Writing a resume can be an overwhelming process. From the length, to what skills to include in it, there are many factors to be considered. A good resume opens the door to a number of job and internship opportunities. A bad resume can result in your experiences constantly being ignored. There are also different types of resumes depending on the positions you are considering or the method you are using to apply. A resume is also necessary for any kind of field you are choosing. For example, if you want to start a business, it is essential to show your qualifications to potential investors. Because there are so many ways to create a resume, it is essential to understand the basics in creating one.
There are several steps in creating a resume. The first is understanding what format to use. Format includes aspects such as font, colors, and how the resume is organized. The article, “Writing a Winning Resume” sets standard rules for a resume format, such as 12 point, conservative typeface, and no longer than two pages (Bohn). There are different ways to organize a resume, for example, you can include tables, bullet points, and extra columns to include information such as skills and awards. Having a long resume may overwhelm the interviewer and result in being overlooked. Having too much color or using busy, large font may make the job candidate seem unprofessional and unorganized.
There are mixed reviews as how a resume should be organized. The article “Resume writing requires proper strategy discusses the idea that “there in so single right way to communicate effectively. Candidates should be less concerned with format and more attentive to the effectiveness with which the message is conveyed” (Divita). This conflicts with other views that organization does matter. From personal experience, resumes that have been effective should be formatted in a way that includes includes a statement, followed by experience and skills. I always leave references out unless they are requested. Experience should be shown in order from current position to last. I like to use bullet points that highlight my main responsibilities and achievements without making the resume too dense. Including words that highlight the skills needed for the particular position applied for also make your resume stand out from the rest. Ultimately, the organization might be different depending on the position and field applied for, what’s important is that your qualifications stand out.
The final important factor in creating a resume and submitting it is making sure that a cover letter is included. A cover letter shows your communication skills and aspects of yourself and your skills that are hard to convey in a resume. For example, “if individuals are responding to an advertisement, their cover letters should show how their experience specifically matches the requirements stated in the ad (Bohn). It is important to personalize the cover letter depending on the position applied for and to show that you have researched and know about the company. As the article, “Writing your first resume” states, “making a good impression by showing that you are willing to go the extra mile will put you ahead of the crowd” (Reyes).
There are different ways to submit a resume. Resumes can be mailed, given in person, emailed, and also submitted online. There are several platforms to create an online resume. Some of the most popular ones today are LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster. The pros about having an online resume are easy edits, fast submissions, and an easier application process. It also provides more opportunities to network with companies and individuals in similar fields. Most online resume platforms provide ways to attach or include a cover letter with an application. Personally, I have had the best success in finding new positions with online resumes.
My own personal advice is stick to a simple format while highlighting what is different about you. I like to include my contact information, mission statement, experience, skills, and finally educational experience in that order. As far as colors, I keep it minimal, with borders that are blue while the font is black and 12 point. In the past I have tried to keep my resume no longer than one page, but because of new positions it is currently at 2 pages. The most important part is to convey a message that speaks to the interviewer and proves you are an asset to the company or organization.