Most people find the process of creating the perfect resume both terrifying and confusing. Where does one even start when creating or updating a resume? I am here to help, and let me assure you the advice I offer here is free.
I have done the research, I’ve participated in workshops, and when it comes to resumes I know what employers are looking for and how to make a resume shine. I recently began offering a professional service online for clients who need the eyes and hands of a professional. I critique resumes and offer tips and advice. I even update, and create resumes from scratch for job seekers who want a resume that employers will not only look at but be dazzled by.
Although I enjoy offering these services professionally, I respect that there are some who prefer the “go it alone” approach, and am more than happy to share a few of my secrets for completely FREE. So here’s how you can create an amazing, interview-landing resume in 3 easy steps:
1. Organize Your Info
Most resumes follow a pretty standard format, which is known as the chronological resume. There are different formats, but this one is the industry standard and generally works for whatever kind of job you’re trying to get. Skills resumes and other formats may be used depending on what you’re trying to accomplish but that is much more rare.
The Chronological Resume calls for you to organize your information in the following order:
-Personal Info: This section will include your name (Bold and center at the top of the page) Address, phone number, and email.
-Objective: This will be what you are trying to accomplish with the resume and in your career in the immediate future. This might be something as simple as “To obtain full-time employment in the web development field”
-Professional qualifications: A summary of some of the reasons you’d be a good fit for the job. This may include a brief description of your education, accomplishments, and professional experience that directly relates to the position you are applying for. “6 years of experience in customer services” or “extensive education and training in accounting and finance” might be examples.
-Work experience: Past jobs you’ve held, especially those that relate directly to the position and accomplishments and/or goals that were achieved at those jobs
-Education and training: Degrees, certifications, diplomas, workshops and specialized trainings you attended, anything especially that relates to the job should be listed here. Some general education can also be listed as it does look good on a resume
-references: in most cases references may be kept separate from the resume itself and this section may simply read: “references available upon request”.
Keep it Short, Simple, and Relevant
Most employers, including hiring managers, have very busy schedules, and many of them will receive as many as hundreds of resumes to read and consider. The average employer will only spend six seconds skimming through a resume to see if it’s worth considering, and some companies are even auto-scanning resumes before they even give them read. It’s important to keep your information short and relevant to the message you’re trying to convey: “I’m the best person for this job because…”
Your resume should never be more than a page long unless you’re applying for a higher position. Whenever possible summarize your info with easy-to-read bullet points rather than chunking your ideas into bloated sentences and paragraphs. Don’t add any information that is not relevant to the job unless you need more filler, but even then relate it to the position. Remember this is a resume, which in essence is a snapshot of your career and qualifications. It is not a job application, which demands all your past jobs no matter what.
Even if a job is not related to the field of the job you’re applying for you may still be able to relate it to the position if you don’t have sufficient relevant work experience available. For instance a warehouse supervisor may list this job if he were applying to be a meat manager at a local grocery store because it could present him with an opportunity to use his accomplishments there to show how he performs as an employee, and that he has leadership experience. Even so it’s best to prioritize the most relevant information as it pertains to the job you want to obtain. Also don’t include hobbies or other personal information, unless of course, you guessed it, it pertains to the job. Being a skilled model airplane assembler probably won’t matter if you’re applying for a job as an accountant, but may be worth mentioning if you want to work for an old-time hobby shop.
3. List Real-Life Accomplishments
One of the biggest mistakes job applicants make when listing work experience is listing job responsibilities. Sure this seems logical, after all, they show we have experience performing job functions that may be similar to job we’ve applied for. However, most employers aren’t interested in knowing you can sort of do the job, they want to know how well you’ll perform if they hire you. Will you be an asset who goes above and beyond, will you do the bare minimum, or will you be a liability who brings the team down? Try to think of accomplishments you can be proud of at these previous jobs and whenever possible back them up with concrete figures. Don’t just say “I worked faster than my co-workers” Say “Consistently performed at a rate of 120% of the shift average” Don’t say “Was responsible for training sales staff” say “Came out with a new training initiative and suggested improvements to our training dynamics that helped to improve associates sales performance by 18%)
Employers don’t just want to know what you did they want to know how you did it, and what you have to bring to the table based on what you did at your previous jobs.
When it Doubt Get a Professional
Follow these three steps and keep these things in mind when you’re writing your resume, and you should be on your way to your next interview in no time! If you’re still not confident with your own abilities or would just rather place your resume in the hands of a professional, I’m only a click away. I’ll critique your resume, update it for you, or even write from scratch if you’re creating a fresh product.
You can also email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit up my Facebook page.
You don’t have to go through this process alone, I got your back! Check out my service and get your Job-Landing resume today!
As an added bonus, just mention this blog post when you contact me on my Fiverr page, and I’ll even answer any questions you have about mastering the interview for completely free!