

Here’s an example of a resume that you want to follow while writing your own:

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For further readings:

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