Building a resume that encloses all important information but is also visually appealing can be a challenge. However, a few strategies can help you attract all the positions you may fit well in. Learning how to build a resume can help you put together a compelling and visually appealing document that could impress recruiters and hiring managers. In this article, we will introduce five practical steps for building a resume that summarizes all the key messages about you.

Start by choosing the right resume format

Especially in this area, the first impression is last. The format of your resume quickly tells an employer if you can follow directions and communicate effectively. If your resume passes the first test, you might be able to move forward. A professional resume format also generally includes a header with your name in a font larger than surrounding text and the rest of your contact information nearby. When you make a resume, you should use formal, readable fonts and space content so employers can clearly and quickly scan each section. Remember that when potential employers review your resume, they usually skim through it quickly, which means you should make important information stand out but also try to wrap the whole thing up in preferably one page.

Write a summary

Since recruiters and employers take a quick look at resumes, you must make your positive qualities stand out when you create resumes. These statements should exemplify the qualities that make you an attractive candidate while also describing the engaging, yet professional, personality that you can bring to the workplace. Your summary statement should include a focused overview of your work experience. Try to focus on work experience that is relevant to the roles in which you are applying. As with anything on your resume, the skills to list on your resume should be solid and, whenever possible, quantifiable.

Add relevant skills

You should also include a section for skills to list on your resume that may be relevant to the position and that can enhance your appeal as a candidate. When including your skills, choose both hard and soft skills that relate to the role. Soft skills include communication, teamwork, or leadership, while hard skills could be software or technical knowledge in a particular industry. Furthermore, you can add your level to your description of a skill. For example, if you add data analysis as a skill, you may be able to rate your level from intermediate to proficient or on a numbered scale.

Discuss your experience and qualifications

The work experience in the resume should be more than a simple list of your previous positions. A bit of the information you will provide in this section is self-explanatory, such as job title, company location, and dates employed. Where you can distinguish yourself in this section is with the descriptions of your previous positions. In each position description, you should explain your previous responsibilities, notable achievements, and keywords that will make you appear right for the job. As with your summary statement, be consistent about both your responsibilities and accomplishments and emphasize items that are relevant to the prospective employer. Rather than saying that you “worked in a team,” describe how you “coordinated with your colleagues to develop over 50 strategies tailored for a certain client.”

Include your educational background

Most jobs require at least a little education. Recruiters and employers will want to know about your educational background so this should be included on your resume. List your highest level of education completed first, then list subsequent degrees and diplomas. You may also choose to include any active licenses or certifications you hold in this section as well. When entering a degree or diploma that you are currently completing, add the date you began pursuing it and leave the end date blank.

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