The starting point when thinking about getting that dream job is how well you can sell yourself on your resume. With a well-written resume you can get an interview, at which point you convince the panel that you are the right candidate. These resume writing tips will ensure that a stable foundation is created with your resume.

So let’s jump into it.

Formatting Issues

1. Use The Appropriate Length

How long should a resume be? You would usually receive conflicting answers to this question. The truth is that, it depends.

The length of your resume conveys the level of experience that you have in conjunction with the required work experience for the position that you are applying for.

According to most sources, your resume should typically be one page long for less than 7 years of work experience. On the extreme side, resumes can go up to about 10 pages if the required work experience calls for the demonstration of your capabilities as well as your achievements to that extent. In most cases, however, a 1 to 2 page resume should suffice.

2. Professional Layout

The general layout of a resume includes personal information that is of interest to the Human Resources department, a powerful summary and lastly, the details and history of who you are.

When formatting your resume ensure that there are clear section headings, sufficient white space, a professional font that is easy to read and use the appropriate font (11 to 12 pt should do). Lastly, it is common to save your resume in PDF format.

Writing your resume requires that you customize every detail to best sell yourself as the appropriate candidate for the job. Creating the format, however, does not have to be custom-made. If you use a resume template, you have a good starting point, it will get ideas flowing and saves you a lot of time. It also helps to see the standard formats used so that you may improve your resume.

There are loads of resume builders and templates out there. Here is a list of just a few:

For the purpose of a consistent personal brand, it is recommended to use the same fonts, colour themes and designs on your resume as well as on your cover letter. This is where having a suitable template comes in handy.

So basically, one of the first resume writing tips is that you do not need to write up the structure as well. Choose from any of the resume templates or resume builders above.

Sections

3. Supply Relevant Personal Information

The first section of the resume should be your personal and contact information that would be of interest to the HR department.

There may be a bit of confusion surrounding what personal information is considered appropriate and sufficient to be provided in the header of your resume. In general, you should include your name, contact details including your phone number and professional email address, location and current job title. It is also advisable nowadays to include the link to your LinkedIn profile as a means of providing more information and selling yourself better.

4. Powerful Professional Summary

The purpose of the descriptive summary is to describe you in the best light in short form…exactly like your elevator pitch. It is meant to be strong, simple and short. Highlight the key work experience and skills relevant to job position that you are applying for.

5. Relevant Experience

This is the most important section where you sell yourself in detail, and yes this section is more important than the education section. List your recent work experience in reverse chronological order.

The format of each entry should include the job title, the company where you worked as well as the dates that you worked there. The essential portion is where you list your role, responsibilities as well as the projects that you have worked on. This should be aligned with the job position that you are applying for. It should show your abilities in a short concise description.

A common question is how much work experience does one include. This is especially problematic once you have had years of work experience. As a rule of thumb, include all relevant work experience dating back to about 10 to 15 years for a senior role. Adjust accordingly based on the level of the position that you are applying for.

6. Include All Skills

This section show caeses your skills and individuality. List each skill and include a short description of how you obtained the skill and the evidence that you have the skill.

Include both hard (measurable abilities) and soft (personal abilities) skills that you feel are relevant to the job position as well as the company that you are applying to. The purpose of this is to show that you do not only have the capabilities to do the job but that you would be a perfect fit with their company culture. Therefore you are the kind of person that they want to work with.

In addition, you could indicate your level of competency for each of the mentioned skills by rating your abilities in each skill. The levels to be used are beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert.

7. Education and Qualifications

This is a reverse chronological list of the education and qualifications that you have obtained over the years.

List the qualification, the institution that it was obtained from and dates during which the qualification was obtained. In addition, you could include information such as averages, rankings and GPA scores. This is not only limited to qualifications obtained in school…include relevant training programmes that you have been through.

8. Highlight Achievements

Highlighting your achievements is important to make you stand out from the crowd. Stating your responsibilities will probably leave ypu at the same level as your peers.

Use descriptive words to explain your achievements and highlight the results from them to show what you are capable of delivering and how you will help the comapny grow.

9. Personal Interests

This section of your resume shows a glimpse of your personal inerests that would show that you a well rounded person that people would want to work with. These may also be used as an ice breaker at the beginning of an interview, especially if there are similarities between you and some of the panel interviewers.

This step is optional but may help the interviewers connect with you. These could be your hobbies or even volunteering experience.

10. Cover Letter

This is the ultimate way to sell yourself. It gives an additional page to basically talk about why you would be perfect for the job position that you are applying for. Customize it for each job position and use the job specification as your guideline.

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