Creating a resume is the first step to getting a job or even the job seeking process. There are good and bad ways to build a resume and our tips here will help anyone make the best resume for themselves. We will tell you what goes into a resume and how you can start your career search off on the right foot.
A resume is a one-page summary of your work and school experience. Employers will match your resume against their job openings and evaluate if you’d be a good fit for their roles. It’s important to make your resume professional and a good representation of yourself. Learn how to make a resume for a first job as a teenager below.
Steps to Creating a Professional Resume
There are 9 steps when creating a resume. If you follow these 9 steps then you’ll be sure to have a well crafted resume.
Step 1: Pick the Right Resume Format
A “format” is another word for style and order in which the information is shown. There are three commonly-used resume formats that you can choose from.
The three resume formats are: Chronological, Functional or Combination
A chronological resume places the professional history section first and is a good option if you have a rich professional work experience with no gaps in employment.
A functional resume emphasizes your skills and is a great option if you’re new to the industry or looking to switch industries. It shows employers that you have the capabilities to do the job you’re applying for.
A combination is the most common resume format. This format shows the professional experience and skills like the previous two. You share just enough about each and each section carries the same weight on your resume as opposed to focusing on one or the other.
Step 2: Include Name & Contact Information
You should begin your resume with your name and contact information. You should include your email address and phone number so they can contact you. It is your choice to include your mailing address. The mailing address can be good for the recruiter as it will show if you are a local talent or someone who is not local looking for a job.
Your name should be highly visible at the top of your resume with bolded or larger font than the rest of the document but no more than 14 point size. If you have an online portfolio you might want to also include that link here as well for hiring managers to review.
Step 3: Add Resume Summary
Immediately after your contact information you will want to add a resume summary or objective statement that tells the recruiter or hiring manager exactly what you’re looking for. These summaries are quick ways for a company’s hiring staff to filter out applicants that don’t exactly meet their qualifications or expectations. This is a major reason why you should be tailoring your resume to the job.
The objective statement will explain your career goals and uses active language to describe your relevant work experience and skills. This is a must if you don’t have a strong professional background.
Step 4: Add Hard & Soft Skills
Take a moment and think about which skills are the most relevant to the job you’re applying for. You should list those skills that match the job descriptions or keywords that you’ve used in the past that helped get you in the door.
For example, if you’re applying for a management job then you should put skills around management, team building and customer service.
You should consider both hard (technical) and soft (interpersonal) skills as well as transferable skills you can use when you want to change a career or industry. These keywords are often skimmed over by the employer or automatically through a resume reviewing system to help filter out applicants.
Step 5: Add Professional Work History
You should write your professional work history in reverse chronological order. You will want to start with your most recent job and provide a short description of it that includes the company name, time period of employment, job title and a few achievements while you were working at this company. It is also good to include any learning or growth opportunities you experienced while there.
Tips to improve your work history section:
- Use numbers to measure impact.
- Use keywords from the job descriptions.
- Keep it brief.
- Use action verbs.
After you’ve created your first one you will want to follow the same methods for the rest of your work experience. You don’t need to list everything but you should go back either 5-10 years, if you can, or your last 3-5 positions. If you don’t have professional experience to list then feel free to list internships or volunteer opportunities.
Step 6: Add Education History
A section discussing your education should be required if you have a limited work experience history. If you’re a recent college graduate or if you’re transferring into a new industry, showing your educational background can help get you in the door.
When writing this section you should include the name of the institution, dates of attendance and the degree of study. If you’re applying for a mid or high level position you don’t need to list everything but mentioning the school and date of attendance with the degree should suffice.
If you are a recent graduate or a teenager that went to community college, you should try and list:
- Coursework that directly relates to the job you’re applying for.
- Your grade point average if it is about 3.5.
- Any participation in clubs or organizations.
- Any leadership positions held, like a Class President.
- Any awards, achievements or certifications you received while attending school.
Step 7: Format Resume to Fit Expectations
The layout of your resume is important for the type of job you’re applying for. But formatting is equally important and you want to make sure you’re staying as professional as possible. You’ll want to pay attention to things like font size, style, margins and other spacing. Not only does it look more professional it’s also easier to read and when a hiring manager reviews applications they usually are reviewing a lot more than just one.
Make sure you try and follow the following resume formatting tips:
- Keep font size between 10 or 12.
- Select a font that’s clean like Arial, Times New Romain or Helvetica. You want to avoid stylized fonts.
- Make sure your margins are 1 to 1.5 inches on each side.
- Make sure your name and section headers are bold and slightly bigger in font size, no more than 14.
- You should use bullets when listing several different pieces of information, like education or work achievements.
Step 8: Proofread and Review
If your resume is more than one-page you should review and try to cut down any unnecessary information making it longer. You should strive to have a one-page resume that employers can quickly skim and validate your experience and history.
Forgetting to proofread and fix any errors in a resume is one of the biggest factors in why a person doesn’t move to the next stage in the interview process. It is the first impression you make on a hiring manager and for many it sets a bad impression. You should try to identify any errors, grammatical issues or formatting problems before you save or print the resume. It’s good to have someone else review it prior to completing.
Step 9: Tailor the Resume
It is important to revise your resume for each role you’re applying for. Not all roles are the same and employers may treat the roles differently. You’ll want to adjust the keywords in the skills section to adhere to what they are mentioning in the job descriptions. It will be good to do the same for your work history section(s) as well.