How do you write a killer resume as a Job Seeker?

Dear job seekers, we cannot overemphasize the importance of quality and a killer resume. You need to understand how to write a killer resume. Your resume is the number 1 step into getting (or not getting) that dream job of yours. It introduces you, gives a summary of you and your capabilities, helps the recruiter to decide on inviting you for an interview or not. It gives them an idea of what to expect if they eventually decide to continue the process with you, tells your professional story amongst others. You, therefore, don’t want to be presented in a bad light even before meeting for an interview.

How to write a killer resume?

Want to learn how to write a killer resume? Read on!

Creating an irresistible resume, featuring University Recruiter @ Microsoft

What is a resume?

Your resume is more than a document that gets you into an organization. It shares all information required as regards your career and past experiences. A resume presents all the necessary information about your career growth.

How long does it take a recruiter to look at your resume?

A recruiter has an average of 7 seconds to validate your resume. In that 7 sessions, he/she will decide if to move forward with your candidacy or not. So, within this time, a recruiter will decide if you have a killer resume or not.

Many job seekers don’t know how to write a killer resume. So this is why you need to learn how important your resume is as a job seeker.

Why is a resume so important?

A resume acts as a bridge between you as a person and the recruiter.

Your resume is like your cologne. You are attractive, get compliments, and builds confidence when you get it right. But when it’s awful, you repel people, and that affects your confidence and interpersonal relationship with others in one way or the other. The same applies to your resume. Get it right, get invited for an interview, and stand the chance to land the job. But when it turns out wrong, it probably ends up in the trash bin or shredding machine. Every job seeker out there, therefore, needs a resume that commands attention (positively), that the recruiter picks interest in, that is irresistible.

Is a 1 page resume enough?

The best resumes which I go through are those that are short, impactful and concise. Resumes that are 1 page long often make a great resume. I have 9 years of experience and my current resume is 1 page. I think I have earned the validation to progress to a 2-page resume😄 Most people write too much.

They include much information without talking about the impact they made in the previous organization. Quantify your impact in terms of percentage, numbers. Ensure you know how you define your work and also the impact of that work. Always stick to the last 3 years of your life from the achievement standpoint.

Avoid grammatical errors while writing a resume. This put recruiters off.

What should a killer resume contain?

#1. Contact information

A good resume should contain your contact information. This is useful because it helps the recruiter or hiring manager reach out to you before, during and after the decision-making stage.

#2. Professional or work experience(s)

Your work or professional experience is a crucial part of learning how to write a killer resume.

A killer resume bears your past academic and career experiences as well future aspirations. How you now present them is key – as it will determine if you’ll be contacted with ‘congratulations’ or ‘regret’. It, therefore, requires tact to present your experience, combined with your future aspirations in line with the objectives and requirements of the role and organization you are applying to.

There’s a school of thought that says on average, most recruiters scan through your resume for 7 seconds. In those seconds, you either make or break an impression. Remember, you are not there to defend anything yet. So a good resume should be able to represent you properly even in your absence.

Since it literarily acts as a bridge between you and that dream job, you’ll then agree on why it is an important instrument. A lot of job seekers get carried away with aesthetics but in reality, it is more about what it carries than how it looks. And revisiting the 7 seconds rule, it is safe to say a good resume should be concise, yet detailed, and impactful. Recruiters are not impressed by long resumes. It bores them. For students or people just starting in their career, specifically 0-10 years of experience, a one-page resume is great.

Instead of writing an author-biography, focus on your experience, how you have refined the same. What impact have you added to your organization? The impact area is crucial. You don’t want to give the recruiter the impression that you are a redundant staff where you are coming from or where you have been, just repeating a routine for years. They want to know those important things you did that positively impacted your team or organization. So as you define the work/role, include the impact- very important. The impact could be in percentages, figures, volumes, anything to show a positive trend in the organization which was a product of your action(s).

The impact is to the organization what achievements are to you as a staff. So ‘Achievements’ is something that shouldn’t be missing on your resume. This tells the recruiter how you have grown, mastered the craft, how intentional you are about self-development, or do you just do your routine job, get paid, and retire home.

If the achievement does not reflect on the job, DO NOT add it to your resume. The recruiter does not need to know that you managed to find love and got married despite doing a job that takes your time. Also, the achievements need to be recent. Not the debate you won years ago while you were still in school.

#3. Resume should be free of grammatical erros

Your resume should be error-free. A resume with several spelling errors and grammatical blunders is a red flag and has already shown off the candidate in a bad light. This error, especially when too much, makes the recruiter doubt your ability to pay attention to details.

#4. Your resume must be readable and not condensed.

Saying you are good with 1 paged resume doesn’t mean you should jam-pack everything on the page in a way that affects its clarity and readability, neither is it advisable to leave out crucial information. Doing these forfeits the use of the resume as a whole and all work done becomes zero.

Your font type and size need to be professional and consistent. It is not a wedding invite. So do not use funny font types and sizes. It is equally not enough that you use a professional font type (say Time New Roman for example), you need to be consistent with it. There is no need for an unnecessary change of font type and size even as you prepare the resume. For the font size, 11 or 12 is okay. No more, no less.

#5. A killer resume must be concise

  • While you make your resume to be as concise as possible, always take note of 3 important points abbreviated as ‘CAR’. These are the context, the achievement, the result. This summarises your career for the recruiter going through your resume. The context is the situation on the job, Achievement, is what did you take home from the experience ‘context’ which also includes the process which you handled the situation, and ‘Result’ tells us what your team/organization gained from that experience as well as how the whole event played out.

So many job seekers have made the mistake of thinking the actual recruitment process begins with the interview. As a result, while they arm themselves with the necessary information they deem fit to ace the interview, they present a crappy resume; forgetting that it is a well-written resume that guarantees an invite into the interview stage of the process. When the resume is poorly written, getting invited for an interview becomes difficult, and a candidate that is struggling to get interviewed definitely will stay unemployed longer than he/she imagine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a killer resume?

#1. Include your contact information. For example, your email, phone number and portfolio.

#2. Ensure the title in your previous work experience is the same or close to the job you are applying for.

#3. Speak about the context of your role, your achievement and the result generated in your bullet points in the experience session.

#4. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for.

#5. Ensure your resume is error-free.

What is difference between resume and CV?

A resume is the same thing as a curriculum vitae (cv). The only difference is the country of use. A resume is mainly used in Europe and other countries while cv is used in Africa and others.

What is a resume for a job?

A resume is more than a document that gets you into an organization. A resume is a way of sharing all information required in regard to your career and past experiences. A resume should have all the information required for a job that keeps track of your career growth.

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