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How to write a winning resume: checklist for brainy jobseekers

How to write a winning resume: checklist for brainy jobseekers

If you have ever tried writing a resume, you know how confusing the entire process is. How do you begin and what information do you include?

You won’t find a universal guide that would teach you how to compose the perfect resume. Some hiring managers want to see a brief summary on top, so they can quickly scan through the document. Others don’t like repetitiveness, so they prefer resumes without a summary section.

Being unable to read minds doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your best efforts to craft a decent resume. The Essaymama’s infographic and tips below describes few pieces of information that you should inevitably include. If you start from there, you’ll easily create the foundation of your document, which will bring you to a concise and captivating resume.

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resume checklist_infographic

    1. Contact Info

    This is the easiest way to start composing a job application document: write your full name, address, email, and phone. A professionally-looking portrait is optional, but highly recommended. The photo will help the manager remember your application.

    Everyone knows you by a nickname? Don’t even think about including it! Speaking of professionalism, it’s finally time to abandon the first email name you created in high school. Create an account that’s worthy of including in a resume (it needs to contain your name).

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    2. Headline

    The headline should enable the employer to understand who you are and how you can contribute towards the company’s growth.

    The brand statement will make the employer more interested in you as a candidate. Thus, you should think of 1 or 2 sentences that explain your value, your audience, and your unique approach to work. The career objective should offer information on the type of work you would like to do, and the profile should show that you are suitable for that position.

    3. Experience

    This is easy: include everything! Make sure you provide the experience in chronological order and focus on the past 10-15 years. Provide the names of the companies, dates of employment, and the precise positions you worked at. Information about the salaries is not needed.

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    4. Education

    There is not much to say here: you need to enlist the colleges/universities you attended, and the degrees you have completed. Of course, it would be great to include any honors and special awards you have earned. If you attended college, don’t include information about high school, since it’s not relevant for the particular position.

    Most employers prefer to see the graduation date listed even if the candidate hasn’t completed the degree yet.

    5. Skills

    Think about the particular position and define the personal skills that make you an appropriate candidate. There are some universal characteristics that you can include: confident, organized, hardworking, creative, responsible, attentive to details… You should make sure these skills define you; don’t write an endless list of words that mean nothing.

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    6. ‘Extras’

    This section should enlist your publications, certifications and licenses. It’s not the time to be modest; include all awards you have earned. Professional affiliations are also necessary. Social media profiles are acceptable, but don’t include your personal profiles. Focus on professional LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter accounts.

    7. Formatting

    Once you get all that information on paper, it’s time to format the content! It’s recommended to use Times New Roman font in 10-12 point size. Do not make the text overly “creative”; there is no need to use more than 2 fonts and sizes. Break up the content with bullet points to make it more readable. Adding relevant keywords will make you more attractive for Applicant Tracking Systems! The format of your resume should be .pdf, doc or .docx.

    The resume should look very clean and professional, so you won’t get good attention if you use colored backgrounds, word art or clipart.

    8. Grammar

    If the hiring manager notices lack of literacy in your resume, it will end up in the trash. Use action words and express yourself without any slang and jargon. Do not submit the resume without editing and proofreading it!

    It’s never easy to make yourself attractive through text in a specifically set format, but the above-listed guidelines will lead you in the right direction.

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    Jessica Millis

    An experienced writer, editor and educator who shares about tips on effective learning.

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    Published on March 25, 2019

    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

    Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

    But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

    Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

    “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

    It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

    Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

    As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

    As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

    Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

    Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

    1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

    When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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    Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

    2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

    Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

    But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

    If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

    3. Go to All Office Networking Events

    Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

    If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

    Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

    Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

    The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

    Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

    4. Show Initiative

    Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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    Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

    Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

    5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

    Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

    Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

    6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

    A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

    Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

    Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

    A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

    Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

    Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

    These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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    Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

    7. Find a Mentor

    With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

    Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

    Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

    8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

    After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

    What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

    Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

    Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

    You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

    9. Set Your Professional Bar High

    Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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    Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

    Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

    Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

    The Bottom Line

    Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

    “Half of life is showing up.”

    The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

    Remember, your career is your business!

    More Resources About Ever-Growing

    Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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