Your resume is the most important document you’ll submit in your job search. It’s your front-line fighter, so to speak, as it’s your first opportunity to present yourself to a potential employer.
Herein are the steps to prepare a strong resume :
Step 1: Choose the most suitable format
1) Reverse-chronological – The sequence for reverse-chronological format is in the order : Contact Information, Resume Objective, Work Experience, Additional Skills, Education, Accomplishments
2) Functional – The sequence for functional format is in the order : Contact Information, Resume Introduction, Work Experience, Relevant Skills Section, Education, Accomplishments
3) Combination – The sequence for combination format is in the order : Contact Information, Professional Profile, Work Experience, Skills Section, Education
Step 2: Arrange your contact information
Arrange your contact information in the sequence – Name, Mailing Address, Telephone Number, Email Address, Link to Online Portfolio, Linkedin Profile
Step 3: Write a winning resume introduction
You can use 4 types of resume introduction :
1) Resume objective : is a 2–3 sentence statement that provides an overview of your skills and experience. This intro is best for entry-level candidates.
2) Resume summary : Resume summaries (sometimes referred to as “professional summaries”) include four to five bulleted sentences that highlight your past achievements by using numbers.
3) Qualifications Summary : A summary of qualifications is a bullet-point list (ranging from 4 to 6 points) of your most outstanding career achievements.
4) Professional Profile : The resume profile is a combination of both the career objective and qualifications summary. It’s also the most flexible introduction type because it can be formatted as a short paragraph or bullet-point list.
Step 4: Highlight your relevant work experience
This section is the most essential part of a resume for people with any on-the-job experience. To create a logical and informative work experience section, list your relevant experience from most recent (at the top) to oldest (at the bottom). For each job title, create a heading including the company’s name, city and state, your title, and the dates of employment (month and year).
If you’re still currently working at a company, you can simply write “[month], [year]–present” for the employment dates.
Step 5: Create a clear education section
Having a clear education section helps you display the foundation of your knowledge and expertise to hiring managers, regardless of your background.
If you’re a college or high school student lacking professional experience, you can benefit from having a more filled-out education section. On the other hand, if you possess a wealth of professional experience, then it’s appropriate to keep this section short and sweet.
Step 6: Add hard and soft skills to your resume
Hiring managers are on the lookout for skilled individuals. While listing a heap of skills on your resume doesn’t actually prove you’re skilled, spreading your various capabilities throughout your resume will catch the eye of whoever is vetting your application.
Step 7: Tie in key certifications, awards, & honors
Step 8: Stylize your resume
Step 9: Write a matching cover letter
Your cover letter gives you a chance to connect with a hiring manager on a deeper level than your resume does, and together these two crucial documents work in tandem to get you satisfying work.
Step 10: Proofread your resume and finish strong
Once you’ve written your resume and cover letter, you’re in pretty good shape to send out that first application. Read it over several times yourself at different times of the day to be sure everything is looking sharp.