Writing an Interview-Winning Resume

Creating a resume can be challenging when you start thinking about all the information you need to share with prospective employers. Your employment history, educational background, skills, and qualifications need to be presented in a way that will help you get picked for a job interview. What’s the easiest way to write a resume? If you look at resume building as a step-by-step process, it will be easier to do and much less overwhelming.

Before, Start Writing Resume

Consider the basic framework of your resume. More isn’t necessarily better, so aim for conciseness over length. Employers are looking for a synopsis of your credentials, not everything you have done in your career. In many cases, a one-page resume is sufficient. If you have extensive experience, longer may be necessary. In general, shorter is better, with a few bullet points for each job, brief sentences, and descriptions.

When you have compiled all the information you need, it should be listed in the following order. Don’t worry about fonts and formatting your document yet. Once you have everything down on paper, you will be able to adjust the font size and type, spacing, and add formatting options to your resume.

1.Resume Heading

Full Name

Street Address

City, State, Zip

Email Address (don’t use your work email)

Contact Number 

2.Profile or Objective

Adding a profile or an objective to your resume gives the employer a brief overview of your qualifications. This is an optional component of a resume. If you include it, focus on what prospective employers are seeking rather than what you want in your next job. Hiring managers want to know what you have to offer.

3.Summary of Qualifications

A summary of qualifications is another optional section of a resume. It’s a statement that includes your skills, abilities, experience, and what qualifies you for the position.

4.Experience

Your work history is the most important component of your resume. Employers will want know where you have worked, when you worked there, and what responsibilities you held in each role you have had. They will be looking to see how your experience lines up with what they are looking for in prospective employees.

  • List the jobs and internships you have held in reverse chronological order, with the most recent positions first.
  • For each position, include: job title, company, location, dates of employment, and a bulleted list of the strongest accomplishments for each job.
  • Verb tense should be present tense for your current job if you are employed, and past tense for prior employment.
5.Volunteer Work

If you have volunteer experience that’s related to the jobs you’re applying for, or if you have volunteered to avoid an employment gap, list volunteering as you would the jobs you have held.

6.Education

The education section generally comes next. You need only to list degrees earned, with the highest first, when you have been out of school for a few years.

Education should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent and advanced education first. Include the name of the school, the degree earned, and the date you graduated.

7.Certifications

The next section of your resume includes any certifications you have.

8.Awards and Accomplishments

Don’t be shy about mentioning awards and achievements you have earned. They show the employer that you are a well-credentialed candidate who has been recognized for your accomplishments.

9.Skills

This section of a resume includes the skills you have that are directly related to the job for which you’re applying. Employers typically list required or preferred skills in job listings when itemizing the qualifications for the position.

10.Personal Interests

If you have personal interests that are strongly related to the position you’re applying for, list them here. This can be helpful if you’re applying for jobs where you don’t have a lot of related work experience, but you do have expertise achieved in other ways.

What Not to Include in Your Resume
1.The Word “Resume”

Do not label your resume “resume.” One look at your resume, and the employer should know exactly what type of document it is. Also don’t simply name your resume “resume” when you save the file. Use your name, so the hiring manager will know whose resume it is at a glance.

2.The Date You Wrote the Resume

Some people make the mistake of dating their resumes. The employer does not need to know when you wrote your resume; the dates you include regarding past education and employment are the only dates you need to include.

3.Any Personal Data beyond Your Contact Information

Do not include any personal information beyond your address, email, and phone number.

Leave out your age, date of birth, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, and the names and ages of your spouse and children,it should be left out of a resume.

You should also leave out important numbers that could allow someone to steal your identity, such as your social security number, driver’s license number, and any credit card information.

4.Physical Characteristics (height, weight, etc.) 

Including your physical characteristics on a resume opens the door to possible accusations of discrimination against the company. Companies, therefore, prefer that you do not include any physical descriptors.

5.Unrelated Work Experience

You don’t need to list every job you have held on your resume. Generally, you only want to include positions you have held in the past 10 to 15 years, unless an earlier job strongly demonstrates your qualifications. Leave out any positions that are unrelated to the job for which you are applying unless it will leave gaps on your resume.

6.Unrelated Hobbies

Most companies do not want to see your hobbies on your resume. However, if you have a hobby that relates to the company, you may include it. For example, if you are applying to work at a sporting goods store, you could list your interest in particular outdoor activities.

7.Names and Contact Information for Former Employers

Because you will have a separate list of references, you do not need to include any contact information for your former employers on your resume.

8.Salary History

Salary is an issue you can discuss with the employer during an interview or once you have been offered the job; you do not want to establish a salary range before you have even been offered an interview. So, don’t list your current salary or the salary you expect to earn at a new job.

9.Criminal Record

If you get hired, the company will likely conduct a search of your criminal record. However, there is no need to include this information on your resume.

10.”References Available Upon Request”

Generally, it is assumed that a job applicant will have references. Instead of including the references on your resume or saying “references available upon request,” you can send the hiring manager a separate sheet of references or wait until you are asked to provide them.

11.Negative Words / Ideas

Avoid saying what you did not do or have not yet accomplished; focus on what you have done or are in the process of achieving. For example, if you are still in college, do not say “not yet graduated,” but instead list the year in which you will graduate. If you didn’t graduate, simply list the dates you attended.

Instead of saying that you have “limited experience” in administrative work, simply provide examples of your previous experience.

More Things Not to Include on a Resume
  • Personal pronouns
  • Statements about your health
  • Long descriptions
  • Acronyms
  • Street addresses for schools and employers
  • Spelling and grammatical errors
  • Exaggerations or mistruths
  • Anything negative about you or an employer

Join Our Forum discussion on various topics and subscribe our Youtube channel to get updates on webinars.