Did you know?
Recruiters spend an average of 7.4 seconds in reviewing individual resumes . This is based on a research study by TheLadder. Will Evans, the head of the user experience of TheLadder said, “They’re looking for job hoppers, minimum education requirements and a candidate’s steady career progression,” in his interview with TIME magazine.
This is why writing a resume is more crucial than ever. While there are resume templates out there that you can download and edit, you want to make sure that your final outcome tells the readers who you are.
The usual length of a resume is 2 pages and 1-page for consulting and finance industries. You can adjust the margin of the document, both horizontally and vertically. But do keep the font size at least at 11.
Keep a header with the first line of your name, centered, and the second line for your contact information (address for the first line and the next line would be phone number, email, LinkedIn profile if you’d like).
Keep the header consistent in your business documents: make sure that the same header appears on your Cover Letter.
In a 2-pages resume, you have the opportunity to write a summary of your profile. Here, explain in bullet points top 3 to 4 things recruiter should know about you. You can start with an overall picture “Creative marketer with three years of experience in banking and construction”, then move to your values for example, or proven experiences.
Think of Profile as the highlights you want people to immediately notice from you. Write the things that will set you apart from other candidates.
Always write the most relevant experience first, before moving to the previous ones. In other words, your most current job/education/volunteering experience should be at the top.
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After the Profile section, you should add Education, Work Experience, Leadership and Involvement, Volunteering Experience, Awards, and Other Qualifications. In the last part, you can add skills (for example, programming language, statistical software knowledge), interests (for example, Photography, Creative Writing), foreign languages, and extracurricular.
The key to an outstanding resume is about showcasing your talent. Here’s what you need to know: go beyond what your tasks are.
Let say we are in the Education section. Perhaps you want to add related courses in the job you are applying. If you are applying to a consulting company, you might want to write that you’re taking the Leadership and Management course, Business Evaluation course, and etc.
In the Work Experience section, you need to talk more about the impact you made on the company. While it’s good to know what your daily task is, it’s more important to write about the accomplishments you make. That means, put down the percentage increase you made (increase in revenue, increase in efficiency, increase in productivity). Mention how big of the team you manage or you’re involved with (for example, collaborated with six marketing coworkers). Tell the recruiters if you are reporting directly to the board members.
Do the same to Leadership and Involvement, as well as Volunteering Experience.
A good example of impactful sentence would be:
“Involvement at school organization: Raised funding for an annual event and gathered 125% of the budget.”
The first thing to keep in mind about formatting is to make sure everything is aligned. How you write your resume describes how detail-oriented you are. You need to make sure that titles are aligned, bullet points are aligned, dates are aligned.
Next thing is to know the industry’s standard of the overall look of a resume. It is often the case that the creative industry, such as the Graphic Design industry, needs a polished and aesthetically pleasing resume. Meanwhile, I had the experience where an Indonesian company requested me to add a picture to my resume.
Lastly, use fonts that are modern, professional-looking, and easy to look at. I suggest Arial, Helvetica, and Calibri.
Writing a resume is the first step in your job application. It’s your opportunity to highlights your professional achievements and experiences. A helpful exercise for you would be to create a story while remembering your last education, jobs, and involvements. What was the situation, what was the task, what actions did you take (in particular, what initiatives did you do?), and what are the results from it? Ultimately, you want to include the results into your resume and later use the STAR method in interview sessions.