Developing an interview-worthy resume can be time-consuming and even exhausting, especially if you don't know general expectations hiring authorities have. This article is meant to provide guidance to job seekers in regard to what an effective resume should look like. The resume writing rules provided below are grounded on employers' expectations. There are so many questions to ask yourself when creating an interview-worthy resume some of which are really tough to answer. Hopefully, these basic resume writing rules will help answer a few.
What Should I Know About Writing an Effective Resume?
- Keep everything on 1 or 2 pages. Because hiring authorities in average spend no more than 10 seconds to review one resume, it makes no sense to have a 5 page document submitted simply because no one would care to read the entire thing. To achieve this, keep in mind that a resume is not meant to showcase every single thing you have done in the past, but to demonstrate you've got skills and experience for a particular job.
- Quantify your skills and experience. Now this can make a huge difference in the eyes of employers. Almost every single applicant says he/she did a great job for the former employer. But very few of them can actually prove it by demonstrating the impact. Numbers and supporting facts will do a wonderful job to show that you've a great track record of success. Consider the difference between "Hit sales quotas" and "Exceeded sales goals by 43% in the last 3 months".
- Organize information wisely. Remember that you've got seconds to capture the attention of a hiring manager; therefore, you need to think what sections you should have on a resume and how you want them to be formatted. The most important thing is to make it easy-to-scan so that decision makers could easily locate the needed information. In other words, make the life easier for hiring managers and organize information in a way that would help them do their job.
- Don’t Include References. Don’t waste valuable space on your resume on listing the names and contacts of your references. It is up to employers to decide whether they want to have a meeting with you or talk to your references. And if they every get to this point, they will contact you to request the list of references. There is no need to mention those on your resume unless you are asked to do so.
- Save it as a PDF. Unlike MS Word, PDF ensures a prospective employer will see the files in the same formatting. The thing with Word documents, it can change the style, format, font, etc. depending on the version of the software employers are using. Also, give a proper name to the file as you save it. The best way to do it is to give it a name in the following format: "First & Last Name_Resume.pdf"
- Avoid personal pronouns and watch your tenses. Using personal pronouns like "I", "we", "me", "mine" is consider a bad tone for a resume. Omitting those is a much better move. Instead of saying "I achieved sales quotas", go with just "Achieved sales quotas". Also, make sure you use proper tenses - present for things you are responsible now ("coordinate", "manage", "assist") and past for things you did in the past ("coordinated", "managed", "assisted")
- Include context. This helps understand where you come from professionally. Location and duration of your jobs matter. Also, describing your each of your former employers in just one sentence (what the company was all about) should help hiring managers understand your experiences better.