Starting a resume is as simple as smiling into the mirror, but almost as hard as smiling every day.
As per the findings of an internal research done by experts at Hiration, here’s what employers want to see at the top of resumes:
- Summary statement: ~86%
- Objective statement: ~35%
- Customized for their open position: ~62%
- Links to the applicant’s online portfolio, blog or website: ~40%
What is a resume?
The term resume is a French word that means "a summary." That is exactly what your resume does. It summarizes your qualifications, unique skills, and achievements.
It represents you to your future employer showcasing your past experiences with details of your skills and training, work experience, and accomplishments you have had with past employers, and education.
Why do you need a resume?
Today, the resume has become of primary importance to potential employers. Before taking the time to interview you, an employer would like to meet you on paper. How you write your resume is how you impress that employer.
Without a resume, you cannot compete. A superior resume will quickly eliminate you. Hence it is imperative to have a resume that effectively lets employers know what you can do for them.
It should also concisely inform the employer of your career objective and the benefits you will bring to the table.
A resume essentially looks like this when you have made it.
However, to reach the concise model you must proceed in a few specific steps. Let us discuss further.
How to Start a Resume
Apart from being yourself and focusing on value, you need to know how to streamline your experiences one step at a time.
Open the Original Job Description
Both your job description and your experience decide how to start a resume. It determines which resume starter keywords will be important and whether you should write an objective section or a summary section.
In fact, the job description gives you a fair idea of what your recruiter is looking for. It describes how your experiences count and whether your education section will make a difference or it won't.
The instructions provided in the job description are always necessary to start writing your resume and cover letter.
Prepare a Master Resume
Before customizing your resume for each application, we recommend compiling a Master CV that includes, quite literally, everything.
The Master CV could be several pages long. The idea behind this is to have a comprehensive record of all your activities, experiences, and accomplishments.
A Master CV will save you enough time. Rather than creating multiple renditions of your resume from scratch, you can optimize your resume based on your job description and your existing points.
Further, this document will jog your memory regarding what all you have done throughout your life.
Your Master Resume should include all information about your past work experiences, duties, and achievements, along with:
- Volunteer Activities
- Extracurricular Activities
- Publications and Presentations
- Honors, Awards, and Achievements
- Certifications and Training
... and anything else that could be significant in getting yourself a job.
How to Start a Resume Outline
After preparing the Master Resume, first, let's look at how to start a resume outline. Before you start writing your resume outline, keep the following tips in mind to ensure your resume outline is tailored for each application:
- Read the target job description carefully and research the organization to identify the significant parameters and key skills.
- Use targeted headings which direct to the main requirements of the position.
- Include an additional section for key achievements during your work profile.
- Make sure the order of your sections ensues the most important experiences to appear early.
Your resume outline is your first draft. It assists the person in more ways.
- It makes sure that you have included all key sections.
- It gives you a rough idea of your resume structure.
- It enhances the efficiency of your resume.
On average, each resume is scanned by the recruiter for 6 seconds. So, here the resume outline plays a crucial role in giving the recruiter a brief about your resume and you.
Choose the Perfect Font
You should make a resume that stands out from other resumes for the right reasons. To use it as a marketing tool for the recruiter, it should represent your professionalism.
Professionalism does not include the tricks for artistic expression.
First, say goodbye to cartoon fonts. Do not use Comic Sans. It is almost ridiculous. Nobody takes that font seriously.
On average, the recruiter spends 6 seconds over a resume. So you have to make it count. That is not going to happen with sloppy or unprofessional fonts.
Anyone with basic style or design skills can know that there are many fonts from which one can choose from. Choosing the right one can, therefore, be difficult.
There are two types of font:
Serif fonts are those with decorative markings and style. They are traditional, authoritative, and reliable.
Some serif fonts include Times New Roman, Bookman Old Style, Bodoni MT, Bell MT, Calibri, Goudy Old Style, Cambria, Georgia, and Garamond.
San-serif fonts are simpler fonts with no-frills. They are characterized as objective, universal, clean, and stable.
San-serif fonts include Century Gothic, Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Lucida Sans, Gill Sans MT, Tahoma, Helvetica, and Arial.
The things you must consider while selecting fonts are:
First, it doesn't matter which font you use, you must consider legibility. The typeface you choose must be easy to read and show up well in print and on-screen.
Secondly, every recruiter doesn't have the same operating systems. So different or newfangled fonts might look good on one system and might not show up or show as absolutely ridiculous on another.
Finally, in today's job portals, resumes are first passed through an Applicant Tracking Software. Any font that is illegible with the software will be automatically rejected.
It is up to you which font works best for your profile. Experts at Hiration suggest keeping it simple and going with Calibri or Helvetica. It is the perfect display of style and clarity.
HIRATION PRO TIP: Times New Roman have been a tried and tested choice for job seekers. However, we recommend you to use some other font as it is extremely overused.
Choose the Perfect Format
There are three standard modes of formatting your resume.
1. Reverse Chronological Resume Format
Generally, people use the reverse chronological resume format. In reverse chronological format, your most recent or former job is written first and traces back to your initial years to your education.
It is easy for employers to quickly scan what job positions you have served and for how long you have had served them. It may also include other sections such as technical skills, education, and certifications.
For applicants with extensive work history, this format is perfectly suitable to highlight their experience.
2. Functional Resume Format
Functional resumes emphasize on skills and professional experience.
However, in the functional format, the reverse-chronological work history is not evident. Therefore, it is perfectly suitable for those people who are looking for a career change or have gaps between their work history.
This happens by focusing on capabilities and skills. The functional resume format emphasizes your skills and demonstrates your capabilities rather than your responsibilities.
This type of format is perfectly suitable for those who are applying for a job that demands certain specific traits or skills.
3. Combination Resume
This type of resume is a combination of functional and reverse chronological resume formats.
In this format, your skills and professional experience are written in reverse chronological order.
The combination resume highlights your relevant skills as well as provides your recruiter with the reverse chronological order of the jobs you have served in the past.
The first half of the combination format is derived from the functional resume format in which things like, skills, qualifications, and achievements are highlighted. The second half is derived from the reverse chronological resume format for the timeline.
The combination format is most useful for applicants who want to showcase their skills as well as their professional work history. This format gives you space if you are looking for a career change or to explain the gaps between your work history.
Research & Groundwork
First, start Writing the Experience Section. This section is to list the responsibilities you performed and the accomplishments. Also, quantify your accomplishments. Write only those duties and accomplishments which are relevant to the target profile.
Once you have your work history you have a fair idea of not only what you did but also who and how long you've worked for. Including the titles you held before the one-line bullet points of responsibilities or duties ensures you have the transparent knowledge to understand your potential.
Secondly, write your Education Section. Write the educational information in the following format to leave an impact on the recruiter.
- University/school name, location and dates (in mm/yy-mm/yy) format of enrolling and graduating from
- Degree acquired
This encompasses your idea of how well your curricular scope is.
Thirdly, write your Skills Section. After bolding and bucketing, find the highlighted words. These are your skills. Although the skills section consumes a major portion in your resume, it has a great impact, especially while you start writing your introductions.
This section involves a quick explanation of the skills you have exhibited across your resume work experience. You can include things like soft skills, language skills, technical skills, computer skills, etc.
Check out our best examples of skills you can on a resume on our website.
Key Sections of a Resume
Why to Write a Resume Summary/Objective Section
The Resume starter introduction does the following things:
1) Quickly Articulates your Value
To convince your recruiter to hire you in 5 lines, you need to think about what would you write as this is the aim of a summary. Recruiters usually read the three to five sentences to know if you’re eligible for the job before spending time on your resume.
The summary statement acts as a short yet powerful description of your skills and achievements spanning 4-5 sentences. Your summary is personalized to the important aspects of your profile.
Recruiters first see the things that are at the top so it is important to prioritize your resume summary.
Write the most valuable information that highlights how you stand apart from the other eligible applicants. The objective of the resume summary is to make the recruiters want to read your resume further.
The following example briefs you on how to start a resume summary which involves a cohesive structure of all skills.
2) Makes you stand apart from other applicants
Your application for a job will probably be under a long pile yet to be reviewed. It is, therefore, important that you stand apart from other applicants.
By going through your education/ professional experiences, your recruiter might find it difficult to determine how you are different from the other candidates.
Make your experiences and skills evident in an executive summary or profile.
3) To summarize all the important points
Your proven track record of success with regards to values is pursued best in your resume summary.
Your resume not only just highlights your skills but also the summary gives across the message that you are a good communicator.
Most jobs need one to simplify complex concepts similarly your summary will showcase how you can demonstrate your skills and work experience in 3-4 lines.
The summary is your most valuable resume real estate. It is your best chance to position yourself as an obvious fit for your target role in the industry. Make the most of your executive summary.
The following is an example of how to start a resume for different job positions.
How to Start a Resume Introduction
Your introduction makes a whole lot of difference between getting an interview and elimination. So make your choice carefully.
You can start writing a resume in three different ways. Opt for the one that best suits the profile you're going for.
1. Objective Section
The objective section is best for those who are students or recent graduates with no experience.
It comprises around four sentences targeting a specific position and addresses the requirements given by the recruiter in the job description.
The best way to start writing a resume is by including a career objective section in case you do not have relevant experiences for the position.
It highlights the necessary aspects of your work ethic, character, and personality. They show that you would be well suitable for the job.
2. Qualifications summary section
The qualifications summary benefits experienced candidates who are applying for jobs in any industry. It's written in 5 or 6 points in a small paragraph right after your title.
The qualifications summary demonstrates your proficiency and achievements which correspond to the requirements mentioned in the job description. It also focuses on achievements from work and academia.
The summary is longer than a career objective and acts as a resume summary well suited for applicants applying for a job in different industries and stresses the skills and professional experience the most.
3. Professional experience summary
If you are applying for a job in a similar profile or industry then write a combination of qualification and summary in your objective section.
Specially designed for entry-level employees, the professional profile is the most used style of introduction. You can also write it in a paragraph form or as one-line bullet points.
A professional profile is especially important if you are applying to an industry job from academia. Many jobs list industry experience but recruiters ultimately consider applicants without it. Leading with an executive summary gives you time to persuade a recruiter you're worth considering, rather than emphasizing the fact you are fresh out of academia.
If you have relevant work experience then you can also mold it to highlight your strengths.
Using our online resume builder is the best way to start writing a professional resume that will demonstrate your strengths. However, you don't have to start writing a new resume every time you apply for a job. Instead, you can use pre-designed templates to make your resume.
How to Start a Resume Summary & Key Skills
Your resume summary and key skills should resonate with the proceeding profile. You should not ideally include key skills or keywords in your skills and summary which you haven't used in your experiences sections.
Therefore, experts suggest you write the experiences and bucket your responsibilities and accomplishments before you write the sections.
You should write your summary and key skills section at the end lest you add less or extra information about your words.
How to Start a Resume Summary of a Business Analyst
Dynamic and result-oriented Business Analyst adept at deploying analytical and database tools to scrutinize business operations across multiple sectors & deliver client-centric solutions. Highly skilled in identifying and fulfilling client requirements within the framework of organizational work processes. Employs effective data analysis techniques to form a support system for decision-making by senior management. Adept at preparing relevant reports to direct knowledge-transfer & ensure adherence to organizational processes. Proven track record in formulating process enhancements to deliver bottom-line profitability.
|Systems Integration||Data Analysis & Forecasting|
|Delivering Presentations||Business and Industrial Research|
|Quality Assurance||Orientation & Training|
|Business Communication||Financial Modeling & Analytics|
How to Start a Resume Summary for Senior Level Professional (General Manager)
20 years experienced, value-driven & result-oriented Top-level Management Professional & Port/Shipping Specialist with a track record of spearheading teams to champion operations management for inbound/outbound cargo across international trade lines. Highly skilled in conducting audits and directing quality assurance initiatives for achieving business objectives. Proficient in conceptualizing cost optimization measures and enhancing utilization of resources for delivering compelling business value to key stakeholders.
How to Start a Resume Heading Statement
If you have followed the instructions, you are almost done with the whole resume. Finish writing the resume by touching the points up with other important guidelines. You may find these guidelines specific to your need on our resume writing blog.
Your heading statement will be the first thing recruiters start reading. It is the first impression. So you may leave it till the end. A few excellent examples of such statements are:
8+ years experienced & result oriented Software Engineer skilled in leading the development of multiple commercially successful products from scratch, with active involvement throughout the development life cycle.
6+ years experienced and result-oriented Finance Professional skilled in finance, P&L management, financial policy, and receivables/payables management for different industries.
21+ years experienced & result oriented Business Development Leader with the ability to set up new businesses, conduct sales & business development, manage client relationships & lead teams.
Experienced & result oriented Marketing Expert skilled at marketing, communications, branding, campaign management, campaign analysis, and team management.
Result oriented and dedicated Supply Chain Manager with a total work experience of 7+ years in managing supply chains.
The heading statement is an intro for a resume. The resume summary or resume objective usually follows this statement.
How not to start a Resume?
Attempting the multipurpose approach
If you start writing a generic resume that you send to all advertised vacancies then you always end up with a huge chance to be tossed in the bin. Your lack of effort is evident in your disinterest in a particular company.
Employers expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in their organization.
Establishing what you want to gain from the job.
Your focus should be on what you can provide to the employer. Here’s what to include in a resume summary statement.
Since summaries are written at the top of the resume it takes up a crucial spot and space of the resume, so it is best to only write about the important things like your skills and proficiencies as you can write about yourself in the cover letter as well.
Candidates claim to be former CEOs, to have won the Nobel Prize, and to have attended colleges that do not exist. These lies are sometimes misguided attempts to compensate for lacking the necessary qualifications for the job.
However, candidates should only concentrate on the skills they can offer.
Candidates who meet three out of five key qualifications for a specific role are prospective of being called for an interview. So, you may not have to add too many false details next time.
Your resume format is as important as its content. The best format is one that makes it easiest for the hiring manager to scan your resume and be able to pick out your key qualifications and career goals.
So, pick a format and stick with it. For example, if you start writing the month and year for the dates, then use the same format throughout the rest of your resume.
Starting phrases with I
Follow two simple instructions:
Do not write your resume in the third person.
Do not include pronouns while writing it in the first person.
- Open the Original Job Description
- Prepare a Resume Outline that Suits your Content
- Choose the Perfect Font that Suits your Style
- Choose the Perfect Format that Suits your History
Secondly, research about your target job description. Analyze the keywords you can use and then start writing your resume summary/objective. Note that they serve the following common purposes:
- Quickly Articulates your Value
- Makes you Stand Out from the Crowd
- Summarizes all the Important Points
Thirdly, you should know the difference between a career objective and a resume statement.
The resume objective statement represents your ambitious side and talks about your expectations. It is important for a candidate who is about to join the industry to include an objective statement.
A resume summary statement represents your qualifications summary. It talks about everything you have done to date in a concise format. Therefore it is preferred by experienced professionals.
Do not start writing your resume in the following ways:
- Attempting the Multipurpose Approach
- Establishing What you Want to Gain from the Job
- Blatant Lies
- Inconsistent Formatting
- Starting Phrases with "I"
- Writing the Resume Summary & Key Skills first