Write a Proper Resume

Edited by Emmanuel M. Lardizabal, Robbi, Nerissa Avisado, Lynn and 3 others

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Most job recruiters take only six seconds to scan through a resume and determine whether a candidate seems like a good fit for the position. This means your resume needs to be clear and concise with key information easy to spot. Recruiters are easily distracted by unnecessary information, so only include skills and achievements that are related to the position you're applying for. You'll need to market your experience and abilities in the best possible manner to stand among a sea of potential candidates. Show the recruiter that you have what it takes to get the job done right with a winning resume.

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Tips for Writing the Perfect Resume

  1. 1
    Match your skills to the position.
    Find out exactly what the employer wants in a candidate, take your most relevant skills and strengths, and match them to the position. You need to show that you have everything the company needs.
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  2. 2
    Focus on your stand-out achievements.
    Don't list every single thing you've done, but make sure you include your most notable achievements. If you've helped a company save time or money, solved problems, improved workflow or brought in new customers, that should be included in your resume. You should also highlight your most important responsibilities.
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  3. 3
    Watch your word count.
    Recruiters don't have a lot of time to read through a lengthy resume, so it's best to keep it on two pages or less. If the resume is too short, you risk leaving out enough keywords and information that could land you an interview. Aim for between 600 and 700 words to strike the perfect balance between concise and informative.
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  4. 4
    Only include relevant work history.
    You don't have to list every job you've had since high school if they're not relevant to the position you're applying for. You should list the jobs that provided you with the most useful skills and experience for the position you want, even if it's a different type of job.
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  5. 5
    Use professional and upbeat language.
    Keep your resume to-the-point and professional, but energetic. Start with action verbs when listing achievements or skills. For example, say something like "exceeded sales quota by 25 percent" or "manages social media campaigns".
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  6. 6
    Include keywords.
    Including certain keywords in your resume can make it more likely that you will be considered for an interview. Read the job posting or description and choose words that directly correlate with what they are looking for in a candidate. Incorporate them into your skill set, work history or education. Some general keywords that can help your resume stand out include experience, leadership, development, professional, knowledge, project and skill.
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  7. 7
    Avoid unnecessary sections and long-winded explanations.
    Your resume shouldn't tell your entire life story or explain in great detail why you want the job. Resumes that include this information are often overlooked because it's hard to pick out the most important information.
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  8. 8
    Take advantage of white space.
    People often underestimate the power of negative space. Don't try to pack everything into one giant paragraph. Separate your resume sections with clear headings, bold fonts, italics and bullet points. Use phrases rather than full sentences. Big blocks of text make it difficult to find the information recruiters are seeking. You want your information to be easily found just by scanning through the resume.
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  9. 9
    Use quantifiers.
    Being specific can help your chances of getting an interview. Use numbers and percentages when talking about sales or how much money you've saved a company. If you've managed a team, mention how many people you were in charge of.
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  10. 10
    Double-check your resume before submitting it.
    Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Many recruiters will completely disregard a perfect resume if it contains any errors. Make sure all of your work history is in order and all other facts and dates are correct.
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How to Format Your Resume

There are several different resume formats, and the one that you choose should depend upon the amount of experience you have in the field, as well as personal preference. A chronological resume is one of the most commonly used and highly recommended formats. It lists your work history and education in reverse chronological order, with the most recent starting at the top. It highlights the organizations you've worked for as well as the position, while also describing your skills and responsibilities. This works best for people whose work history and experience is in line with the desired position. A functional resume emphasizes your skills and experience rather than companies or organizations. They work best for people who have held jobs in several different areas or who have big gaps in work history, and they let you highlight your most relevant skills and responsibilities. You can also merge the two into one combination resume, allowing you to balance out the resume with both types of information. Below is the basic format for a chronological resume, but this can be customized to suit your preferences.

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  1. 1
    Start with your contact information.
    At the top of the page, list your name, address, phone number and email address.
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  2. 2
    Decide whether or not to include an objective or qualifications.
    While employers like to see an objective on a resume, some recruiting firms recommend against it. If you're applying for a specific position and you want the employer to know you're the exact fit they're looking for, listing an objective can be a good idea. If you want to be considered for more than one position, listing an objective might stop them from considering you. The objective basically states the type of position you're looking for or the skills you want to use in a position. An example of an objective statement is "To obtain a position in publishing using proofreading and editing skills". You may also choose to write a qualification summary instead of an objective. This is a statement that summarizes your most important skills in relation to the position you're applying for. An example of a qualifications statement is "Researched and wrote detailed how-to articles for online clients".
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  3. 3
    List your education.
    Include any relevant education you've had. List the name of the institution, degrees or diplomas earned, date you received your degree, and majors and concentrations. Keep it short and simple. If you've received any awards or honors, list them here. List your education starting with the most recently attended first. Don't list high school unless you've had no additional training or education.
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  4. 4
    List your work history.
    Only include jobs that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Include the name of the employer, start and end dates of employment, and your job duties at each organization. You can also include any stand-out achievements at each employer in this section.
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  5. 5
    Additional skills, experience or training.
    If you've had any relevant training, special skills or experience not listed elsewhere, include a section for these here.
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Tips

  • The margin of all sides should be 1 inch in length. If you attach it to a folder, you can increase the margin in the left part of the coupon bond up to 1.5 inches.
  • Font size should be 12. This is the standard format of a resume. You can also decrease your font size to 11 or increase it up to 14 as long as the texts are readable.
  • Font style should be readable fonts such as Arial, Arial Narrow, Times New Roman, Courier New or Calibri.
  • The name consists of the address, email address and phone number, placed at the center.

Chronological Resume Sample

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Functional Resume Sample

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Combination Resume Sample

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What Not to Include in Your Resume

Most people spend more time thinking about what to put into their resumes rather than what they leave out, but many hiring managers find too much unnecessary information a waste of time and distracting. In some cases, including too much can even ruin your chances of scoring an interview. Check out the list below to find out what not to do.

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  1. 1
    Don't give away your age.
    As unfair as it is, many hiring managers are age-biased. Including specific years of experience, usually more than 15, invites age discrimination. Listing information that makes you seem very young and inexperienced is also no good. If you've graduated more than 25 years ago, it's also a good idea to remove your graduation date from your resume.
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  2. 2
    Don't include references.
    Most hiring managers don't want a bunch of extra documents to look through, including reference pages, writing samples, transcripts and letters of recommendation unless they request them. Generally, a cover letter and a one or two-page resume are all you need. It's fine to bring this information with you to an interview, however.
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  3. 3
    Don't include your hobbies or personal interests.
    Most employers don't care about what you do in your spare time – they want to know how well you can do the job. Don't list your personal interests or hobbies unless this information is specifically requested by the employer.
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  4. 4
    Legal, marital or religious information.
    Some people include their social security numbers, martial status and even religious preferences on their resumes. Listing any of this information is completely unnecessary, and including your social security number is dangerous because of the risk of identity theft.
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  5. 5
    Explanations of employment gaps, quitting or termination.
    You don't need to write explanations for anything on your resume. Keep it simple and positive. You can explain anything you need to in person at an interview.
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  6. 6
    Don't include your business contact information.
    Listing your office phone number (unless you're self-employed or you own the business) can be detrimental to your current position, especially when most companies monitor your work email or phone. Just list your personal contact information to be safe.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

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  • Include keywords in your cover letter, as well.
  • If you're submitting a paper resume, choose high-quality, white resume paper and use the highest quality ink setting on your printer. These things give a professional first impression that can help give you an edge over other candidates.
  • If you're mailing a paper resume, don't fold it. Place it in a large envelope and pay for the additional postage. This looks more professional. If you're including multiple pages, don't staple them together. Use a paperclip.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Business & Management

Recent edits by: Shelley, Anonymous, Lynn

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