Building your Winning Resume!
Serving as employers’ introduction to you even before they meet you in person, your resume must not only list your best qualities, but also line up with what employers are looking for
As many say, first impressions last, and when it comes to employers, their first impression of you comes by way of your resume. Granted, you can better elaborate on your professional skills and other work competencies during an interview, but your resume is more often than not what will get you that appointment to begin with.
The bigger the company and the more in-demand a position is, the more likely it is to receive plenty of applicants, and to better ensure that your resume doesn’t simply get lost in that shuffle is to pay attention to detail, and make sure employers can’t help but notice, at least on paper, how you have the qualities that make you a good fit for the position and company.
Now while creating a resume can be a little tedious, it also doesn’t have to be too difficult or too stressful. By approaching it in a step-by-step process, you not only come up with a resume that highlights your relevant skills and experiences, but one that is also pleasant to read and easy to remember by potential employers.
Before you begin, you’ll have to get organized and take note of a number of aspects that will go into building your resume.
Create, and itemize, your skills inventory
It will be beneficial now and during the rest of your career to be mindful of the skills you have, as this will be what you will primarily be offering to potential employers, and will be highlighting the most in your resume. These will both be hard skills and soft skills, and which ones you highlight over the other will depend on the requirements of the job/s you apply to.
Find a job to apply to
Yes, obviously building resume means you will eventually be applying for a job, but while you can always do so even without one in mind, it’s still easier to create a resume when having job descriptions to base it off of, and align the skills you have with employers’ requirements.
Research the jobs, employers, and the industries they belong in
Knowing the job, who it will be for, and the general nature of the industry is in will be helpful in deciding how to present your qualifications. Consider it as knowing your readers, the key people viewing your resume, and recognizing what will make your resume standout to them.
Decide on a resume type
Yes, like jobs themselves, resumes also vary. Choosing which one to use will depend on the nature of the job and/or industry you are applying to, as well as some of your own specific circumstances:
Technically REVERSE chronological, this resume is where you list your past work experience, with your most recent job at the top. Career objectives or a career summary may come before the list, but your chronological work history is the highlight of the resume.
This resume focuses your skills and experience instead of your chronological work history. It is less commonly used than a chronological resume, but is ideal for job candidates who have had large gaps between employment, have little work experience, or are attempting to change careers.
As its name attests, a Combination Resume features aspects of the aforementioned two. Here, you showcase the skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for, while also providing the work history that employers often want to take a look at.
This type of resume is customized to specifically highlight your skills and experiences relevant to the job, and usually includes an application letter. While being personalized makes it harder to make, it is well worth the effort when applying for jobs that perfectly match for your qualifications.
This is often utilized by professionals in creative fields, and can include photos, videos, graphs and other visuals. Examples would be graphic designers applying with resumes designed by them, or a video editor submitting a video resume instead of a traditional document.
Choose a Resume Builder
To work on your resume, you’ll need a word processor, which you likely have since you are reading this article online on your computer. However, just in case you don’t have word processing software installed, or don’t have a computer of your own, there are several free resume generators which you can use instead.
Alternatively, you can also look to resume builders or graphic design tools websites. These usually feature resume templates, and some of the latter also let you add some pizzazz to your resume with images and backgrounds.
One of the benefits of applying for work online is that you can create, update, send, and share your resume from any computer or device you’re using. On Kalibrr, the resume you upload can viewed by employers whose jobs best align with the qualifications you indicate on your profile.
Write Your Resume
Now that you’re ready with what you’ll need to complete your resume, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just a matter of putting everything about you on paper. Instead, make sure your resume is made to only highlight how you fit the employer’s job requirements and the company’s overall culture.
While the specifics of what you include in your resume would depend on what your potential employer is looking for, what you list should generally be the following:
This includes your basic information, such as your Full Name (bold or highlighted and using a larger font), Your Address, Email Address (don’t use your work or school email) and Phone Number.
Profile or Objective
A profile or an objective gives an employer a brief overview of your qualifications, but is an optional component of a resume. If you include it, focus on what prospective employers can gain from employing you rather than what you want in your next job.
Summary of Qualifications and Certifications
This is a statement that includes your skills, abilities, experiences, and qualifications you have for the position. While also optional, you are recommended to have this in your resume, especially if you have little or no actual work experience yet.
These can also include any licenses or certifications you have, as well as other seminars, classes, or training you have attended. Again, just make sure that all of what you list relates to the career you are trying to establish or the job you are applying to (e.g. a culinary certificate is impressive, but it has nothing to do with I.T.)
Your work history is the most important component of your resume. Most employers will want to know where you’ve worked, when you worked there, and what responsibilities you held in each role you have had, to see how your experience line up with what they are looking for in future employees.
There’s a saying that you’re only as good as the last thing you did, so it is recommended that you list the jobs and internships you have held in reverse chronological order, with the most recent positions first. Don’t forget the basics such as each job’s job title, company, location, dates of employment, and a bulleted list of the strongest accomplishments for each job.
The section listing your education section generally follows work experience, but can be placed ahead of it if you are still a student or a recent graduate. Similar to work or internship experience, you list your degrees earned in reverse chronological order or from the most recent/highest, and work your way back. Don’t forget to Include the name of the school, the degree earned, and the date you graduated.
Highlighting the grades you earned is optional, and isn’t particularly necessary when you already have work experience to speak of. It can however help raise your profile if you’re still a student or just graduated, provided your scores are noteworthy.
Awards and Accomplishments
Your resume is not the place to be shy about mentioning awards and achievements you have earned, as your achievements done will show employers that you are a well-credentialed candidate who has been recognized for your superiors and/or peers. As always, just make sure the accomplishments you list, whether these were earned at school or your prior jobs, are those that are most relevant to the jobs that you are applying for now.
Additional Tips and Things to Take Note Of
As you continue to build your resume, also take note of the following things that you can apply to make your qualifications really stand out to your potential employers
Lists vs. Paragraphs
Job descriptions featuring a bulleted list of responsibilities and/or achievements is easier to read than a paragraph. Remember, your resume should only be one page, two at most, so each item listed under each job/internship/educational course should only feature a sentence or two, enough to provide a brief synopsis of your most notable accomplishments in the position.
Employers, especially senior executives, like to take note of numbers. So whenever you have the opportunity, be quantitative when detailing your accomplishments or credentials, making precise use of numbers, monetary values, and percentages to illustrate your qualifications better.
For example, instead of: “successfully sold premium subscription packages to several new clients in January”, you can opt to use “Successfully sold premium subscription packages to 10 new clients in only one month, sales which amounted to over Php1.1 million in revenue.”
Use “resume keywords”
In this digital era, you can expect most, if not all, of the employers to be using some form of recruiting management software to find and screen job candidates. In order to get found, your resume needs to have keywords that target the jobs you’re applying to and will be recognized immediately by the online tools which the employers use.
You can use similar verbiage on the job descriptions thee employers, as these keywords in these are likely what they use in their searches. In addition to the benefit of getting your resume selected, this will also help hiring managers see how your skills and experiences make you the ideal candidate for the job.
Proofread and edit accordingly
It goes without saying that you’ll proofread your resume before sending it out to employers. You can do this more effectively with fresh eyes, so choose to proofread your newly finished resume at least a day after completion and edit as needed.
Take it a step further by having completely different set/s of eyes evaluate your work, as input from a family member, friend, or even better, and HR professional or career counselor can help you polish your resume.
Whether it’s your first time applying for work, or if you are in-between jobs, or are in the midst of a career change, you’ll be creating or re-creating your resume as you look and apply for career opportunities, and hopefully, the aforementioned steps and tips make the process both easy and effective.
Need more help with your career search? Find more tips and advice at Kalibrr.com.
Kalibrr is a technology company that aims to transform how candidates find jobs and how companies hire talent. Placing the candidate experience at the center of everything it does, the company continues to attract the best talent from all over, with more than 2 million professionals and counting. Kalibrr ultimately connects these talents to companies in search of their next generation of leaders.
The only end-to-end recruitment solutions provider in Southeast Asia, Kalibrr is headquartered in Makati, Philippines, with offices in San Francisco, California and Jakarta, Indonesia. Established in 2012, it has served over 18,000 clients, and is backed by some of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators and venture capitalists. These include Y Combinator, Omidyar Network, Patamar Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Kickstart Ventures.
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