And today, I am going to teach you how to write a professional resume. So, I made a great presentation for you. Let’s dive right into it.
So, there are three steps you need to consider when writing a resume. The first one is figuring out your format and the layout that you are going to use. The second one is nailing your Resume Header. And then, the third one is completing your resume sections, which is the most important thing. But let’s start from the beginning.
Your format and layout. There are three main resume formats. The first one is Chronological. Here you want to write your most recent job experience and then, move backwards. The same goes for Education, your Professional Certificates, Achievements, and all the other sections. The second one is a Skill-Based or Functional Template.
These are really good for graduates or for people that are doing a career change and want to put the focus on their skills. And then, the third one is a combination of the two. Of course, named Combined. And it can be used in some specific cases.
But in 90 percent of the cases, you want to go with the Chronological format, because this is the resume format that recruiters and employers all around the world are used to. Now, let’s move to the second part.
The Header, which is the top part of your resume. In the Header, there is some must-have information that you need to include at all times. These are: your first and last name, your phone number, your email address, your location. Here in the location, remember to include only the city and the country, and then, job title.
There is also some optional information that you might consider including in your header. Such as your LinkedIn URL, relevant social media, your website, if you have one, or a blog, or even a portfolio. Here you can see an example of a professional resume Header.
You can see that in the left we have the most important information. Which is: the name of the person applying and their job title. And then, on the right, we can see their email address, phone number, location, the LinkedIn profile, and also a Medium account, because we can assume that in this case, the person is a Business Development Consultant, but also, he’s writing professional articles on Medium. Make sure that all the time you proofread your information in the Header, because if you misspelled one number in your phone number, or one letter in your email address, the recruiter or the employer will not be able to contact you. Hello, is this Jonathan Durdway? No, this is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
There is also some information that you should not include in your Resume Header. And this is: your birthdate, unless this is specifically required in the job ad. And you should not include your birthdate because this can lead to discrimination based on age.
Do never include a non-professional email address. You know, that email address that you created in high school. Back then, it was cool. But it is not cool when you’re applying now for a job to have an email as aXXoWarriorZz@superhotmail.com. Recruiters and employers, when they would see that, they would think it is very unprofessional, and they might discard your resume. What about a photograph? Well, in the US, UK, and Ireland, you should not include a picture in your resume due to anti-discrimination and labor laws.
But in other countries, such as in Scandinavia, you should actually include a picture in your resume. There are also lots of countries where there is no agreement on if you should include one or not. So, you need to do the research for the industry you are applying for and what are the exact laws or requirements in your country.
The second thing that you need to consider when writing your Resume Header, it is including a Resume Summary, or an Objective. And we will start with the Resume Summary. A Resume Summary is usually a two to four sentences summary of your career.
I prepared here an example for you that you can use as inspiration. “Professional Marketing Manager with 5+ years of experience in digital marketing. Social media marketing experience, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn advertising. Experience in managing accounts with a monthly budget of 60,000+ dollars. B.A. in Marketing Management.” As you can see, this is a really great Professional Summary; because from four sentences, you can see the tools that the person has experience in, how many years, what budgets they are comfortable in managing, and also their level of education. So, in 90 percent of the cases, you would use a Resume Summary, but there are some cases where a Resume Objective is better.
The Resume Objective is the goal of your resume and it communicates your motivation for getting into a new field. Here you can see a professional example for a Customer Support Professional that’s currently doing a career change. “Customer Support Representative with 3+ years of experience in over-the-phone technical support looking to leverage communication skills as a Sales Representative at XYZ company.
Excellent track record in delivering quality support service, having maintained a 4.7+ stars rating over the past one and a half years from over one thousand customers.” That is impressive. As you can see, this is a really great example because the person is emphasizing on their transferable skills what both a Customer Support Professional and a Sales Representative would have in common.
Now, let’s move to the third and most important part of your resume: your Resume Sections. So, you want to structure your work experience as follows. First, you will have the job title or position. Under it, you would leave the company name and, optional, location. Then, you would have the dates that you were employed for that company. Then, you want to list between four to six, and maximum, ten achievements and responsibilities. And, as optional, as well, it would be the company description.
You want to use this if the company is not so well known or if it has a name that doesn’t really tell what industry it is, or what they are doing. And now, I am going to show you an example of a Professional Work Experience section. As you can see here, we have at the top: the job title followed by the company name and location of the company.
Then, under, you can see the dates employed. And then, you can see the most important part of the Work Experience section: the Achievements. These achievements are really great because they use a lot of percentages and numbers, which makes it really easy for the employer or recruiter to visualize the value that you actually added to that company.
So, remember to use percentages and numbers as many times as possible. So, the next really important section that you want to include is your Education.
Here, you want to start with your program name, the university name, the years that you attended or the graduation date. And as optional, you can include relevant courses for the job you are applying for, your honors or awards, your GPA (include the GPA only if it is high, one of the highest), your academic achievements… And that was it. The way I said it before, it was like something else is coming. “Academic achievements, and…”. So, here we have a professional example. As you can see, the Education section starts with the programme name followed by the university name, the years that the person attended the university.
Then, we have an example of an excellent award. And lastly, here, we have as an optional section, we have the relevant courses. After including your Work Experience and your Education, it’s crucial to mention your top Skills.
Remember that there are two types of skills that you can include in your resume. So, first, there are the Hard Skills. These are measurable abilities that usually you can get a score or a diploma on it. Some examples include Google Analytics, Photoshop, French cuisine, and Engineering. The second type of skills are Soft Skills.
These are personal abilities and it is very hard to quantify them. Some examples included here are: leadership, critical thinking, empathy, and adaptability. There are some jobs where people tend to include only their hard skills. But remember all the time to include some soft skills as well, because nowadays, no matter the job, you will all the time need to work with other people. And working with other people requires soft skills. And, here, we can see an example from a resume where we have Hard Skills and Soft Skills.
Listed in the left, you can see the technical skills, hard skills in this case. And then, on the right, we can see the soft skills that… My mouth got so dry… Work Experience, Education, and Skills, they are the bread and butter of your resume.
However, the following sections can really give a boost to your resume. Now, here are some additional sections that you can add: Languages… Speaking a foreign language can give you an advantage over the other job seekers.
The company that you are applying to might have offices in other countries or actually have customers from all over the world. Next, you can also add Volunteering Experience. This would actually add lots of value for students or graduates. If you don’t have so much work experience or if you apply for NGOs. Then, you can add your certificates, which for some jobs, they are crucial and are actually more important than Work Experience… What? Ahh. We need to… Then, remember to list any extra Awards; Awards that you might have received or Achievements. This becomes really important and is a differentiator at mid-level career or for senior professionals. Then, you can also add Relevant Projects.
These are really important, especially when you took a break, because it can demonstrate that while you were not working, you were still upgrading your skills. And, last but not least, if you still have space after going through all the sections that I mentioned before, you might consider adding your hobbies and interests because this can actually showcase your personality. Of course, none of these sections are mandatory, but consider for yourself which of these sections can actually add value and are relevant for the position you are applying to. And here we can see an example of the additional sections added in a resume.
We can see the Certificates. As I mentioned before, they are really important and can add lots of value to the resume. Followed by Languages, and, then, Interests. So, we have gone through all the sections that can be included in a resume. But how does it look altogether?
Here is a professional example. You can see that at the top, we have the Header, which includes the name and the title, the Summary or an Objective, the Contact Information, And, then, we can see the resume sections. The first one, and the most important, as mentioned before: the Work Experience. Followed by Education, and Skills. Then, the additional sections: Certificates, Languages, and Interests. And look at it! That’s a really impressive resume, isn’t it? I think that person will get the job that he or she is applying to. Because it is not good, right? Yeah. I think that Diana will get the job that she is looking for.
Here, at Novorésumé, we actually created an intuitive resume builder that will allow you to create professional resumes, just like in the example that I showed you. The Editor already suggests all the sections you need. Such as Contact Information, Summary, Work Experience, Education, and so on. You can also easily customize your resume with different fonts, colors, and layouts, depending on your needs.