Before we start diving deep into the specifics of writing a resume and the grand challenges that come with it, it is necessary for you to know that you are not alone in this process. As you try to figure out the difficulties of a job application process, we stand with you throughout the journey to help you apply for your dream job.
Writing a resume is often considered as a dainty challenge but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a lengthy task yet an easy one, as long as you know what you’re doing and what your goals are. In this article, you will find a complete guide for resume writing.
Resume writing is a skillful task. Let’s define a resume before we can start with the steps to write it. A resume is a summarized version of your work history, skills, education and achievements. Opposed to the common belief, a resume is much different than a curriculum vitae or a CV. A CV is a detailed documentation of your career, covering aspects of your education, mostly with no restrictions on the length of the document.
A resume on the other hand should be as brief yet self-explanatory as possible. The recommended length for a resume is no more than two pages at most. Most jobs applications in the US demand a cover letter in addition to a resume. However, recruiters often analyze a resume in much more detail than the cover letter. Let’s start working on yours.
It is significant to understand the requirements of a job profile and offer the right kind of insight to the recruiters. For doing that, it is important that you understand different types of resumes, namely: Paper resume, Digital resume, Functional resume.
Paper Resume: This is the most commonly seen format of a resume. A Paper resume or a chronological resume is the simplest format. It is the format wherein the majority focus is on your most recent work history, above all else. Followed by your work history (from most recent to most out-dated), you showcase your educational qualifications in the same order. This can be followed by your relevant achievements. Your personal details such as your name, contact number and email ID should however be the first thing visible on your resume.
Digital Resume: A digital resume’s structure is no different than that of a paper resume. However, the main difference between the two is that a digital resume is supposed to provide all digital links to your work available online. It can include the hyperlinks to your social media profiles, any virtual platform with your exceptional presence or could have links to your esteemed and renowned inventions. It offers a certain flexibility as it need not be a documented format. Creating a digital resume gives you the ability to portray your work in the form of a showreel (video format) or a slideshow (image format) or in fact an audio playbook as well. The choice of format depends on the job application.
Functional Resume: A functional resume is mainly a paper resume which is carefully crafted to show the relevant work experience specific to the job offer at hand. The focus should be towards highlighting the experience of working on any projects or ideas that are most relevant to the given job application. This format is considered to be best suited for people who want to minimize resume gaps or are transitioning into a new industry altogether.
It goes without saying that no two resumes will ever look alike, as they shouldn’t however the basic structure of a resume usually remains the same. It in fact makes it rather easy for the recruiters to analyze the resume and focus on the content rather than understanding the structure.
Header & Contact Information: Use the header space of your resume for your Name, your contact info, typically your phone number, your personal email address and your social/website links if any. This section should remain as short as possible, after all the purpose is to merely enable the recruiters to identify the resume as yours and get in touch with you as easily as possible. Stick to the margins recommended by your writing tool as the robots crawling your resume can sometimes overlook the header or footer sections.
Professional Summary: Instead of the decades-old concept of an objective statement on your resume that tells the recruiter why you want the job or what you want for yourself, a professional summary is the new way of letting the industry know who you are and what value you can add to the organization in just a few lines. This is not an absolutely necessary requirement for writing a resume but it surely helps recruiters identify you when in a time crunch.
The Basics: Since you are applying for a job in your preferred industry, you definitely don’t need a walkthrough of the basics but just to be transparent, here’s what else to include after the professional summary. Talk about your work experience in a chronological order (from most recent to least recent) followed by your educational qualifications and then add some of your additional experience. This could include your co-curricular achievements, your societal impact if any, awards you may have won or any hobbies you have that indirectly contribute towards improving your performance at your job.
The process of resume writing doesn’t end with that final full stop. A well edited resume is not just written well and scanned over a few times. A lot of people find it hard to believe however it is true that editing of a document takes much longer than writing it. A well edited resume will have errors, not in the forms of spelling but in the form of language changes and restructuring the sentences.
The suggested was to edit your resume is to write it in one sitting. Put everything you want to showcase on that document and then, let it sit for at least 24 hours. The first run-through of your edit is solely for fixing the grammatical and spelling errors. The second brings your attention to the structure of your sentences. The third run will help you to change the language in different places or use different words that better convey the meaning. A final run can ensure that everything is perfectly structured on your resume.
You may be tempted to hit ‘Send’ but don’t do it unless you know every single word written on that resume well enough. This will not only increase your chances of getting shortlisted but will also save you a huge amount of job offer anxiety.
You’ve done the work. You’ve created a document that a clear mirror image of your value. Now, it’s time to apply for the job you’ve been waiting for. We wish you luck!!