Beginner's guide to writing a resume! | BEGIN

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A good beginner’s resume should have a good format and all the correct information highlighting your skills and personality, proving to the hiring manager why you are a good fit.

It might seem intimidating to people who have just begun their hunt for the ideal job. The truth is, it is a bit intimidating that a piece of paper is responsible for so much, but this is where this guide will help you.

Proper resume formatting

A great resume starts with the right formatting. Instead of making a normal resume using the basic text editor, use a resume builder like the ones provided by Begin. These resume builders would make the formatting an eye-catching one that would immediately grab the attention of the hiring manager.

There are three resume formats:

Reverse chronological resume format: For those with a lot of work experience that is relevant to their job position, this format would be ideal for them.

Functional-based format: Students and recent graduates would benefit from a skill-based resume format. A functional resume focuses more on the skills of the individual than the experience.

Combination resume format: This resume format is a combination where the skills and experience are equally highlighted. This is great for those who have experience in 2-3 fields and want to show it all on their resume.

The reverse chronological order format is the most common one.

Eye-catching resume summary or objective

Every hiring manager has no more than a few seconds to glance at the resume. A strong, compelling resume summary or objective would grab the hiring manager's attention, forcing him to read further.

If you are an experienced candidate, then you would write a resume summary; if you are a recent graduate or switching careers, then you would write a resume objective.

Your resume summary must be 2-3 sentences long, encompassing your career in the best possible way. A resume objective, on the other hand, is the goal of your resume. Again, this would highlight your skills and education in place of work experience.

Show off your achievements in the work experience

The resume is one place you should not feel shy about showing off your skills. This is probably the most important part which can make it or break it for you. Use this section to show how you contributed to the success of your previous or current company.

Start with the most recent job to write a successful work experience summary. List your job's accomplishments. Do not just list the duties and roles of your previous job; show them how you turned those duties into success stories. Quantify your success. Start each duty, role, and accomplishment with an action verb.

You should mention your job title, company name, location, achievements, responsibilities, and dates employed. The dates employed should be in mm/yyyy format; this is especially important if the application is screened by the ATS scanner.

Use your education to your advantage

If you don’t have any work experience, then your education section will be mentioned first. Like with work experience, mention your educational qualifications in reverse-chronological order.

If you have a lot of work experience, your education will take a backseat. If you are an experienced candidate, your last educational qualification would suffice. However, if you are a fresher, then you should mention all that you have achieved in your educational training. Mention your relevant coursework, extracurricular activities, projects, and any awards or scholarships.

List the relevant skills

Don’t list every skill you know. It will only clutter the resume and not add any value. Write only the skills relevant to the job. You shouldn’t write more than 10 skills.

Scan the job advertisement and write your soft and hard skills using the keywords from the advertisement. This would ensure that you pass the ATS test, as it would include all the desirable words.

You can either write your skills in a separate section or scatter them and include them in every section of the resume. Also, mention your level of proficiency in each skill set. As a general rule, there are four levels of proficiency; beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert. Never lie about your skillset. If you have said that you have advanced proficiency in some graphic software and your first task consists of illustrating an article, and you could not do that as well as an advanced user could, then this would make sure that you are out of the job before given a real chance.

Include additional sections

Additional sections would only take your resume to the next level. This would take your resume from good to great. The additional sections would be certifications, memberships, volunteering, languages, hobbies, and interests.

You can write them on your resume at your convenience. Adding these would add the x-factor that would differentiate you from other candidates. Skills like languages and hobbies are universal for every job. Being multi-lingual or even bi-lingual would shine on your resume.

Attach a cover letter

The final step! Now that your entire resume is ready, you just have to attach the cover letter and send it to the respective job openings. A cover letter will give you the extra space to convince the hiring managers to give your resume serious consideration. Use the cover letter to highlight your strengths again and try to match the template of your cover letter with the resume.

Now that you have all the information on how to make a resume, get a pen and paper and get to work. Use the guide to write your resume properly. Or, you can just sit back and use one of the many templates that Begin provides with resume-writing services!

By Prachi

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