You’re ready to begin job hunting, but first, you need to create a resume. Uh-oh. What if you don’t know where to start? Follow these five steps to complete the task.
Step #1 – Make a List
Before you worry about formatting, most importantly, think about what you want your resume to say. Pull out a blank piece of paper or open a word processing document. Then, consider each of the following resume headings: 1) contact information, 2) skills, 3) work experience, 4) education, 5) certifications, and 6) other accomplishments. Record each as a category, and list anything that comes to mind underneath. You won’t end up using everything in your final document. However, this is a fantastic way to generate ideas.
Step #2 – Expand on Your Experiences
Since the experience section of your resume contains the most information, build this out. This time record your most recent position and list all your achievements and responsibilities underneath. You’ll want to keep your resume to one page. So, only focus on your last three to five jobs. And, if you’re early in your career, add internships, volunteer work, or even summer jobs if necessary.
Step #3 – Find a Template
Unless you are a professional designer, it’s perfectly okay to use a resume template. Microsoft Word offers lots of options. Or, you can search online for free resume templates. Remember, when in doubt, simple is better—your primary goal to display all your amazing skills in an easy-to-read fashion.
Step #4 – Fill in Your Resume
Now that you’ve picked your template fill it in. Most likely, you’ll need to rewrite items from your lists into a more resume-friendly format. Top tips include adding action words, avoiding overused expressions, and backing up your claims with data. For example, instead of saying, “Detailed-oriented team player,” you could write, “Organized a five-person committee which implemented strategies to reduce reporting mistakes by 50% in six months.”
Step #5 – Customize
Your resume looks great. Let’s send it out. Wait a minute. Not so fast! A final and critical step is to tailor your resume for each position to which you apply. Although this requires extra work, it’s worth the effort. Many companies utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or software to prescan resumes. If your application doesn’t include keywords pulled directly from the job description, it probably won’t make it past the computer. Therefore, take the time to read each job posting carefully. Circle keywords and key phrases and look for ways to work these into your resume. The lists you made in Steps #1 and #2 will be useful too. You can switch out various accomplishments and skills from your brainstorming sessions and only include those most relevant to a specific job.
Do You Wish You Could Create a Resume That Was Giving You Better Results?
The professional recruiters at United Talent Staffing Services can help you perfect your application and land that job. We place industrial workers, medical staff, and office professionals throughout West Virginia and the Greater Atlanta area. Check out all our available job openings today!