How to Write a Better Resume or CV

A polished resume is an invaluable tool for workers who are searching for new job opportunities. No matter what jobs candidates are applying for, they usually need to have resumes. These documents serve as a way for applicants to cohesively showcase their skill sets and job experience to potential employers. Sometimes, petitioners may even be told that they need to submit a CV, or a curriculum vitae, when applying for jobs. While these documents are technically different because the CV is more comprehensive, both terms can be used interchangeably.

Even though there are various resume examples available online for applicants, CVs can still be challenging to write. Whether applicants are worrying about what to put on a resume or how they should format the document, it can be difficult for even the most seasoned writers to prepare these items. This is because the rules for resume writing are different from most other forms of writing. As a result, this can be confusing for individuals who do not have much experience applying for jobs. However, people who are in between work can improve their chances of finding their next employer by understanding these conventions.

Why do I need a resume?

Candidates who struggle with writing a resume may not fully understand why these documents are an important part of the job application process. In fact, CVs are more than just places for job searchers to list their professional experiences. These documents serve as a reflection of applicants’ professional, educational and independent experiences. With a well-written resume, petitioners can also give prospective employers a glimpse into their personalities. For these reasons, CVs are more useful to hiring managers than standard job applications because they often allow companies to learn even more about applicants.

Petitioners who struggle with how to write a resume must also remember that their CVs are usually the first pieces of information that managers will receive about them. For these reasons, it is important that candidates take the time to prepare these documents during the job search process.

How do I choose my resume format and layout?

The resume template that job applicants use is almost as important as the information they provide throughout their CVs. Candidates should remember that the hiring managers will scan their documents from the top to the bottom. Therefore, they should be sure to include the most relevant information as early in their resumes as possible. In any case, applicants must also ensure that the way they display their information is simple and easy to read. Different resume examples may provide applicants with ideas for different styles they can use to showcase their credentials. However, candidates need to be mindful that their selections do not divert the reader’s attention. In addition, applicants should keep the following resume tips in line as they prepare the format for their CVs:

  • Font – Font refers to the style of lettering that applicants use. Non-traditional fonts can be distracting to readers, so candidates should opt for traditional selections such as Times New Roman or Georgia.
  • Color – While petitioners do have some flexibility regarding their resume format, they should stay away from color-coded sections or fonts. This is because some computers may not display these colors properly, or the colors might alter during the printing process.
  • Sections – Applicants should be sure to divide their resumes into appealing sections that direct the readers’ eyes to their credentials. However, candidates should avoid too many side panels or awkward breaks in their CV

Sections to Include in a Professional Resume

Once applicants decide on the resume template they would like to use for their CVs, they must choose what type of information they will include. Often, the most successful resumes include the following sections:

  • Header – Traditionally, the header consists of applicants’ names and contact information. Candidates can decide how they format this information, but popular methods to distinguish this data includes bolding or centering the information at the top of the page.
  • Resume objectiveMany candidates choose to omit a resume objective, but having this section can distinguish them from other petitioners. In this space, applicants can include a brief summary of who they are and why they are applying for this particular job.
  • Education – Applicants should mention where they went to school, what degrees they obtained and if they earned any distinctions while enrolled.
  • Experience – In a professional resume, candidates must be sure to detail their work experience. This information should be displayed in chronological order, starting from the applicant’s most recent employment.
  • Volunteer work – If applicants have any relevant volunteer work, they can include it along with a brief description in their CVs.
  • Skills – At the bottom of their resume, candidates should mention any kills they have developed that could be applicable to the job they are applying for.

Skills to Include in a Resume

When deciding which skills to put on a resume, applicants must think about whatever types of information would be most relevant for hiring managers to know. Depending on the position candidates are applying for, they may consider including the following skills for a resume:

  • Languages skills
  • Computer programs
  • Social media
  • Organizational, communication and other soft skills
  • Leadership and time management skills
  • Research skills

Additional Resume Tips

Depending on where candidates are in the resume writing process, there are some tips that they should keep in mind. Specifically, applicants must remember:

  • Be honest – Whether discussing work roles or languages they speak, applicants must remember to be honest on their CVs. Often, hiring managers will find a way to confirm if what the petitioners included is true. Therefore, it is better to be honest about skills and experiences in the beginning than to be embarrassed later in the application process.
  • Use action verbs – Once candidates decide what to put on a resume, they must be sure that they described their experiences in an appealing way. To help strengthen their testimonies, applicants should make sure that each of the descriptions they provide begin with strong action words. For example, instead of saying that candidates worked at a place, they can describe their roles, such as managing calendars or organizing files.
  • Include specific information – Throughout their CV, applicants need to provide specific facts about their experiences. If possible, candidates should also include quantifiable figures, such as how many people they supervised or how many tasks they accomplished on a regular basis.