Having a good resume is the first step for anyone looking for a job, after graduation or years of experience. The CV should have an attractive appearance to grab the attention of hiring managers for just a few seconds. Use a very simple structure and organize the content well so that you have a resume that sets you apart from the rest. Design it around each position you are applying for and emphasize your skills, education, and years of experience that make you a great candidate.
Part 1 of 3: Structure your CV
Step 1. Choose a ready-made template or create one yourself
Most word processing software, such as Word, has templates for you to choose from. If you don't like any of these copies, use your imagination to create something to your liking.
- It is also easy to download free models from the Internet. If you don't want to use one of the basic templates offered by your word processing software, search the internet for something that appeals to you.
- You can customize the elements of the template according to your needs. You can adjust or eliminate specific items at will.
- Use a standard readable font of size 10 or 12. You can increase the size for section headers. Georgia and Times New Roman are popular serif fonts, while Calibri and Helvetiva are of the sans serif family.
if you want to take a job in web design and layout or graphic design, make your own template and use your resume to show off your skills.
Step 2. Put your name and contact details at the top
At the top of the page, write your full name, phone number, address, and email address. Experiment with different formats until you find what you like the most.
- For example, you can put all the information in the center. Also, you can place the address on the left, the phone and email address on the right, with the name in the center in a slightly larger size.
- If you don't already have a work email address, create one with Gmail or another email service. Ideally, use your first and last name in the email address on the CV. Never put a stupid or suggestive personal address on your resume.
Step 3. Use a chronological resume for a more conservative position
In a chronological resume, you should list information such as your work experience and education in reverse chronological order. Many older hiring managers prefer this classic format, which is also common in conservative fields such as law and accounting.
The chronological resume doesn't leave much room for creativity, but you can still organize the sections to prioritize the most important information. For example, if the section describing your education is more extensive than that of work experiences, put it first
Step 4. Try a functional resume if you don't have too much experience
In a functional CV, you can highlight your skills and qualities without having to list all the experiences you have had. This model is ideal for those who do not have a lot of practical experience.
The functional CV is also ideal for those with a lot of experience, but want to limit the information to one page. In this case, focus on the skills you have learned and not on each job with specific details
Step 5. Go for a combined format to showcase your skills
You can still use a functional CV, even if you are applying in a traditional field. Start with the skills section and then list the other headings in chronological order.
Since this type of resume can be quite extensive, just list your two or three most recent jobs and your highest university degree. For example, if you have worked at the same company for ten years, just mention this information. Finally, specify how long you have worked in the industry in the functional part of the CV
Part 2 of 3: highlight the content
Step 1. Start the functional resume with your skills
As noted above, this format highlights the candidate's skills, not their experiences. Think carefully and consider four or five categories of skills that you have acquired over time (during your work experience or your studies). Then include a brief description and use bullet points to show specific examples of each.
- For example, if you are applying for a job as an online writer, include “Editing” among your skills. One of the bullets could indicate how many articles you have edited on wikiHow and how much praise you have received for that work. Even if it's volunteering, it will still be seen as a hands-on experience.
- You can also mention relatively personal skills. For example, write “team leader” among your skills. Then you can place bullet points detailing your work in student government, as a summer camp leader, or as a meeting organizer for an NGO.
Step 2. List your experiences, including volunteering
In the chronological resume, you should include the specific experiences and jobs you have previously held in reverse chronological order (i.e. starting with the most recent work). Be very descriptive and specific to show potential employers what your duties were.
- In general, in the chronological resume you should include the month and year in which you started and left the job. However, only put in the years if you have been in the same job for a long time.
- In the functional CV, you will have more freedom to describe your professional experiences. You don't have to include start and end dates for each specific job, but be sure to include the length of your employment. Here's an example: “I led a 20-person sales team for ten years. "
- Use active verbs to describe your accomplishments and responsibilities. Cite specific numbers and metrics to show potential employers exactly what you've accomplished. For example, if you were a sales manager in a company, write something like this: "Changes implemented that resulted in a 27% increase in sales in one quarter." "
Step 3. Include relevant education or certifications
In general, it is sufficient to include the highest academic degree in your resume. However, you can also describe lower degrees relevant to the job you are applying for. Also, list any relevant license or certification you have.
- For example, if you have just finished your law studies and want to apply to a law firm, specify your degree in your CV, as well as the bar where you were admitted. If you have been authorized to practice your profession in another court, you will also need to mention this.
- If you want to make a functional CV, put the education section at the end of the document. Some people even omit this section, but you should include it if the position in question indicates that a specific degree is required.
- If you have had a high cumulative GPA, you can mention it in your training information. Otherwise, you should omit it. If you have more than one degree, indicate your general average in both cases, if possible. Otherwise, omit it altogether.
if you have a university degree essential to your field of activity, you can include it in the header instead of creating a separate section for studies. It can give you more space.
Step 4. Emphasize the skills seen as a valuable asset
If you want to let the recruiter know what skills you have that are relevant to the job, create a dedicated section, even in a chronological resume. Emphasize specialized skills that can be objectively assessed, such as computer, technical or language skills.
- You might be tempted to exaggerate a bit in the skills section to impress recruiters more. However, it can get you in trouble. For example, if you only know a few words and phrases in English, don't put in your resume that you are able to carry on a conversation or even speak that language fluently. If the hiring manager starts speaking to you in English, you will reduce your chances of getting hired.
- On the other hand, if the job advertisement lists specific skills and you have them, you should create a dedicated section and describe them in great detail.
if you don't have a lot of work experience, you can include personal qualities, such as "diligent" or "highly motivated". Also give concrete examples demonstrating these qualities.
Step 5. Use keywords strategically
Many companies use filtering software to check resumes for specific keywords. These words indicate what they are looking for in a prospective employee. This way, recruiters don't waste time reading CVs that don't meet the requirements. So, use the keywords mentioned in the job advertisement.
Make sure the keywords you choose fit in with the rest of the information and don't overuse them. You don't have to repeat any terms or phrases
Step 6. Include hobbies and interests if they are work-related
The “interests” section is optional in most cases, but it can be useful for those who don't have much to say. However, focus only on the details relevant to the position you want to fill.
For example, if you would like to apply for a managerial position in a sporting goods store, then it is undoubtedly relevant that you play a variety of sports
Part 3 of 3: Finalize the CV
Step 1. Tailor your CV to each specific job you are applying for
You may have a master resume, with all your skills, details of your education and experience. However, the CV you send to every potential employer doesn't always have to include everything. Only put skills and experiences directly related to the position you are applying for. Make sure your resume matches the advertisement as closely as possible.
- Change the order of the sections as needed so that the most important qualifications listed in the job description are at the top of the page. Rearrange the bullet points as well, making sure to put the most relevant information first.
- Even if you are proud of a particular achievement, remove it if it has nothing to do with the job.
If you are applying for a job in a different field from the position you currently have, it may be useful to provide a summary explaining your motivations for this career change.
Step 2. Revise your CV to remove unnecessary words and create space
Active, impactful text is a must in a resume, as recruiters might glance at it for a few seconds. Remove pronouns, adjectives, articles, and adverbs. The remaining words should only communicate the desired action and result.
- Suppose you work as a waitress in a cafe. In this case, add a bullet point to discuss the company's high hygiene practices and measures, but try to provide supporting numbers. You can say something like this: “I introduced a new hygiene program, thus increasing the sanitation and health level of the company by 11%. "
- Customize the bullet points instead of just repeating the information in the job description. For example, if you work as a salesperson in a store, you might write this: “I exceeded all my sales targets for 4 months,” rather than “I sold clothes and accessories to customers. "
Step 3. Proofread the CV carefully before submitting it
Don't just rely on the computer's spelling and grammar correction tool. Proofread your CV several times (if possible, aloud) for errors. This will help you spot any mistakes or weird sentences.
- Make sure you've followed the punctuation rules. Punctuation being a very important aspect to structure sentences and make them understandable, you must master some writing rules to take care of your resume. Limit the number of parentheses, capitalize in the right places, and pay attention to spaces after commas and periods. This will make your text easier to read.
- See if the punctuation and formatting are consistent. For example, if you use bullets in one section, use them in all topics.
- There are programs online that can catch errors that you may not have noticed.
start by rereading your CV from the last word and make sure you read each word separately, going through it all the way to the beginning. This removes the narrative structure from the text to help further highlight errors.
Step 4. Save your CV as a PDF file
If you had to submit your application online, it is very likely that you will send the CV as a PDF file. Do this, unless the ad specifically requests another format.
A PDF document will also benefit you, as it will retain your formatting. Plus, it helps to avoid all kinds of accidental mistakes like when hiring managers print the document or open it
Step 5. Print copies of the resume
On a good printer, print your resume using quality ivory or white paper. You can get them on the Internet or in stationeries. If you included hyperlinks in the document, remove them before printing. This way all the text will be black.
Bring at least 3 copies of your CV to the interview. If you know that a hiring team is going to interview you, take enough copies so that each member can have one. You should also make sure you have a copy for yourself
- Using years instead of months and years will help you hide your unemployment spells on your resume. If the interviewer asks you about this, be sure to be honest.
- You can include a section at the end of the CV for references. However, if you have little space left, you can skip this topic. In any case, if applicants need to list references, the company will specify this in the advertisement.
- Be sure to include a cover letter as well, even if this is not specified in the job posting. This will help contextualize your information and better present you as a candidate.