Standing out in today’s crowded job market is easier said than done, especially when you have to compete against applicant tracking systems and real human applicants. An unstructured resume isn’t going to make a good impression, so you’ll need to format your document carefully.
Use Online Templates to Speed Up the Process
If you want to start applying right away, use BeamJobs’ free templates for your resumes, CVs, and cover letters. Simply choose from one of their templates and start filling in the designated spaces in your resume. You don’t need to change your resume’s structure if you don’t want to.
However, you can change small things, like the font colour, add a photo, or bold/unbold text. If you want to highlight your job title (recommend), don’t bold the text. ATS systems sometimes skip over bolded text, so use a thicker font or text size to bring attention to your experience.
How to Structure Your Resume the Right Way
Building an incredible resume is key if you want to find the best opportunities, but it doesn’t just come down to what’s written in the resume. Formatting is equally essential to employers.
1. Personal Details
At the top of your resume, include your name, address, phone number, and social media profile (LinkedIn, if possible). Your personal details will look the same, regardless if you’re a senior or entry-level applicant. These details can also be formatted in the upper right or left corner.
2. Professional Summary
A professional summary briefly describes your experience and expertise to a potential employer. If you’re a new graduate, talk about your internships and academic projects. If you’re a mid-level to senior employee, touch on your experience, career milestones, and other noteworthy skills.
3. Related Job Skills
The skills section is where you have to pay attention to keywords. ATS software scans for words and phrases to see if your resume matches the job description, so always pull keywords for the job posting before applying. You can put this section below the summary or personal details.
4. Related Experience
Choose up to three jobs or internships in a related field and list them, starting with your most recent position. For example, if you’re applying for an actuary position after college, you should list any internships or jobs you’ve held at a law firm. Put this section after job skills or education.
5. Additional Experience
If you’re applying for a job as a bookkeeper, but your previous experience is in retail, you can create an additional experience section to fill out your resume. This section can eliminate gaps in your resume, but it can also be helpful for senior applicants who have a lot of experience.
6. Volunteer Experience
In this section, you can put work-related or volunteer experience. While most employers want to see volunteer experience on your resume, it has to be relevant to the position you’re applying for. For example, volunteer hours at a youth camp would work if you’re applying at a daycare.
7. Professional Certifications
If you’ve obtained secondary certifications that aren’t a part of your initial degree, you can add this information here. For example, if you have a computer science degree and you received a certificate for C#, that would qualify as a relevant certification. Put this section before education.
The education section may appear at the end of the resume (for a senior applicant) or at the top before job skills (for entry-level applicants). If you were a part of a club or won an award in college, be sure to add that information. Don’t put your GPA, as that may lead to discrimination.