Finding a job is always a grinding experience. It is a lengthy process that starts with figuring out what you want to do and where you want to work. The next step is to find open roles and apply to them. However, the most challenging part is making a resume.
Your CV is not only a depiction of your qualifications and work experience but is also a reflection of your personality. For instance, the use of inconsistent font and formatting may give the impression that a candidate lacks attention to details. Moreover, it can be overwhelming to mention your work experience in a 2-pager format. You may feel that the limited space does not do justice to your qualifications.
The right resume is the one that leaves a lasting impression on the recruiter and gets you a call for the interview. Follow these steps to make an impressive resume.
Step 1 – Select a format
When you begin writing your resume, you may not know where to begin. There are chances that you may even waste a few hours pondering at this point. You can avoid this state of confusion by selecting a format for your CV. There are three main formats that you can choose from- reverse-chronological, functional and combination. As the name suggests, you start with your latest employment experience and go backward in the reverse-chronological format. It is the most common format and is useful if you want to show your career growth. However, you must avoid it if you have changed too many jobs or if you have gaps in your employment. A functional format is the one that emphasizes your skills and qualifications instead of your employment history. You can use it if you want to change your line of work or have considerable gaps in your jobs. On the other hand, you can use a combination format if you are an expert in your field. It also comes handy if you want to change your career path and show the different skill sets that you have developed in your previous roles.
Step 2 – Write a summary
A summary is an introduction to your capabilities and achievements. Research says recruiters spend about 7.5 seconds on a resume. Prepare an appealing summary to catch the recruiter’s eyes before your resume gets lost in the sea of applications. Before you begin, make sure that it is compact and is no longer than three or four sentences. The introduction should summarise your relevant skills and qualifications for the role that you are applying to.
Step 3 – Draw attention to your work experience
It is advisable to write in bullet points instead of writing paragraphs when it comes to your employment history. It will help you in being more specific and highlighting only your achievements. Always start with action verbs to indicate your role in that achievement. For instance, use words such as ‘achieved’, ‘trained’, ‘spearheaded’ etc. Secondly, always quantify the results to emphasize how your efforts led to the organization’s success. You can show the increase in sales or reduction in costs or enhanced efficiency of a process to add more weight to your resume.
Step 4 – Modify your resume to match the job
It may seem like a task, but job openings may differ slightly on their requirements. For instance, an HR professional’s role may require more experience in hiring at one organization. Another company may be looking for more expertise in handling grievances. You can tailor your resume to the job description. You can even pick up words from the JD to catch the hiring manager’s attention.
Step 5 – Include soft skills and technical skills
Every job requires the applicant to excel in soft skills. For instance, the role of a manager may require exceptional leadership skills. However, make sure that you do not mention them directly in the resume. It is recommended to be as subtle as possible. In this case, you can write, ‘efficiently managed a team of 10 to achieve the sales target of $500,000.’ Similarly, mention all your qualifications and training to highlight your technical skills.
Step 6 – Proofread
There is no bigger deal-breaker than a resume with grammatical or spelling errors. Make sure that you proof-read your resume at least two times before you click on the apply button. You may also use apps for this purpose.