Design and Layout
- Distinguishes you from other applicants
- Makes you the ideal candidate for the role
◼︎ Highlight skills that are relevant to the role offered.
◼︎ Use the Adjective + Skill + Value formula to frame achievements in bulleted sentences.
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◼︎ This section focuses on the skills you’ve gained based on the job roles you’ve performed in the past.
◼︎ Some job roles like programming demand hard technical skills while some like teaching asks for a mix of both hard and soft skills.
◼︎ Exploit the keywords in the target job descriptions and correlate them to your skillsets.
◼︎ Use topical nouns instead of vague verbs to highlight skills and boost recognition by ²ATS.
◼︎ Cover both hard skills and soft skills. For example, a Project Manager can list “Conflict resolution” as a soft skill.
◼︎ List hard skills with experience levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert.)
◼︎ If you’re going by the most common resume format, arrange entries by date, with the latest job at the top.
◼︎ For each entry, mention the relevant job title, employer name, location, and job tenure (with start and end dates.)
◼︎ Use the mm/yyyy format while listing dates. It’s the standard format expected by recruiters and applicant tracking systems.
◼︎ Expand on the most critical jobs with a bulleted list of roles and accomplishments.
◼︎ Mention key metrics for every experience.
Example 1: Generated over $25,000 in sales in one month (instead of Managed sales through self-generated leads.)
Example 2: Developed and executed marketing strategy for three new national projects. Increased market penetration by an average of 35%.
◼︎ Some roles may not be quantifiable. In such cases, it’s okay to mention only responsibilities.
◼︎ Don’t duplicate the information from the Summary and Core Skills sections. Use unique phrasing.
◼︎ This section can follow the Summary section for new graduates or for jobs with highly relevant educational requirements.
◼︎ Include educational qualifications, complete with the school/university name, location, degree earned, and the course dates.
◼︎ Mention extra qualifications, certifications, and training under relevant sub-sections if necessary.
◼︎ Include GPA/Class Rank if among the top half of the class. This information is not mandatory.
List awards in the Education section under a sub-heading.
These are not necessary for most applications, but they’re also not a dealbreaker. Include them if other details are sparse.
Don’t include inappropriate and commonplace hobbies like reading.
Don’t mention these unless specifically asked for.
Tips for Compatibility With ²ATS
◼︎ Keep the resume structure simple.
◼︎ Avoid fancy/creatively designed resumes and resume templates.
◼︎ Use an ATS-friendly resume template when you don’t want to design from scratch.
◼︎ Use simple headers and consistent formatting across all sections.
◼︎ For entries with dates, preface dates with descriptions, such as work experience or academic qualifications.
◼︎ The ATS is programmed to read specific keywords, so scan the job ad for potential keywords you can use.
◼︎ Use concise bullet points instead of full paragraphs.
◼︎ Spell out any abbreviations so the ATS can understand them.
◼︎ Submit the file in the format specified. (ATS reads Word formats better than PDF.)
◼︎ Use Jobscan to enhance your resume for ATS.
Final Round of Editing
◼︎ Always proofread for spellings and other errors.
◼︎ Double-check your contact information.
◼︎ Remove all fluff and keep the resume concise.
◼︎ Print the resume and check for design issues.
◼︎ Save a copy of the resume as a PDF for future use. (Word can mess up the formatting across different computer systems.)
◼︎ Back up a copy of the resume to the cloud so you can access it from anywhere.
¹This covers tips that apply to all kinds of resumes.
²ATS refers to Applicant Tracking System. Many companies use this software as the first screen to filter the flood of resumes.