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Reviews

4.5 / 5

Based on 31,908 reviews

David

David

Recruiter

Great tool for quickly creating compelling resumes and organizing your entire job search. Recommending to all my clients!

Kate

Kate

Freelance Video Editor

A must-have for creating professional resumes to impress employers and score interviews.

Aaron

Aaron

Accountant

An easy-to-use and comprehensive platform that helps job seekers create stunning resumes.

Jared

Jared

Web Designer

Very helpful tool that is user-friendly, intuitive, and supports job seekers through the entire application process.

David

David

Recruiter

Great tool for quickly creating compelling resumes and organizing your entire job search. Recommending to all my clients!

Kate

Kate

Freelance Video Editor

A must-have for creating professional resumes to impress employers and score interviews.

Aaron

Aaron

Accountant

An easy-to-use and comprehensive platform that helps job seekers create stunning resumes.

Jared

Jared

Web Designer

Very helpful tool that is user-friendly, intuitive, and supports job seekers through the entire application process.

David

David

Recruiter

Great tool for quickly creating compelling resumes and organizing your entire job search. Recommending to all my clients!

Kate

Kate

Freelance Video Editor

A must-have for creating professional resumes to impress employers and score interviews.

Aaron

Aaron

Accountant

An easy-to-use and comprehensive platform that helps job seekers create stunning resumes.

Jared

Jared

Web Designer

Very helpful tool that is user-friendly, intuitive, and supports job seekers through the entire application process.

David

David

Recruiter

Great tool for quickly creating compelling resumes and organizing your entire job search. Recommending to all my clients!

Kate

Kate

Freelance Video Editor

A must-have for creating professional resumes to impress employers and score interviews.

Aaron

Aaron

Accountant

An easy-to-use and comprehensive platform that helps job seekers create stunning resumes.

Jared

Jared

Web Designer

Very helpful tool that is user-friendly, intuitive, and supports job seekers through the entire application process.

David

David

Recruiter

Great tool for quickly creating compelling resumes and organizing your entire job search. Recommending to all my clients!

Kate

Kate

Freelance Video Editor

A must-have for creating professional resumes to impress employers and score interviews.

Aaron

Aaron

Accountant

An easy-to-use and comprehensive platform that helps job seekers create stunning resumes.

Jared

Jared

Web Designer

Very helpful tool that is user-friendly, intuitive, and supports job seekers through the entire application process.

David

David

Recruiter

Great tool for quickly creating compelling resumes and organizing your entire job search. Recommending to all my clients!

Kate

Kate

Freelance Video Editor

A must-have for creating professional resumes to impress employers and score interviews.

Aaron

Aaron

Accountant

An easy-to-use and comprehensive platform that helps job seekers create stunning resumes.

Jared

Jared

Web Designer

Very helpful tool that is user-friendly, intuitive, and supports job seekers through the entire application process.

David

David

Recruiter

Great tool for quickly creating compelling resumes and organizing your entire job search. Recommending to all my clients!

How to Create an Effective Resume

A resume, also known as a CV (curriculum vitae), is a formal document presenting your professional qualifications to secure a job. It highlights essential skills, education, notable accomplishments, and relevant work experience, creating a compelling snapshot of your background and abilities, increasing your chances of getting hired. Resume writing doesn’t have to be hard if you have the right tools and the best resume formats at your fingertips.

While your ultimate goal with a resume is to get a job, the first purpose it serves is to attract enough attention to get you an interview. Recruiters may go through hundreds of resumes and only pick a few to interview. A well-written and well-formatted resume gets your foot in the door so you can wow them with your communication and personal interview skills.

No matter what type of resume layout you choose, it should be a snapshot of your relevant life and work experience, skills and communication ability. Think of your resume as a one-page advertisement, and you are the product. Combined with a well-written cover letter, your resume gets you through the door for the job.

When it comes to searching for a job, your resume is the first place you should start to build a solid base. A good resume is important for many reasons, including:

  • It sells your strongest accomplishments and skills
  • It catches the attention of recruiters and employers
  • It shows why you match the project or position
  • It helps you get a job interview, where you can sell your skills in person

Depending on the job, a hiring recruiter or manager receives hundreds to thousands of applications for every open spot within their companies. Resumes are the tool they use to narrow down candidates and determine which ones deserve a face-to-face interview. They are often short on time and look for ways to quickly find solid candidates for each job.

A resume can help you land your dream job if it’s written correctly. If you outline your relevant experience and skills, display what unique benefits you offer to the company and match yourself to the position, you grab the employer’s attention. Focus on what makes you different than other candidates and what you offer that no one else can.

Even if your resume doesn’t lead to the job you are applying for now, a memorable resume can be pulled up later when another position opens.

Personal details

At the very least, the personal details section should include your email address, name and phone number. You may also choose to include a link to a website or portfolio, depending on the job. If you have a LinkedIn account, include that along with any relevant social media accounts.

LinkedIn is the biggest global network for professionals and most recruiters expect that applicants have a profile. Before you add your profile to your resume, take some time to look it over and update information, include a professional photo and remove any inappropriate material.

The same rules apply to any social media profiles your potential employer wants to see. Most often, recruiters use social media searches only to see how you’ll fit into the company culture. In some roles, your online “brand” is crucial to your job. We suggest that you only use social media profiles that apply to your desired job. 

There’s no need to include personal information such as your date of birth or any personal identification number. If you make it further in the hiring process, the recruiter can ask you for additional identifying information. In Canada and the United States, adding a photo on your resume may hurt your chances of getting an interview because of strict discrimination laws and employment policies.

Resume summary or objective statement

After your personal information, the next part is your resume summary. This only needs to be a short paragraph, no more than 3-4 sentences. In your own words, this paragraph highlights your greatest career achievements and top skills. 

Resume objectives can be used in place of resume summaries and are the better option for those who are just starting in a career and don’t have a lot of experience, or any at all. An objective focuses on your plans for your career and what your goals are for the new role.

Work experience

The next part of writing your own resume is extremely important. After a well-written, pointed summary, it’s time to include your work experience and previous jobs. In this section, keep it simple. Rather than a long list of generic bullet points that apply to your position, include specifics. 

Work experience should be listed in reverse-chronological order, meaning you start with your most recent job and go backward from there. In each section of your work history, including the following:

  • Your job titles or positions written with clarity in bold so they’re easy to find
  • Dates employed
  • The company name
  • A short bullet list of your main achievements and duties

As you write your work experience, make it as concise as possible. Always start your bullets with a verb and keep it to only three or four. 

If you have too many jobs to list, choose the ones that are relevant to the new job you’re applying for and stay within 15 years. If you have a resume without work experience, feel free to include volunteer work, extracurricular activities and internships.

A gap in your resume doesn’t have to be a big deal. If you’re unemployed for a time, get involved with an organization in your industry. Take classes to continue your education. Include unpaid work on your resume. List only the years of your work experience rather than the months.

Education

After your work history, enter your education information. Again, the resume education section goes in reverse-chronological order. If you have extensive experience in your field, include your degree, the university or school name, and the year you graduated.

If you don’t have a lot of experience, include academic achievements, relevant coursework, your GPA and a thesis or dissertation title if you are in graduate school.

If you have a college degree of any type, don’t include your high school diploma to keep your resume relevant to the situation. Include any advanced degrees you have, just make sure they are in the right order (reverse chronological).

Hard and soft skills

Next, it’s time to list the relevant skills that make you a great candidate for the job. To make an amazing resume, always include a mix of both soft and hard skills.

Soft skills are transferable skills that are beneficial in all jobs, and include proficiency in for example:

  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork

Hard skills are more like technical skills and specific to the job you want, and include expertise in for example:

  • Writing 
  • Presentation
  • Marketing
  • Computer skills
  • Project management
  • Analytical skills

List skills in a single-item bullet point list with a short description of your proficiency. Provide a few words for context and change the skills to be relevant for each job you apply for.

Languages

Including language skills on your resume is advisable, even if they aren’t directly relevant to the job. It shows cultural competence and global awareness, which are highly valued by employers in today's interconnected world. 

When listing your language skills, make sure to include your level of proficiency for every language you mention. You can describe your comprehension with the levels of “beginner”, “intermediate”, “conversational”, “fluent” and “native”, or use an official scaling system like the ACTFL scale, the CEFR scale or ILR scale. If you have taken language courses or obtained language certifications, then make sure to include these as well.

When discussing languages on your resume, always be honest. You could be tested during a job interview, so be realistic about your ability.

Achievements and awards

There is a difference between awards and achievements and it’s important to understand that when you go to list them on your resume. They can both highlight your value, distract from a lack of work experience and help catch a hiring manager’s attention. They can be listed throughout your resume if they aren’t widely recognized, or you can create a separate section for them to show how you stand out.

An achievement is something that illustrates that you excelled, exceeded expectations or provided value on top of what you were expected to do. Awards are given to groups or individuals by businesses, external bodies, academic institutions or third-party groups and usually involve an official certificate or ceremony.

Any time you add an achievement or award to your resume, use ones that are recent and relevant to the job you are applying for.

Extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities can be used to demonstrate transferable skills, and should be included on your resume in two situations:

  • You are in school or have recently graduated and don’t have a lot of paid work or internship experience.
  • You are in school or have recently graduated and your extracurricular role highlights a skill or position that is especially relevant to the job you want.

Some examples of extracurricular activities that would go on a resume are volunteer services, student government, tutoring, arts organizations, academic societies of clubs, media or publications, and community and civic activities.

Hobbies and interests

Keep your resume free of hobbies and interests that are generic, and focus on those that are unique or exciting. This section usually gives the hiring team an idea of how you will fit into the company atmosphere and culture. Always be honest about your hobbies and interests, because they can come back to bite you if you aren’t honest about what you enjoy.

Hobbies and interests aren’t always necessary in a resume. While they can be a good placeholder if you lack experience, this section should be eliminated for solid experience, education or skills.

References

Unless your potential employers have asked for them, don’t include references on your resume. If your resume does need references, include at least three of them, and always get the okay from the person before you list them.

A resume should include personal information, an objective or summary statement, work experience, education, and hard and soft skills. If you have room left over, include languages, achievements and awards, extracurricular activities, and hobbies and interests. Only include references if the company asks for them.

Many software programs come with built-in resumes, so there are many ways to make a resume online. Two of the most popular tools used for creating resumes are Microsoft Word and Google Docs. However, while these tools are useful, they do have their disadvantages.

One of the main drawbacks of using Microsoft Word or Google Docs to create your resume is that it can be time-consuming to get the formatting just right. Another downside is that many of the formats lack originality and won’t help you stand out. The chances of other applicants using the same format as yours are high when you use programs such as Google or Microsoft.

A resume builder is a better option if you want to be assured your resume is polished and up to date with the latest trends. A resume builder like Jobseeker offers a wide variety of interactive, easy to use resume templates that help you meet your ultimate goal: to stand out in the application process.

The format and structure of a professional resume is important. The content is what gets you the job, but an aesthetically pleasing resume shows that you took the time to get it right, and that you have the basic computer skills to make it look good. Here are some formatting tips when it comes to writing a resume:

  • Content should be left-aligned
  • Margins should be at one inch
  • Use an easy-to-read, professional font
  • Clearly divide each section
  • Use clear headers for every section
  • Use bullet points whenever possible for conciseness
  • Try to keep your resume to one page

There are many professional fonts you can use, including Cambria, Times New Roman, Calibri, Georgia, Arial, Lato and Didot. Your name and header sections should be larger, but keep the basic font size between 10 and 12 points for normal text. Headers and section titles should be between 14-16 points. 

Between text, use 1.0 or 1.15 line spacing, and adjust that to double lines after any subheadings. You can increase or decrease if your resume is too full or too empty.

Every time you write a resume for a new job, you should tailor it to that job to stay ahead of other job applicants. Tailoring your resume proves your interest in the job, demonstrates how your skills align with it, emphasizes that you know what the employer needs and can help you get through applicant tracking systems.

Use the following steps to tailor your resume:

  • Read through the job description for keywords and qualifications. Check for words and phrases that come up more than once throughout the posting and that seem unique to each job.
  • Choose the type of resume format (chronological, combination or functional) to highlight your most relevant experience to each job you apply for.
  • Always update your summary and objectives when you apply for a new job.
  • Put keywords from the job description in your work history bullet points.
  • Use quantifiable examples as you highlight your skills.
  • Update your skills section each time you apply for a new job, as the hard and soft skills relevant to each job are different.

There are many types of resumes, and choosing the right resume format depends a lot on the job you apply for.

Chronological resume

A chronological resume is most commonly used in today’s professional world. It starts with a summary or objective, followed by your professional experience, education, and finally your skills and abilities. Make sure to list your experience and education in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job, moving backwards. This type of resume prioritizes relevant professional experience and achievements, and is most suitable for candidates with a linear career history.

Skills based resume

A skills-based resume (also known as a functional resume) highlights your skills and experience rather than your chronological work history. It is ideal if you have a gap in your employment history or are changing careers, as it takes attention away from the timeline of your resume and instead emphasizes your transferable skills.

Combination resume

A combination resume format (also known as a hybrid resume) merges a chronological resume and a functional resume format. The focus is balanced between skills and work history and is ideal for job candidates with an extremely specific set of skills or extensive experience.

Other resume types

For job seekers looking to work in creative fields who want a twist on a traditional resume, a creative resume is a valuable option. A creative resume may include an infographic, online portfolio or a video. While you include the same information you would on a traditional resume, a creative resume gives you the chance to present that information in an interesting and fun way. A creative resume done right catches the attention of a hiring manager and removes the attention from a lack of professional work experience. It allows the focus to be on your qualifications and skills rather than former jobs.

A video resume is a short video, usually included with a job application that provides an actual demonstration of your personality, skills and qualifications. Video resumes are often used in design, marketing, tech, fashion, and media industries. While a video resume can be a valuable supplemental tool, your formal written resume should always be your primary application. A video resume is not a quick snapshot, but rather a structured, scripted, sincere visual representation of what you have to offer.

The path to landing your dream job starts with creating a standout resume. Jobseeker offers all the tools and resources to make this process easier.

Jobseeker’s online resume maker offers a wide range of professionally designed outlines, suitable for every profession and industry. Helpful tips and resume examples will provide you with the right inspiration to highlight your unique advantages. Create matching cover letters to ensure a professional look for all your application documents. Check out our cover letter templates and get started right away!

If you have questions about the tools Jobseeker offers or the pricing, search the frequently asked questions page. Contact us if you need any additional help or have other concerns or questions.

Do you have unanswered questions? Take a look at our FAQ

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