How to write a Professional Resume for Job Application
Your resume’s quality has a significant impact on your chances of finding a new job. Every method is necessary to distinguish your application. As a result, you must learn how to construct a resume that piques the recruiter’s attention and distinguishes you from other applicants.
The labor market is growing more competitive. Especially in Nigeria, where creative and brilliant individuals graduate from prominent colleges on a yearly basis. When it comes to resume writing, you must be smart, boastful, and humble all at the same time and in balance.
What is a resume?
A resume is a document that is frequently used in the employment process. It contains information about your past and qualifications and should provide companies with the most crucial, relevant information about you in a clear, easy-to-read style. The idea is to swiftly express why, based on your abilities and experiences, you are uniquely qualified for the post.
You can construct a CV that will catch the attention of employers by following a few basic steps and best practices. The most important thing to remember is to make your CV relevant and readable. Let’s look at the best ways to write each of these resume parts in more detail. Look at resume samples from your sector and job title for extra ideas while creating or revising your resume.
Steps To Write a Professional Resume
1. Choose the format that suits your level
Choose the best resume format before you begin writing your resume. This might be in reverse chronological order, in a combination format, or in a functional manner. Depending on your degree of expertise and the nature of the work, you can use any of these forms. Nonetheless, these resume examples have their quirks.
• Reverse- chronological format
Because it follows the typical resume structure, potential employers are highly familiar with this resume example format. It is the most preferred since it does not require any inventive design format.
It highlights an applicant’s responsibilities, job experience, and other pertinent information. You must list your positions in chronological order, beginning with the most recent and ending with the oldest. It is the most used resume format since it is the simplest to read and scan.
• Combination Format
This is appropriate for experienced workers and frequent career movers who want to emphasize their transferrable talents. This resume example is not appropriate for entry-level job seekers.
• Functional Format (Skills- based)
This resume example focuses on skills. Because they have little or no experience to promote, it may be beneficial for entry-level applicants to stress their talents. The disadvantage of this is that it may arouse suspicion from recruiters who believe you are hiding something.
2. Include your name and contact information
Your resume should start with your name and contact information, which should include your email address and phone number. You have the option of including or excluding your mailing address. Your name should be bolded or bigger than the rest of the paper, but no greater than 14 points, at the top of your resume. If you are applying for creative roles, you should also attach a link to your online portfolio.
3. Start with a resume summary
A recruiter’s attention is drawn to the first element. It’s more of a thesis statement. As a result, it is critical to make it funny and targeted to the position you seek. When writing a resume summary, explain your abilities, experience, accomplishments, and motivation in relation to the job description.
4. List Your relevant working experience and key achievements
Because technology is altering every aspect of human endeavor, larger corporations are now using the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to examine resumes. This program searches for certain keywords associated with the job description.
To write an attention-grabbing CV, use the following format strategy to organize your relevant job experience:
• Job title: It should be at the top of each new work experience entry. It should be in bold and close to other portions of the job description.
• company name, city, and state: Write the name and location of the firm for which you worked.
• Date employed: Add the year or month, as well as the year you worked and when you departed. If you are still employed there, enter “to date.”
• Key Responsibilities: While working for the firm, keep your focus on your responsibilities. Strong keywords are required in this case.
• Key Achievements: Highlight your relevant project as well as your project performance.
Your level determines the length of the experience included in your resume.
• Senior – Level Applicants: This covers applications for executive and management roles in a company. In their CV, they are expected to include up to 15 completed projects. The list should be organized in bullet points.
• Mid- Level Job seekers: These candidates have limited experience under 5 years. It might be a one-year internship. As a result, they are required to include a full explanation of their relevant positions to the job as well as any others.
• Entry- Level candidates: These candidates have limited experience under 5 years. It might be a one-year internship. As a result, they are required to include all of their paid work and should not be hesitant to report their successes and duties related to the job.
• First- time job hunters: Applicants with no job experience might replace this gap with alternative backgrounds such as leadership involvement, internships, or volunteering.
5. List your professional history with keywords
In reverse chronological order, write your career history section. Begin with your most recent position and offer a brief summary, including the firm name, time period of employment, job title, and a few noteworthy achievements during your time there. You might also highlight important learnings or growth opportunities you have while working there.
When listing your professional history, you should keep a few best practices in mind:
• Use numbers to measure your impact, when possible, Including specific numerical achievements can help employers understand your direct potential value to their company.
• Use keywords from the job description. In your employment history bullets, you should add information from the job description, just like you did in your talents section. For instance, if the job description emphasizes the necessity of hitting sales goals, you may offer examples of how you’ve met or surpassed quotas in previous employment.
• Be brief: Employers just only a few seconds to read your resume, so make your descriptions as brief and relevant as possible. Remove filler words such as “and” and “the.” You should also highlight only essential accomplishments rather than lengthy lines discussing your function.
• Use action verbs: Make a bigger impression by describing your professional accomplishments using action verbs. “Developed,” “saved,” “drove,” and “managed” are some examples.
6. Put Relevant Skills that Fit the Job
When writing a CV, there are two sorts of talents to include: soft skills and hard skills. Hard talents are abilities that must be learned from a professional. Examples include editing, web development, photography, and so on.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are self-development and transferrable talents acquired via life experience. Social and adaptation skills are two examples. This combination creates a strong skillset section on your resume.
7. Include an Education Section
A section on education will be especially useful if you have little job experience (for example, recent college or high school grads) or are switching to a new industry. You can include details such as:
• Relevant coursework
• Grade point average (if above 3.5)
• Participation in clubs or organizations
• Leadership positions held
• Awards, achievements, or certifications
You should provide the name of the institution, dates of attendance, and your degree or area of study in your education section. If you’re looking for a mid- or upper-level position, you may delete everything but your school’s name and dates of attendance from your resume to make place for more relevant professional experience.
You can also mention qualifications or licenses that are related to the job description in this area. To conserve space, leave out any qualifications that are not directly connected to the job criteria.
8. Format your resume
While resume structure is vital, you should also pay attention to formatting specifics such as font style, font size, margins, and space. Formatting your resume may help it seem clean and professional while also improving readability. This is critical while trying to keep an employer’s attention. Here are a few crucial pointers to assist you refine your resume:
• Set your font size between 10 and 12 points.
• Avoid stylized typefaces and use a font that is clear and easy to read, such as Arial or Helvetica.
• Make your margins 1 to 1.5 inches wide.
• Make your name and section headings bold or somewhat larger in font size (when providing many bits of information, use bullet points).
9.Proofread your resume
Examine your resume for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation issues. By presenting the words in a different sequence, reading your resume backward might help you detect problems. You should also request that trustworthy friends, coworkers, instructors, and family members check your CV. Third-party perspectives might assist you discover fresh facts that you would have missed otherwise. If your resume is more than one page, consider consolidating or shortening each section by deleting filler words or unnecessary material. If you are applying for high-level roles or industries such as health care or academics, two pages may enough.
10. Tailor your resume for each position
it’s important to revise your resume to tailor it to each position you apply for. For each job, adjust the keywords in the skills section so that it’s a great fit for what the employer needs. You should also change what you emphasize in the professional history and educational experiences sections depending on what’s listed in the job description.
11. Complement with a professionally written cover letter
Recruiters frequently require a professionally crafted cover letter to accompany a resume. As a result, prepare a professional cover letter that is targeted to the job description to boost your chances of winning the new position.
Writing a professional CV is one thing; supporting it with a compelling cover letter is another. A strong resume example style that is appropriate for your position plus a professional cover letters are nearly always sufficient to get your food in the door.
Many rejected job applications are not the result of most candidates’ ineligibility. It is due to bad resume writing. By following the procedures outlined above, you may boost your chances of being hired anyplace by utilizing a flawless CV.