Resume Writing

A Beginner’s Guide to Writing a Resume in 2024


A good resume can make the difference between getting your dream job and settling for the fourth choice on your list. If you get your resume right, you will get an abundance of replies from the jobs you apply for.

A weak resume rarely catches the attention of hiring managers and recruiters. The reason why many job seekers have to watch from the sidelines for weeks and months is a faulty resume.

You are probably excited to start learning about how you can write a strong resume that gets the attention your skills deserve in this job market. We are happy to help you along and share our wisdom as certified professional resume writers!

In this article, we will teach you everything that you need to know about creating a winning resume for your job applications. This resume writing guide also includes:

  • 8 essential steps you should follow to write a resume
  • 10+ resume tips to improve the performance of your resume
  • 7 steps to write a strong cover letter for all your job applications

So, why wait any longer when you can start reading right away? Let’s dive in!

How to write a resume

We are going to start talking about how you should create your resume in detail in just a moment. Before we get there, here’s a brief explanation of the most important things that you should remember about resume writing:

  • Choose your resume format carefully. The reverse-chronological resume works best for 9 out of 10 scenarios.
  • Include accurate contact information. Your resume must tell potential employers how they can reach you. Omit the headshot and include your phone number, email address, and relevant links.
  • Write a strong summary statement. Every job seeker should write a summary statement for their resume to round up their best qualifications and achievements relevant to the job.
  • Tailor your work experience section. You can make a bigger impact with the work experience section of your resume when you customize it to the job you are applying for.
  • Include the right skills. Ensure that the skills section of your resume is tailored for the position by mentioning only the relevant hard and soft skills.
  • Briefly discuss your education. Only mention your most recent and highest degrees when creating the education section of your resume.
  • Add extra resume sections. Other than the five basic resume sections, there are many elements that you can add to your resume to improve the value of the document.
  • Write a cover letter. Create a matching cover letter to go with your resume so that your job application appears as a cohesive unit.

#1. Choose the right resume format

The first step to writing a resume is choosing the resume format. The resume format is what ensures that your resume will look good and be easy to read for a recruiter.

The visual appeal of your resume is important. After all, no hiring manager is going to look at a messy resume and decide that they are going to read it. The chances of you making a great first impression with the employer are higher when you select the right resume format.

First, let’s look at the different choices you have when it comes to resume formats.

There are three major types of resume formats that are widely accepted in the hiring world.

  • Reverse-chronological resume format – The reverse-chronological is the most popular resume format among job seekers and employers alike. Due to its popularity, it is also the best resume format for a wide range of candidates.
  • Functional resume format – The functional resume format is designed to give more focus to your skills than work experience. This is a great choice for you if you are just starting out in your career or are making a career shift.
  • Combination or hybrid resume format – The combination or hybrid resume format is what many job seekers swear by when they have a diverse range of skills and experience. Let’s say that you are applying for a job where you must showcase your experience in a diverse range. Then, the hybrid resume format should be your number one choice.

Not sure which resume format to select? In most cases, it will be best if you stick with the reverse-chronological resume format. It’s what a hiring manager expects to see when they open a resume. Also, it helps you narrate the story of your career advancement in a straightforward manner.

Adjust the layout of your resume

Now that we have covered the formatting of your resume, we should move on to discussing the resume layout. The layout decides the overall appearance of your resume.

Whether your resume looks organized or cluttered, too short or too long, or even boring or attractive depends on the layout you design. Always aim to keep your resume reader-friendly and attention-grabbing.

Let’s look at some resume writing best practices you should follow when creating your layout:

  • Keep it to one page – It is best to keep your resume contained within one page if you don’t have an extensive career. Only let your resume continue to a second or third page when you are sure that the additional pages add special value to your job application. Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes per job posting. They don’t want to spend hours getting through all five pages of your resume!
  • Use standard section headings – It’s important to break down your resume into basic sections to improve readability. Instead of going with multiple heading styles, you should select one style and stick with it.
  • Keep proper margins – You don’t want your resume to look overcrowded due to lack of white space. White space adds visual appeal to your resume. One of the basic methods of adding white space to the document is to create uniform margins around your resume. We find that a one-inch margin on all sides works best.
  • Go for professional fonts – Stick with one or two professional fonts when designing your resume. Using too many font variations will lower the professionalism of your resume. We recommend going for fonts that aren’t overused, such as Ubuntu, Robots, or Overpass.
  • Choose the right font size – Smaller font sizes will make your resume difficult to read. Larger font sizes will take up too much space on the document. We recommend going with 10-12 pt for general text on your resume and 14-16 for section headings.
  • Save it as a PDF – Since you are putting in a lot of work to perfect your resume, you don’t want the formatting to get all messed up when someone opens it on their computer. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to save and send your resume as a PDF. However, if your employer specifically asks for a different resume format, you should follow their instructions.

Another important thing to consider when selecting your resume layout is whether you are going for a traditional look or a modern feel. Job seekers who belong to formal industries such as legal, finance, and healthcare sectors should go for a traditional look. If you are applying for a company in tech, creative, publishing, or another innovative sector, you should consider a modern resume template.

Use a free resume template and save time

Crafting your resume template from scratch is bound to take up a few hours of your time. If you speak to anyone who has done the task before, they will tell you how extremely frustrating it can get.

There’s a lot more to creating a resume template than just filling in the information in the right sections. You have to tweak the margins, keep consistent formatting, adjust font sizes, and ensure that all the contents of your resume fit within the desired amount of pages.

What if we tell you that there is an easier way to have a stellar resume?

Consider trying an ATS-friendly resume template from the internet. Most of these resumes come pre-formatted so all you have to do is start filling in your info.

When you download a resume template from the internet, make sure that it is endorsed by a certified professional resume writer and aligns with ATS-friendly formatting standards. You don’t want to use a resume template that the bots can’t read and lose a valuable opportunity.

#2. Include your contact information

What use is a good resume if it doesn’t tell potential employers how they can reach you? Start adding information to your resume with the contact details.

This is the most straightforward section of your resume, but it contains a lot of crucial information. Include your contact information in a designated header at the beginning of your resume where it is easy to spot.

While resume writing keep in mind that a single spelling/typing mistake you make in the contact information can render your entire resume useless. If there is a typo in your phone number or email address, an interested employer may never be able to reach you.

This is why we advise our readers to double and triple-check their contact information on the resume before hitting “Send.”

What you should include in your resume’s contact information section

These are the elements that the contact information section of your resume must have:

  • Your full name – Mention your first and last name at the top of your resume. Use a standout font and a larger font size to make your name pop.
  • Email address – Use a professional email address for your job application. Avoid using your work emails or unprofessional email addresses.
  • Phone number – Include a reliable phone number for employers to reach you. If you are applying for a job internationally, include the international dialing code (+1) in front of your number.
  • Location – You should only display your city and state on your resume. There is no need to type down your entire address. If you plan to relocate, mentioning your target city will help you attract opportunities in the area.
  • Job title – Mention your target job title underneath your name on the resume. Stick to standard job titles instead of quirky phrases.
  • LinkedIn profile – Adding a link to your LinkedIn profile to your resume is the easiest way to direct employers to your online presence. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date.
  • Related links – We recommend including relevant links such as your personal blog, website, digital portfolio, or related social media channels in your resume. It helps broadcast your range as a professional.

What you should avoid mentioning in your resume’s contact information section

While you should be thorough when creating the contact information section of your resume, there is no need to bombard recruiters with unnecessary information. Here’s what you shouldn’t mention on your resume:

  • Date of birth – Hiring managers don’t need to know your birthday or your age for the hiring process. Including this information may lead to age discrimination.
  • Unprofessional email address – The funny email address you made in college does not cut it in the job market. Replace your unprofessional email address with a professional one that contains your first and last names.
  • Headshot – In the US, it isn’t necessary to include your headshot on a resume. In some countries, it is even illegal to add a snapshot to your resume. However, in certain parts of the world, a headshot is essential for a resume. If you are applying for a job in some European and Asian countries, you must add a picture to your resume.

This is what a well-written contact information section looks like (Resume Writing - Contact Section Example):

#3. Write a resume headline

Did you know that recruiters spend less than seven seconds scanning a resume?

Some hiring managers receive an average of 250 resumes for a job posting and don’t have the kind of time it takes to read every resume from start to finish.

That’s why many hiring managers have practiced scanning resumes within a short time. This helps them pick out important information from a resume to decide whether to give the candidate a chance.

So, how can you convince a hiring manager to read your whole resume? By crafting a compelling resume headline.

The resume headline is a short paragraph that summarizes the best-selling points of your career, usually placed underneath the contact information section of your resume. There are two types of widely used resume headlines: the summary and the objective.

Here’s a sample resume headline (Resume Writing - Headline Section Example):

What is a resume summary?

Your resume summary is a short 2-4 sentence account of your career. It highlights the best skills, achievements, and qualifications of your career related to the job you are applying for. As a rule of thumb, a resume summary contains:

  • Your job title
  • Years of experience
  • Your best professional achievements
  • Your biggest skills relevant to the job

Let’s look at a sample resume summary (Resume Writing - Summary Section Example):

What is a resume objective?

The resume objective is another popular type of resume headline. Job seekers use a resume objective to bring out their academic background, career goals, and related skills. However, in the modern job market, the resume objective is considered to be an outdated resume element. Therefore, we recommend that you stick with a resume summary statement.

Let’s look at a sample resume objective (Resume Writing - Objective Section Example):

#4. Highlight your work experience

Now, we get to the most important section of your resume: the work experience.

This is the best place in your resume to impress potential employers. Write a strong work experience section and you will sell your professional achievements and skills to an employer in a way that leaves a lasting impression.

This is also one of the most difficult resume sections to master, so you should take your time creating this section while resume writing.

Let’s start looking at your work experience section with the basics:

Important information you should include in the work experience section

There are several pieces of information that potential employers expect to see in the work experience section of your resume. We will discuss each in detail:

  • Job title – Mention your job title at the top of each work experience entry you make. This helps hiring managers immediately recognize that you have relevant experience to qualify for the job.
  • Company name – Next comes the name of your employer. This is a great place for you to do some name-dropping on your resume if you have worked for well-known employers in the industry.
  • Location and description – Mention the city and state of your employment right after the company name. If the company isn’t widely known in the industry, you can provide a brief description here.
  • Relevant dates – Provide an approximate timeframe of your employment for each entry you make. Take care to follow the same date format throughout your resume. Most job seekers go with the standard MM/YYYY or Month/YYYY formats.
  • Achievements – Now, you come to the best part of the job entry. You should describe your employment in relation to your professional achievements in the role. Use 3-6 bullet points to describe what you achieved in each role.

Here’s an excerpt from a resume that shows how you can create a job entry (Resume Writing - Experience Section Example):

You should list your work experience in the reverse chronological order on your resume. Then, your most recent work experience is listed first followed by your older experiences.

You know the basics of listing work experience on a resume now. So, let’s look at how you can bring out your expertise in a way that helps you stand out from the competition:

How to highlight achievements on your resume?

Your professional achievements are valuable for your resume. They are what sets you apart from a hundred other equally qualified job seekers. One of the biggest mistakes we see candidates make is listing only job duties and responsibilities in the work experience section.

Your resume will be reviewed initially by someone in the hiring industry. Therefore, they will almost always know what the responsibilities associated with a particular title are. You will be adding no real value to your resume by focusing on your duties.

Here’s what a well-written work experience entry looks like on a resume:

Consider the role of a sales manager. The job duties and responsibilities associated with the position are:

  • Reaching out to potential leads.
  • Building and maintaining relationships with the company clientele.
  • Generating revenue through new sales.

These are the job duties for all the other sales managers in the world. If you look at a hundred sales manager resumes 90 of them will mention these same duties.

So? How do you stand out from the competition? You focus on your professional achievements instead of basic job duties. Let’s compare the difference between the two on a resume:

However, in certain fields and professions, it is difficult to uncover achievements that you can mention on a resume. In such cases, it is okay to describe your contribution to past employers with your responsibilities. The following advice should help you add some shine to your resume, despite not having achievements to highlight.

Tailor your resume’s work experience section to the job

Did you know that tailored resumes receive several times more attention from employers than generic resumes?

When screening candidates for a job, hiring managers don’t want to read about every single job in their career histories. They only care about the relevant experience the job seeker has.

If you are applying for a middle management job at a finance firm, they definitely don’t want to read about your internship with the local manufacturing plant from seven years ago. They only care about the finance-related experience you have.

Whenever you write a resume, you should take care to include experience related to the position. To do this, you should first carefully scan the job description.

Let’s look at a basic job description:

We have highlighted five pieces of crucial information in this job description.

These are the keywords that a hiring manager will be looking for on your resume when you apply for the role. It is important that your resume shows how you meet each of these criteria to the employer.

There are several places on your resume where you can highlight these relevant qualifications:

  • On the Resume Summary statement.
  • In the Education section.
  • Through the Work Experience section.
  • On the Skills section.

Include the right kind of work experience in your resume

As we have said before, there is no need to mention your entire career history on the resume to impress a hiring manager. If you have over twenty years of experience in the workforce, you may struggle to condense it all into a one- or two-page resume. By eliminating the unrelated work experience, you can easily summarize your work history.

However, if you are new to the job market and have only a few jobs to show for experience, you can include all your experiences on your resume. Let’s look at how much work experience your resume should showcase based on your career level:

  • No experience – If you are a college grad applying for your first paid job, you may not have much experience to mention on your resume. You can still include your voluntary work and internships to add experience to your resume.
  • Entry-level – If you are an entry-level candidate, you will have a few years of experience. Then, you should include all your experience in your resume. While some jobs might be irrelevant to the new position, they will help bring out transferable skills on your resume.
  • Mid-level – Mid-level professionals have several years of experience in related roles. Hence, they can afford to pick and choose what goes on their resume. Only mention the jobs that are directly related to the job for which you are applying.
  • Senior-level – Since you have a plethora of work experience, you only need to mention the jobs within a 10-15-year window. Stick to jobs that are the most relevant to the role and the most recent. Avoid mentioning obsolete technologies or outdated experiences.

Keep the Applicant Tracking System in mind when writing your resume

Did you know that more than 70% of resumes aren’t even seen by a hiring manager? That’s right. They get rejected by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) before they even reach a human.

A majority of large and mid-scale employers get the help of ATSs to track and filter the job applications they receive. These ATSs can be trained to automatically filter resumes that don’t meet the specified criteria of the employer.

If your resume does not mention a particular skill that the employer demands, or if your resume does not have ATS-friendly formatting, you will be out of the competition without a doubt.

So how can you make sure that you get through the ATS? You can create an ATS-friendly resume from scratch. Or even easier, you can hire a resume writer from Resume Mansion to do the job for you!

Lucky for you, it’s not too difficult to create an ATS-friendly resume. Our resume writing experts share how you can get your resume past the bots:

  • Keep it short – Keep your resume between one and three pages for better results. If your resume is too long or too short, it will affect your chances negatively.
  • Add keywords – Incorporate keywords into every layer of your resume. No matter which qualification you are describing, take the time to narrate it using keywords used by the employer in the job description. Some important places to display keywords on your resume are the summary, skills section, education section, and work experience section.
  • Use active voice – Passive voice can be unclear and vague for the bots. Ensure that you write your resume in active voice.
  • Incorporate action verbs – Action verbs make your resume an interesting read. Avoid starting all the bullet points of your resume with “responsible for…” Instead, use a good variety of action verbs to start your bullet points and describe your achievements.

#5. Mention your education

Now, you can move on to describing your educational background to the employer. We will first look at the basics of creating an Education section for your resume.

What you should add to the education section of your resume

The entries you make within the Education section of your resume must have the following very important pieces of information:

  • Program name – Start each entry by listing the major and the type of degree that you completed. (For example, B.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering)
  • College name – Next, mention the name of the institution that awarded you the qualification. (Ex: University of North Texas)
  • Relevant dates – Like every other qualification on your resume, your educational qualifications too must carry important dates. Follow the MM/YYYY or Month/YYYY formats to list the dates.

Let’s look at a sample education section from a resume:

Now that you have mentioned the basic information about your educational qualifications, you can consider diving into detail. Here are some optional information that you can incorporate to each entry you make:

  • Location – You can include the location of your college if it is difficult for a recruiter to place it on the map. The city and state should suffice.
  • GPA – Only mention your GPA if it is higher than 3.5. If you are applying for a foreign job, you should use a grading system widely used in that area to describe your grades.
  • Honors – Honors and Distinctions you have earned during college make for valuable academic achievements. (For example, Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude)
  • Academic achievements - Academic achievements make your resume an interesting read for employers. Your publications, awards, important projects, and relevant coursework will belong here.
  • Minor – If you took any minors that are relevant to your target industry, you can add them to your Education section as well.

That’s the Education section of your resume in a nutshell. Let’s look at a sample Education section from a hypothetical resume:

This resume example carries it all, an attractive award, extracurricular activities, GPA, and the basic information about the candidate’s bachelor’s degree.

Tips to create an education section for your resume

Now that you have seen what a well-written education entry on your resume looks like, you can start creating your own descriptions for your resume. Here are a few tips that are sure to help you with the Education section of your resume:

  • Place the Education section toward the top of your resume if you are a recent grad or student who doesn’t have much paid work experience to show an employer.
  • If you are still getting your qualifications, you can mention the expected graduation dates on your resume.
  • If you are a mid-career or senior-level professional, you don’t need to go into too much detail in the Education section. Keep this section brief to draw more attention to your work experience.
  • Avoid mentioning lower-than-average grades in the Education section.
  • You can expand the Education section by mentioning awards, honors, GPA, projects, and relevant coursework if you are a recent grad.
  • List your educational qualifications on the resume in reverse chronological order, starting with your highest degree. If you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree that qualifies you for the job, you don’t need to mention high school qualifications on your resume.

#6. Showcase your skillset with a dedicated skills section

The Skills section is often the second most important section of your resume. Many hiring managers admit that they base hiring decisions on the work experience and skills sections in most cases.

You shouldn’t hold back when crafting the Skills section of your resume. There are two types of skills that you should include on your resume:

  • 1.Hard skills – These are the measurable skills and abilities you possess that qualify you to get the job done.
  • 2.Soft skills – Soft skills are also known as personal skills. These are a combination of communication skills, personal qualities, and career attributes that help job seekers work as a part of a team. Soft skills also include important things like leadership skills, time management, critical thinking, etc.

It’s important that your resume carries a good mix of both soft and hard skills. Let’s look at what a resume displaying soft and hard skills would look like for a digital marketer position:

Now that you know what your resume is supposed to look like with a dedicated Skills section, let’s look at how you can improve your skills section.

Here are a few great tips for you to follow for better results:

List hard skills and soft skills separately

Make it easier for a hiring manager to read and navigate your resume by listing your soft and hard skills separately. This way, the hiring manager would not have to struggle to look for a certain important skill on your resume.

Look at this sample from an architect’s resume to get an idea of how to separate soft and hard skills on a resume:

Customize your skills for the job

Even though you have a lot of skills that are important, not every skill in your skill set will be relevant or useful to the job at hand. Therefore, you should stick to the skills that the employer has requested in the job description.

For example, if you are applying for a job as a fashion cutter, your skills in coding don’t need to be highlighted in your resume.

Review the job description carefully and select the skills you have that align with the employer’s demands. These are the skills that should be displayed on your resume.

List your experience level with hard skills

Another way to make your resume stand out from the crowd is to mention the proficiency level for the hard skills that you add to your resume. This will help hiring managers understand your skill level and the amount of training you will require to qualify for the position.

So, how can you categorize hard skills?

  • Beginner – These are the skills that you have very little experience in, either from classroom activities or entry-level practice.
  • Intermediate – These are the skills that you have used in a work environment with a good understanding of the principles involved.
  • Advanced – These are the skills that you perform best at. You are confident enough to teach these skills to your coworkers and you understand the principles at a higher level.
  • Expert – These are the skills you have applied to a great number of projects. You provide advice to professionals in your office and industry on these skills.

One thing to keep in mind when listing your proficiency levels on a resume – never lie or embellish. Lying or exaggerating on the resume might get you through the doors, but you will be in for a lot of embarrassment if your tricks are exposed during a job interview.

Let’s look at a well-formatted skills section on a sample resume:

Include your transferable skills in the resume

Some skills are useful for any kind of job in the world, and we call them transferable skills.

Transferable skills can be soft skills or hard skills. If you are writing a resume for a career change, transferable skills are an essential component of your resume. In fact, most candidates will have nothing to list for skills on their career change resumes if not for transferable skills.

Here’s a list of transferable skills that will be valuable when you create a resume:

Hard skills

  • Graphic design
  • Data analysis
  • Coding
  • Digital marketing
  • Project management

Soft skills

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Adaptability
  • Critical thinking
  • Emotional intelligence

#7. Consider creating additional resume sections

So far, we have covered a bunch of basic sections that you must add to your resume. Every job seeker in the world will add these previously discussed sections to their resume.

So, how can you make your resume stand out among others? By including additional resume sections!

What are other sections that you can add to your resume?

While there is no limitation to the kind of sections you can add to your resume, we recommend the following sections:

Languages

Do you speak two languages? Or even more? Then, you are in for a treat in the job market! Did you know that some employers prefer to hire bi-lingual and multi-lingual candidates?

Even if the employer hasn’t listed language skills as an essential qualification for the job, knowing a second or third language is an advantage you will have over a majority of other candidates. It can even be one of the small points that tip the hiring decision in your favor.

Instead of just listing down the languages you speak, you can assign an appropriate level for each language as:

  • Native
  • Fluent
  • Proficient
  • Intermediate
  • Basic

Hobbies and Interests

The hobbies and interests section is a great place to add important keywords to your resume. In fact, if you lack in the work experience department, you can use this section to enhance job-related skills.

The hobbies and interests section may not be one of the more important resume sections, but it can surely improve the strength of your job application.

You can use interests such as chess to bring out your strategic thinking skills. If the employer is looking for a team player, you can add your team sports to the hobbies section.

This section can also pave the way for you to make an instant connection with your interviewer when you are facing a job interview!

However, you should avoid listing controversial and polarizing hobbies on your resume.

Volunteer work

Sometimes, employers are looking for a person who is in for the job for passion more than the money involved. Adding a voluntary work section to your resume is the best way to show employers that you enjoy giving back to the community.

It helps you flex your social responsibility awareness in front of potential employers and also helps bring out your personality through the resume.

If you have less work experience, emphasizing volunteer work on your resume is a good move. It will help you highlight job-related skills and experiences without a paid work section.

Here’s a sample voluntary work section from a resume:

Certifications

Continuing education and professional development are two things that many employers look for in candidates. What better way to showcase your commitment to improving yourself to employers than listing your professional development qualifications on your resume?

Create a dedicated Certifications and Licenses section for your resume. List the qualifications that you have gained through the years to teach yourself new skills and improve yourself.

Awards and Recognition

Your resume is not a place for you to understate yourself. In fact, your resume is the best place for you to do some humble bragging.

If you have received academic or professional awards, you can create a dedicated section to display them on your resume. Professional recognition by previous employers also makes valuable additions to your resume.

Publications

A dedicated Publications section would not go wrong for your resume whether you are applying for a writing position or creating an academic resume.

A Publications section is essential for any resume in academia, so keep that in mind when creating your academic resume. You can include your published work on your resume to stand out among the competition.

Follow the APA style when listing your publications on your resume. If your publications are digital, add a link to the resume to take interested employers to your published works.

Have a look at this Publications section from a sample resume:

Projects

Did you know that a Projects section will help you enhance your experience as well as skills on a resume?

Employers take working on side projects to be a sign of your commitment to your industry. Whether they are academic projects from your college days or pet projects from your leisure time, your relevant projects can help make your resume stand out.

Some projects will even help you enhance your entrepreneurial skills on your resume. If you manage an Etsy store to sell your handmade skincare products, or if you have successful profiles on micro job sites where you run side gigs, you can add them to your resume.

These projects can help emphasize important skills such as time management, organization, creativity, and customer service skills.

Extracurricular activities

Your extracurricular activities will be your friend when you write a college grad resume. Extracurricular activities will make a world of difference for your first job applications.

Show potential employers that you have a ton of experience outside of the classroom by talking about your extracurricular activities on your resume.

These can be things like being a contributing member of the student council, clubs and societies, college-level sports, etc.

Your involvement with student government organizations helps bring out leadership skills and teamwork while sports and clubs help you highlight collaboration skills.

The best resume tips for you

If you stayed tuned to this article so far, you know almost everything about writing a strong resume for your job application. Now, we will share some amazing resume tips from our certified professional resume writers to take your resume to the next level:

  1. List your target job title underneath your name on the resume. This helps hiring managers spot which job you are after.
  2. Highlight any promotions you have had in your career. You can group job titles within one organization to make the promotions stand out easily.
  3. Use a formula to write resume bullet points to describe achievements. There are several excellent formulae like CAR, PAR, STAR, etc.
  4. Use concise bullet points to talk about your professional achievements. This helps keep your resume reader-friendly.
  5. Avoid using personal pronouns when writing your resume. You should also not refer to yourself by name on the resume.
  6. Use standard headings to name resume sections. Creative titles will affect the ATS’s ability to understand the content of your resume.
  7. Prioritize important keywords when crafting your resume. Try to align your resume with the job description as much as possible.
  8. If you are writing a career change resume, focus on transferable skills. These skills will help you overcome the skills gap on paper.
  9. A pop of color will help give your resume some personality. However, take care not to overdo it, and stick to neutral shades.
  10. Avoid adding the clichéd “References available upon request” line to your resume. The hiring manager will request references when they are needed.
  11. Optimize your resume for mobile viewing. The best way to do this is to save and send your resume as a PDF file.
  12. Rename the resume file to include your name and the position for which you are applying. Avoid typing gibberish in place of the file name.
  13. Proofread your resume several times once you are done. This will help you get rid of any spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes you may have made.

What are the next steps after creating your resume?

We have covered all the ground about writing the perfect beginner resume. However, a resume is not the only thing your job application consists of.

You will need a compelling cover letter to go with your resume if you want to convince potential employers to meet you for an interview. Then, you must ace the said job interview to actually get a job offer.

Here’s how you can write an attractive cover letter

Every resume needs a loyal sidekick. So, why not give your resume the perfect partner by creating a compelling cover letter?

Writing a cover letter might not be your favorite thing to do on a sunny weekend, but it is a task that must be done.

A cover letter may feel tricky to get right when you first put your pen to paper, but it is a pretty straightforward task once you understand the purpose of writing the cover letter.

Consider your cover letter a chat that you are having with the hiring manager. This is the only chance you get to mention why you are the best person for the job. With our expert cover letter tips, you will soon be writing a letter that hiring managers just can’t get out of their heads.

Here’s what you need to include in your cover letter:

Steps to write a strong cover letter:

  • Add your contact details – You can match your cover letter to your resume by replicating the same header. Be sure to mention your name, target job title, and contact information.
  • Mention their contact info – It is customary to include the hiring manager’s name, job title, company name, and location at the beginning of your cover letter.
  • Give an introduction – Your cover letter should start with a strong introduction. We recommend mentioning who you are and explaining your background. You can highlight a few key achievements and skills here. If you have a referral, this is the place to mention it in your cover letter.
  • Highlight your achievements – Now, you get to the most important part of your cover letter. Highlight how you are passionate about the job and the employer. Use a few achievements and results from your career to show the employer why you are the perfect fit for the job.
  • Enhance cultural fit – Do some research on the employer to find out about the company culture. Write your cover letter in a way that shows how you fit right in with the company culture.
  • Conclude politely – Recap your biggest selling points with a short line or two and thank the hiring manager for taking the time to read your letter. Add a call to action and conclude your cover letter.
  • Add a closing line – The final step is to give your cover letter a formal closing. Be sure to add your name to the finishing line.

FAQs about Resume Writing

Do you still have a lot of leftover questions about writing a resume? Then, you are not alone. We have compiled answers for some of the most frequently asked questions about resume writing below for your perusal.

FAQ #1: Should I hire a resume writer?

Yes, hiring a resume writer is one of the best investments you can make for your career and your job search. For most job applications, you only get one brief chance to impress the hiring manager to get your foot through the door. Getting the help of a professional resume writer will certainly help you achieve your job search goals faster.

FAQ #2: Is it okay to have a two-page resume?

Yes. The one-page resume is a myth. There is no rule dictating that your resume must never be longer than one page. For some job seekers such as career changers and recent grads, a one-page resume will suffice. For most other job seekers, a two or three-page resume serves as an ideal tool.

FAQ #3: Should I use a simple resume template?

In most cases, yes. Simple resume templates are pleasing to the eye and easy to read. Most of the time, these resume templates are also ATS-friendly. Complicated resume layouts with multiple design features have a higher chance of getting rejected by the ATS.

FAQ #4: What are the things I shouldn’t mention on my resume?

Your personal information should not have a place on your resume. We recommend not including your birthday, age, full address, social security number, marital status, religion, political inclinations, sexual orientation, etc. on your resume. This personal information is unnecessary for a job application and may even open doors to discrimination.

FAQ #5: Should I write down my whole address on the resume?

Employers no longer contact you via snail mail to inquire about job interviews. You only need to mention your city and state when writing a resume today. If you are applying internationally, you will need to mention your country. When applying for remote positions, specify where you are working from.

FAQ #6: Which jobs should I add to my resume?

As a rule of thumb, you should only include the jobs within the last 15-year window on your resume. Only mention the jobs that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. If your older jobs involve outdated technology and obsolete skills, you can simply mention them in a separate “Early Experience” section on your resume.

FAQ #7: Is an ATS-friendly resume necessary?

Absolutely. A majority of American employers use Applicant Tracking Systems to filter and sort job applications. If your resume does not have ATS-friendly formatting, it may end up getting rejected, costing you a valuable opportunity. If you don’t optimize your resume with the ATS in mind, you will rank lower than other candidates and miss the opportunity.

By Resume Mansion



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