How to Make a Top Quality Resume
If you are looking to get employed, you need a well-represented resume. So, what are the essential elements of an effective resume? A resume should summarize your education qualifications, experience and facts and activities related to your previous jobs. ‘Resume’ is a French word which means summary in English. Thus, one of the most important jobs of a resume is to make it easy for a reviewer to understand the information contained therein. Thus, the resume should be created keeping the reviewer in mind.
All effective resumes comprise of two critical components: “The Content” and “The Format”. Both these components are critical as they determine and improve your chances of landing an interview.
The Resume Content
A resume is essentially a marketing document. Its main function is to position your application for consideration when applying for a “best fit” job. Thus “The Resume Content” is one of the two crucial elements of an effective resume. Ideally, an effective resume should convey to the potential employers exactly what you have to offer to them. Not only that, it should also portray the results that you are likely to produce for them (keeping in mind your past record & accomplishments). While creating an effective resume content is an art, below, we break up the important parts of a resume content to help you understand and create one for yourself.
A Personal Profile
A personal profile is a paragraph containing not more than 2 or 3 lines of text. We strongly recommend using a personal profile at the very top of the resume. Create a “Profile” or “Personal Profile” section right after your personal information section which should be positioned in the top one-third part of the resume.
Generally, a profile is used to present your unique selling proposition (USP). It should contain information on what you like to do and what you are good at doing. The skills you possess your current attributes and future goals. It should also portray your personality (judiciously use adjectives). In short, your personal profile should convey the substance & flavor of you in your workspace.
On many counts, the personal profile is equally important as compared to the final resume. Creating a personal profile gives you the opportunity to carefully evaluate your “Unique Value Proposition”. As a matter of fact, most readers only glimpse first 6 to 7 words of the personal profile before they move on to the “Experience Section”. They might or might not come back to the profile, however, in either case, your profile does make an important impression. It portrays the fact that you have carefully evaluated and understand who you are.
Finally, all facts stated in the profile should be backed with your accomplishments which follow later and are listed under each job and employer details. You may consider your profile to be the thesis which you eventually go to prove with detailed examples. Populating a profile helps guide you to ensure that your resume is consistent throughout (in relation to the message that you want to portray).
Within the resume body, the foremost things that a prospective employer looks for include:
Employer’s Name (name of the company for which you worked)
It is customary to include the employer’s name in BOLD. Follow it up with the location of the company. Ensure to include the city and the state of the employer to help make it immediately recognizable. While city names are sufficient for large cities, it will be a good idea to include both city name and state for smaller cities.
Time-frame (dates of employment)
The date range should accompany the company name and location. However, dates should not be in BOLD. Usually, the dates should be tabbed to ensure that they are right aligned and to the far right of the page.
Position (title you held in the company)
Ensure to include you last title with the firm in both BOLD and Italic and align it right below the employer name / location. With experience, we have realized that most employers go through the resume glancing at the employers, years, dates and position (titles). Then, they proceed to glance the education section to see your degrees. Ensure that time frames are consistent and there are no typos. Once they have glanced these main areas do they go in details of individual sections.
Job Description (brief outline job description paragraph)
Briefly, describe the company and your job responsibilities. Ensure that the description is no more than 4-6 lines ( one paragraph). Use figures and numbers wherever possible. The first thing that draws attention is the numbers and BOLD text. Use both these tools to draw attention and make your descriptions substantive.
Key Accomplishments (you should consider using bullet points to display them)
Use bullet points to display accomplishments. It is a good idea to include no more than 6-7 bullet points for the most recent, 4-5 bullet points for the previous job and 2-3 bullet points for older jobs. Bullets are the most important part of the accomplishments which can get you the interview. Ensure you include all your important accomplishments within the bullet points.
Finally, include your education qualification information in a systematic and descending order of time (most recent qualifications first and older ones to follow).
Related Facts & Activities
Any other information that you feel is important and can help you get the interview(s) can be included in this section. Usually, people include other professional activities and achievements herein.
Studies have shown that the above order is followed by more than 70% of all employers. Thus, we recommend that you follow this order so that information is placed where it should be and your resume is easy to navigate.
We have put forth these resume writing tips for job seekers who want to create stunning resumes that can help them get their desired interviews. We sincerely hope that people will benefit immensely by using our tips.