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How to Write a Resume That Will Get You an Interview

Learning how to write a resume that stands out will help you improve your chances of getting an interview and getting the job you want. Writing a resume is the first step an applicant should do to land a job. That is why you need to structure your resume that will help you achieve your next career goal. 

To help you with your resume writing, we’ve outlined some of the most important tips on how to write a resume that will land you your dream job.

Choose a resume type

There are many different ways to put in order the information on your resume. Basically, there are four common resume formats: Chronological, Functional, Combination, and Targeted. 

Each resume type has a different purpose. That is why it is important that you learn each type to help you decide which one is applicable and will be the most effective for your application. 

We have outlined below each type to help you choose the best fit for your resume.

Chronological 

The chronological is the most popular and commonly used type of resume. This style lists your work history in reverse chronological order, where your most recent job is listed on top, prioritizing the most relevant professional experience, followed by your previous ones below. 

However, if you have gaps in your work history, you should avoid using this resume type. Instead, use the functional or combination resume type.  

Examples of how to write a resume in chronological format.

Functional 

The functional resume type focuses on the professional skills and experience rather than the chronological work history. You are emphasizing your skills instead of your career progression. You can use this type of resume if you have gaps in your employment history, are planning to change careers, or have a highly developed skill set. 

Remember that you should also give brief and specific examples of how you used those when you focus on your skill and experience. You must also write a compelling and detailed resume introduction and group your skills by type so that your resume can be easily understood. You can still include your work experience at the end of your resume if you prefer.    

Examples of how to write a resume in functional format.

Combination

A combination uses both the chronological and functional styles to capture the employer’s attention. This style emphasizes your best skills, experiences, and accomplishments at the top of the resume and lists your work history in chronological (or reverse chronological) order. 

Examples of how to write a resume in combination format.

Targeted

You can use targeted resume types to highlight your skills, experiences, and accomplishments relevant to a particular position. Therefore, each time you apply for a job, you should write your resume targeting the specific job opening. You will have a better chance of getting called for an interview because your resume shows that you have the skills and experiences required for the job. 

Examples of how to write a resume in targeted format

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Don’t put everything on your resume; keep it in one page

If you are submitting an application to a specific industry that you have been in for more than 10 years, it is acceptable that you will use a two-page resume. But if you are an entry-level personnel or only have a few years of work experience, a one-page resume is ideal. 

Employers and hiring managers prefer receiving resumes that are easy-to-read and well-laid-out. Sending them a one-page resume allows them to review and scan your qualifications quickly. With hundreds of applications they are receiving daily, employers only have a short amount of time to review each application. 

This also shows your creativity and critical-thinking skills because you can describe your qualifications and accomplishments that can fit into a page. It will also help you to only include your best skills and qualifications to highlight since you will narrow down all of those on one page. 

Avoid listing irrelevant skills and experiences

Omitting irrelevant skills and experiences on your resume keeps your resume short, targeted, and helps you to only showcase the best value you can offer to your potential employer. On the other hand, employees will most likely skip over scanning your resume when you include irrelevant skills and experiences. 

It is important that you keep your resume simple, clear, substantial, and relevant. Thus, only include skills, experiences, and accomplishments that are relevant and valuable to the employer. 

Give them the numbers

Adding numbers in your resume quantifies your accomplishments and proves to your potential employer that you have a legitimate work history. Numbers also catch the employer’s and recruiter’s attention. Using numbers in your resume does not only apply to the revenue increase. There are a multitude of points you can quantify your achievements. You can use numbers to: 

  • Illustrate the time or duration you have completed projects or your experience in the industry. 
  • Demonstrate geographical impacts.
  • Show statistics or size that values your work.
  • Explain improvements you have in your role through percentage.

Look for keywords in the job postings

Employers and hiring managers won’t notice your resume right away without using searchable keywords. These keywords are individual words and short phrases on a resume that are particular to the job posting. These are usually descriptors of skills, attributes, qualities, and credentials that an employer requires for a candidate.

Most employers pre-scan applications using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). The ATS browses the application document, resume, and cover letter of each applicant. If they see related keywords or phrases related to the position, the application will most likely get chosen.

Tips for finding resume keywords and phrases

  • Read the job posting and analyze to determine which keywords or phrases the employer desires from a candidate.
  • Find other related job postings or job titles. Assess the keywords and phrases of each job posting and pick the most popular keywords and phrases used. Those keywords and phrases are most likely the most desired in the position. Including those on your resume increases the chances of your resume getting selected. 

Use active language

Active language makes your resume persuasive and engaging, which makes your application stand out. It shows control and displays confidence because it focuses on your accomplishments and your responsibilities in your role. Employers and hiring managers prefer candidates that use strong action words or active language to define accomplishments and work experiences. 

Proofread your resume

Proofreading your resume is very important. You need to ensure that your resume does not have spelling and grammatical mistakes. Mistakes in your resume, whether big or small, can lead to your application getting rejected.

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