Check My CV: Must-Haves of a Successful Resume
Have you ever been confused by the ever-changing rules for resume writing? With the variety of web resources, it’s easy to get lost in all these resume writing tips, how-to’s and resume checker guides. Moreover, the resume writing guides on the internet often contradict – for example, some resources state that a resume should be one page in length while the others claim that one page is too little. So, how do you figure out which resume advice really works? Our professional resume writers online have collected the time-proven elements that your resume should have to be considered for the position.
Fix My CV: 12 Must-Haves for a Winning Resume
Before you dig deeper into developing your value proposition, strategizing the resume content and crafting a powerful cover letter, make sure that your resume contains the essentials. Many candidates spend hours creating a strong summary of qualifications, but forget to check the file format compatibility. So, as soon as you’ve completed writing a resume, check if it contains all the elements from the list below:
- Correct and full contact information
Typos in e-mail address and phone number are not rare. Needless to say that a busy recruiter will simply call the other candidate if the phone number you’ve indicated is wrong. So, double check your name and contact details before sending the document and don’t lose your chance for an interview call.
Which contact details to include? Basically, a cell number, an e-mail and a physical address are enough. You may also attach the link to your LinkedIn profile if it’s filled out completely and adds more detail to your resume. By the way, social media lets you use tags to find a job.
- Reader-friendly font type and size
Today, most resumes are processed by an ATS; however, if you send in a physical copy or apply to a small company, your resume will be reviewed as it is. Hence, maintaining your resume’s readability is highly important.
Use one of the common fonts (such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman) and font size from 10 to 14 pts. Make sure that borders are no less than 1 inch. By following these rules, you prevent your resume from looking cluttered and ease the reading or skimming through for the hiring manager.
- Compatible file type
Lots of resumes are rejected due to an incompatible file type. Read the job posting carefully to find out which file type they expect you to attach. If you send an incompatible file, your resume will likely to be trashed.
If the employer gives no instruction on the preferred file type, stay on DOC or PDF – these are the safe bets and can be read by most ATS and on most devices.
If you apply for jobs via internet, read more helpful hints on posting your resume online here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/how-to-submit-your-resume-online.
- A professional resume title
Include the title of the job you are seeking right after the contact information. This simple trick leaves no questions as to the type of work you are seeking, and if the company has several openings, your resume won’t leave the hiring manager wondering for which role you are applying. Moreover, you can create a longer title that combines your 2-3 areas of expertise and let the reader know your key selling points straightaway.
- Relevant hobbies and interests
There’s a common opinion that hobbies should be left off your resume. However, this rule only applies to hobbies which add nothing to your career profile. If you compose music in your spare time, including it in a cashier resume will leave the hiring manager wondering “What’s in it for me?” However, if you mention the same hobby on a resume written for a broadcast writer role, it can give you extra points. Don’t just ignore the Hobbies section – make sure to include any interests relevant to your professional area.
- Details about your professional experience
The must-have information to include in your Experience section is the job title, company name and dates of employment. However, if you don’t include the information about your job duties and accomplishments, you’ll make your resume invisible for the ATS and uninteresting for hiring managers.
For each job you had, write 5-6 bullet points about your daily responsibilities and achievements. If you are unsure how to write your experience section effectively and think “I need someone to help me make a resume”, feel free to contact us. The most experience and skilled resume writers of our team will create you a modern resume considering all your requirements.
- Keywords from the job posting
Since most companies use applicant tracking software now, you need to use keywords from the job posting to pass the ATS selection and get your resume read by a real person. Required skills, qualifications, education and main job responsibilities are typically keywords. So, make sure to list those skills and qualifications in your resume naturally, using the same language that the employer does.
Tip: if you’re not sure if your resume will withstand the competition, contact us and say “Rate my CV!” and one of our writers will evaluate it free of charge.
- Skills (or core competencies)
Although Skills isn’t an obligatory section to include, the most successful job-seekers usually benefit from having it – and there are several reasons for that. Firstly, a Skills section put right after your summary lets the employer know at a glance that you have at least basic skills required for the position. Secondly, since most required skills are keywords, adding this section will improve your ATS rating and therefore increase your resume’s chances to be reviewed by a human. And finally, if you’re in a technical role, you can use this section to list all your areas of expertise without forcing the reader to look up for them in the document.
- Accomplishments with figures
Accomplishments serve as a proof of your professionalism, dedication and willingness to deliver results – the main qualities employers are looking for in a candidate. Be sure to include at least 1-2 accomplishments for each role you had or to concentrate the most significant ones in a separate section. Strengthen your statements with figures “Reorganized the marketing department, increasing sales by 23%” sounds more solid than “Made organizational change to a marketing department”. Moreover, figures capture the reader’s attention, ensuring that the hiring manager will spend more time reviewing your resume.
- Action verbs
Each bullet point either in your career profile or in job description should start with an action verb – this is considered a golden standard. “Was responsible for” or “Duties included” at the beginning of the sentence make your resume sound weak. “Organized”, “Supervised”, “Directed” and ‘Launched” are good examples of how the resume statements should start. Active verbs highlight your contribution to the project and your impact.
Lost for words? Here is the list of most powerful action verbs for your resume, along with the examples how to use them: http://resumeperk.com/blog/top-200-most-powerful-resume-words-with-examples.
- Unpaid professional experience
In addition to your paid employment be sure to include any relevant volunteering, board positions or community involvement even if you weren’t paid for it. Why is it important? This sort of activity still counts as experience, and can add up to your employment history, especially if you lack in some areas. For example, if you apply for a management role with no prior leadership experience, a leadership community role can persuade the employer that you’ve got what it takes for the job.
- Career summary (or objective)
A summary or objective isn’t an obligatory section for your resume; nevertheless, a lion’s share of job-seekers include it now, so it’s highly recommended that you do so as well. Use an objective if you’re a recent graduate or are changing career; in all other cases, use summary of qualifications.
What information to include in this section? Since the summary is placed at the top of the document, be sure to concentrate your most crucial skills and significant accomplishments there. Use keywords from the job posting as well. Ideally, your summary should be 3-4 sentences in length and clearly outline what you can deliver if hired.
Also in this section:
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