How do I start? The most difficult thing is to…
Are you looking for your dream job but still haven’t had any luck on your side? Maybe your resume needs a little boost! After all, in the hands of a recruiter, your resume is what speaks for you. Do you know how to write a resume and get your dream job?
You have to imagine yourself as a product that you wish the recruiter to buy and your resume as an advertisement. Try and put yourself in their shoes. If you were the employer, what would the best candidate’s resume be like? Read on and find out how to write a perfect resume to land a perfect job!
The Ultimate Guide on How to Write a Resume and Get Your Dream Job
Ask yourself some questions before you start writing your resume
And answer them, of course. The most important questions are: What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? And how do these fit (or don’t fit) the job I am planning to apply for? Write these down and stick to them.
You should have it cleared up what type of job you are applying for. In other words, what sort of an impression do you want to, or should make on the recruiter? Is it a position where you can go a little crazy and send a creative resume? Or is it a corporate, “white collar” kind of job where is best to stay firmly on the ground?
Know everything about the job
Collecting as much info about the company and the position as possible is important for you to understand who they are looking for and whether you might be the right candidate for the job. This will also help you to imagine how to write a resume that fits company culture.
Carefully review the job offer and find the keywords. What’s this good for? Many companies get dozens of resumes daily and in order to save time they run all the resumes they get through a keyword identifying system. If a resume doesn’t contain the words the company is looking for, your resume is likely to end up in a trash immediately. Say you’re applying for a position that requires leading a team. Except the obvious keywords TEAM and LEADER, other words associating with this kind of job might be: communication, management, supervise, or people. You have to foresee what skills and experience are relevant and appealing to the person who wants to hire you.
In your resume, you have to show that you have the very skills the right man for the job is supposed to have. You can either use the same words as were used in the job offer or find out what are the most common traits desired in the candidate for the position you’re applying for. Don’t use synonyms! If the job requires a particular skill, say, attention to detail, let the recruiter know you are attentive to detail (of course, only in the case you truly are). After all, you want to be the guy they are looking for.
Choose a resume format and style
Picking the right format and style for your resume depends on two things: what job position you are applying for and what amount of experience you have. This will also help you imagine how to write a resume that fits your needs. There are three basic resume formats:
- Reverse-Chronological format
You can apply this resume format for almost all job positions. In this format, you list your work experience from the most recent ones to the oldest.
The reverse-chronological format is great if you’re looking for a job in the same field or industry as your previous jobs. This type of resume clearly shows your employment path.
This format is also suitable for students or fresh graduates because it’s perfect for listing your education info.
- Functional format
This resume format works best if you’re applying for senior positions. In a functional resume, you list the most relevant skills and knowledge at the beginning, regardless of time frame. Use this format if the job you’re applying for requires specific experience, set of skills or if it’s necessary to write a detailed list of your achievements in your previous job.
Also, we recommend using this format if you had several gaps in your employment history or if you were changing jobs too frequently.
- Combination/Custom format
You can also choose to use the combination of the previous two formats. Typically, you would start with listing your specific skills and knowledge (functional format) which will then be followed by a reverse-chronological list of your work experience or education. This format is great for highly experienced job seekers who have loads of knowledge and skills to showcase in one resume.
For creative jobs, feel free to use any custom format you like. There are no rules for crazy, creative resumes.
Still not sure how to write a resume? Here is a little cheat sheet with 10 quick resume tips:
- Your resume is not a confessional. Stick to the most relevant and marketable info about you. You can find great resume templates here.
- 6 seconds rule. On average, your resume will get read (or, rather, run through) in about 6 seconds. Keep this in mind and make sure you can convey the most important info about yourself in this time.
- Be honest. It is allowed to embellish a bit but don’t lie because the truth will out! If your only PhotoShop skill is retouching wrinkles or yellow teeth on your holiday photos, you’re not exactly a Photoshop master. Don’t play at something you aren’t.
- Scrap the useless stuff. If you had a French class in high school 7 years ago and the only thing you remember is je m’appelle Nick, you don’t really speak French. And including any language at level A1 on your resume is pretty pointless.
- Don’t describe your previous jobs too eagerly. Don’t turn your work experience into a list of all the things you did there. Rather, state only two or three major duties. Write your achievements and tasks you were particularly excellent at!
- Show yourself in the best light. And we mean literally. If you’re attaching your photograph with your resume, be sure it’s one that does you justice. Pick a photo that’s appropriate to the position you’re applying for. No overjoyed faces, but no criminal stock style photos either! And no selfies!
- Multiple resumes. When you’re searching for a job, you’d better create several different resumes, fit to respective job offers or positions. Or if you’re applying for similar positions, you can have just one, but we advise you to customize it for each company and for each position.
- Keep it simple. Being creative definitely pays off sometimes, but don’t overdo it. You don’t have to use ten different fonts and fifteen different colors. Online resume builder can help.
- Don’t be a cliché. Phrases like: I’m creative, flexible, communicative, proactive with a can-do attitude are getting a bit old. Don’t get too vague. Tell who you really are.
- Volunteering rocks. If you’ve ever been a volunteer for a cause you care about, definitely state it on your resume. Recruiters love volunteers! It says you’re willing to give your time for no reward which makes you look diligent and a diligent employee means a good employee.
+ Bonus tip: This one’s pretty obvious but we simply can’t emphasize it enough: Double check your grammar and spelling. An error-free resume is a must!
+ Resume samples: Still not sure how to write a resume? Check our resume samples >>
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