6 tips to make a job-winning resume layoutEric Merlin
Recruiters notice the layout first while skimming through the resume. They go through a good number of resumes to find the ideal candidates they can shortlist, but there is a time constraint for this process.
As the number of applicants is so high, recruiters cannot afford to spend more than 6 seconds on a resume.
So, if your resume is ill-constructed with lots of white space, longer than one or two pages, the sections are not placed properly; it is highly likely that it will be thrown in the rejection pile.
In this guide, we will cover essentials about what resume layout you should use and how to construct these sections while ensuring proper formatting.
1. Resume header
In the header of your resume, you just need to write your contact information, profile title, name, and links that can be valuable for your profile.
For instance, if you are a tech professional then you should include a link to your GitHub account for showcasing your project work.
Avoid adding additional information such as birth date, full address. Some candidates use Microsoft Word templates and add a header & footer to write the aforementioned information.
Make sure the header is not being repeated in the document, it should be placed at the top of the document.
Further, the profile tile is extremely important for a resume layout. But, do not name it a “CV” or “Resume”. Add the proper designation here, for example, “Business Developer”, “Research Analyst”, etc.
2. Professional summary
Ideally, a professional summary is the first thing that a recruiter should notice. So, you need to make sure that you place it right below the header.
Add your professional achievements and pointers around core competencies in the summary. Also, you can modify the summary by adding points required in the job description.
Here is an example of a professional summary:
“5+ years experienced Certified Social Media Marketing professional with expertise in coordinating improving the brand’s presence on social media platforms. Proficient in interacting with the audience on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for achieving customer excellence.”
3. Key skills
Make a separate section for adding your skills. This section helps recruiters understand if your resume has any relevance to the target profile.
For instance, if you are a business development professional, then the skills section should have the skills required for a business developer.
Also, avoid adding irrelevant soft skills in this section. But, if they are listed as a requirement in the job description, then it is very important. Moreover, create a separate “technical skills” section if you are a tech professional.
Formatting this section is very important as most candidates write bullet points here such as “hands-on experience with social media marketing”. You just need to write your skills here, so just add “Social Media Marketing”.
4. Professional experience
This section is for communicating your job expertise, experience, and abilities, to the recruiter. Under each work profile, you need to write job responsibilities in a manner that is concise and descriptive.
You can achieve this by using the STAR format, it stands for situation-task-action-result. If you follow this approach you will be able to frame one-liner points that focus on the results of your duties.
Also, try incorporating action verbs to strengthen your points. For example, ditch weak verbs like working, using, etc. Use powerful verbs such as operating, overseeing, and administering.
5. Educational background
Add details of your educational background in reverse chronological order. Write your most recent degree along with your major, university name, location, and the date of enrollment & graduation.
“B. Tech in Computer Science | Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Cambridge, Massachusetts | Mar 16 – Apr ‘20”
Adding details of your high school education is optional, add it if you do not have any work experience. Also, avoid adding certifications in the education section. Create a separate section for them.
6. Additional information
Additional information is a good way to highlight points that cannot be added in the skills, professional experience, and education section.
It entails sections such as extra-curricular activities, volunteering experience, interests, languages, etc. So, add what is relevant for your profile. For instance, volunteering experience for a social worker is very important.
Here are a few key takeaways:
- Compose a resume header with your name, contact information, and job title.
- Write a summary of your achievements and domain expertise.
- Just add your skills here under broad headings and create a separate section for technical skills.
- Create a professional experience and list your work profiles in reverse chronology.
- Add details of your education background and certification details.
- Include additional information as per your work profile.