Writing a resume can be intimidating. Yes, you may have gained various skills and experiences but how will you be able to justify all these things in a single sheet of white paper and expect to get yourself an interview within the next few days or so. You may be wondering why they can’t just interview, let you take some tests to see if you’re actually fit for a job.
Although it’s quite overwhelming and can be pressuring to write an impressive resume because of the tremendous amount of details it needs which encompasses the experiences and skills you’ve gained all throughout your working years, the resume that we present to various firms creates our first impression to our possible employers and we definitely would want to look impressive and prove to them that the skills we have would suffice to the qualifications they are looking for.
Here are some of tips in having a winning resume any employer would find hard to say no.
1. ALWAYS THINK OF YOUR RESUME AS YOUR BRANDING
If there’s a saying that you are what you eat and tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are, this also applies for the resume you’re going to create. You are creating your brand and it’s not just your resume- it’s your advertisement that needs to be compelling and impressive enough that any employer would think that they will be missing out something if they are not going to hire you.
Keep it short and simple by having a straightforward set of details laid out on your resume. Utilizing action words, bullets and short sentences instead of paragraphs makes your resume readable, easier to absorb and professional.
3. PICK THE RIGHT FORMAT
Look for the proper layout or format of your resume that suits best your personality and the position you desire. There are three commonly formats you may choose from:
- Chronological Resume – focuses on the experiences an applicant have had on previous jobs. Commonly used in law and academic related job positions, the goal of this resume is to emphasize that you’re likely to stay in the same job but in a different company.
- Functional Resume – focuses on your major skills and accomplishments in your career. This can be used for those who are keen to have a career change for it accentuates mainly on your versatility in different kinds of work environment.
- Combined Resume – a combination of both aforementioned type of resume which is highly adapted nowadays for the advantages it can bring to you and your resume.
4. STICK TO A PAGE
Keep your resume to one page only- a concise and brief one. But if you really have these experiences, trainings, and accomplishments you think is important and would take to at least a couple of pages, then you may give it a shot.
5. DEFINE YOUR JOB OBJECTIVE
Have straightforward job objective that defines the job you are looking for. This can turn out to be your resume profile or brief summary of your skills and the job vacancy you’re looking which can help in creating a sense of purpose and specification on your resume.
7. SELL YOUR STRENGTHS
Make sure that you have a presentable and readable resume, you’ve used specific terms (e.g. Strong Operational and Navigational Skills) that match the job position qualities they are looking for and you have pointed out your strong points that you think you can utilize and be beneficial for their firm.
8. LIST YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Employers are also looking for the accomplishments you did in your previous jobs. They’re also keen if you’re a goal setter and if you’re an eager individual who do not only work just because you’re told to do so, but you work with the will of living the company’s vision and mission.
9. KEEP IT OPULENT WITH KEYWORDS
Some companies use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which provide an almost accurate filtering and searching of applications based on the resumes sent by the applicants. Therefore, your application will have a high probability of matching to the company’s job vacancy if you’re also using the keywords they are looking for (e.g. 2/O, Second Officer, Navigational Officer).
10. TECHNICAL AND LANGUAGE SKILL IS A PLUS
Your technical and other useful skills only go to show your flexibility and how adaptive you are in embracing new things and experiences. If an Employer will see your impressive skills in speaking 3 or more languages, this only goes to show your intelligence and ability to learn things fast.
11. OLD EXPERIENCES SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED
Employers only considers experiences from 10-15 years of range and the rest is just irrelevant. Companies are not interested in what jobs have you had 15 years ago, they are interested in what you’ve done in the recent years.
12. AVOID THE PERSONAL PRONOUNS
Refrain from using too much of ‘I’, ‘Me’, and ‘Myself’ for the resume itself is about your professional background and simply putting such pronoun can be repetitious and improper.
13. DON’T LIE ON YOUR RESUME
Do not pretend to have these set of skills or be someone you are not because this could be a downfall to your reputation with the company. You may be eager to work for this dream company, but not to the extent that you’ll be hired for the skills you don’t actually have.
14. DON’T FORGET YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION
For ease of access to the employers, include all contact information available such as address, phone number(s), email address and even social media accounts like LinkedIn Profile and blog website.
15. DON’T TRY TO ADD YOUR FACEBOOK/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM LINKS
Adding LinkedIn account is relevant because of its platform but adding your social media accounts is meant for socializing and networking and will never work in a resume you’re going to create.
16. BE KEEN TO DETAILS
See to it that you have run through your resume and all necessary errors such as grammatical mistakes have been corrected. You don’t want your desired employer to edit your resume for you, do you?
17. KEEP THE CONSISTENCY
Always make sure that the font size, alignment and spacing of the content of your resume are all the same. Use either Verdana, Arial, or Helvetica as your font style with a font size of 11 for your resume.
18. KEEP IT UPDATED
If you’re also using job portals when you’re looking for a job, it’s ideal to update your resume every now and then. Employer also takes notice when was the last time you have updated your resume.
19. STEER CLEAR FROM USING EMPTY WORDS
Planning to use detail-oriented, good communication skills, team player in your resume. These are just empty and vague description that employers have seen millions of times. Always be specific.
20. THEY DON’T NEED THE DATES
Employers don’t need exact dates when you have graduates, they’ll need to know if you have graduated and what degree(s) have you taken.
21. UNRELATED INFORMATION IS A WASTE OF SPACE
Your sexual preference nor religion will not help you to land a job. If before these are the things needed in our resume, companies have grown to be objective and will focus more on what you can bring to the company.
22. AVOID USING SLANG AND JARGONS
Avoid sending a resume with a handful of slang words for you’re a professional sending in an information about your skills and experience. But don’t go overboard with jargons for mostly likely someone from the HR Department isn’t familiar with your expertise.
23. DON’T GO ALL OUT WITH DESIGN
If you think that a fancy background or fonts would attract employers reading your resume- it might turn out the other way around. Keep it simple yet classy. There is some website like Canva who has resume templates you may edit and customize for yourself.
24. SALARY SHOULDN’T BE INCLUDED IN YOUR RESUME
A lot of people still commit this mistake. Yes, your resume is your branding but putting your desired salary bluntly can be a turn down to some employers.
25. LET OTHER CRITIQUE YOUR RESUME
Having a friend, a colleague or even someone you know familiar in the department read and review your resume give constructive criticism is a good thing. Any opinion and suggestions you may get from can help you to improve your resume for they are looking at this objectively and out of your shoes.
There will never be a shortcut on writing a comprehensive resume, it is not an easy as one would say. Putting effort and time on this craft is significant because it shows your enthusiasm, professionalism, and impression how you actually do your work.
You may have this thought that why make an effort into these things if they’re into just after the skills? Yes, they are into your skills and experiences, but who would want to hire someone who has this thought that ‘I’m just here to do my craft, that’s it.’ It’s quite hard to find group of talented individuals who doesn’t only have a good set of skills to provide for the company, but has also a good heart and passion to strive more not only for career growth, but for the company’s welfare as well.