Throughout your career, whether you’re starting out in the job market or a veteran looking for new opportunities, a well-written resume comes in handy.
What is a resume? It is a record of your work experience, job credentials, important achievements and your education history. You will be needing a resume when you’re on a job hunt.
Resumes are usually accompanied with a cover letter addressed to your prospective employer. Hiring staff will be reading your resume as a way to assess your qualifications. Oftentimes it’s their first encounter of you, well before they meet you in person.
Given that your resume is your ticket to getting that interview or appointment, it’s important to create the best resume possible. You also need to make sure that it’s a current resume and that it reflects all your best credentials in a truthful and accurate manner.
To write a killer resume, you’ll need to review its key purpose. It is a summary of your experience--hence, a self-marketing tool. It is supposed to provide hiring staff with a good idea of your range, experience and qualifications in order to make a decision. It helps if your resume design presents your information in bulleted summary form. It is meant to be direct, showing the salient points of your work experience. It is not meant to be an essay.
So let’s repeat that carefully: on the applicant’s end, a resume is a self-marketing tool; on the employer’s end, it is a decision-making aid. This reflects how critical it is to craft a well-written resume.
Remember, too, that your cover letter is not your resume. What is a cover letter? It is a document that provides a narrative and directly communicative form of your credentials. It is meant to help “sell” the resume accompanying it. The cover letter elaborates on certain points of your qualifications that need further explanation or emphasis. It is a selective introduction of you, and it gives a little insight into your personality as well.
How do you get started on building your resume?
- Write a Draft
Don’t expect yourself to get everything right and clear-cut the first time. A resume is a strategic document with specific objectives. Therefore, writing a draft for the purpose of jotting things down straight from memory is helpful before you start selecting important items and emphasizing the most relevant details.
This initial draft will serve as the basis for a more polished document. Remember not to have a strict format while writing your draft.
Need to write a resume? There’s no need to start from scratch. Get inspired by a resume design template.
- Recall your Career Experience
The next step involves choosing the relevant details from your draft. List these in concise form. Which skills, work history, education credentials, certifications and affiliations will push hiring staff to take the next step and try to learn more about you?
In this step of the process, you will need to whittle down your experience into the relevant material and discard the fluff.
After creating your draft, you will need to arrange your previous work experience in chronological order to establish a timeline and a system.
You could expand your resume to include some hobbies, online certifications, and social involvements, especially volunteer work on issues you care about.
Standard information under each item under work experience includes the duration and dates of your employment, the company where you were employed, your job title and a brief description of your role.
- Helpful tip: Highlight your Accomplishments
As you polish your resume further, bring the focus on your accomplishments in each role. Quantifying your results also helps. Listing percentages or quantifying gains such as “10x or 20x” catches employers’ attention and will help boost your profile.
- Know What to Omit
Like in any editing process, you should know what to leave out from your document. Do not include jobs or other types of experience that have no connection to the job you’re applying for. Do not go too far back in time. No one needs to know what you were doing thirty years ago. Aim for a max of fifteen years of job recall; anything else is just too much history that will be ignored or interpreted as an inability to present yourself well.
Short-term month-long gigs don’t need to be included in your application. These don’t often offer any depth to your resume credentials.
Considering that there’s a page limit before a resume becomes boring, a lot of the editing is pure common sense. Be discerning in what you exclude--it’s just as important as what you include.
- Choose your format
When it comes to format, you will need to decide on whether it will be a chronological resume or something less conventional, like a functional or combination resume.
The format you decide on has to do with what your desired job is and which kind of style presents you in the best light.
Chronological formats simply list experience in reverse chronological order, from the most recent roles to the oldest ones. Functional styles goes straight to presenting a list of your most important job skills, and does this in bullet point format. A hybrid or combination resume enumerates your most relevant skills before it presents your work history.
How would you know which style is the best one to go with? It really is about your goals and the type of roal you’re going for. Remember that you’re trying to impress someone at the quickest amount of time possible. Waste no time in making a good first impression. Now, if that first impression is best achieved through the chronological format, then by all means, use it. If the functional or combination resume puts you in the best light, then choose either of those as your final style. There is no right or wrong format for everybody--this isn’t a one-size-fits-all game. It’s all about figuring out what’s right for you, given your purpose.
When you’re done with a polished draft, it’s time to choose a resume design or template.
Finding the Resume Design that Works for You
You’re at the stage of resume creation where you’ll have to think about visuals and arranging your data in the most pleasing layout. There are many free resume design templates out there. You want to keep an eye out for the best resume design templates available.
To get started on cool resume design ideas, start a search of resume design templates on your word processor or on sites like Canva, which offer a wide range of templates for free.
For paper or PDF resumes, these free services are the way to go. The give you an easy way to arrange your information on a page, and
Publish your Resume on Strikingly
To further enhance your professional image, you might want to have a URL dedicated to your resume. You could set up a professional website to showcase your talents and abilities, and offer a link to any employer who wants to view your resume.
Professional websites are a form of personal branding. They add credibility to your application, and show that you have the tech and marketing savvy to make the extra effort of putting a professional reference of yourself out there.
Advantages of a Resume Website
While having a paper or standard file resume (in PDF, Pages or Word format) is the basic requirement to get you hired, you should consider putting up your resume online.
Having a resume website is a convenient addition to your resume-building process.
How a Resume Website can Reinforce your Job Search
- Convenient for employers or clients: simple URL click
Your information is available at-a-glance for employers or clients to look up. They simply need to click on a URL in order to view your resume. There is no need to download and save files, although this can be an option on your site. You can provide quick downloadables so your prospective client or employer easily gets a copy.
- Convenient for you: no need to upload a file
There is no need for you to attach a file every time your resume is required or requested. You simply need to cut and paste your URL for a quick application or job response. A lot of hiring sites ask for resumes in website form and not in file format. You need to accommodate for this.
- A living document
Whether on paper or file format, a resume is already a living document. You must make sure it is up-to-date and reflects all your current and relevant involvements.
However, having a resume website makes this process of updating and pruning a lot easier. With the right resume design, your website immediately showcases your best skills and projects. It also allows you to update your resume much quicker than you would a regular file. This way all your contacts or prospective employers can be updated immediately without having to resend a new file.
It also makes your job search faster. You only need to upload your website and inform people. There is no need to create another file and email them individually. A website with the right resume design saves time and effort.
- Add your personal touch with a cool resume design. Your web resume is a personalized LinkedIn profile.
Do you feel limited by job search platforms? A web resume is a good way to include items that best showcase your talents. You can, for example, add an extensive portfolio that would not otherwise be visible in standard job sites.
This is especially relevant for creative careers. Artists, writers or performers may feel constrained by a standard Linkedin page. A web resume makes sure that with the right resume design, your talents and experience can be properly presented.
Visual elements add a special quality to your resume. A beautiful resume speaks beyond 2D. It advertises you through other means of communication. This is why you need to be keen on selecting the most suitable resume design ideas to make your web resume stand out.
- Add video or multimedia
A web resume is a 360-degree view of your professional skills. Why limit yourself to words? You can showcase speaking engagements, brief clips of your career highlights, or if you are in the multimedia arts, show parts of your work.
There is no need to create separate attachments for your bullet point text resume, your portfolio, and speaking engagements. A resume website can provide all this information in one click.
The more types of media you upload on your resume website, the more important it is to find a clean and focused resume design template that will help viewers navigate these parts of your professional career with clarity. Great resume design websites will have a gallery function, to allow you to upload photos or videos of your work.
- Tell your story the way you want
A resume website is a more creative, enriched way of presenting yourself. Ultimately, it tells the story of why you are the most qualified person for the job.
A beautiful resume design offers more dimensions than a standard one-pager (although you should definitely have a one-pager resume in file). You can look up Strikingly for creative resume design examples.
Your web resume can act as your calling card--a way to search and contact you when your clients or prospective employers want to get in touch.
- A credibility boost
Having a resume website with a clean resume design gives you an instant credibility boost and helps you stand out from the competition as a more established person in your feed.
There is something about a well-crafted website with a beautiful resume that adds that extra weight to your professional profile. It says that you took the time to present yourself properly, and carefully took the time to pick out a personal design resume in order to provide a comprehensive view of your work to your audience.
Get Started on your New Resume Design Website
Now that you’ve reviewed the basics of correct resume-writing, it’s time to hunt for the tools to create your new resume website. There are a lot of free websites out there that have many options for web resume designs.
Your paper resume can be a starting point. Collect the rest of the files or information that you believe will strengthen your online resume and portfolio. Organize them into folders for easy reference and quicker uploading.
Search for a resume website maker that allows you to simplify the process. You need to select the site that gives you the best resume designs and makes it easy for you to build your own page without the technical expertise of a developer.
A great resume design-builder saves you time and effort in formatting. There are many free resume website builders, but you need to choose the ones with better resume design templates and resume design ideas to make the most of your web presence.
Platforms like Strikingly allow you to create a clean resume design while making sure that the other aspects of your work are exhibited through a gallery or portfolio page. It creates neat categories for you to properly segregate your skills, experience and body of work.
A great resume website on Strikingly gets you closer to that job interview.
To learn more about how to build a great resume website on Strikingly with wide options for resume designs, click here. With a well-designed professional site, you are instantly one step closer to landing that dream job.