Building an effective resume is the key to get better opportunities in your chosen field. You might have a rich professional experience or academic background, but if your resume misses to carry out these important facts, then you cannot stand a chance against other individuals who are also vying for the same position as you.
Whether we like it or not, the workforce is a competitive arena. You have to make yourself stand out from the rest to get hired by scouts and talent recruiters. So, to make a good first impression, make sure you can present a stellar portfolio through your resume. Here’s how you can do it.
Make It Simple
Resumes don’t need to be complicated unless your expertise is very technical. There is no need to use highfalutin words that are hard to understand or even recognise. Your resume should look clean, straight to the point, and properly arranged.
Therefore, you need to create headers so the reviewers can easily browse through the details they need to see during your application. Make sure you list down your academic background, work experience, personal details, achievements, and extra-curricular affiliations separately.
Include Only Relevant Achievements
When applying for a job or an internship program, your goal is to impress your future employer. Employers always look for people with the proper skills and expertise that are useful in their industry. If you are an overachiever, it’s sometimes recommended to include all your big projects and extra-curricular activities, even if you are still starting out with student resumes.
However, this does not mean that you could just put any experience or affiliation you have on your resume. You only need to write down the relevant ones for the position or program you are applying for. For example, you can’t just say that you are the captain of the basketball team if you’re applying for a job as a researcher.
Keep It Short And Concise
When creating a resume, it’s best to keep it at just one page so it is easy for potential employers and recruiters to skim through your details and experiences. It may seem hard to fit all credentials and experiences in just one page, especially if you have been working for a long time. But if you know how to sift properly and include only the relevant experiences and backgrounds for the job, then creating a one-page resume is highly doable.
Longer resumes are however more common in IT and programming jobs because they are quite complicated. So, unless you’re in this industry, try your best to put everything you need on one page.
The most important thing that every employer or evaluator needs is honesty. The very foundation of every successful relationship is trust, and if you’re not honest with your credentials, that could spell a lot of trouble.
Thus, when you are jotting down details such as “I am a team player” or “I am an expert in so and so,” be sure you can back it up with actual skills and knowledge. It’s understandable that you want to sell yourself, but making false claims will get you nowhere.
Prepare Hard And Soft Copies
Each resume should be convenient for employers who will be reviewing it. When you create your resume and choose to do it with a computer, make sure that it can be printed and that the layout is easy to read. Follow proper formatting, and avoid using small font sizes or fonts that are too artsy. Your resume needs to sound formal and look formal too.
While technology has dramatically evolved throughout the years, there are still employers who like to print documents and file them somewhere for safekeeping. Even if you can just email a soft copy, you never know when a potential employer might request for you to send actual hard copies in the office. Therefore, you must prepare yourself with both hard and soft copies of your resume.
Now that you’ve got all that covered, it’s time to revisit your current resume and tick off what you’ve managed to achieve from the five points above. You might also want to look back and revisit some of your past work experiences and affiliations, as they might come in handy for a new job or career path that you are planning to take and enable you to have an effective resume.
The History of a Resume
Ever wondered how resumes even started out? People did not just walk in with handwritten applications back in the day, didn’t they? Well, here’s a short history lesson for you. The word resume comes from a French word, which means “summary.” There are no concrete shreds of evidence when resumes started to exist, but it is believed to have emerged during the middle ages.
Some say that it was Leonardo da Vinci who was first recorded to have used one, as he tried to gain the support of the Duke of Milan through his letter. The letter contained information on Leonardo da Vinci’s skills, which shows how viable he is to become a patron. This is quite similar to modern resumes of our time.
Likewise, in the 1500s, an Englishman by the name of Ralph Angas did the same thing but with advertisements to feature his skills and projects. He was the first one to display his achievements publicly using some kind of media. In the twentieth century, the term has become more common, and people have been taught in schools to make a good resume for internship and work applications.
Now in the Digital Age, resumes are still a staple for anyone who would like to apply for a job, whether online or offline. While resumes in the past decades were handwritten or filled-up through pre-made forms, potential workers can freely design their own resume nowadays using different apps and programs such as Google Docs, Slideshow Presentations, Photoshop, and Canva.
Your resume is a reflection of you and your achievements. Likewise, it will also reflect your character. Thus, if your resume is clean and organised, it probably says the same about you and how you will be as a future employee.
A resume can make or break your application. It is the first impression that you can give to an employer. Many people are talented and competent for a certain position, but failing to make the right impression can still waste these potentials.