How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (2023)

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Whether you are looking for your first job or making a mid-career transition, knowing how to craft a resume that highlights your strengths and achievements is invaluable. This resume guide will show you, step-by-step, how to write a resume that will get you noticed by potential employers. Let’s get started!

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Are you struggling to write a resume that catches the attention of employers? You’re not alone. Millions of people every year submit resumes that don’t get them the jobs they want.

Your resume is the most important tool in your job-seeking arsenal. A good resume can help you get your foot in the door, while a bad resume will likely keep you from even being considered.

This resume guide will teach you, step-by-step, how to make a resume that will help you stand out from the crowd. We’ll provide tips on how to format your resume, what information to include, and how to tailor your resume for different jobs using the right keywords.

Table of Contents

    Step 1. Choose a resume format

    The right resume format can help highlight your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. It can also make it easier for recruiters to scan your resume and identify the key information they are looking for.

    There are three standard resume formats to choose from.

    Chronological Resume

    This is the most popular resume format, especially for job seekers with lots of relevant experience. This format lists your work history in reverse chronological order, with your most recent jobs listed first. It’s ideal for:

    • Job seekers with a lot of professional work experience.
    • People with no employment gaps.
    • Those who want to showcase their career progression over time.

    Chronological

    Pros:

    • Familiar to recruiters.
    • Highlights career advancements.
    • Emphasizes relevant job experience.

    Cons:

    • Shows gaps in employment.
    • Doesn’t emphasize skills & abilities.

    Best for:

    • Job seekers with highly relevant work.

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (9)

    Chronological

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    Read the full Guide: Resume Formats: Which Type of Resume is Best for You?

    Functional Resume (also known as a Skills-Based Resume)

    The functional resume is organized around your transferable skills and abilities rather than your work history. It helps you downplay your lack of experience in a particular field. While it is helpful for certain situations, it’s not always the best. Recruiters sometimes don’t like the functional resume format because it can make it seem like you’re trying to conceal something. So be wary of that.

    Under each skill you list, try to add bullet points that provide specific examples of times when you’ve used that skill. This format is ideal for:

    • Recent graduates
    • Entry-level job seekers
    • Career changers
    • Those with gaps in their employment history

    Functional

    Pros:

    • Focuses on your skills and abilities.
    • Minimizes work experience.

    Cons:

    • Not preferred by recruiters.
    • Leaves out work experience.
    (Video) 8 Tips for Writing a Winning Resume

    Best for:

    • Jobs seekers with no relevant work experience.

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (13)

    Functional

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    Build your free, custom functional resume

    Hybrid Resume (also known as a Combination Resume)

    A hybrid resume can be a great way to showcase both your work history and your skills. For many job seekers, it’s the best resume format. With this format, you would begin with a brief overview of your skills and accomplishments, followed by a chronological listing of your employment history. This format is ideal for:

    • Mid level job seekers with some experience in their field.
    • Career changers who need to highlight transferable skills.
    • People reentering the workforce.

    Build your free, custom hybrid resume

    Step 2. Add your contact information and personal details

    This is one of the most important sections of your resume. If hiring managers can’t contact you, it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your resume is. So you need to make sure that your contact info is accurate and up-to-date.

    The following information should appear at the top of your resume:

    • Name
    • Phone number
    • Location (City, State, Zip Code)
    • Email Address
    • LinkedIn profile URL

    Here’s an example:

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (19)

    It might seem obvious, but job seekers sometimes forget a key piece of contact information in this section. Double check to make sure it’s as easy as possible for recruiters to contact you for a job interview.

    Do's

    • Include your full name, including your middle initial if you have one. This will help ensure that you’re easily found in online searches.
    • If you have an unusual name or a name that could be easily mispronounced, consider including a phonetic spelling to avoid confusion.
    • You don’t need to include your full address but do add your city, state, and zip code. Recruiters often search for local candidates first.
    • Include a link to your professional website or online portfolio, if you have one.
    • Create a strong LinkedIn profile and be sure to include the URL on your resume (make sure it’s up to date).

    Don'ts

    • Never include a work phone number, only a personal number.
    • Don’t include more than one phone number or email address. This will only confuse hiring managers.
    • Unless required, don’t include your date of birth. Employers may unknowingly discriminate against older job seekers. It can also make it easier for identity thieves to commit fraud.
    • Don’t use a quirky or unprofessional email address. Instead create a new professional sounding address just for your job search. Research has shown that formal email addresses perform better on resumes than informal ones.
    • Unless required, a headshot is unnecessary. How you look isn’t important, and a photo takes up valuable space on your resume.
    • If you use an outdated email service like Hotmail or AOL, consider creating a free Gmail account for your job search.

    Step 3. Write a standout resume headline

    One way to make sure your resume stands out is to write a catchy headline. This is a concise, one-line description of who you are as a candidate.

    A well-written headline can grab a recruiter’s attention and encourage them to take a more detailed look at your resume. It can also highlight your most relevant skills and experience, making it easier for recruiters to see why you would be a good fit for the role.

    You should place your headline near the top of your resume, so it’s one of the first things that a hiring manager or recruiter sees.

    Here’s an example:

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (20)

    Resume headlines are most beneficial for people who have a lot of relevant experience, but anyone can use them.

    If you don’t have any experience or are applying for an entry-level job, you can use your resume headline to show off your soft skills, your proficiency with tools, or your winning personal attributes.

    When writing your headline, it’s crucial to include the job title that appears at the top of the description of the job you’re applying for. This is the most impactful keyword of all, and the headline is a good place to put it, especially if you haven’t held the exact position before.

    (Video) Write an Incredible Resume: 5 Golden Rules!

    Read the full guide: How to Write a Resume Headline That Stands Out

    Do's

    • Always tailor your headline to each job you apply for.
    • Use title case (capitalize the first letter of each word) and use a bold or slightly larger font so the headline stands out visually.
    • Position yourself as an expert in your field. This can help to set you apart from other candidates who may not be as confident in their abilities.
    • Use numbers and statistics to back up your claims. The applicant in the example above uses “5 years experience” to highlight their expertise.
    • Use attention-grabbing action verbs. The example above uses the verb “leading,” which quickly tells employers what the applicant has accomplished.
    • Be specific. Generic phrases such as “hard worker” or “team player” are nice, but they don’t really tell employers anything. If you can, include a specific accomplishment or skill that makes you stand out from the rest.

    Don'ts

    • Don’t make your headline too long or it will lose the reader’s attention. Keep your headline under ten words to make sure it packs a punch.
    • Avoid using jargon. Stick to language that can be easily understood by everyone.
    • Don’t be too salesy. A resume headline is not the place to make a hard sell; instead, focus on giving a snapshot of your skills and experience.
    • Steer clear of clichés. With so many resumes to sift through, recruiters will appreciate a fresh, original headline that cuts to the chase.

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    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (21)

    Step 4. Add your resume summary statement or resume objective

    Most recruiters only spend between six and eight seconds looking at a resume before they make a decision about a job candidate, according to a study by Ladders.

    This means you need to make a strong first impression! You can do this by adding a resume summary statement underneath your resume headline.

    A summary statement is a brief paragraph or a set of bullet points that summarizes your professional qualifications.

    Your summary statement should expand on your resume headline and provide evidence of your skills, achievements, and experience.

    Here’s an example:

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (22)

    Read the full guide: How to Write a Resume Summary Statement

    Do's

    • Keep it brief – no more than a few sentences or bullet points.
    • Look for patterns in your work history – anything that you can point to and say “this is what I do, and I’m good at it.”
    • Focus only on your most relevant skills and experience.
    • Use numbers and specifics to show that you are a results-oriented individual who is able to produce tangible outcomes.
    • Incorporate keywords from the job description whenever possible.
    • Tailor your summary statement to each job you apply for.

    Don'ts

    • Don’t make bold claims that cannot be backed up.
    • Don’t just list your job duties; instead focus on your accomplishments.
    • Don’t include personal information unrelated to the job.
    • Avoid using personal pronouns (I, me, or my).

    Resume summaries are ideal for job seekers who have plenty of relevant work experience and accomplishments that can be tied to actual numbers.

    If you don’t have much job experience or are changing careers, you could write a resume objective statement instead.

    Your resume objective basically explains what the object of your resume is. It is a short statement that communicates your reason for wanting to work in a new field. It should include:

    • The job title or field you are interested in.
    • Any transferable skills that make you a good fit for the position.
    • Relevant accomplishments that demonstrate how you would excel in the new role.
    • Your career goals and how the position you are applying for can help you achieve them.

    For example, if you are a recent college graduate seeking a position in marketing, your resume objective might state: “To secure a position in marketing where I can utilize my creativity and analytical skills to contribute to the company’s success.”

    Read the full guide: Resume Objective Statements: Examples, How-To, and FAQ

    Step 5. Add keywords and skills that are ATS-friendly

    Before you move on to the next step, it’s important to determine what keywords and skills you need to have on your resume.

    Why? Because when you submit your resume, it most likely won’t go to a live human being – it will go straight into a computer database.

    Employers receive hundreds and even thousands of resumes for every job opening. They don’t have time to look at all of them.

    To solve this problem, many employers now use application tracking systems (ATS) to automatically collect, review, and sort resumes. In fact, 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies now use ATS to help them manage the hiring process.

    Having the right keywords on your resume is important because hiring managers use keywords to search through their ATS database for the best job candidates.

    These keywords are usually job titles or specific skills. If your resume doesn’t contain the keywords hiring managers are searching for, it will sit in the database, unseen.

    This is why it’s crucial to include keywords on your resume that are relevant to the job you are applying for. But how do you know which keywords to use?

    Just look at the job description. Take note of the skills and keywords that appear the most. Then add these skills and keywords to your resume when appropriate.

    To get the best results, tailor each and every resume you create to the specific job you’re applying for — your resume is not a one-size-fits-all document!

    Read the full guide: Top 500 ATS Resume Keywords: Examples for Your Job Search

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    Step 6. Detail your work experience

    Now it’s time to get to the heart of your resume – the “work experience” section. This is the section employers will spend the most time looking at when they consider your resume.

    If you get this part right you’ll be well on your way to creating a strong resume that will land you plenty of job interviews!

    The first things a recruiter looks at on your resume are the job titles you’ve held and the companies you’ve worked with. Make this information easy to find by listing each job in reverse-chronological order (latest job first).

    Each job should have its own subheading that includes the following information:

    • Company name and location – Include the full name of the company you worked for followed by the city and state of its location.
    • Job title – Be as specific as possible to ensure that employers know exactly what your role was within the company.
    • Start and end dates – Include the month and year for each position. If you only list the year, it may appear as though you are omitting information.
    • Achievements and responsibilities – These can be listed using bullet points. Include hard numbers and metrics wherever possible.

    Our research has found that this sequence offers maximum applicant tracking system (ATS) compatibility. Here’s an example:

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (23)

    Tip #1: Highlight achievements as well as responsibilities

    One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing a resume is only listing their job responsibilities. These are tasks that you’re expected to perform as part of your job. They can include things like:

    • Answering customer questions and complaints
    • Scheduling and coordinating appointments
    • Taking inventory and ordering supplies
    • Maintaining records and filing paperwork
    • Training new employees

    Listing your job responsibilities gives a potential employer an idea of what you did day-to-day, but it doesn’t reveal how well you did it.

    (Video) How to Write a GREAT Resume Step by Step - Resume Example INCLUDED

    That’s why it’s important to highlight your specific accomplishments in prior roles.

    For example, if you increased sales, reduced costs, or implemented new processes or technologies, be sure to mention these accomplishments.

    Instead of writing “managed a team of 12 people,” write “managed a team of 12 people, consistently meeting or exceeding quarterly targets.”

    This not only demonstrates that you are an asset to any organization, but it gives employers confidence that you’re capable of handling the job.

    Here’s an example of a resume that does a good job of listing both responsibilities and accomplishments:

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (24)

    Not every career lends itself to easily-quantifiable achievements. For example, someone who works in a warehouse might have responsibilities that include stocking shelves, unloading trucks, and packaging items for shipment.

    While these responsibilities might not seem like much, they’re actually essential for keeping the warehouse running smoothly. The ability to work efficiently and effectively is a valuable skill in any field.

    So, next time you’re feeling like you don’t have anything to list as an accomplishment, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Chances are, you’ve achieved more than you realize!

    Read the full guide: 6 Steps to Writing Your Resume Work Experience

    Tip #2: Use action verbs

    Action verbs are key when it comes to writing an engaging and compelling resume. They help paint a clearer picture of your qualifications and increase the overall impact of your resume.

    Instead of simply stating that you were “responsible for” a certain task or project, explain how you took charge and made it happen. For example, you could say that you “spearheaded” a new initiative or “coordinated” a complex team effort.

    By using powerful verbs, you’ll not only make your resume more interesting to read, but you’ll also demonstrate the kind of can-do attitude that employers are looking for.

    Read the full guide: 400+ Resume Action Words (Plus 100 Power Verbs Recruiters Love to See)

    Tip #3: Use active voice, not passive

    Always try to use an active voice instead of a passive voice when writing your resume.

    In an active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing the verb. For example, “The cashier counted the money.” In a passive voice, the subject is being acted upon by the verb. For example, “The money was counted by the cashier.”

    Active voice is preferred over passive voice because it’s more direct, concise, easier to read, and it makes you sound more confident and authoritative.

    When used with an action verb, an active voice can subconsciously influence a recruiter into thinking that the applicant is competent and capable. For example, “managed a team of 12” is more powerful than “was responsible for a team of 12.”

    Read the full guide: Resume Words: Keywords, Adjectives, Skills, and Power Verbs

    Tip #4: Use numbers

    One of the best ways to make your resume stand out is to use numbers. In fact, job seekers who use numbers in their resumes increase their hireability by 40%, according to a study by TalentWorks.

    Whenever possible, quantify your achievements with numbers that illustrate the scope of your work. For example, instead of saying “created marketing campaigns,” you could write “created 10 successful marketing campaigns that generated a 20% increase in leads.”

    By using numbers, you give hiring managers a better sense of your value, making it more likely that you’ll land the job you want.

    Here are some more examples of using numbers (with action verbs underlined):

    • Saved $7 million while introducing nationwide transport service for medical patients.
    • Generated a utility income increase of 45% within 2 months by designing and deploying an enhanced bill back process.
    • Achieved 150% sales growth by leading a multifunctional team to define, refine, and roll-out a cross-channel, ten-year brand strategy.

    Finally, If you have gaps in your employment history, be prepared to explain them in a cover letter or during an interview.

    However, don’t let a few months or years off work deter you from applying for a position – focus on highlighting your skills and strengths, and let your work experience speak for itself.

    Read the full guide: Wordsmithing Your Resume: Tenses, Plurals, and Optimized Keywords

    Do's

    • Use a traditional section heading like “Work Experience” instead of a more creative option like “Where I’ve Been,” which will confuse the ATS.
    • When writing dates, use the mm/yyyy format, which can be easily parsed by an ATS.
    • Use past tense when talking about jobs in the past, and present tense when describing the work you are currently doing.
    • Leave out personal pronouns (I) and get right to the action.
    • Tailor each and every resume to the specific job you’re applying for.
    • Consider tracking your job achievements on a spreadsheet so you can easily include them on your resume later.

    Don'ts

    • Don’t list more than 10-15 years of work experience unless it’s highly relevant.
    • Don’t list every single task you worked on; include only the most relevant.
    • Don’t use the same, tired words (“responsible for…”); instead use action verbs written in an active voice.
    • Don’t lie or exaggerate about your duties and accomplishments.

    Step 7. Showcase your skills

    When writing your resume, be sure to include a skills section. This is the perfect place to mention all the skills and know-how that make you the ideal candidate for the job.

    Pay particular attention to the skills that are listed in the job description of the position you are applying for. As we’ve seen, including these keywords on your resume greatly increases the chance that your resume will be seen by an actual hiring manager, leading to a job interview.

    There are two types of skills you can include in your skills section: hard skills and soft skills.

    Hard skills are the specific skills and knowledge that you need to perform a certain task or job. They are usually quantifiable and easy to measure. Examples of hard skills include:

    • Computer programming
    • Copywriting
    • Data analysis
    • Programming
    • Accounting
    • Graphic design
    • Web development
    • SEO

    Soft skills, on the other hand, are interpersonal skills that help you interact with others. They are more difficult to quantify but are just as important in the workplace. Examples of soft skills include:

    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Teamwork
    • Problem solving
    • Time management
    • Self management
    • Critical thinking
    • Flexibility

    Soft skills are important because they’re transferable. This means they can be applied to any number of settings and can help you succeed in any type of job.

    Also, unlike hard skills, which can become outdated quickly, soft skills are always in demand. As the world changes and technology advances, soft skills will become even more important.

    Here’s an example of a skills section for a mechanical engineer that includes both hard and soft skills:

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (25)

    Step 8. Add your education and certifications

    You need to include your education somewhere on your resume, but where it appears depends on your individual circumstances.

    If you are just starting out in your career, it’s generally a good idea to include your education section near the top of your resume. Recent grads can include relevant coursework, societies, organizations, and extracurriculars that strengthen their candidacy.

    However, if you are a few years into your career, your education can appear at the bottom of your resume. This is because your work experience will be more relevant to potential employers at this point in your career.

    Unless you’re applying to a job that puts extra emphasis on education (like academia, law, or medicine), most job seekers can get away with providing only the following information on their resume:

    • Name of school
    • School location
    • Degree
    • Year graduated

    Read the full guide: How to Format Your Resume Education Section: Tips and Examples

    If you have earned any professional certifications that are relevant to the job you are applying for, then you should definitely include them on your resume.

    You can list your certifications right under your education information. Be sure to include the name of the certification, the issuing authority, and the date of certification. If the certification is still valid, you can also mention that.

    If you have earned multiple certifications, then you can list them in order of importance, with the most relevant ones appearing first.

    Here’s an example of what the education section looks like on a pharmacist’s resume:

    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (26)

    Read the full guide: 8 Free Certifications to Add to Your Resume

    Do's

    • List your educational achievements in reverse chronological order, with your most recent qualifications first.
    • Include any relevant coursework, skills training, licenses, and certifications.
    • If you’re still pursuing your education, you can list your expected graduation date.
    • Include extracurricular activities, but only if they’re relevant.
    • If you studied abroad, include information about the program and what you did there.
    (Video) How To Write A Resume Step By Step - 6 SIMPLE Steps To Write A Resume

    Don'ts

    • Don’t mention your high school if you have a university degree.
    • Don’t disclose your GPA unless you graduated recently and had a very impressive academic career (3.5 GPA plus).
    • Don’t lie about your education!

    Step 9. Additional resume sections (optional)

    Your resume is your opportunity to shine. It’s your chance to show potential employers who you are and what you’re capable of.

    One way to really stand out is to include additional information that showcases your skills and accomplishments. If applicable, consider adding the following resume sections:

    Languages

    In today’s global economy, knowing foreign languages can give you a competitive edge over other candidates. Many businesses are looking for employees who can communicate with customers and clients in their native language.

    On your resume, list the languages you speak in order of proficiency, starting with your strongest language. Also, specify whether you are fluent, proficient, or conversational in each language. For example:

    • Fluent in Spanish and English
    • Proficient in French and conversational in German
    • Conversational in Japanese

    Hobbies and interests

    Many people believe that hobbies should remain separate from their professional lives. However, including information about your hobbies on a resume can actually give employers a better sense of who you are as a person.

    For example, if you enjoy hiking, it shows that you are physically active and have a sense of adventure. If you enjoy cooking, it shows that you are creative and have a keen interest in food.

    When listing your hobbies, make sure to keep it short and sweet. You don’t need to go into great detail about every single hobby you have. Just mention a few that you think are relevant and leave it at that.

    Publications

    If you have been published in any capacity, it is generally a good idea to include this information on your resume, especially if it’s relevant to the job you’re applying to. Most employers love to see that you can communicate effectively in writing.

    If you’re not sure where to start, list any published articles, blog posts, books, or even whitepapers that you have written. Be sure to include the title, publisher, and date. For example:

    “The Impact of Social Media on Businesses.” The Journal of Business, December 2021.

    Awards

    If you have won any awards that are relevant to the job you’re applying to, you should absolutely include them on your resume. Awards will impress potential employers and help you to stand out from the competition.

    Be sure to list the name of the award, the date you received it, and a brief description of the award. For example:

    “Top Salesperson” (January 2020) – Awarded to the salesperson with the highest sales numbers for the month.

    Volunteer experience

    If you have any volunteer experience, don’t forget to add it to your resume!

    According to a LinkedIn survey, 20% of employers say they have hired a candidate because of their volunteer experience. The survey also showed that job seekers who volunteer are 27% more likely to be hired than non-volunteers.

    When adding your volunteer experience to your resume, list the name of the organization, the dates of your service, and a brief description of your duties and responsibilities. For example:

    Woodstock Food Bank, Jan 2019-present

    • Led a team of 10 volunteers in sorting and distributing donated items to local families in need.
    • Organized monthly food drives that collected an average of 500 lbs of food per month.

    Personal projects

    Many professionals use their skills outside of the office. In fact, 57 million workers participate in the gig economy in the US.

    Adding your side projects to your resume can be a great way to demonstrate your commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

    Examples of personal projects include designing websites, creating a YouTube channel, coding apps, writing a book, running an ecommerce store, consulting, or starting any kind of new business.

    When choosing personal projects to include on your resume, be sure to select those that are most relevant to the position you are applying for.

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    How to Write a Resume: A Step-by-Step Resume Writing Guide (27)

    Step 10. Format your resume so it can be easily read by an ATS

    Formatting your resume correctly is absolutely vital if you want to get more job interviews.

    Why? Because your resume most likely will go straight into a computer database (ATS) after you submit it. If your resume can’t be read by the ATS due to formatting issues, then all your hard work will be for nothing.

    So pay close attention to these formatting do’s and don’ts!

    Read the full guide: The Best Fonts for Your Resume

    Do's

    • Use language that is simple and easy to understand. Jargon or difficult language will only confuse the ATS.
    • Use a common font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica for optimal readability.
    • Use a font size that is easy to read. The recommended size is 11-12 pt for regular text, and 14-16 pt for section titles.
    • Make sure that the margins on all sides of your resume are 1 inch so that it doesn’t look too crowded.
    • Use a Word document when you are creating your resume. This will ensure that it looks good and is easy for the ATS to read.
    • Make sure to proofread your resume for mistakes before you send it off.

    Don'ts

    • Don’t use tables and columns to organize your resume. This can cause important information to get lost when an ATS scans your resume.
    • Don’t use unnecessary graphics or embellishments that might be difficult for an ATS to understand.
    • Don’t use special characters or symbols that an ATS might misinterpret.
    • Don’t make your resume longer than one page, unless absolutely necessary.

    Step 11. Add a cover letter

    When you submit your resume, you’ll most likely also have to submit a cover letter.

    Think of a cover letter as a quick preview of your skills and experience. The goal is to make the hiring manager interested in you so they will want to learn more.

    The best cover letters are usually one page long so the message is clear and easy to understand.

    How to Write a Cover Letter

    1. Contact Information – Include your full name, address (including zip code), and phone number with area code. Your contact information should be in the upper left corner of your cover letter.
    1. Greeting – Ideally, you should find out the name of the hiring manager and greet them directly. You can usually find the hiring manager’s name by searching the company website or even calling the company and asking which hiring manager is assigned to this particular position.
    1. Opening – Think of your opening sentence as your chance to grab the hiring manager’s attention and get them excited to learn more about you. What can you do that nobody else can?
    1. Body – You need to sell yourself in this section. The best way to do this is by providing examples of your measurable accomplishments. These are powerful because they show tangible proof of your abilities. Only include the most relevant and positive information about yourself in your cover letter.
    1. Closing – This section is used to thank the hiring manager for their time and to point out any attachments (website, portfolio, samples). Be professional and don’t sound too eager, or you might sound desperate.
    1. Use Keywords – If you can, use some of the same keywords from the job description in your cover letter. This will show employers that you have read through the job description carefully and that you understand what they are looking for in a candidate.

    A great cover letter can make all the difference when applying to a job. It allows employers to see beyond your resume and get an idea of who you are as a person—and if you would be a good fit for their company culture.

    By following these tips, you can write a great cover letter that will improve your chances of getting an interview!

    And last but not least…

    Remember to thoroughly proofread your resume and cover letter!

    Proofreading is one of the most important things you can do before sending off your application. A single typo or mistake can make you look unprofessional and could cost you the job.

    If you don’t think your proofreading skills are good enough, ask a friend or family member to help you out. You can also use a free online proofreading tool like Grammarly.

    Remember, sending your resume off without carefully proofreading it could spell disaster. So be sure to take the time to update your resume and review it for typos and errors. It could make all the difference in whether or not you get a job interview.

    Read the full guide: 7 Steps for Choosing and Using Job References

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    FAQs

    What are the 7 basic steps to writing a resume? ›

    Here are seven steps you can follow to write the perfect resume:
    • Choose a format. ...
    • Start with your contact information. ...
    • Include your professional profile. ...
    • Summarize your education and experience. ...
    • Highlight your skills. ...
    • Include your certifications. ...
    • Conclude with additional sections.

    What are the 5 steps to writing a resume? ›

    Below are five steps that will get you off to the right start:
    1. Gather the correct information. ...
    2. Decide on an appropriate resume format. ...
    3. Create a header. ...
    4. List your experiences, skills and quantify your accomplishments. ...
    5. Include educational experience.

    What are 10 resume writing guidelines? ›

    Simple resume writing tips to help you stand out
    • Keep your resume short and direct. ...
    • Create an original resume template. ...
    • Highlight relevant skills and experiences. ...
    • Demonstrate results with numbers and metrics. ...
    • Craft a career snapshot. ...
    • Optimize your text. ...
    • Think beyond your job duties. ...
    • Use the right language to stand out.

    How do I start writing a resume? ›

    How to become a resume writer
    1. Look for internship opportunities. During or after your college experience, look for internship opportunities to gain hands-on experience. ...
    2. Gain experience. The best way to get experience is to start writing resumes. ...
    3. Attend workshops. ...
    4. Get certified. ...
    5. Find clients.

    What are the 7 important sections of a resume? ›

    Typically, a resume will include the following parts:
    • Header. Include your name, full address, phone number and email. ...
    • Professional Objective (optional) This is a phrase or sentence that highlights your intentions and accomplishments. ...
    • Qualifications Summary (optional) ...
    • Education. ...
    • Experience. ...
    • References.

    What is resume and example? ›

    A resume is a formal document that a job applicant creates to itemize their qualifications for a position. A resume is usually accompanied by a customized cover letter in which the applicant expresses an interest in a specific job or company and draws attention to the most relevant specifics on the resume.

    What is a good resume? ›

    Include up-to-date, relevant information, experience, skills, and examples in all of your resume sections. Attach a meaningful cover letter that will sweep the recruiter off their feet. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Stick to the truth.

    What does a good resume look like in 2022? ›

    In 99% of the cases, we'd recommend going with a reverse-chronological resume format. In 2022, it's the most common and useful format: Applicant tracking systems can read it without any problems. All recruiters and hiring managers are familiar with this format.

    What is the best resume format for 2022? ›

    What is the best resume format for 2022? For most people, the reverse-chronological resume format is the best option. This means listing your work experience and education in reverse-chronological order, i.e. starting with the most recent position and working backwards through previous jobs or degrees.

    What is the correct resume format? ›

    The chronological resume (also known as the reverse-chronological format) is the most popular format and the best resume format for experienced candidates. The chronological resume emphasizes your work history section, where you list information about current and past jobs with the most recent job first.

    What are 4 common resume mistakes? ›

    Common resume mistakes and how to avoid them
    • Including a resume objective instead of a professional profile.
    • Unrelated work experience.
    • Not providing enough detail.
    • No references or too many references.
    • Irrelevant skills to the job role.
    • Using the same resume for all your applications.
    • Outdated or missing contact information.

    What are the 4 C's of resume writing? ›

    To become an employer magnet, they'll need a handful of essential qualities known as the 4 C's: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking. But what do these words really mean?

    What is the 6 second rule for resumes? ›

    Studies have shown that the average recruiter scans a resume for six seconds before deciding if the applicant is a good fit for the role. In other words, to pass the resume test, your resume only has six seconds to make the right impression with a prospective employer.

    How many sentences are in a resume? ›

    Keep your professional summary for a resume short. It should never be longer than five sentences. Tailor each resume summary statement to your target job by using keywords and phrases from the job description.

    What are 3 things every resume should include and why? ›

    Key takeaways: Always include your name and contact information, education, relevant professional experience and skills. Tailor your resume for each job application by reviewing the job description for keywords and requirements.

    What are 3 important facts about resumes? ›

    Here are some facts about resume's:

    Recruiters spend 5 to 7 seconds on average going over resumes. 76% of the resumes are rejected due to an unprofessional email address. 88% of the resumes are rejected due to a picture on the resume.

    What should not be included in a resume? ›

    11 things not to put on your resume
    • Too much information. ...
    • A solid wall of text. ...
    • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. ...
    • Inaccuracies about your qualifications or experience. ...
    • Unnecessary personal information. ...
    • Your age. ...
    • Negative comments about a former employer. ...
    • Too many details about your hobbies and interests.

    What kind of resume do employers prefer? ›

    Chronological resume

    This is the most common type of resume format and is generally preferred by most hiring managers. A chronological resume leads with your work history, which should list your current and previous positions in reverse chronological order.

    How many jobs should I list on my resume? ›

    How Many Jobs Should You List on a Resume? You should list as many jobs on your resume as you can assuming they are all relevant and you're not going beyond the 10-15 year limit. The number of jobs typically varies between 7 and 3. As long as each job or position is relevant, you shouldn't worry about the exact number.

    What is the 30 second rule for resume? ›

    Finally, shortlist the resume for further consideration if the above evaluation is positive in no more than 30 seconds. In order for your resume to make it through the brutal first cut you need to make sure the recruiter can identify all the information listed above easily in 30 seconds.

    What are the three 3 types of a professional resume? ›

    There are three common resume formats: chronological, functional, and combination. The table below describes and gives the pros and cons of each. Use it to decide which is best for you.

    How can I make my resume more impressive? ›

    How to make your resume stand out
    1. Understand what the hiring manager is looking for. ...
    2. Tailor it to your industry and the job you're applying for. ...
    3. Include a header and summary or objective. ...
    4. Add pertinent skills. ...
    5. Keep it concise. ...
    6. Make it visually appealing. ...
    7. Submit a cover letter. ...
    8. Proofread.

    Do you need a summary on a resume 2022? ›

    You should use a resume summary section when you want to highlight your skills, experience, and overall showcase your professional background to recruiters. Use this opportunity to intrigue and draw them further into your resume by helping them get a quick overview of your know-how and how you can be a valuable asset.

    What are red flags in a resume? ›

    One of the most common resume red flags is an unexplained lengthy employment gap between previous roles. These gaps can sometimes lead hiring managers to assume that you have struggled to land jobs in the past, potentially indicating poor performance or some other shortcoming.

    What is the biggest resume mistake? ›

    11 Common CV Mistakes According to Employers
    • Having spelling errors and bad grammar. ...
    • Exaggerating the truth. ...
    • Poor formatting. ...
    • An unoriginal personal profile. ...
    • Not focusing on your achievements. ...
    • Making your CV too long. ...
    • Putting the wrong contact information. ...
    • Not tailoring your CV to the specific role.

    What are most resumes missing? ›

    Here are 4 important things missing in most Resumes:

    Mention your roles, skills, qualifications, achievements, domain expertise, years of experience in brief. This should match the job description you are applying for. This is why a profile gets shortlisted.

    What is a resume 2022? ›

    “The resume is a high-level snapshot of your skills, experience, and accomplishments,” Leavy-Detrick says. If a hiring manager has to scan through a really bulky one, “they're more likely to miss key responsibilities.” Anything beyond that is best left for the cover letter.

    Is resume PDF or Word? ›

    In most situations, you should submit your resume as a PDF. The only exception to this rule is if the employer specifically asks for a different file type, such as a Word document. Often, the job posting will specify which format you should use when submitting your resume.

    What are the 4 basic resumes? ›

    Four Resume Types - Which Resume Type is Right For Your Job...
    • Chronological Resume.
    • Functional Resume.
    • Combination Resume.
    • Targeted Resume.

    How do you write a resume in 8 Simple Steps? ›

    How To Make A Resume
    1. Choose the Right Resume Format.
    2. Add Your Contact Information and Personal Details.
    3. Start With a Heading Statement (Resume Summary or Resume Objective)
    4. List Your Relevant Work Experience & Key Achievements.
    5. Reference Your Education Correctly.
    6. Put Relevant Skills That Fit the Job Ad.
    22 Aug 2022

    What are 7 major don'ts of writing a resume? ›

    Don'ts
    • Use templates and tables included in software.
    • Make general claims (“Good communication skills”) without backing them up with examples.
    • Mislead employers about your GPA, skills, or abilities.
    • Include long, generic objective statements. ...
    • Submit references on the same page as your resume. ...
    • Don't go over two pages.

    What kind of resume is best? ›

    For most people, the reverse-chronological resume format is the best option. This means listing your work experience and education in reverse-chronological order, i.e. starting with the most recent position and working backwards through previous jobs or degrees.

    What are the 3 most important things to look for in a resume? ›

    Including the most important parts of a resume is crucial to providing potential employers with an in-depth outline of your qualifications, experience and education. Commonly suggested parts are your contact information, resume profile or summary, experience, education and skills.

    What are the 2 types of resume? ›

    There are three common resume formats: chronological, functional, and combination.

    What are the 3 F's of resume writing? ›

    The 3 F's of resume writing are Function, Form(at) and (e)Ffectiveness. When these 3 elements are adhered to simultaneously in the resume, they make it the perfect fit for the role you're applying to.

    What is a basic resume? ›

    A simple resume typically includes a resume summary or objective, skills section, work history and education. It may also list any awards or accomplishments you have received throughout your career. A simple resume can be beneficial for many reasons.

    What should a 2022 resume not include? ›

    Don't include lots of information that's irrelevant to the job you're applying for. “Sure, you've got hobbies, interests, languages, favorite bands, and ambitions,” Cenedella says. “But keep the information that doesn't address your ability to be responsible, accountable, and a hard worker to a reasonable level.”

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