Wondering how to write a resume that gets the attention of hiring managers. What parts are you supposed to include and which of them are optional? And what does it have to do with a cover letter…?
Well, wander about no more because you have come to the right place.
In this article, we have broken down and explained all the essential parts of a resume and discussed tips to write them well.
YOU’RE GOING TO READ
Your resume is basically a potential employer's way to check you out without too much involvement. It is an established convention for employers to ask for one and you are supposed to be able to provide a fully updated resume at any time.
It is a document that provides an overview or at a glance version of your education, work experience, skills, achievements, and other relevant information to your potential employers.
A properly written resume should serve as a marketing tool to showcase your strengths and qualifications and helps set you apart from other applicants. You may have written a stellar cover letter but it is no good without an equally good resume as it is your document the concerned person reads next.
Rather than a tedious and daunting task, you should consider writing your resume as an opportunity to highlight achievements, skills, and experiences that are relevant to the position and demonstrate why you are the best fit for the role.
Especially in today's competitive job market, a strong resume can give you a much-needed edge over other applicants. Employers often receive hundreds of applications for a single job opening, so having a well-written resume that stands out can increase the chances of getting noticed and landing an interview.
Therefore, if you are serious about getting that dream job, it is unnegotiable to put some effort into crafting a resume that efficiently communicates your qualifications, experience, and how you would add value to the organization you are applying for a job in.
When it comes to professional documents, presentation really matters, and choosing the right layout design for your resume is the first step in preparing an effective resume. The right format makes your resume more readable and also enables you to put your best foot forward.
The most commonly used resume formats are:
This format emphasizes your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position and working backward. This format is one of the most comprehensive and straightforward ways to present your work history to a potential employer.
This format allows employers to quickly see your career progression and how your experience aligns with the requirements of the job they are offering. It is particularly useful if you have a solid work history with no major gaps in employment or if you are seeking a job in a field that values traditional work experience.
This is a type of resume format that draws attention to your skills and achievements, rather than focusing primarily on your work history. In a functional resume layout, the information is organized by skill or functional area, rather than by job title or chronological order.
This allows you to highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the job you are applying for, and to downplay any gaps in your employment history or other potential weaknesses.
In a hybrid resume layout, also known as a combination resume, you use features of both the chronological and functional resume formats. The focus is on both your work history and your skills and achievements, making it a versatile format that can be customized to highlight the most relevant information for a particular job application.
A hybrid resume can be a good choice for candidates who want to highlight both their work history and their skills and accomplishments, or who have a varied work history that includes both relevant and unrelated positions.
However, in this format, it becomes even more important to arrange all the parts of the resume in a well-organized manner. Take care that it is easy to read, with clear headings and bullet points that emphasize the most important information.
Out of three formats, the chronological layout is the most widely used one as it makes the most intuitive sense in most cases.
However, in case you have got a whole bunch to put on your resume and are applying for one of the higher positions, you would probably have to resort to a hybrid resume format.
Once you have got the sequence of the parts of your resume down, and come up with a provisional index, it is time to actually start crafting different parts of your resume to suit:
Now, let’s break down different parts of a resume and explore tips on how to write a resume that gets the attention of hiring managers.
A well-drafted resume has the following integral parts:
To write an effective resume, you need to pay individual attention to each of these parts and, once again, tailor them according to the job you are applying to.
The personal information and contact details you put on your resume all need to be accurate and up to date. The key elements of your personal information include:
Here are some things you should leave out of this section:
By leaving out this information, you can ensure that your "Personal Details and Contact Information" section is relevant, concise, and appropriate for the job.
The Summary or Objective is a brief section in your resume that highlights your key skills, experiences, and achievements. It's typically placed at the top of your resume, just below your name and contact information.
The purpose of this section is to give the employer a quick overview of what you have to offer and make them interested in reading the rest of your resume.
A well-written resume summary or objective statement should be concise, easy to read and highlight your most impressive qualifications. It should be tailored to the specific job you're applying for and showcase how you can add value to the company.
Here are some tips for writing an impressive resume summary:
This is a very important section of a resume unless the posting is for a fresher job as it is usually the section the resume reviewer spends the most time reading. It is best to list the job titles you have held in reverse chronological order, i.e. the latest job first.
Under each job you list in this section, you should include the following parts:
It is generally recommended to use the active voice in this section and you may freely use words like ‘’I’’ and ‘’My’’. You should also try to use numbers and figures, e.g, ‘’ … increased the website’s traffic by 20%’’.
You should also try using strong action words like achieved, exceeded, implemented, initiated, optimized, streamlined, resolved, and collaborated in this section.
The Skill-Set section of your resume is where you list the specific skills and competencies you possess that are relevant to the job you're applying for. This section allows you to showcase your abilities and qualifications and helps the hiring manager quickly assess whether you have the skills necessary to perform the job successfully.
You first need to review the job description and identify the key skills and qualifications required for the position. And then, you need to tailor your Skills section to highlight the skills you possess that match those requirements.
This section should include not only the skills strictly related to your pacific profession such as coding, writing, cloud computing, MS Office, Google Analytics, and so on but soft skills as well.
Soft skills refer to a set of personal attributes and interpersonal qualities that enable individuals to effectively collaborate with others in the workplace. These skills are not typically job-specific but rather are transferable across a range of professions and industries.
Some soft skills you can include in your resume, irrespective of the job role include:
But, you should also take care not to overdo it with the list of soft skills. As a general practice, first, enlist all your technical skills and then add an equal number of soft skills to go with them.
The Education section of your resume is where you list your academic qualifications, including degrees, certificates, and diplomas. It is best to list your education in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent degree or qualification.
The primary components of this section are the name of the institution, the degree or qualification earned, the field of study, and the date of graduation. Your GPA is also to be included in this section but, if it is lower than 3.5, it is better to just leave it out. It is also recommended to leave out your diploma if you have got a university degree
If you have taken courses that are relevant to the job you're applying for, you can list them in a separate section or include them under your degree program. And if you have completed any additional training or certification courses after your degree, you should list them in a separate section as well. You may also include extracurricular activities if they are relevant to the job role.
In addition to these core sections of a resume (Contact Information, Summary/Objective, Work Experience, Education, and Skills), there are several other sections you can include to enhance your application and showcase your qualifications. Here are some additional sections you may want to consider:
The additional sections you include in your resume should be relevant to the job you're applying for and help support your qualifications for the position. Including too many sections or irrelevant information can detract from the overall effectiveness of your application.
Check out this resume example to get an idea of how all the above-mentioned parts come together in a well-drafted resume.
123 Main St, Anytown USA 12345
A highly skilled and creative content writer with 5 years of experience creating engaging content for various digital platforms. Seeking a position in a dynamic organization where I can leverage my writing skills and experience to drive business results.
Content Writer, ABC Company, Anytown USA (2018 - Present)
Freelance Writer, Freelance (2016 - 2018)
These are all the main parts of a resume and even if you are going to do the bare minimum, you have got to include at least all of these parts to avoid coming across as unprofessional.
And when you make it through to the interview round, remember not to contradict anything you have said in your resume, and the best way to ensure that in the heat of the interview is not to lie on your resume. Hope you found the article helpful and best of luck with your job search!