How to Create a Professional Resume

Resume is the first reflection of your personality and professionalism, and therefore, your resume must be professional yet easy-to-read. 

Resumes that are unorganized and lack consistency throughout are poor resumes and such poor don’t get a second glance from recruiters. Recruiters receive hundreds and thousands of applications for a single position leaving them with very little time to read through each resume very carefully. According to the research, hiring managers take only 6 seconds to analyze your resume which means you’ve got only a few seconds to impress your recruiter with your well-cultivated resume.

Although LinkedIn profiles have widely been serving as a modern resume however, the majority of recruiters still prefer old-school resumes that you create and design yourself. Therefore, learning to build a winning resume is a must!

Tips for Creating a Professional Resume

1. Use Templates

Templates are a great way to getting started with building your resume from scratch. You can search for resume templates in Google docs or Word documents. You can also simply Google search resume templates and choose any one of your choice from a list of thousands of templates.

2. Get Creative

Like some people, you may not like to use the templates as is, but that’s when your creative side knocks at the door. If there’s something that you would like to change, feel free to do so as long as it all looks professional. You may feel like changing the color of the top section of your resume from “cream” to “white” or as simple as changing the font style or size of your resume text. In any case, let your creativity shine through your work and build a unique yet professional resume.

3. Choose Resume Type

If you do not already know, there are several options in resume types that we can choose from. Choosing the best type of resume totally depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. There four main types are:

  • Chronological resume – This resume is the most commonly used one. Chronological resumes showcase your work history in chronological order beginning with the most recent one. Majority of the employers prefer this resume as they don’t have to scan through to find the most recent employment of yours.
  • Functional resume – Functional resumes are opposite to chronological resumes. Ignoring the timeline and work history, functional resumes focus primarily on skills and expertise. Employment history is stated under the skills section of your resume.
  • Combination resume – This is the blend of both chronological and functional resume in a way that helps you tell a story of your professional journey to the hiring manager. In short, combination resumes emphasize chronologically on your skills and expertise. The best part is that you can tailor your resume to the prospective project / vacant position
  • Combination resume – This is the blend of both chronological and functional resume in a way that helps you tell a story of your professional journey to the hiring manager. In short, combination resumes emphasize chronologically on your skills and expertise. The best part is that you can tailor your resume to the prospective project / vacant position

4. Consistent Formatting

In order to stand out from the pile of 2,361 resumes on the recruiter’s desk, you have to make sure that your resume looks consistent and professional. That being said, you have to be careful with the font, font size, style, use of bullets, and /or type of bullets. For instance, if you have written the first section with Arial, make sure to use the same font for the rest of your resume. Similarly, if you have used bullet points to describe your achievements or responsibilities under a particular position, be sure to use the bullet points, and of the same style, under all other positions as well. Inconsistently formatted resume fails to capture the recruiter’s attention and ends up in a trash can.

5. Simple Font

Remember the saying: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”? Wel,, that’s exactly the case with professional resumes. The simpler you keep it, the more professional it looks. One of the factors of a professional resume is the ease of reading. Hiring managers like resumes that are easily and clearly read. This means that you should always go for a simple and legible font that the hiring manager can read quickly. Remember within 6 seconds. Some good examples of legible fonts are Arial, Times New Roman, or Cailbri. Be sure to keep your font size between 10 or 12 so that it’s neither too big not too small. 

6. Keep it Focused

Long, erroneous, and off-point resumes are a turnoff. Six seconds are more than enough for resumes that are focused, concise, and straight to the point. Therefore, it is not helpful to include extra information to your resume. Be sure to add only the information relevant to the prospective project / position and that could help you get the job. Feel free to leave out any other information that’s irrelevant or redundant. Keep the length of your resume to one page only or two pages at the maximum.

7. Keep it Up-to-date

Building a resume may be a one-time activity, but don’t forget that giving it a makeover is a regular one. Once you’ve created your resume and successfully landed on a cool project or job, make sure to keep updating it with the new skills and achievements. Keeping it up-to-date is an ongoing process unless you retire and decide to live off your savings or pension.

Before you get started on building your resume, you might see it as a tedious assignment, but once you get a swing of the above-mentioned seven tips, we’re sure that you’ll swing it. Cheers!

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