Resume Writing in 2023: A Complete Guide
A resume is a word you must be familiar with if you are on the path to starting your professional life, looking for a job, or if you are on the brink of making a career change. A Resume can be referred to as the document that has all your updated education credentials, work experience, skills, strengths, talents written clearly for your potential employer to understand.
Today we will discuss in detail the different resume writing types and formats. A resume is a synopsis of all your accomplishments contained in one document when you are applying for or switching jobs. It is the most vital part of the entire process of job search for you.
The word resume originated from the French word “Resume” or Latin “Resume” which means summary. A lot of concentration should go into resume writing because it is the foremost element that makes the first impression on your potential employer.
Also, it should be devoid of errors because even a simple oversight can very well nullify your chances of getting a good job, even if you are experienced and educated enough to get it. Your resume should at the most be 2 pages long and never more than that.
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An overview of various sections in your resume writing is as follows.
Your Name and Contact Details
You should include your Name, Address, (preferably the one you are living at currently so that you do not miss any physical mails). Also, your phone number, email, and any other important contact information that you deem fit to include in your resume.
If the entire recruitment process is done online you can skip including your address. However in all generic and traditional resumes, even today we do include the address. Also, your birthdate and gender are not necessary to mention if not specified otherwise.
This section talks briefly about your intent, objectives, and how you fit into the job role. The objective section is very much essential for people who are starting new and do not have relevant work experience.
You might have to edit and make changes to your resume depending upon the job role, position, or character of the organization you are applying to. In that case, the opening lines and objectives have to be written aligned to the organization and the job profile. Here, you can write about the attributes that make you perfect for the job. Brevity is the key to a successful objectives section.
Your education should be listed from the most recent moving backward. This means if you are a postgraduate your first point should start from your achievements in the postgraduate degree and then mention graduation, high school, and so on. If you have a Ph.D., start from there and move to your post-graduation credits.
This should include the list of all the work experience you have garnered over the years. Do not leave out any work that you have done even if it was voluntary assignments you took up in your college days or an unpaid internship. Every little practical experience counts. Delineate the responsibilities you had for each of these experiences and include any awards, certificates you received because of working on these jobs.
This area covers the skills you gathered, your talent that is relevant to this job, and your strengths that the organization can leverage. For example, if you have attended a workshop on a language you learned, you should incorporate it in this section. This will enable the employer to take note of the fact that apart from your certificates you have working knowledge and are fluent in that area. Here you should also include any expertise in technical fields and other attributes that can bolster your resume significantly.
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References and testimonials
Finally, the company you applied to might ask you to provide them with a few references and testimonials of your achievements. This is done so that your potential employer understands that you are not an unknown quantity and some people can vouch for your professional competency.
Include the name and number of your references. In case of testimonials write down what they’ve had to say about you verbatim and in quotes.
This strengthens your resume and makes you one of the top contenders for the job position. A lot of times, you can see that job applicants write “references available on request.” Your employer can ask for references in the future in this case.
Reasons for resume writing
Your resume is an indispensable part of your job hunt. It holds all the crucial information that can help you get that desired dream job. It is also imperative that your resume is professional-looking and gives the element of credence when your potential employer is going through it.
An impeccable error-free resume gives you the confidence of appearing for interviews, keeps all your important information organized on paper that you can refer to when you need it, and can help you in landing that perfect job that you have been looking for.
Types of Resume Writing and Formats
The main 6 types of Resume Writing that are most commonly used are as follows:
This is the most popular type of resume writing and it is the favored one by employers as well. In this type of resume, you mention your work experience starting from the current position you hold or you held in the most recent of times.
From then on you proceed to list your other previous jibs and works you have done. Therefore, the most relevant job experience is written first making it one of the most efficient ways of discerning your capabilities from the viewpoint of the employer.
Since you depict all your achievements, desires, and everything else that is of import in a concise organized manner, it is easier for employers to get the information they want. Moreover, it is a sequential account of your professional success. As a result, employers can easily understand the trajectory of your growth and assess your professional acumen.
This type of resume writing is by people who have had some gaps in their professional life and want to bounce back into the work arena. This essentially means that a functional resume emphasizes your skills, unique talents more than your work experience.
It highlights your relevant skills and your attributes so that your employer can understand that even if you have had a hiatus from work you are capable enough to be considered for the job.
Some of the positive points of creating a functional resume are that you can provide the most relevant information and edit the unnecessary fluff out of your document. It helps to describe the most important work experience that can come to use in your current job.
Next, we have the targeted resume which specifically calls attention to the qualifications and skills required for that specific job designation. It is tailored to the needs of the job profile.
Therefore, it takes diligent care to highlight all the relevant and accurate points that make you one of the top candidates for the job. For example, if you are good at HTML, coding, Java you will stress on your qualifications and certificates that speak of your acumen in that specific area of work.
The key to creating a winning targeted resume is to focus on the skills, language, and requirements of the company advertised on the job board by the same.
You can glean a lot of information from that job posting like the skills required, the responsibilities and profile, the expectations of the organization. It will also contain several keywords that you have to incorporate in your resume to make the best impact on your potential employer.
As the professional world is rife with competition, a targeted resume helps you to customize your information by providing the most useful skills, work experience, and education to the fore that will get you hired as an employee. Targeted resumes help you to set the tone so that employees know that you will be the preferred candidate for the job.
A combination resume is a mix between the chronological and the functional resume. It integrates both formats to create a document that highlights your achievements, talent as well as work history.
More often than not, the functional resume format takes precedence over the chronological resume format in this combination resume. This means that the skills, accomplishments, and qualifications take up more space than work history.
But you should provide detailed knowledge of your work experience even if you have had a pause in your professional life for a while.
A combination resume is perfect for people with little experience of work-life and job, and for someone who wants to make a career change. A combination resume can also be helpful for people who have scant experience but have consistently worked without a break.
A Combination resume packs the most important features of a chronological resume and a functional resume together to create the most comprehensive yet extensive detail of your professional life.
It lets you incorporate the best of the qualities of both of these resumes and create one winning impactful document that speaks of your achievements, objectives, as well as your capabilities that would help you procure that coveted job role.
An infographic resume is comparatively a newer format of creating a resume with the help of graphic designing that involves images as well as text. Whatever a traditional resume includes in the form of text, an infographic resume includes all the details. But, it comes with a splash of appealing colors, attractive designs, an engaging layout, icons, and designer fonts.
Now, why has the infographic resume become so popular?
In the competitive world, you always need something that would help you to stand out from the crowd. An infographic resume is a creative and innovative alternative to the text-only traditional resumes that people generally create. We can hear cases of people recruited from social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, because of their infographic resumes that they posted. They have been enormously liked too for their uniqueness.
Journalist Jonathan Frost is an example of someone recruited right away for their immensely creative infographic resume. Recruiters don’t invest much time in resumes. If there is something you can do to stand out, you should confidently do it. But remember, there is a thin line between creativity and ludicrosity. Make sure your resume is the former.
It can give you an unconventional yet vastly effective way of putting a point across. Also, give vent t to your imagination and inventiveness that is missing in other types of resumes. It can help you to express better and highlight all the important aspects of your personality in an organized content format.
Curriculum Vitae (CV) is something that is often confused with a resume. Let’s look at it this way – all curriculum vitae are resumed in one form or the other but all resumes are not CVs.
The Curriculum vitae is a lot more extensive( more than 2-3 pages long) and gives detailed information about your achievements. It also includes a detailed profile category which is a synopsis of your skills, goals, experiences, outlook related to the job you are applying for.
There is another difference between resume and curriculum vitae. A CV is mostly used for academic positions but a resume is something you can apply to corporate organizations, NGOs, and any other enterprises.
A CV almost always remains the same. However, a resume can be tweaked, changed, and edited according to the job position the candidates are applying for.
A mini resume is the shortened version of your traditional resume where you put all your achievements and highlight them succinctly. It is just a concise write-up that sums up your qualities.
It helps when you want to network with people from your area of expertise. For example, you want to provide information in a few sentences to a headhunter or human resource manager of a company. Then, you will create a mini resume describing the key qualities that make you eligible for a certain post.
How to Format Your Resume. Resume Writing Top tips
The whole point of creating a resume is to provide the first positive impact of yourself on your employers. Therefore, the very first thing that you have to do is make sure that you choose an appropriate font. In the case of traditional resumes, Times New Roman, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica, Ariel are preferred.
The font size should ideally be 12. But can vary from a range of 10 to 12 points based on the font you select. When you format your document you will see anything about 12 looks a little on the face and unprofessional.
Keeping appropriate margins is extremely important. Keep your resume left aligned with margins 1-1.5 inches on all four sides. The Whitespace makes it appear clean and cluttered.
A resume should have section headings for all the important areas that you need to cover. For example, your profile, work experience, professional history, education, skills, interests,
Bold, and Underline
Make sure to bold, underline, and punctuate when necessary. You have to customize your content for it to be scannable. Recruiters will not go through your resume word by word. You have to ensure that they get the information that is most important for you to be shortlisted.
Grammar and Vocabulary
Your grammar and vocabulary should be simple and error-free. Do not use technical terms, jargon unless necessary. And do not show off your creativity by using difficult words.
Bullets and Numbers
Bullets and numbers help to break down your content into different parts that are easy to read. They provide a clear appearance. Use full stops at the end of all your bullets or else don’t put full stops at all. When you create content with bullets and/or numbering it is easier for people to retain information better. This has been proved through research.
Some important Tips
Only provide authentic information
When you are writing your content, do not overplay your accomplishments. Only provide information that is truthful, authentic, and can be backed by proof.
Make sure to have a professional email
You should be very careful to include an email that looks professional. Amateurish email addresses invariably harm your chances of employment. Your quirky creativity in the area will get you nothing. Professional email addresses also build trust and credibility. Otherwise, you’ll just come across his inexperience and daft.
Create content aligning to the job position
When you are writing a resume it is always tailored to the job position you are applying for. Ensure that your content aligns as perfectly as possible with the job skills, designation, duties, and responsibilities mentioned. Emphasize all the keywords as have been posted on the site for the job portal. That will help you score more than your competition.
Include everything including varied job positions in a company if you have had so.
There are many times when we perform different duties in an organization. You could have started as a Public Relations manager and moved on to the creative department of the organization. Inter-change of duties are more common than you think. Therefore, mention all the job positions and duties that you fulfilled during your stint in your previous organizations.
This aspect of the resume writing process cannot be emphasized enough. You have to rigorously proofread your resume twice, thrice 4 times as much as you want to avoid any unwanted errors.
Even a typo can deter you from getting that job you so wish for. If you can involve a fresh pair of eyes to go through your resume do so. They will help to detect any careless mistakes that you might have missed while going through the document.
Resume writing should include all relevant details along with your goals, career aspirations so that your employer can gauge your potential and what you can bring to the table.
Resume Writing increases your chances of getting the desired job. You have to be completely focused on providing your employer with the best information that can help you to get recruited. Also, create one resume in such a way that it is flexible and adaptable. You can incorporate as well as delete information as required when applying for different jobs.
When writing your profile summary make sure that you do not make it too long or too short. It should ideally be 6 to 8 sentences with important keywords distributed throughout the summary. You should mention your core competencies and write the sentences in an engaging, confident manner.