Applying for a job can be intimidating, especially when you have to create a resume. In fact, a lot of people are so intimidated by writing this document that they’d rather pass up on the job opportunity than write a resume.
Our team has put together some basic tips for resume writing to help you feel more confident the next time you apply.
THE BASIC FORMAT
Resumes have become an essential part of most application processes. In order to make sure you have a comprehensive resume, you should include:Resumes have become an essential part of most application processes. In order to make sure you have a comprehensive resume, you should include:
- Your name
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your education history – if you’ve completed schooling beyond high school, you don’t need to include your high school history)
- Past work experience – we’ll come back to what you need to include with this
- Volunteer experience
- Relevant skills – keep reading for more about this
- Any other relevant experience
Make sure to include the dates that you spent working, learning, or volunteering.
For most industries, you should make sure that all of your information fits on one page. If it doesn’t, try to reword some of the sections or take out any information that doesn’t fit the job description.
WRITING YOUR EXPERIENCE
It takes the average recruiter less than ten seconds to read your resume. You want to make sure that they get a good idea of who you are in that small span of time. It takes the average recruiter less than ten seconds to read your resume. You want to make sure that they get a good idea of who you are in that small span of time.
When you include a past work or volunteer experience, be sure to include the title, the name of the organization, and the starting and ending date of your position.
Beneath the job title, include a few bullet points that describe what you did at the job. Each of these should start with an action word like “creates,” “manages,” “collaborates,” or another verb that describes what you do. For example:
Crew Member, Local Restaurant Sep 2017-present
- Works with a team to make food products in a timely manner
- Collaborates with the team to create new recipes to add to the menu
- Ensures that the store remains clean and that customers are happy
If you are describing a job you used to have, change your action verbs to past tense (“worked,” “collaborated,” “ensured,” etc.)
DESCRIBING YOUR SKILLS
Prospective employers want to know what skills you have that could benefit their company. When you decide which skills to list, think about which ones are best for the position you want. If you are very good at using a specific type of computer program that might be beneficial for the job you’re applying for, make sure to include that information on your resume.
You can add skills as bullet points or as a list. If you’re running out of room on your page, try formatting your bullet points into multiple columns to save space.
COMMUNICATING LANGUAGE PROFICIENCIES
If you speak or understand more than one language, it can be a little tricky to explain how well you can get by in those languages. Imagine languages on this scale:If you speak or understand more than one language, it can be a little tricky to explain how well you can get by in those languages. Imagine languages on this scale:
- Native speaker – this is the first language you learned
- Fluent – you can speak, understand, and write this language like a native speaker
- Conversational – you can understand and have conversations in this language, but you aren’t fluent
- Basic Understanding – you can understand and speak in basic phrases in this language but could not hold a conversation
- Novice – you only know a few words or phrases in this language
If you are a novice speaker in a language, you may not want to include it on your resume. When you write these levels, you can write, “conversational in Spanish” or “Basic understanding of French.”
The BCVision team is dedicated to developing the workforce in Battle Creek. We are happy to provide assistance and resources, whether you’re looking for a job, in the process of interviewing for a job, or just want to develop skills in your current position. Reach out to partners like Michigan Works! Southwest for the next step in your career, or contact us for more information.