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10 Steps to the Perfect Resume

You're a smart job seeker! Why, because you know the importance of a good resume. There is no specific way to writing a resume;however, there is a fierce competition for jobs right now. If one wishes to get a job, they need to develop a resume, which sets you apart from others. It cannot be a passive piece of paper, rather it should be a passionate representation of your qualities, who you are, and why you are suitable for this specific job.

1. Type of Resume:

Mainly, there are three types of resume, which are as follows:

  • Chronological

  • Combination

  • Functional

A chronological resume lists the job and education history of an individual in a reverse chronological order, while the functional resume puts more emphasis and concentrates on abilities and skills. In this approach, educations history, names of employers and dates are omitted in a better way, and the information is not present in a chronicle manner.

A majority of employers prefer chronological resumes instead of functional ones, as it makes it easier to see the individual’s career progression. A functional resume might work better for people who are changing fields, and wishes to utilize a more skill-oriented format, however, in this case, a combination resume can work better. A combination resume combines the core elements of both functional and chronological resume formats by presenting relevant abilities and skills, but doing so in a reverse (chronological) order.

2. Length of the Resume

While a resume does not have a set length, it can vary in length depending on the individual’s education and experience. If an individual has not worked much before, and does not have many achievement or accomplishments, writing one or two pages is best. Three pages can be written if one has done a lot of study, and there is a lot of work behind them.

3. Things to Include

Some essential things to list in the resume are as follows:

  • Opening Statement

  • Key Skills

  • Contact Details

  • Technical/Software Skills

  • Career overview/personal attributes

  • Educational Qualifications

  • Work placements/volunteering/employment history

  • Referees/Reference

4. Grammar, Punctuation and Format

This is obvious, yet the most common mistakes individuals do. Your resume must be free of any spelling mistakes, and should include correct punctuation and grammar. Any grammatical error or mistakes calls your accuracy and attentions skills into questions, and this can heavily lowers your chances of getting the job. Be on the safer side, and have two or more people proofread the resume, before you send it to any potential employer.

It is essential to select a design and format, which allows you to highlight most important information about your skills, education and experience that directly connects to the job you are applying for. If possible, you must keep your resume limited to one page. A summarized representation of your whole work history, education and experience is far more impactful on the minds of the interviewers than a long, boring presentation of every job you have ever done.

5. Modifying the Resume Objective for Each Application

One must modify their resume for each job application, so that it responds to the needs and requirement of the job that you have applied for. There is no need to change the information drastically, rather, one should modify their opening statement, their key skills and personal attributed to respond to the requirement of the job, based on the job ad, and the research you have done about the job.

Assuming that you have a clean looking, and attractive resume, the objective is becomes your next prospect to grab the attention of the employer. A well-written objective should never exceed more than two sentences. Avoid broad, generic objects, which may makes the employer move quickly to the next applicant. Instead, you must clearly and carefully read the job advertisement in order to device what is employer is actually looks for, and customer your object according to it.

6. Opening Statement

The opening statement is a short paragraph or a summary about you, where you have done your studies, where you have worked and what brings you to this job. It should not be longer than six lines, and should be written in first person, without any personal reference. First sentence of the opening statement should start with who you are and what brings you to this job.

Resumes should be beginning with your name, e-mail, address and phone number mentioned. This makes it easier for a potential employer to contact you. You must avoid including personal information like weight, height, marital status or age. It is highly unnecessary in a professional resume.

7. Key Skills

The resume should include list of 10-15 key skills that link your experience to the job you have applied for. If the job you have applied for was advertised, the description of the ad may provide list of required experience and skills that are important for the job. Your key skills should respond to all these items on the essential list, and should satisfy as many items possible.

It is important to include special recognition or relevant award, if you have received any. These are the “eye catchers” which will keep the employer interested. Remember, if you want to include things that distinguish you from the crowd, designations such as these indicate skills, leadership potential and sense of accomplishment. This can be included within educational history or can make up for a standalone section in your resume.

8. Educational History

One’s educational history only need to show the highest level of education received. Individual do not have to include their results, unless it shows how well you are suited for the job. One should also include their academic achievement in the form of bullet points.

Educational history must also include dates of majors, minors, degrees and attendance. List all your most impressive or recent educational achievements first. You can also list some additional coursework, if it is related to the job you are applying for. Try to list out specialized skills or unique talents in demand in your field of interest inside of this section as well.

9. Work History & Experience

While providing the employment history, you must start with your most recent job, and go backwards from there. Give important details such as the position title, and the dates you have worked there. For each job, you must provide a list of things that you accomplished/achieved during the job.

Employers wish to know what you have done, and how that experience matches their requirements. Some things, which you have to consider while summarizing your relevant experience are as follows:

  • You must only include the most important information about each position.

  • Rather than being general, you must be more specific in your descriptions. Make use of more vivid and concise language.

  • Compute the impact of your successful actions in your previous jobs. Numbers, facts and figures help in achieving this.

  • Be sure that you include a list of all key achievements and contributions.

Generally, it is advised to include 10-15 years of work history. If one has a longer work history than this, he or she can divide the work history into two separate sections “relevant” and “recent”, or include in a separate paragraph, which will summarize all the prior experience.

If an individual does not have much work experience, a list of their personal attribute can prove to be a great way to demonstrate that they are suitable for the job. Things that one can include in this section may include ways, by which you can demonstrate that you are honest, reliable, quick to learn things and trustworthy.

10. Addressing Gaps in Work History

Rather than leaving a gap in your work history, it is best to state what you were doing in that gap. Whether you were on a leave, studying, volunteering or travelling. If you are currently applying in a gap period, you may want to fit in some volunteer work, while searching for the job, as it is an excellent element to include in the resume. Most likely you are sure to catch the eye of an employer, if you show that you have previously participated in some volunteer work.

If you wish to know how to write a resume professionally, you can refer to the various professional writing services available online. They will be able to help you with certain guides and resume samples by referring to which you will be able to write the perfect resume.

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