The perfect CV should be concise, well-structured, and most importantly, easy to read. Writing an effective resume is difficult enough, but what if you’re not even sure where to start? What if you’ve never written a resume before? If you’re answering yes to either of these questions, then you need to put in some serious effort to get ready for your job interview, and that effort should begin with the way you write your resume. Even if you’re not looking for a specific role in a specific company, you can still learn a lot from how to write an effective resume – like everything from formatting to general skills. So let’s get started.
The Key Formatting Rules
In terms of formatting your resume, there are a few universal rules that you should always follow. First of all, always put your contact information at the top of your resume. This includes your email address, phone number, and sometimes even your address. If you’re applying for jobs with online applications, your contact information can be found on the My Account page. Just know that many companies will not contact you unless they have your contact information already. Next, you should use a uniform format for your resume so that it is easily scanned and read by the recruiter or hiring manager.
For example, if you decide to list your education first, followed by your experience, you should format your resume like this:
- Undergraduate degree
- Master’s degree
The reason for this is that the hiring manager or recruiter will want to know as much about your education as possible, and having it all in one place helps them make the right decision. Just remember: Your resume is not the place to sell yourself. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
Create a Professional Online Profile
Make sure that you have a professional online profile. This can be in the form of a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook page, or even a Vimeo clip. Having a concise profile that is easy to navigate is a great way to draw in job seekers who are interested in your skills. You should also ensure that your online profile is complete with a steady stream of engaging content.
The best way to do this is to simply build a following of engaged, interested readers who are interested in your industry. If you’re using social media to connect with friends, family, and other professional contacts, make sure that you engage with those you meet online. If you post frequently and consistently, you’ll start to gain credibility with those reading your content.
The bottom line is this: People need to believe that you are someone they can trust, so make sure that your online presence is a good reflection of your professional self.
Know Your Source
It is important to understand the difference between a CV and a resume. A CV is often times used in combination with a resume to create a well-rounded profile. A CV is a short collection of your work experiences, while a resume is a summary of your educational history. Your CV will usually contain information about your employment history, while your resume will contain your education history.
However, you can have a resume that is completely made up of your professional experience. Just use the right format and be sure to include all relevant information. Familiarizing yourself with different types of resumes and their appropriate uses will ensure that you make the right choice for the job you’re applying for.
For example, if you are applying for a digital marketing role, you would want to use a CV to showcase your expertise in copywriting, website analytics, and graphic design. You would then want to use your resume to briefly mention your experience in these areas. If the position requires an in-house designer, then you would want to use your resume for that.
How To Structure Your Experience
The best way to structure your experience is to list your responsibilities first, followed by the dates of your employment. Your experience should be divided into two sections: education and training, and work experience.
Within the work experience section, you should list your duties and responsibilities first, followed by the dates. When listing your responsibilities, be sure to include the approximate number of hours that you spent on each task on a weekly basis. Remember: Your responsibilities are a reflection of your work ethic, and the more you can demonstrate, the more successful you will be in your job search.
The best way to demonstrate your responsibilities is to provide specific examples of how you completed tasks. You can also include a summary of the major projects you worked on during your time at the company. Providing as much as possible without being too detailed can help shorten the amount of interviews you will have to go through.
You can also use this section to point out any skills or training that you have obtained that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’re using the words “self-starter” or “entrepreneurial spirit” a lot, then you might want to highlight your experience in starting your own businesses or projects. Demonstrating your ability to take initiative will make you stand out above the rest.
The Inevitable Interview
You will inevitably be asked questions during your job interview. Be ready for these questions and make sure to have answers prepared. Your answer should be something along the lines of, “I’m glad you asked me that. Let me tell you about my experience and how it relates to your opening. I believe that I am a good fit for the position and would like to discuss it with you in more detail.”
What you don’t want to do is go in there unprepared and tell them “um, this is what I know about your company. Is there anything else you want me to know?” That’s going to make them suspicious, and they’re not going to trust you as much as they would if you were prepared.
When answering questions, be sure to keep things focused on the role you are applying for. If you become too personal, then the interviewer will think that you are trying to hide something. When answering questions, stay objective and don’t give too much thought to what you’re going to say. You should be able to answer questions clearly and concisely without having to think about what you’re going to say. That’s good interview etiquette.