How to Write a Resume and Land Your Dream Job

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 - Resume

Building an online resume offers design flexibility and convenience, but the world hasn’t entirely caught up with the digital age. We don’t recommend choosing an online version over a traditional one – the two are complementary and, at least for the time being, we strongly suggest both.

Research suggests that most employers scan a resume within 6 seconds, so it’s important to show them at a glance why you’re the best fit. Make sure you’re prepared for the journey ahead with this guide that will teach you how to write a resume to help you get the interview you deserve (and crush it!).

A resume is essentially a marketing document that boasts a product you know more than any other; yourself. There are lots of different ways to organize the information you choose to include. We suggest you research sample CV and resume templates to understand how job-seekers in your industry are selling themselves.

Important note: a CV is a more detailed document about your achievements and a resume is a more concise version. A resume is what is commonly asked for when applying for a job.

No matter which format you choose, every winning CV or resume includes the following basic sections:

  • Contact information
  • Personal statement
  • Education history
  • Work history
  • Additional skills and experiences

Now, let’s take some time to break down each of these sections and learn how to write a resume.

01. Display your contact information

We know including a contact section may seem obvious, however, it’s surprising how many people mess up this part and forget a critical piece like their name or phone number. To avoid this instant “NEXT!” moment, make sure your contact information is included clearly at the top of the document.

Jenny Applicant
Tel: 1(415)555-0123
Email: [email protected]
500 Terry A Francois Blvd, SF, CA 94158

Rather than putting the hiring team through a wild goose chase when trying to reach you, cut down on confusion by only using one phone number and one email address. We suggest creating a new email address specifically for your job search and including only your cell phone number; this will give you control of the outgoing message and who will answer when the recruiters start calling.

02. Present your professional vision

The next section you want to include? Your Personal Statement. This is a paragraph that immediately captures your readers’ attention and tempts them into learning more about you. You’re essentially selling yourself with a piece of paper, so you’ll want to make sure the information reflects what your potential employer is looking for in a candidate. Needless to say that your Personal Statement needs to be tailored for each job you’re applying for.

If you are having trouble finding the right words to use, we suggest this brilliant life hack from job search expert Miriam Salpeter. Scour the company’s website for frequently used words, phrases, taglines and hints about their philosophical approaches. Then, mirror some of their language in your resume. We all owe you one, Miriam!

List of words to use and to avoid in order to write a good resume

03. Share your educational background

Education is usually the most straightforward sections to write, but that doesn’t mean you can just throw it anywhere. If you’ve just graduated, place your education section before your experience section because you probably have more educational background than work experience. A seasoned professional should put their work history first. Their work experience is more relevant to hiring managers at this point in their career.

It is standard to list your highest level of education first, then work your way back toward college. If you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, there is no need to include your high school information.

2007 Master of Science in Information Technology
University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

2005 Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

04. Highlight your experiences

There’s a good chance a long-time job seeker or entry-level applicant has a part-time job or two under their belt. We don’t recommend including every fast food or retail job you’ve had unless it’s totally related to the job you’re going for. This section should include all of your work experience, listed in reverse-chronological order.

For each role, list the following information:

  • Company name and website address.
  • Job Title: If your previous startup was “clever” and gave you a title like Happiness Hero you can include a translation in parentheses next to the official title.
  • Start and End Date: Include the month and year for each of these dates.
  • Job Description: Show how you contributed to the organization; did you save money or time, solve problems, improve processes or attract new customers?
  • Achievements: Where possible, quantify how you added value with numbers, percentages or even dollar amounts. This is also the place to add any prize or recognition you’ve received.

05. Include additional details

As a prospective employee, you want to show that you are a well-rounded person whose main accomplishments aren’t achieved strictly in the workplace. If you’ve got some unique skills that’ll help you stand out from the crowd, say them loud and proud! You’ll want to include:

  • Specific skills: Mastering a program like Photoshop or fluency in a language.
  • Hobbies: Managing a killer blog, holding a black belt, being a classicly trained pianist, etc.
  • Community work: Volunteering for your community or within your industry.

06. Dive into the digital world

According to research by Jobvite.com, 93% of recruiters will Google you before they decide you are right for an interview. Why don’t you save them some time by including the relevant URLs like your LinkedIn profile? In addition to your LinkedIn account, your resume should include anything else that will continue to tell your story, such as your Wix website, portfolio, or blog. And while we’re talking about the digital world, why not create an online resume so employers can see just how awesome you are in just a click?

Templates for creating an online resume

Want to add “website creator” to your resume? Start building your stunning Wix site today!

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