The career progression of many people is hindered by the inability to write a clear, concise, and professional curriculum vitae or resume. This is a skill which should be taught at schools. Knowing how to write a resume is arguably the most important aspect of any job application. Alas, trigonometry was prioritised over actual life skills.
For instance, a resume should ideally fit on 1 or 2 pages, but not many people know this. This is much to their application’s detriment when the resume gets tossed onto the ‘disinterested’ pile. A good quality resume content should also be easily amendable in PDF format, so that you can update and edit your resume and still maintain a high quality presentation.
Not to worry, because we’ve outlined the best way forward, showing you how to write a resume professionally in 6 easy steps:
1) Use PDF Format rather than Word for your Resume Template Design
Word documents are complicated, difficult, and outdated forms of document creation. Word is not user-friendly, good for design, nor is Word very secure. Anyone is able to easily amend information on the original file. Not everyone has the right version of Office Word, or even has Word at all. It’s also not free to use unless you use an even lower quality open-source version.
PDF documents (Portable Document Format), on the other hand, are of a higher image quality. They are more presentable, more professional, and more secure. You have the ability to ‘lock in’ your document’s content and information, and sign or initial your PDF document once you have finished editing.
These are great because it’s usually not easy to edit your own resume or CV in PDF format. This usually entails extra resume editing costs every time you want to update or edit your own resume.
You can edit the content of a Diy My Design resume template as many time times as you wish. The PDF design and layout is as professional as it gets, giving you a better chance of grabbing the attention of potential employers. These editable PDF template designs are easy to use, plus these designs show great initiative. They reflect a desire to stand up and stand out from the rest.
2) Include all of your Contact Details and Treat your Name as the Title of your Resume
Transparency is key. At the end of the day your resume exists to sell you! Make sure that you include your full name, professional title, contact details, email address, and your physical address. Your name should be the title of your resume, because it’s you who you are selling!
This shows that you have nothing to hide, and that you know how to write a resume. With first impressions making all the difference, you want to start building a level of subconscious rapport. You want the hiring manager to have created a positive, level-headed and professional mental image of you. In many cases, this is as far as it gets and your whole first impression often lies on a single document.
3) Always Include a Personal Statement
Your personal statement is important, because it gives any potential employers an overview snapshot of who you are and what you can offer the company, in just one paragraph.
Tailor your personal statement towards the job role, highlighting your relevant skills and competencies, and highlight your career goals. Learn how to write a resume personal statement in a way which portrays you as ambitious and capable.
By the time the hiring manager has finished reading your personal statement, they should have an idea of what you are about. Make sure you are descriptive, and express your ambitions.
4) Tailor your Skills and Competencies Towards the Job Role which you are Applying for
Don’t fall prey to the temptation of copy, pasting and serial sending your resume You will have a much better chance of success if you take the extra time to tailor your resume or CV content. Make sure your credentials relate to the job role which you are applying for. Relate your own skills to the job description.
The saying “what you put in is what you get out”, often falls on deaf ears these days. If you only do what is needed, or take the easy way out, your resume probably won’t leave much of a lasting impression.
Go the extra mile and write a motivational cover letter to accompany your resume or CV. Tell them why you’re perfect for the role and why the company is perfect for you. Explain the potential fit.
Look at all of your skills, competencies, qualification, and all of your various life experiences, and see how they can all relate to the specifications and responsibilities of the job role.
Not only does this show strong initiative on your part, but this also tells the hiring manager that you are capable and competent.
5) Keep Work Experience as Short, and Concise as Possible but Keep it Informative
List your work experience starting from the most recent position. Include the company name, job title, date of employment, your main job responsibilities, and any achievements or accolades.
It’s also a good idea to mention the reason why you left that role. Try and shine as much light to the situation as possible.
If you were getting bored in that position, or if you did not enjoy working for the previous company, you can always explain that you are an ambitious person who needs professional growth, and you felt that new challenges and growth prospects were limited in your previous work environment (or something to that effect).
It’s important to keep your work experience relevant, and to keep your resume within 2 pages (1 or 2 pages is ideal). Don’t include odd jobs or irrelevant experience which won’t be relevant to the job you are applying for.
The hiring manager also does not want to see too many short stints in your work history. Alarm bells will ring if you worked in most of your previous job positions for 6 months or a year at a time, because this shows a lack of commitment. No company will invest time and money in an employee who is just going to up and leave 6 months later.
6) Add a transparent and reliable list of references
Many candidates forget to place emphasis on resume references. They provide vague contact details, or a mere comment to contact the candidate for their references. It would be even worse to provide someone else’s details.
This is an important part of process for any hiring manager, because this is the part where they check if you are who you say you are. They check whether you’re as capable as your resume portrays.
Don’t leave vague details, or leave out information. This is not how to write a resume. This will only raise suspicions as to why you aren’t being completely forthright with that information. You might be the ideal candidate, the best for the job, but if there is distrust, and suspicion from the get go, it’s unlikely that the company will take the risk of offering you the job.
It’s never a good idea to be fraudulent and add a friend’s contact details. Firstly, it’s not cool. Secondly, there is usually more than one means of contacting a company for the truth to come out. Thirdly, because the truth always comes out, especially when you start working and you’re not able to do what it says on your resume. It’s not just about learning how to write a resume or CV.
The reason I mentioned that your resume is arguably THE most important part of a job application, is because your resume needs to grab the attention of hiring managers when they are screening and scanning through a lot of resumes and CVs, to build a shortlist of candidates. Your resume needs to make them stop and take notice of your credentials.
The same principle applies to advertising. If you were looking for a specific product, and you saw three versions of the same item advertised, all with similar features and pricing, except one of the adverts was striking, attention grabbing, and enticing, while the other advert was bland and badly worded, which product would you pick?
Even if the 2 products were identical, and serve the same purpose, or even if the blandly advertised product is slightly better, subconsciously we would probably go with the better advertising. This is because of the perceived image which is created. Use a professional PDF resume template and make yourself stand out!
Once you’ve arranged the job interview, head over to the top 10 tips to nail a successful job interview.