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Resume Writing: Key Features And Elements

Today, in this article, let’s look at the different styles of resume writing and its key features that help to make an impact on employers and recruiters. 

Resume Writing Key Features And Elements

What is a Resume?

A resume can be defined as a document that is prepared and used by a person to showcase their background skills, and achievements. Usage of a resume can be for different reasons but the primary reason to prepare a resume is to establish new employment. A typical resume can be defined as a wherein brief description of the applicable job experience and information about the educational information is mentioned in detail. It also includes a cover letter and an application letter of employment which helps the potential employer to screen the number of applicants which is also followed by a one-to-one interview.

Resume Writing – Interpretation of a resume

In many cases resume is generally limited to one or two pages of A4 size paper describing the experiences and qualifications that the employer considers necessary and relevant for the job profile applied for. Some of the resumes contain certain keywords, verbs, and adjectives, and the content displayed in the resume is presented favorably in front of the employer.

A resume is used as a tool to market ourselves aiming at the particular industry we want to get employed in. Since 2002 use of resumes has become a very important round to screen the applicants. Income cases if the resume is not made in a prescribed manner then there are higher chances to get rejected. If we speak about any field for example, if someone wants to get a job in the marketing field or to become an artist, a resume is considered to be the first step to move forward. Style and way of presentation can be different but the purpose of a resume remains the same.

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Different styles of Resume Writing

1. Reverse chronological resume

A reverse chronological resume can be defined as where an individual’s job experiences are written historically usually covering the experience of 10-15 years. Positions mentioned are stated with start and end dates also. The current position is written on a resume mentioning the starting date of the job to the present date. Reverse chronological format resume is mostly used by professionals.

While using this format, a section describing professional experiences is considered to be very important starting from the recent job experience moving in a sequential order mentioning the previous job experiences as well. This format of resume is used to explain the credibility of an individual through the number of experiences gained in the past years also explaining the growth in the career. This type of resume is not recommended for those type of job seekers who undertakes a career gap in between which can be for any valid reason.

2. Functional resume

In a functional resume, several years of work experience and skills are sorted and explained according to the area of skills wherein one master in and also as per the specific job function, they want to apply for. Under this format of a resume, the focus is mainly emphasizing the specific professional skills that an individual wants to move forward with. Under chronological resume, every work experience is explained in a comprehensive and detailed manner in a chronological order wherein the most recent experience is mentioned first.

The functional resume is best suited for individuals who have gained experience in a variety of job categories in the past years or have a smaller number of experiences in their career growth but still, they are looking for a job change. A functional resume can be used by an individual wherein they want to apply for the type of job which requires specific skills and defined personality traits.

This is also used as a method where one can explain their skills which they hold from their past job experiences as well. Despite going through a resume that is written comprehensively, going through a resume that is short and particular specifying certain skills required to get a job saves a lot of time to scan an applicant whether he is desirable or not for a job position they apply for.

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3. Online resume

In today’s time, everything has become digital and electronic so it has also become easy for employers also to accept a resume electronically. This has also changed the pattern of forming and presenting the resume too in front of employers. The way an employer scans the applicants has also changed completely like the way of writing, reading, and selecting employees for the job position.

Some of the industry experts also pointed out that a paper-based resume has become more of an exception than a rule in the market. Many employers also search resumes through the google search engine therefore it is very important for the candidates to write appropriate keywords while writing their resume. The applicant tracking system is used by many employers to filter the resume to control the high volume of resumes in a particular manner.

An online resume can also be defined as a process wherein job seekers can submit their resume to the company or upload their resume on their website electronically either in a format whichever is preferred by an employer for a particular job position. Some of the recruitment agencies also focus on accepting resumes in a particular format which can be either in a PDF format, Word format, or in an HTML file. Another important aspect of an online resume document is that it is scanned through a process called resume parsing.

Resume parsing can be defined as a process of resume extraction wherein resume data is kept in a sorted manner. The resume documents are transferred to the parsing software so that the resume can be extracted and sorted in a filtered manner. Resumes written in a prescribed format are most likely to be taken as a corrected format. They capture a high percentage of information regarding the candidate’s location, names, and titles achieved. But they consider rapidly changed data to be less accurate.

If a resume is written as per the resume parsing process then the candidate is considered to be more findable. One of the most important advantages of an online resume is that it is more cost-efficient compared to other methods of hiring. Another advantage of an online resume is that employers do not have to spend more time going through the bulk of paper resumes which is considered to be a time taking process.

4. Infographic, video, and website resume

As we know that in today’s time every individual has become more dependent on online platforms. Therefore, everyone prefers to submit their resume on websites of the company or e-resumes rather than taking out a physical paper resume. This is because it also helps us to find out our mistakes if any and it also saves our time as on an online platform we can apply to many companies of our choice at once.

But in the physical format, we have to individually go there and submit our resume and have to wait for a longer period of time for the response from the other side. Nowadays, video, infographics, and vine resumes are mostly trends. Vine is an application that helps us to make any short video to give an overview in just six seconds. It is mainly used by creative and media industries as well.

Resume Writing – Resume Vs Curriculum Vitae: What’s the Difference?

Curriculum vitae is the Latin version of “Course of Life” whereas a resume is a French version of “summary”. Both CVs and resume –

  • Are prepared for the specific job or company wherein one wants to give the application for the desired position.
  • Both should be prepared in such a way that they should clearly represent an individual as the best suitable candidate for the desired job position.
  • Both are used for an interview
  • No personal interests are included in both of them.

If any candidate is willing to invest both in the academic as well as industry (both private and public sector companies) then they are required to prepare both a CV and a resume too.

Curriculum vitae vs Resume 

  • Curriculum vitae represents the academic qualification historically therefore the length of the document is not fixed. 
  • Whereas, a resume represents the point picture of your skills and academic qualifications required for a specific job position. Therefore, the length of the resume is limited and specified with the number of experiences. Generally, it is limited to one or two pages.
  • Curriculum vitae is used by candidates who are willing to apply for fellowship interns or the position of teacher. Students who have completed their graduation choose to prepare curriculum vitae. 
  • But people who are looking for a research position, or media and publication choose to prepare a resume   
  • A Resume focuses on representing specific skills required for the job position applied for.
  • CV focuses on representing academic qualifications.
  • A resume is prepared while applying for a job position in industries, nonprofit organizations, and public sector undertakings.
  • CV is prepared while applying for a job position especially on the academic front.
  • A resume should not be prepared in more than two pages. Any application can be added at the end if it is relevant for the job position applied for.
  • While preparing a CV, the length of it depends on the number of years of experience and the academic qualifications attained by the candidate.
  • Any individual holding experience of more than 1 year should prepare to keep several experiences on the priority list.
  • While preparing a CV academic qualifications should be kept on the priority list mentioning everything in detail.

Resume Writing – Different types of Resume-

There are many basic types of resumes that an individual can choose to apply for job openings. Different types of resumes include-

  1. Chronological resume
  2. Combination resume
  3. Resume with profile
  4. Non-traditional resume
  5. Functional resume

Each type of resume has a different purpose. Therefore, which one to opt for should be decided by every individual as per their own circumstances. Let us know about each type of resume in detail-

  • Chronological resume–  

A chronological resume is prepared by mentioning your recent job experience in the first place. Then comes to list down the previous job experiences in the history gained by an individual. This type of resume is preferred the most by employers because it is easy for them to find out about what jobs you are into at present and also the past experiences they held. They can be defined as the most common resume used by everyone.

This type of resume works well for an individual who has a strong work history. If someone wants to start their career by changing a job position you are into then one should opt for a different type of resume.

  • Functional resume

A Functional resume emphasizes the skills and experiences rather than focusing on work history as mentioned earlier. Instead of mentioning the number of work experiences section at the top of the resume, one should focus on putting forward their “professional experience” or “accomplishments” section that showcases the skills required to attain a particular job position.

One can choose to mention the employment details in their resume or if they want, they can opt-out to mention. This type of resume is prepared by an individual who wants to change their career option more often. A functional resume can also be used by an individual who has an employment gap in their career or has limited work experience.

  • Combination resume-

A combination resume is a mixture of a chronological resume and a functional resume. At the starting of the resume list of skills and qualifications required for a job position is mentioned and at the end of the resume work history in detail is mentioned. Although mentioning work history is never the main focus so it does not take much space in a resume.

While using this type of resume one can mention the skills they pursue and what is relevant for the job position they are applying for along with mentioning the past work experiences they have. Some of the employers do not prefer to go through the work history in detail therefore mentioning it shortly is mostly preferred. This type of resume helps to find the job that fits best as per the individual.

  • Resume with profile

A resume with a profile includes a summary of an individual’s skills, work experiences, and goals related to the specific job profile they want to apply for. The Summary mentioned should not be written comprehensively. Rather it should be short and crisp wherein an individual can sell himself or herself to the employer.

Adding a profile can be very helpful to the candidate. If one has substantial work experience then a profile that explains the experience, they held helps an employer to hire a candidate in a faster way. If a candidate has fewer years of experience then it helps to highlight the skills on a larger scale so that you can get the desired job position.

  • Non-traditional resume

A non-traditional resume is a very unique and different type of resume which is presented in a way that includes representations of the skills and the work experience with the help of graphics, charts, images, videos, and other graphical representations. This type of resume can be represented in two ways depending on the job profile an individual is applying for. One can choose to present in a physical form or also through an online platform wherein one can upload their resume on a website directly.

This type of resume is used by a candidate where he or she wants to apply for a job profile in a creative field wherein they want to showcase their talent and skills in such a way so that it creates an impression in the eyes of the employer and the company and stand out in the crowd. For example, this resume can be used while applying for a job position in the media and journalism industry.

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Resume Writing – How to write a resume?

Some of the important steps that an individual should keep in mind while preparing a resume are-

  1. Choose a resume format– First and foremost step while preparing a resume is choosing the right type of format according to the circumstances and the job type, they are applying for. They can choose to prepare in a chronological resume, functional resume, or a combination resume.
  2. Name and contact information– On top of the resume prepared first important things that one should include are Name, location, email id, Address, and LinkedIn profile with a URL link. This information might seem very obvious but one should always remember that we should try to prepare a resume in such a way that it should be easily available for the employer to know more about us.
  3. Exceptional resume headline– A resume headline is defined as a one-line description about the candidate which should be unique and different from other candidates applying for the same job profile. It should be such that it grabs the attention of the employer and also helps to stand out from the crowd.
  4. Adding the professional experience with the summary statement– Explaining in detail about the experiences and skills that an individual holds in the past as well as in present. The summary should be written in such a way that it should explain the headline written comprehensively to the employer.
  5. Detailing your work experience– Mentioning the work experience an individual holds is the core of any resume. Employers examine this section of a resume very closely and determine whether one is capable of a suitable job profile or not. That is why it is very important to detail the skills in brief. The first thing that an employer looks after is the heading of the job profiles which they have worked for in history. It should include the company name, location of the job, the title of the job, and start and end date too.

What are the most common mistakes in resume writing?

The top 7 mistakes an individual makes in resume writing are as follows-

  • Using the same type of resume for every job application- One of the common mistakes that a candidate makes is using the same type of resume for every job profile. Different job profile requires different job skills and experiences. Even if the companies can be in the same industry but their culture might be different. Therefore, a job application should be adjusted as per the job profile.
  • Personal information– Including personal information such as marital status, nationality, religious beliefs are not at all important to include in a resume. Some of the employers might ask in the personal interview but it is not necessary to include such information in a resume.
  • Too much information– Sometimes writing less and to the point helps an employer to know about the necessary skills a candidate holds. Giving too much information confuses the employer spends hardly seven seconds on reading a resume. Therefore, one should aim to mention their details concisely.
  • Unprofessional email address– As we know that first impression in the employer is considered to be the last impression. So being unprofessional in the first place is like taking a high risk. Mentioning unprofessional email addresses such as magicjoe@gmail.com is very unethical and it has fewer chances of getting hired.
  • Social media profiles related to the particular job profile– Before giving a job application one should recheck its social media profiles on how they appear when one searches for it in google. One should differentiate amongst the social media profile as per the job profile they are applying for.
  • Fancy words– Using fonts for preparing a resume is very important. This is because using fancy words for a resume that is not readable increases more chances of rejecting a resume. Writing a professional font creates a great impact on the employer.
  • Spelling or Grammar mistakes– In most cases, a single spelling or grammar mistake can become a huge obstacle between you and your dream job. It also creates an impression in the mind of the employer that a candidate has not taken the job application seriously therefore he or she might not take the job profile also seriously which could be harmful to company growth.

Concluding thoughts on Resume Writing

A resume is a very important tool for searching for a job suitable for an individual. It helps a candidate to display their skills experiences and helps the employer to make the right decision while choosing an individual for a particular job profile. That is why resume writing is so essential.  It is very important to structure a resume and decide what information we should include.

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