How to optimize your resume format?
Table of Contents
Alright. So I am going, to be honest with you. I have never really liked writing a resume because I have to worry about font, grammar, structure and in the end, it all comes down to listing down my achievements and it hurts to find out that I don’t have many.
But achievements or no achievements, we need a job, right?! Because apart from the money it gets you, having a job in the early stages of your career makes you a professional, it makes you disciplined. And both of these combined will get you closer to Wealth, Health, and even Love!
And the first step to all of this is to write a resume. I know writing a resume sounds complicated but that’s what I am here for. So it doesn’t matter if you are a fresher or an experienced professional or a home-maker trying to find a part-time job.
Types of Resumes
Chronological Resume Format
The most recognizable and typical format for resumes is the chronological format. Most recruiters and recruiting executives like it because it needs less guesswork than other resume formats. Your experience is set out in a linear resume in a way that is familiar and simple to comprehend. It also presents your talents in perspective, making it possible for a recruiter to see the development and growth of your profession.
This resume style, often referred to as “reverse-chronological,” lists the most recent experience first and only works backwards over time. It allows recruiters and recruitment leaders to first see the highest-level successes and most timely experience. For instance, in the college portion of a chronological resume, a master’s degree will be listed above a bachelor’s degree since it was obtained more recently.
The style of the chronological resume accommodates most sectors. Rather than most resume types, it highlights the where and why of your work experience. Its basic interface also makes it the simplest medium to digest for recruiters and recruiting managers. As recruiters seldom take additional time to look for results, this is advantageous. If they can’t quickly identify the appropriate expertise and experience, they will move on to the next candidate.
Functional Resume Format
For job seekers whose experience is not best reflected by a conventional format, the functional resume format provides innovative alternatives. The usable resume style, in reality, is practically the opposite of the chronological format. Job history on a functioning resume is listed at the very bottom of the resume without elaboration. This format provides extended sections for credentials, abilities, and awards, instead of concentrating on individual jobs. Based on your job experience and interests, these parts are versatile and can be mixed and matched.
Since it minimizes career experience, job seekers with wide holes in their work histories prefer to like the functional resume style. Career changers prefer this format because it encourages them to rely more on transferable talents than on less important industries and career titles. However, the functional resume style is hated by some recruiters because it takes abilities out of context. In addition, since it doesn’t categorize details under traditional headings, ATS is unable to parse this format correctly.
For your job quest, a functional resume format could do more harm than good. If you have not had experience with chronological or mixed formats, just use this format. Since recruiters consider this format as a means to conceal shortcomings, they try extra hard to guarantee that their strengths and successes are simply and contextually conveyed.
Hybrid Resume Format
The hybrid resume format has risen in popularity to the point that many work seekers do not even understand they are using it, often known as the mix or mixed resume format. The strongest aspects of the other two resume styles are mixed with composite resumes into something that is realistic and flexible.
You will highlight strengths and milestones at the end of a hybrid resume style while also using a chronological format to detail your career trajectory. This format is extremely versatile and, depending on your tastes, can take several forms.
Today, by the end of this blog post, you will be surprised to see how easy it is to write a resume that will get you an interview call. So in today’s blog post, we are going to learn what is it that Interviewers look for in a resume?
Second, we are going to learn how to structure a resume. Third, I will type a resume in front of you so that you know exactly what to put in which section.
But the most important point, in the end, I will give you a bonus tip that will take your resume to the next level! Before we begin, let me clarify that you are free to tweak your resume the way you want.
Because there is no certified way to writing a resume. The only thing that’s certified is that you and I will learn something new and useful every week.
So if you want to learn things that haven’t been taught in school then make sure you subscribe to this channel and hit that bell icon! Let’s begin! So what is it that Interviewers ‘Look For’ in a resume?
It is less about what is it that they ‘look’ for and more about what is it that Interviewers ‘see’. For example, suppose this is the job that we are applying for, for the role of a Blockchain Developer.
Even though I took an example of an I.T job, you can use the same principles for Banking, Education, Hotel Management, Sales, or any other job that you like. Now the problem is, no matter what job you are applying for there will be 100’s, if not 1000’s of people applying for the same job! With these many profiles, the Interviewers will hardly spend around 6 seconds looking at your resume.
It’s like being on Tinder. If your profile is not appealing at the first glance then you will be left-swiped right away because there are a lot of other profiles waiting to be reviewed which is why your resume should not be like a long boring list! It should be like an advertisement…Short.
To the Point and Crisp! And that brings us to the resume structure! To help you understand the resume structure better, I am going to write it with you. Let’s use Google Docs because it’s free.
Just so that we are clear, this blog post is not sponsored by Google Docs! You can use Microsoft Word or any other resume builder that you like.
I have left the link of Google Docs in the description! Go to that link, click on this button and select the template that says ‘Resume’. As you can see, the structure is already built. Now let’s understand what to fill in these sections. We are first going to build an experienced person’s profile and then make a few changes to this profile so that it becomes a Fresher profile.
Let’s assume that we are going to apply for this role of Blockchain Developer. Interestingly, even Sugandh has worked on Blockchain. So I am going to start by creating his profile. Even though I am taking an I.T job example, you can use the same guidelines for any job in any field.
The first thing you need to write is your Name. Since I am building Sugandh’s profile, I am going to write his name. After Name, is the Professional Title.
This is where you use words or phrases that define you professionally like Problem Solver, Innovator, Mentor, Quick Learner, Fire Fighter which basically means that you are quick at solving problems!
So here I am going to write Innovator, Mentor, and Firefighter. I am writing Innovator because later I am going to mention a few Patents that he has. So make sure that you support whatever you write in your Professional Title throughout our resume.
Next is Contact Information and these are the things that you can mention. The first is Email ID. All of us have had weird college IDs but please do not write ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. It looks extremely unprofessional.
Create a new ID that has your name and mention that, write your phone number and next, mention any social media profiles that are relevant to the position you are applying to like your LinkedIn profile. Or if you are applying for a Digital Marketing role then maybe you can even mention your Twitter or Instagram handles.
Since this is for an I.T job, I am going to mention his LinkedIn profile here and a Skype ID, just in case someone from overseas wants to conduct an interview over Skype. And that is most of what you need to mention in your contact information.
Things that you don’t need to mention are your marital status, religious affiliation, DOB or even your photo because all of this is unnecessary information taking up unnecessary space.
Next comes Experience. Here you will mention your current job first and then go back and mention your old jobs in a reverse chronological order.
So mention the name of the company, your job role, and right beneath it, mention the time-period you’ve held that role for.
Sugandh has worked for 3 companies in the pastso I’ll make 3 different sections. Suppose you were in the same company but have had different roles then you can have a separate section for each role.
Now that you have this template, under each section write down your responsibilities and key deliverables in a bullet point format.
Remember this section is an opportunity to showcase how your experience is aligned to the position that you are applying for. Since we are applying for the role of a Blockchain Developer, it makes sense to mention that he has led a Blockchain Research Group at his current company.
Remember to sprinkle the keywords mentioned in the job description throughout your experience section because that way the hiring manager will know that you have the experience that the team needs.
And the second point always tries to be specific about your achievements Suppose you are applying for a Social Media role, then don’t just mention, ‘Managed a Facebook Page’, instead you can write, ‘Revamped a business page on Facebook that has led to over 70K followers..(up by 40% in 2 months) and has led to a 4% increase on revenue.
‘See the difference? Because you have added a number to your accomplishment it gives the Hiring Manager confidence in your abilities. So try to add a number and quantify as many bullet points as possible.
Next is Education. In case you have been working for quite sometimes then it’s best to keep your education section short and sweet. Suppose you have been working for 6 years or more then it doesn’t make sense to mention your 10th and 12th percentage
.Just mention the details of your last degree. So he did his Bachelors from IIIT-H. So I’ll mention that. Beneath it, I’ll mention the time period and write after that in 3-4 bullet points, I’ll mention the highlights which is CGPA, any relevant Course Work or Honors and that’s it!
If you are a student, you’ll obviously add a lot more in the education section. We’ll come to that in a minute. Next, come Skills. Typically for a Software Job, you can mention the Languages and Technologies that you know and rate them according to how well you know them.
If you are not from the Software field, then you can mention your Communication Skills, Critical Thinking Skills, Leadership Skills, Social Media Skills, Project Management Skills; basically do not forget to mention the skills that have been included in the job description. Next is the Additional Section.
This is the best time to brag about any awards, certifications, publications, patents, volunteer work is done, languages that you know, extra-curricular activities, conferences/courses attended, or any other hobbies that you have that are relevant to the position that you are applying to. Just pick the best 2 sections and mention them. So here I’ll only mention 2 sections.
The awards he has received and the fact that he has 3 patents under his name. Now before you hit export and send that resume to a Hiring Manager there are a few important points to remember but before that, let’s first see how we can modify this profile so that it becomes a Fresher’s Profile.
In case you are a fresher or are applying for an entry-level job then the resume pretty much remains the same except for 3 changes.
#1: Education If you are a fresher, mention your Education before your Experience. List down your Institution Name, Degree, and Time Period in reverse chronological order up to your 10th standard, and don’t forget to have a separate column for your percentage or your CGPA Next is Experience. I know, if you are a fresher, there isn’t much that you can write under the Experience section but here are few things that you can mention.
If you are an Engineer then you would’ve done some Mini Projects every semester. This is the perfect place to mention all of that. Write the name of the project and in 1-2 lines describe what is that project about. Mention any internships you’ve done, mention any paper you have worked on, with your faculty.
Even if you used to take tuitions for kids or worked at McDonald’s part-time to pay your college fees, mention that because it tells the Hiring Manager that you are committed and have developed a sense of professionalism early in your life.
The third and final change is this. In case you are a student, there are a lot of things that you can mention under the Additional Section, the best being your competitive exam score (be it IIT-JEE, Eamcet, or even your CAT rank).
In case you have not given any of these then no problem. Then you can mention the college fest that you had participated in, hackathons, coding contests, paper presentation contests, you can even write about the initiatives you took while you were at college like taking care of your college website, newsletter, or even maintaining your own blog.
So those were the 3 key differences between a Freshers’s profile and an Experienced person’s profile. But before you hit export, here are 3 important points to remember.
How to create content for a Resume?
First, Keep your resume to 1-page, maximum.
If you have information that is relevant to the position that you are applying to the go-ahead and add an extra page. But if you are adding fluff just for the sake of adding pages then your resume will suffer.
Second, Always proof-read and double-check your resume because nothing hurts a resume more than a grammatical error.
But the third and the most important point, never ever lie in your resume. If you don’t have the skills, you might not get this job but if you lie then you might not be called for any future jobs the company might have.
Sometimes, it’s okay to not have the skills because most companies will be ready to train you but honesty is a skill that no company compromises on. So that’s how you write a resume. If you want me to make a separate blog post about how to crack a job interview?’ or’ How to get a promotion?’ then comment and let me know.
Before I tell you what is the bonus tip, if you know someone who is struggling with writing a resume then take a moment and ‘Share’ this blog post with them and hit that big fat ‘Like’ Button if you want me to make more career blog posts. And finally, here is the bonus tip!
Always maintain a Live Career Document.\Whenever you work on something, like take part in a fest, organize a hackathon or build a tool for your team; maintain a document and write it down.
Most of the times we don’t know what to write in our resume because we forget what we’ve done.
But if you get into the habit of noting everything down then not only will it build your resume but it will also give you a list of things to talk about in your appraisal for your next promotion. On that thought, I promise to see you again next week.
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