The Ultimate Guide to Resume Writing in 2023

Creating a resume can be a daunting task, whether you’re updating an outdated version or starting from scratch. The goal is to effectively showcase your experiences, skills, and qualifications in a visually pleasing and easy-to-read format. It’s easy to get caught up in the small details, such as whether to include your mailing address or what skills to list. Additionally, deciding whether to use one or two pages and whether to save it as a PDF or Word document can add to the confusion.
To avoid becoming overwhelmed, be sure to proofread your resume at least 20 times and refer to this guide for expert advice and tips on crafting the perfect job-winning resume.
  1. Include your contact information.
  2. Write a compelling professional summary.
  3. Highlight your relevant skills in a well-organized section.
  4. Detail your work experience, including job titles, responsibilities, and achievements.
  5. List your education and any relevant professional development or certifications.
  6. Remove references from your resume.
  7. Decide on the appropriate page length for your resume.
  8. Ensure that your resume is properly formatted and easy to read.
  9. Consider whether a professional resume writer or designer could help you to create a more effective resume.
  10. Proofread and review your resume several times.
Adding your contact Information
Adding contact information in a resume is an essential step in the resume creation process. It allows potential employers to easily get in touch with you to schedule an interview or ask for additional information. The contact information typically includes your name, phone number, and email address, as well as your current mailing address. It’s a good idea to include a professional email address, such as your name rather than using a personal email address. Ensure that your contact information is current and accurate, as a potential employer may be unable to contact you if the information provided is outdated or incorrect. Adding LinkedIn profile or other professional social media links is also a good idea, as it gives recruiters an easy way to view your online presence.
Professional Summary
A professional summary highlights the key qualifications and experiences. It should be written in a way that is compelling and persuasive, and it should be tailored to the specific job or industry for which the candidate is targeting or applying.
The purpose of a professional summary is to give the employer a quick overview of the candidate’s qualifications, experiences, and career goals. It should be no more than 4-6 sentences and should be placed at the top of the resume.
When writing a professional summary, use strong action verbs, quantify accomplishments, and highlight skills and experiences that are most relevant to the targeted job. Include industry-specific terms and keywords, that will help your resume to stand out.
Example: “Experienced marketing professional with 5+ years of experience in developing and implementing successful marketing strategies for technology companies. Skilled in data analysis, lead generation, and project management. Proven track record of driving brand awareness and increasing sales.”
Relevant Skills
This section lists the specific skills and abilities that are relevant to the targeted job. This section should include a mix of both hard skills, such as specific software or programming languages, and soft skills, such as communication or problem-solving abilities. You should tailor this section to the specific job or industry for which you are applying, and to use strong action verbs to describe your skills.
Examples of skills that can be included are: Full-stack Web Development, Software Assurance, Network Design & Deployment, Database Management, Project Management, Team Leadership, Problem-solving, and Data Analysis and Presentation.
Work Experience
In this section you should list your employment history, including job titles, responsibilities, and achievements. This section is typically one of the most important sections of a resume, as it provides potential employers with information about a person’s work history and experience.
Job titles: The job title should be written in bold and should be the most recent and relevant to the job you are applying. You should also add the years at the end of each job title.
Responsibilities: For each job listed, you should include a brief summary of responsibilities. This should be written in paragraph form and should be specific, concise, and quantifiable whenever possible. Responsibilities should be written in past tense if the job is over, or in present tense if the job is current.
Achievements: Include some notable achievements or accomplishments that demonstrate how you have added value to your previous positions. This could include things like increasing sales, improving processes, or managing successful projects. These achievements should be specific, quantifiable, and demonstrate your ability to go above and beyond your job responsibilities. This should be written in bullets form in past tense.
Education & Professional Development:
In this section you put formal education, including any degrees or certifications you have earned. This section should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent degree or certification listed first.
For each degree or certification, you should include the name of the institution, the degree or certification earned, and the date of completion. If you are currently enrolled in a degree program, you can include the expected date of graduation.
In addition to formal education, add any relevant professional development or certifications that you have earned. These can include things like workshops, training programs, and online courses that have helped you develop skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Be specific and quantify the achievements in this section as well.
For example, if you have completed a course on a specific software or programming language, you should include the name of the course, the institution or provider that offered the course, and the date of completion.
It is also a good idea to list any relevant academic honors or awards you have received, such as a Dean’s List or a scholarship.
Overall, the education and professional development section should be focused on highlighting your qualifications and skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
Remove the References
There are several reasons why it is generally not a good idea to list references on a resume:
  1. Space: A resume should be concise and focused on the most important information. Including a list of references takes up valuable space that could be better used to highlight your skills and qualifications.
  2. Privacy: It can be a violation of privacy. It is not appropriate to share someone else’s contact information without their permission, especially if they are not aware that they may be contacted.
  3. Timing: Employers typically request references during the later stages of the hiring process, after they have reviewed your resume and interviewed you. It is not necessary to include references on your initial resume submission.
  4. Quality over Quantity: Have few strong references who can speak highly of your skills and qualifications, rather than a long list of references.
  5. Professionalism: Not including references on a resume shows professionalism and respect for the privacy of the people who have agreed to be your references.
Instead of listing references on your resume, it’s best to have them ready and prepared to provide them when requested by the employer. You can include a line at the bottom of your resume that says “References available upon request” or something similar.
Length of Resume
The appropriate page length for a resume depends on a few factors, such as the person’s level of experience and the type of job they are applying for. In general, a two-page resume is considered the standard, but for some individuals with more extensive experience, a three-page resume may be more appropriate.
For entry-level or recent graduates, a one-page resume is typically sufficient. This allows them to highlight their education, skills, and any relevant internships or part-time work experience they have.
For individuals with more extensive experience, a two-page resume may be more appropriate. This allows them to include more detailed information about their work experience, skills, and accomplishments.
However, regardless of experience, it’s important to remember that a resume should be concise and easy to read. Avoid including irrelevant information or using overly small font sizes.
It’s also important to remember that the resume is just one part of the job application process, employers will also look at your cover letter and LinkedIn profile. So, you should make sure that all of your application materials are consistent, well-written, and tailored to the job you are applying for.
Resume Format
Proper formatting and easy readability are crucial elements of a well-written resume. There are several reasons why a resume should be properly formatted and easy to read:
  1. First impressions: A resume is often the first point of contact between a job candidate and a potential employer. A well-formatted, easy-to-read resume makes a positive first impression and demonstrates that the candidate is detail-oriented and professional.
  2. Attention to detail: A resume that is properly formatted and easy to read shows that the candidate pays attention to detail.
  3. Easy to scan: A properly formatted and easy-to-read resume allows Application Tracking System (ATS) and employer to quickly scan and find the information they are looking for.
Overall, a resume that is properly formatted and easy to read demonstrates that a candidate is professional, detail-oriented, and has the skills to present information clearly and effectively. This can greatly increase the chances of the resume being selected for further review.
Proofread and Review
Proofreading and reviewing your resume several times is important for several reasons:
  1. Accuracy: Proofreading and reviewing your resume ensures that all the information included is accurate and up-to-date.
  2. Grammar and Spelling: It can help you catch any grammar or spelling errors. These errors can make a resume appear unprofessional and can negatively impact the candidate’s chances of being considered for the job.
  3. Formatting: It can help you catch any formatting issues, such as inconsistent font sizes or spacing. This can help make sure that your resume looks polished and professional.
  4. Tailoring: To ensure that the information included is tailored to the specific job you are applying for. This can help increase the chances of your resume being selected for further review.

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