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Tips on How to Write a Good Résumé

Tips on How to Write a Good Résumé

By:  Nanju Francisco

Your résumé can either “make” or “break” your chances of getting hired in the position you are applying for. This is why extra care must be considered and taken in writing your résumé. It is your “key” to entering the business world successfully so you cannot afford to be careless and sloppy with your own résumé.

Writing a good résumé is not easy. In fact, it can be quite tricky. Some people “dread” and try to “avoid” writing their résumé for many reasons. Some of them find it a “tedious” thing to do while others find it “so boring.” After all, who would want to go back in time and remember all his or her job experiences, especially when some of these experiences were unpleasant and even painful? Still, this is one thing that is hard to escape from, especially when you are constantly looking for a job.

Before we go any further, it is important to know what a résumé is and how it is different from a Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Résumé is a French word which means “summary”. To put it simply, it is a summary of one’s education, skills and employment history submitted to a potential employer. It is usually one or two pages long. It is precise and concise and don’t use too much words.

Curriculum Vitae is a Latin word which means “course of life.” It is more detailed than the resume and normally 2 to 3 pages long. Sometimes, it could even be more than 3 pages. It describes in detail everything about the candidate’s professional experience.

So now that you know the difference between a résumé and a Curriculum Vitae, we can continue with our main topic.

Remember, your résumé is the “key” to your getting “accepted” or “rejected” from the job you are applying for. It reflects your education, character and capacity as an employee. It tells the prospective employers what your background is, what you have accomplished in the past, your skills and who your past employers were, etc. These things would help them make a decision, whether to hire you or not.

However, in order to make a lasting impression to employers, you must make sure that your résumé is almost, if not, perfect. It is really hard to come up with a perfect résumé because different people have different ideas how to write a good one. Despite this, you can improve your chances of getting your foot in the competitive job market by “polishing” your résumé and “selling” your unique skills in the business world in the right way.

Here are some tips on how to write a good résumé:

  1. Put Your Contact Information—At the top of your résumé, make sure that you put your contact information like address, mobile or phone number, personal email address and link to your website (if you have any), so that it will be easy for the employer to contact you in case he or she would like to interview you personally.   
  2. Check Spellings and Grammar – If you want to be accepted in the job you are eyeing, you have to make sure that your résumé looks professional. This means that it is free from spelling and grammatical errors. You don’t need to be an editor or a journalist to be able to come up with a perfectly written résumé. All you have to do is to check and double check your spelling and grammar a lot of times, to ensure that it has no mistakes.
  3. Be precise and Concise – When writing your résumé, you have to remember that you are not writing a “novel” or a “book,” so you must keep it precise and concise. It means that your résumé will tell all the important details of your skills and work experiences in just two pages maximum. Employers normally spends “less than a minute” looking at the applicant’s résumé because they receive tons of résumé daily. Now, in order to get the attention of the employer, you need to make a good impression during the initial screening of your résumé. That is why you must ensure that your résumé is short and easy to read and at the same time, tells the employer all the important things you have accomplished in your past jobs.
  4. Leave out experiences that are not relevant –You must edit your résumé and remove all those experiences that are not relevant to the position you are applying for. Aside from saving space, this would help the employer to skim your résumé easily and most likely, consider your application.
  5. Use Action Words –If you want the employer to read your résumé, you must use “action words” and avoid passive language. This is important if you don’t want to “bore” the employer and throw your résumé in the trash bin. Use words like “accomplished,” “led,” “authored,” “collaborated,” “conducted,” “created,” “edited,” “managed,” “planned,” “organized,” “supervised,” etc. This would give an impression of leadership and responsibility on your part, which would encourage the employer to hire you.
  6. Use bullets points while arranging your experiences in your résumé – This helps to make your experiences stand out and be quickly noticed by the employer. It will also make your résumé look professional and easy to read.
  7. Avoid putting personal things like birthday, religion, marital status, hobbies, political beliefs and other non-essential information—Unless you were asked by the prospective employer to provide them  with these things, you must not give them out voluntarily. Instead of boosting your résumé, these things might even lower your chances of getting hired. Remember the old adage, “Less talk, less mistake.” This saying also applies in writing your résumé.
  8. Ask for Professional Advice – This is the last option. If you are not sure of what you have written down on your résumé, it is advisable to seek professional advice. You can ask someone who is an expert in language or communication or someone who has good knowledge in writing a résumé. It is better to get other people’s opinion because sometimes, we cannot see our own mistake if we are judging our work. There are people who are experts in making or writing résumés. However, you don’t need to spend money in getting someone to do or prepare your résumé. If you have a friend or colleague whom you think is capable of helping you come up with a good résumé, then don’t be shy and ask for his or her assistance. Always ask a friend or colleague you trust to read and re-read your résumé before you submit it to the prospective employer.

If you follow these simple tips, you can make sure that your résumé will stand out among dozens of applicants for the relevant position you are after. So if you still have that old résumé in your file, bring it out now and start revising it now. Good luck in writing your résumé!