If you are confused whether to write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) or a resume, the main difference between them is that CV contains detailed career path of your profession. You will require a CV when applying for jobs in the public sector such as for academic and management positions. A CV can be more than 2-3 pages.
A Resume highlights your skills for that particular job. We recommend you to keep it short and not more than 2 pages long. You will require it to apply for jobs in the private sector. It is more crisp and to the point when compared to CV. So here are the ways you can start writing your resume and make it look more attractive:
- Go through professional resume examples
- Choose the Right Resume Format
- Start writing your professional title and resume summary
- Include your education background and contact information
- Select the font and color theme that can be easily readable
- Match and list your skills relevant to the ones in the job ad
- List all your key achievements
- Always include a cover letter to complement your resume
- Before emailing your resume, always proof read
There are four basic types of resume formats with regards to getting a job:
1. Chronological resume format (reverse)
This is a traditional resume style and is most popular format familiar to employers. Use this format, if you have at least 10-15 years of work experience.
The reverse chronological resume is exactly what its name implies. In this, start filling your work experience section with your most recent position and end it with the earliest. Your work history is listed in descending order, according to the respective dates. Although many employers prefer this, it is not the most creative type of design.
2. Skills based format (functional)
If you are an entry-level job hunter or lack relevant work experience because you are a student/recent graduate, your skills can emphasize over lack of experience in a functional resume. If you are looking at making a career change or have gaps in employment history, you can use functional resumes. Here, you should focus on relevant skills rather than job titles.
A functional resume conceals the fact that you may possess imperfect work experience and hence the HR managers might think you are withholding some information.
3. Combination of the above two formats:
As the name suggests, this format uses the best aspects of both the chronological and skills-based resume formats. This is a great choice if you are an experienced applicant as this format highlights transferable skills. Begin with writing the most recent/advanced degrees and work in descending order. Here, there is no need to list graduation dates, but if you have graduated with high distinction, or achieved other high honors, do list them as this will set you apart from other applicants.
Combination resume is not as familiar as the first two formats and it can be longer than 2-3 pages and we do not recommend if you are a recent graduate or job seeker with less experience.
4. Targeted format
This type of resume is a perfect choice if you need different resume for different jobs. You should use a targeted resume to stress on the suitability for a particular job profile.
No matter which format you use, your resume layout should try to catch the eye of the employer. It should scream out “READ ME!”. Following resume layout was trending in 2019:
How much work experience should be included in a resume?
- Senior-level applicants, such as managers and executives, should list up to 15 years of relevant work experience using powerful action verbs for each bullet point.
- Mid-level job seekers should include details of their job descriptions of relevant positions and can give a brief mention of any other positions.
- Entry-level candidates should include all paid work, specifically listing out the achievements and responsibilities they got which are most relevant.
- First-time job hunters who have no work experience can still include other history, such as an internship, any organization role, volunteer experience, extracurricular activities etc. to fill out their experience section.
Tips for beginners/interns or people who are looking for career change
- Network your way to a new job:
The main challenge to get a new job is to first get noticed. If you’re only applying to jobs online, it could take you forever to get an interview. Because there are hundreds of applicants for each online posting and a lot of competition.
If you have a large network, however, it can be much easier to find a new job. You should take the help of a person who works in the company, to get a referral or let you know of job openings beforehand. They can also ensure your resume gets in front of the right person. With the proper connections, you can find the job of your dreams sooner as you have an upper hand.
- Get a recommendation letter:
Good recommendation letters are of high value as they aren’t vague or general. They pinpoint specifically what the person has done well with an eye toward what they can continue to do well.Sometimes, employers ask for letters of recommendation (LOR) from people who know the applicants. LOR can be requested as part of the initial application or as the last step in vetting a job candidate.
- Write a cover letter that will complement your resume:
A cover letter is becoming more important as there is a raise in the number of job hunters.It is a single-page letter that you include with your resume. Unless the job advertisement clearly says not to add a cover letter, you should always include it.
Cover letters are important as they give you the opportunity to add details about the information mentioned on your resume. They also allow recruiters to differentiate between two candidates with similar qualifications. Writing an excellent cover letter is like an icing on the cake as it can set you apart from other candidates.