Writing a resume
Writing a resume is complicated for everyone: you have to know what to include, what to emphasize. Human Resources professionals and employers receive hundreds of resumes for each job position and they can usually take only 10 to 30 seconds to read each one.
In our website, we offer some advice to build a good resume:
Start with a clear professional goal, even before you begin writing your resume. You need to know what kind of job you’re looking for and the abilities it requires. Once you’ve got your goal, you’re ready to start building your resume the best you can to get what you want.
- It’s time to start writing. Remember your resume is your personal marketing tool, the one that helps you convince the employer. That’s why it’s not necessary to include everything. The trick is being clear and brief, so you catch their attention and interest for a potential interview. A good excercise is trying to think you’re the employer that’s going to read your resume. What would you find interesting? Include those items.
- Use different formats. For the body of the resume, use short sentences with different formats (numbers, blackie, italic or underlined…) instead of long paragraphs. Resumes should take little time to read, so use key sentences, it helps the reader to get a glimpse of your abilities. Again, don’t worry about details, you’ll explain more during the interview.
- Use verbs. Like preparing, achieving, developing, presenting… they’ll help your resume stand out. Besides, if it’s automatically scanned, something enterprises are beginning to do lately, those keywords will be found.
- Use symbols. Whenever you can, use currency, percentage or numbers symbols. These are really visible and stand out. Being specific doesn’t mean being tedious.
- Emphasize your strengths and abilities. Particularly those relevant for the position. The employer will take between 10 and 30 seconds to read your resume so make sure he sees those skills.
- Offer them what they’re looking for. Analyze the ads and job offers available. For each position there’s usually a short description of the company, as well as the employees they’re looking for. Use these keywords.
- Personalize your resume. Instead of using a standard format. This will make a difference.
- Be positive. It’s really important, in your resume and during the interview as well, to be optimistic and positive. That’s why you should forget about any negative or irrelevant aspect. If you think your age or the dates of your studies will be detrimental to the resume, leave them out. If there’s any job or task that won’t help, don’t include them. Focus on the tasks that can help you get your goal.
- Design matters. It’s good for your resume to be clear, clean and well-structured. That’s why you should leave enough margins and spaces. You shouldn’t shower them with information. This way the reader’s attention focuses causing a good first impression.
- Pay attention to the format. The font size shouldn’t be too small (never less than 10pts) or use strange fonts that are harder to understand (go for a clean, normal font: Sans Serif, Times New Roman, Helvetica…). Your resume should be short, 1 or 2 pages, tops (still, 1 would be better).
- Ask for advice whenever you can. It’s usually difficult to see mistakes, so ask a friend, partner or relative to help you with your resume. Let them read it and make suggestions before you send it. An “it’s okay” is not enough, encourage them, their questions can help you see things you’ve missed or find confusing sentences, etc.