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Whether you’re a college graduate looking for a break or a seasoned professional - you need to create your resume the right way to get your desired job.
It's an open secret that recruiters spend on an average 7.4 seconds to review a resume. So it needs to be strong and eye-catching to capture the attention of the recruiter and help you get called for an interview.
In this guide we will tell you everything you need to know to write a stellar resume in 2023.
What is a Resume?
Simply put, a resume is a formal and official presentation of an applicant's work experience and education, and his/her definite skills. A resume is therefore a one or two-page document to summarize your qualifications for your target job profile.
A resume purposely provides a summary of your skills, abilities and accomplishments. It is a brief of who you are with respect to your interests and experiences. A good resume gets you an interview.
Since your resume is a primary tool in your job search, it needs to be carefully written and critiqued. This article is designed to guide you through the process.
What is The Difference Between a Resume and CV?
The three major differences between CVs and resumes are:
- the length,
- the purpose, and
- the layout
A resume is a brief summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages, a CV is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages. The resume will be tailored to each position whereas the CV will stay put and any changes will be in the cover letter.
A CV has a clear chronological order listing the whole career of the individual whereas a resume’s information can be shuffled around to best suit the applicant.
The main difference between a resume and a CV is that a CV is intended to be a full record of your career history and a resume is a brief, targeted list of skills and achievements.
Check out our article on differences between a CV and a Resume for a better understanding of the differences between the two.
Sections in a Resume
Broadly speaking, the content in your resume is spread across the following sections:
- Contact information
- Resume Header
- Professional Summary/Resume Objective
- Key Skills
- Professional Experience
- Additional Sections - Volunteer Experience, Extra-curricular Experience Training, etc.
Also Read: What are the different sections to add to a resume?.
How to Pick the Correct Resume Format in 2023?
The first step in creating a resume is to decide which format to use.
There are three types of resume formats:
The choice depends on the type of job you are applying for and your level of experience.
1. Reverse Chronological Resume Format
This is the most common type of resume format. It lists your work experience in reverse chronological order – with your most recent job first and your oldest job last.
This type of resume works well for applicants who have been working for many years in the same field, as it provides a clear history of their career progression over time.
2. Functional/Skills-Based Resume Format
The functional/skills-based resume is similar to the chronological format except that it focuses on your skills rather than work history.
This type of resume should be used by candidates who have gaps in their employment history, or who are making a career change into an unrelated field.
With this type of CV template, you would simply list all relevant skills at the top instead of past jobs or education history.
3. Combination Resume Format
The combination resume format combines elements of both chronological and functional formats. It might include a brief section highlighting relevant skills and experience, followed by a chronological list of previous positions.
Also Read: What format to use in a resume in 2023?.
Best Resume Design Tips
The first thing a recruiter notices is your resume design.
So, if it's boring, it may get rejected.
Here are best resume design tips for you:
- Make sure to keep the resume length in 1 page. If you have extensive experience, then only you can go for 2-page resume. But never go more than 2 page.
- Make sure to keep the font size between 10-12 points
- Use professional fonts such as "Ariel", "Times New Roman", or "Calibri" to write the resume.
- Use Ample white-space on the resume to keep it readable.
- Keep 1-inch margin on all sides of the resume
- Save your resume in PDF format. If you send the resume to a recruiter in word format, it may mess up the formatting of the resume.
How to Create a Header Section For a Resume?
Your resume header is the top-most component in your resume.
It is important that you pay extra attention to your resume header as it will help you stand out among other applicants.
Tips to create a resume header:
- Do not write 'CV' or 'Resume' on the resume header.
- Write your full name on the resume header.
- Give a single space between your first name and last name
- Keep the heading size in 16-20 font size.
- Write the initials of the middle name. For example, if your name is John Lee Cooper, you can write the name in "John L. Cooper"
Example of resume header
Also Read: How to write a resume header in 2023?
Contact Information on Resume
Your contact information is the most important section in your resume. It’s the first thing that an HR manager sees when they review your application, and it’s what they will use to get in touch with you if they want to schedule an interview or ask questions.
Here are the items that should be included in this section:
- Phone Number.
- Email Address.
- LinkedIn URL
- Social Media Link
- Website/Blog Link
Phone Number in Resume
Here are some tips to add phone number in resume:
- Write the ISD code of your country in front of the phone number
- Use a Plus sign (+) before the ISD code
- Give a space between the number to improve readability.
- Eg: +1 33242 19981
Email Address in Resume
Here are some tips to write the email address in resume:
- Use a professional looking email address to add in the contact information section in the resume.
- Eg: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Don't do this: email@example.com
- As long as your email ID has your full name, you're good
Location in Resume
Here are some tips to add your location in resume:
- Don't write your full address in the location section in resume
- If the job you're applying is in the same country, write location in "City, State Code" format
- If the job you're applying is in another country, write location in "City, Country Code" format
If you have an updated and optimized LinkedIn profile, make sure to add a link in the resume contact information section
Social Media URL
If you have a good social following, or you post content on relevant subject, you can add it in your resume contact information section
Example of resume personal information section
Also Read: How to write the contact information in resume in 2023?
How to Add Summary or Objective for a Resume?
A good resume summary or objective will leave a lasting impression on the hiring manager who's scanning your resume. A bad one, however, could lead to your resume being thrown out without a second glance.
That's because HR managers spend around six seconds scanning each resume — unless you manage to leave an amazing first impression. The way you accomplish this is through either a good resume summary or objective. Both are placed at the top of your resume, right after the contact information section:
- A resume summary is a short paragraph that highlights the most important aspects of your professional experience and skillset.
- It should be no more than 2-3 sentences long and should focus on the value you bring to an employer (i.e., what makes you different from other candidates).
- Your resume summary should also include any industry-specific keywords that will help hiring managers find your resume in applicant tracking systems (ATS).
- You only write the resume summary if you have 3+ years of experience.
- A objective statement is for professionals who have less than 3 years of experience, or freshers.
- It focuses on why you want this job instead of what you offer as an employee.
- It also highlight your core values as they relate to that role
Example of Resume Summary/Objective:
Also Read: Guide to writing a killer Resume Objective section in 2023?
Key Skills Section of Resume
One of the most important sections of your resume is the "Skills" section.
Here, you want to list all your core and technical skills that makes you the perfect candidate for the job.
You should include a list of five or six skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for and describe how they will help you excel in this role.
For example, if you’re applying for a customer service position and have excellent communication skills, it would be great to have a list of the following key skills:
- Customer Service
- Interpersonal Skills
- Issue Resolution
- Escalation Management
- Call Management, etc.
Where to Add the Key Skills in Resume?
When it comes to including important skills on your resume, we recommend that you spread them throughout the document - provided you can validate them of course.
The most important place to include this is in the heading of your resume, which should, when possible, include the most relevant keyword as a professional title.
In general, there are three main ways to include skills in your resume:
- In a separate "Key Skills" section after the summary of your resume
- as bullet points under each position you've held (if using a chronological resume format)
- In your heading as the professional title
Example of Resume Key Skills
Also Read: How to write the key skills section of a resume in 2023?
How to Write the Work Experience Section in Resume?
The most important part of your resume is your work experience. If you don't have any, or if your current job doesn't reflect the type of position you're applying for, then you need to do some serious digging.
If you do have a solid work history, then congratulations! You're well on your way to getting that dream job. But before we dive into all the nits and grits, let's start with the basics:
Given below is the standard format of the work experience section of a resume:
- Job Title: It goes on top of each work experience entry.
- Company Name / Location: Here, mention the name of the employer and the work location.
- Dates: Add the dates of your service, as in, start date and end date in the work experience section in MM-YYYY format
- Job Responsibilities: Add your job responsibilities in the section as well in bullet formats
Tips to Write the Work Experience Section in Resume
- Always write the work experience section in reverse-chronological format
- Write all your responsibilities in a single-line bullet points
- Start all the bullet points with a power verb
- Bold important terms and statistics to maximize the impact
- Mane a action-result relation when writing the bullet points in resume
How Much Work Experience do You Include in a Resume?
If you’ve got an extensive work experience, you’re probably confused about
how to add that effectively in your resume.Because, if you write everything, it may become a 3-4 page resume.That can actually hurt your chances of getting the job.
The key is to focus on what matters most for the position you want — and that means including only relevant information about your past positions.
Here are some tips for deciding what to include:
- Candidate With No Experience: For freshers, it;s understandable that they don't have an work experience. You can completely remove this sections and instead add internships, volunteer experience and extra-curricular activities in resume.
- Entry Level Professionals: You can list all your work experience in the work experience section
- Mid-level professionals: Add only your relevant work experience in the resume
- Senior professionals: List the recent 10-12 years of relevant work experience in the resume. After that you can mention your work experience in the resume, but no need to explain.
Example of Resume Work Experience:
Also Read: How to write the work experience section of a resume in 2023?
How to Write Education Section In Resume?
The education section is easily one of the most important parts of your resume, so make sure you format it correctly.
Here's some advice on what elements to add on the education section in a resume:
- Name of the Degree. E.g.: “Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science”
- Name of the University. E.g.: “New York State University”
- Year of Degree. E.g.: “08/2008 - 06/2012”
- GPA, only if it's greater than 3.5
- Honors (Optional).E.g.: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude.
- Academic achievements (Optional).
Example of Resume Educations Section:
Also Read: How to write the education section of a resume in 2023?
How to Add Certifications in Resume?
If you are looking for a job that requires certification, then make sure you include certifications in your resume.
This section should include any certifications that may help you get the job. It demonstrates your qualifications outside of your core-education experience and is thus seen as a positive attribute by recruiters.
Given below is a list of elements you need to add in the certification section in resume:
- Name of the certification
- Name of the certification issuing body
- Location of the certifying body
- Enrollment and completion date in a month and year format
Example of Resume Certification Section:
How to Add Additional Experiences in Resume?
You can add additional sections on your resume if you have some space left after adding all the essential sections on your resume.
1. Volunteering Experience:
If you've volunteered for any group or organization, list it in your resume. Volunteering shows that you're not only willing to work hard, but also care about others. This is one of the things employers look for in potential employees.
2. Hobbies & Interests:
Mentioning your hobbies and interests on a resume shows that you are well-rounded and have a variety of interests. They also help employers see who you really are as a person and how they might relate to you in the workplace. You can include hobbies such as cooking or sports under this section. The same goes for other interests like photography or travel.
If you've published articles online or in print, list those publications on your resume under publications so employers know what kind of writer they're hiring!
To sum up:
- Your resume should be tailored to the job you're applying
- It should look good, else the recruiters will ignore the resume
- The resume should include all relevant information. It shouldn't feel incomplete
- You need to add accurate details in the resume.
- Start all bullet points in resume with power verbs
- Keep a 1-inch margin on all sides of the resume.
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