Your professional resume has to seem professional and well-polished if you want a hiring manager to give your application materials a second look. A poorly written resume with several typos or irrelevant to the position sought will be promptly discarded. The number of people that apply for a single job might range from the dozens to the hundreds. A poorly written professional resume reflects poorly on you as a job seeker and might prevent you from landing an interview.
Resumes containing many typos and other formatting errors (such as bullets in some sections, dashes in others, bold in some headers, and plain text in others) will not be considered seriously.
Table of Contents
Step By Step Guide to Write a Professional Resume
1. Choose a resume format
It’s common practice to submit a professional resume in three distinct formats: chronological, functional, or a hybrid (sometimes called a combination resume). Most job-seekers are best served by a combination or hybrid resume, which highlights education and employment history. However, a functional or chronological resume may be more appropriate in some scenarios.
Put these details at the top of your professional resume:
- Number to call
- Location (City, State, Zip Code)
- Address for Electronic Mail
- URL of your LinkedIn profile
Even though it’s very apparent what should be here, some job-seekers nevertheless leave out a crucial piece of contact data. Verify everything, and make it simple for hiring managers to contact you.
2. Resume Advice: Contact Details
Include a private rather than a professional phone number. Add your city, state, and zip code but not your complete address. Generally speaking, recruiters will look in their immediate vicinity for suitable applicants.
Please choose an email address that reflects well on you professionally. If you’re still using an old-fashioned email provider like Hotmail or AOL, you may want to consider signing up for a free Gmail account to utilise throughout your job hunt. Build up your LinkedIn profile and put the link in your resume’s contact information.
3. Create a catchy headline for your Resume
Your resume’s headline should be a catchy, eye-catching statement about who you are and what you can do for the company. A compelling headline might entice a recruiter to read on and learn more about your experience and skills.
Your headline is the first thing a recruiter views on your professional resume and should be compelling. Creating a good first impression is essential, so seize the moment. If you want your resume to be seen by the ATS, here is another chance to add a job title or keyword that describes the kind of work you want to do.
Titles to Include on Your Professional Resume:
- Use language directly from the job description, particularly the title.
- Reduce the length of your message. Use no more than 10 words at most.
- Make the headline stand out by using a title case (capitalising the first letter of each word) and a bold or slightly bigger font size.
4. Add your professional resume summary statement
A professional resume summary statement, also known as a profile paragraph or executive summary, is a brief paragraph or list of bullet points that introduce the reader to your most relevant qualifications and experience. The purpose of the summary is to convince recruiters and hiring managers that you are the best candidate for the position, building on the information provided in the headline.
Incomplete resumes are a red flag to employers. You may use this part to elaborate on your work history, showcase your abilities, or craft a powerful goal statement if you don’t have much experience in your chosen field.
Ideas for the Summary Section of Your professional Resume:
- Try to find commonalities in your past jobs and summarise your experience briefly.
- Leave out any talents that aren’t necessary for the position you’re applying for.
- List some of your most notable accomplishments. You get more marks if you provide data and concrete examples.
- Use the job’s language directly in your own writing.
5. Summarize your professional background
The most important part of your professional resume is the employment history section. Potential employers will scrutinise this part of your resume to get a sense of whether or not you’re a strong prospect.
This is why it’s essential to describe your duties and accomplishments in previous positions. In the job experience area, you may highlight how you have contributed to previous employers. A recruiter’s initial impression of your professional resume will be based on the titles and quality of the firms you’ve worked for in the past. Keep to a standard format to make this data readily accessible.
Make a reverse chronological list of all your previous jobs. The following details should be included under a separate title for each position:
- Location of Employment
- Name of Employer:
- When they begin and when they finish
Work Experience Section Suggestions:
- Title this section something conventional like “Work Experience,” “Professional Experience,” or “Job History.”
- Try to be as detailed and quantifiable as possible.
- Put in as many keywords and related abilities from the posting.
- The content of this section should be modified for each position for which you apply by adding or removing the emphasis on specific responsibilities and qualifications.
6. Describe your experience and any keywords you think are important
Whether quickly scanning a résumé or doing a thorough search using an applicant tracking system, recruiters always have a set of keywords in mind (ATS). The more optimised your CV is, the more role-specific keywords it includes, typically hard talents.
99 % of Fortune 500 organisations use ATSs to organise, categorise, and find job candidates. Some application tracking systems (ATS) may automatically rate your resume’s content versus the job description, narrowing the pool of candidates down to the “best” candidates. Resume keywords like “customer service,” “accounts receivable,” and “Adobe Photoshop” are common targets for recruiters’ keyword searches.
Where should you highlight the most relevant abilities on your resume?
You should highlight your most relevant qualifications right from the get-go by including the job title in your headline. Using a hybrid resume structure, you may have a skills section to identify relevant qualifications.
Where do you go to obtain relevant keywords for your resume?
Check the posting to check whether the required soft skills and hard talents are included. All those things that are needed or stated more than once are probably crucial to the position. More than a million other job-seekers use Jobscan to match their resumes to suitable positions.
Jobscan improves your resume in every manner, including finding keywords that aren’t in the job description but are nonetheless significant to recruiters.
7. Add your detailed academic background and professional credentials.
Depending on the position you’re applying for and your previous work history, you may want to include extra information on your resume. These include educational background, honours and awards, volunteer work, and professional credentials.
Remember that your resume’s primary purpose is to sell you as the best candidate for the job you’re applying for, so leave out any details from your past that may give the wrong impression.
It is standard practice to include your educational background if you are applying for a position that needs a degree. If you have been working for a while, you may put the education portion of your resume at the end.
Most job-seekers may get away with including simply the following information on their resumes unless they are applying in a field that places a premium on education (such as academics, law, or medicine):
- Name of College or University Degree Granted Campus
- Years of Schooling
The education portion of your professional resume should be longer and more detailed if you have just graduated from college. The knowledge and abilities acquired in the classroom are genuine and applicable in the working world.
Recently graduated students might boost their application by highlighting courses taken, clubs or groups joined, and other activities participated in that are directly related to the position being sought.
Honours, Commendations, and Diplomas
The three items above may include your resume’s job experience and skills. Of course, you might give them their subsection if you think they need special attention. No matter the case, your credibility will rise with the addition of appropriate qualifications and awards.
8. Optimizing your resume for applicant tracking systems
It’s simple to submit your professional resume to several employers online, but if you’ve done so in the past, you may have been dissatisfied with the results. That’s because recruiters can see that you didn’t put in the effort to tailor your resume to each position individually.
Personalising your professional resume for each job application is the most effective way to increase your odds of being invited for an interview. Recruiters generally get dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes for each open position, so candidates whose resumes are tailored to the needs of the open position and incorporate keywords from the job description stand out.
Many application tracking systems (ATS) enable recruiters to filter and search by keyword, so when you adapt your resume to a specific position, you’re also optimising for those systems. Check your resume for appropriate formatting. Check your match percentage and identify keyword gaps using Jobscan.
9. Improve your writing’s grammar and layout
Resumes are written in their unique way. It’s not always easy to remember when to use which tense or why it’s necessary to delete pronouns. How can you make your narrative more satisfying via the employment of language? What kind of typefaces and file types can I use with the ATS? Let’s check it out.
Formats for Resume
Use a typeface that is legible on screen, is compatible with ATS software, and is widely accessible. The classic Helvetica, Garamond, or Georgia are all excellent options for a professional resume. Unless you are a designer, you should not use a script or customised fonts. Font sizes below 10 are not recommended.
Pronouns and Tenses
Talk about former employment in the past and current work in the present tense. The “I” pronoun is not used in a standard resume since the emphasis is placed on the candidate’s qualifications.
Verbs to Put on a Resume
Using action verbs may make your professional resume more engaging to read and catch the attention of recruiters and HR professionals. Replace dull action verbs like “managed” or “lead” with more exciting ones like “mentored” or “accelerated,” and try to start each bullet point with a verb that shows initiative.
Wrapping It Up
Nowadays, almost every professional has some idea of creating a typical resume, but it won’t be enough to get an interview with your dream firm. To get a recruiter’s attention these days, you need more than just the typical two-page professional resume describing your experience and education.
In today’s competitive job market, your only chance of being hired is if your professional resume stands out from the rest of other applicants.