How to Write the Perfect Resume
A person's resume is possibly the most valuable piece of information for someone's career. A small document can be daunting to many as they may not be sure how to fit their whole life story onto one/two pages.
Perhaps you're not sure about how to format and write your resume? Maybe you don't know what a resume is? How about a CV?
Whatever it might be, we'll break down everything you need and want to know about making the quintessential resume.
What is a resume?
To begin, many people ask what the heck is a resume? It is traditionally spelt résumé, which is french for "a summary", it is pronounced re-zu-meh. It is essentially a 1 page breakdown of your life story (education, experiences and skills), sometimes it can be 2 pages but preferably one for ease of reading. Typically recruiters may spend mere seconds glancing at your resume so your key points should catch their eye first, despite so it should not deter you from making it succinct and neat.
You might have heard the names "CV" and "resume" used interchangeably and although they are very similar, a CV in a nut shell is longer as it focuses more on listings of : education, research experience, certifications and awards.
A resume is essentially a concise version of your LinkedIn page, which despite a LinkedIn page being a universal tool for recruiter, it is very broad. A resume can tailor your experiences and skills to a specific role or company.
1) Pick your format
Resume builders online can be very useful and helpful as it takes your information and arranges it into however you choose, be it artistic or minimalistic. You can also use pre-made templates on Microsoft Word or Pages. However before delving into fancy advanced layouts, it is always safest to start with a blank clean slate. It will gives you a space to write down all your relevant information and easily edit and re-edit when new things come your way.
The gist of your resume should be:
1) Your work experience (try and avoid part time work in the past, unless extremely relevant)
2) Your education (usually your highest qualification, employers are not concerned with the primary school you attended)
3) Your skills (more on hard skills) and interests
4) Your involvement in non-work experiences: side projects, volunteer work or professional organizations
The best recommended way to list your CV is reverse chronological order, this meaning that you write your experience from most recent to least recent, which thus likely means your work experience will come before education. This however does not have to followed strictly, as you might have chose to further your studies or the jobs that you have done previously do not apply to what you are applying for, it is just a guideline!
2) List your basic information
The start of every person's resume is very similar, the information that is crucial to a recruiter should always be on top, this being contact information.
Always start with your full name (or the name that you go by online), this for obvious reasons is for people identify you! Secondly your phone number and personal email address should follow, this will make it easy for recruiters like us to email you and follow up on chats that we have had.
Other information can be put down, such as LinkedIn or GitHub (technical roles). This will overall build your to showcase what sort of character you are. The utmost key is the be as clear as possible, if we can't reach you that'll be a problem!
3) Add your work experience
This is likely going to be the bulk of your resume, unless you might have taken the route of academica or academic researcher. Always add the most relevant experiences as you do not have a lot of page space to add all the jobs you might have worked at, employers typically are looking for keywords or a gauge of how many years you have been working in a particular industry. Work experience such as part time jobs you did in high school although might have been interesting, they are not particularly eye catching for recruiters so its best to exclude those!
Within your work experience you want to include your official job title, the company, the location and the number of years you worked there. Below that you can add 2 to 4 bullet points roughly outling what you did there (abiding to the confidentiality of your work).
An example of this can look like:
Front End Developer, Technological Solutions Pte Ltd. , Singapore May 2017 – Present
Developing of web applications for more than 100 clients, ensuring effective writing of code
Collaborating closely with the back end developers to ensure a smooth user interface
As a software developer in particular it can be very useful to list exactly what languages you are proficient and have experience in, so despite you might persay be a front end developer if you are familiar with back end languages it will open up doors for full stack and back end development! Usually different companies are looking for a developer in a particular language, so its always best to expand your arsenal of proficiency in languages to be the most alpha of them all.
4) Include your education
After your work experience, you should put your education, this typically should be your highest level of education, do include your graduation year, major and degree. This is important as typically recruiters may be looking for a specific degree, e.g. Bachelors in Computer Science.
If you have a rather robust education experience, such as an online course or certification from an accredited instituition you can also put it down, this can be especially helpful if you are planning on changing your career or industry as it shows a level of competency.
5) Consider adding other experiences such as volunteer work
By adding experiences such as volunteer work, it makes you look more holistic and well rounded. Other experiences you can include are your hobbies, however this should be minimal and at most 1 or 2 lines.
6) An example of a good resume
Below is an example of a good resume, notice how everything is concise and thrown onto one page. Recruiters can easily look through 100 or more resumes in a day, so it is best to tell us and show us what we want to see at first glance!
To conclude this blog post, the key to writing is a good resume is simply be direct and clear. Always write what is most relevant to the job you are applying for. A resume has to be aesthetically pleasing, but not over complicated as recruiters should be able to pick out what they are looking for in seconds, if they have to go through hunting for your information it is probably not a good first impression.
If you have any further questions about how to write a good resume please feel free to email me at [email protected]