9 Steps to build your resume.
Are you frozen by creating a resume or updating your existing one?
I am a technical recruiter where I have worked for incredibly diverse clients and industries from IT, Aerospace engineers, C-suite professionals, administrative positions, and light industrial workers in manufacturing. This has given me the opportunity to look at thousands of resumes.
In my career resumes hold a high value to me and you as the candidate. Working with 100s of candidates and hiring managers I developed a playbook to create a resume from scratch or in my case update resumes daily.
I approach resume writing in the same way as writing a narrative. The hardest part is connecting the narrative from the beginning, end, and the storyline in between. I have found breaking it down into completing each section has drastically increased candidates’ ability to construct their resumes. Creating it piece by piece will give you the advantage of being able to finish one part and walk away if you need.
Step 1. Start with a Resume Template:
- If you are creating a new resume or updating an old one start with a resume template. Resumes are completely subjective, so my goal is to try to take that subjectivity away.
- I advise choosing a resume template that is easily editable so that you can move the information around once you are completed to get the best version. There is no reason to pick a format that you have to waste 30min trying to move a text box around!!!
- If you are a graphic designer, then creating a visually stunning resume is most likely imperative, but outside of a small portion of positions that are focused on being artistically creative let’s do the opposite.
I will attach a few different templates that you can use that have simple easily editable formats. I have made templates that can help draw the reader to what your strongest selling points are: Experience, Education, or Skills.
When using a template make sure to look at the font style. Use a font that is considered easy to read: Cambria, Times New Roman, Georgia, Bell MT, Goudy Old Style, Garamond and there are plenty of others.
Links to Resume Templates Websites:
- Indeed Resume Builder
- Microsoft Word Resume Templates
- My Perfect Resume
- Rocket Resume
- Resume Now.
Step 2. Outline your resume.
- This will be the step to unfreeze you immediately in creating that new resume.
- Start with getting all the hard information on your resume.
- Name, email address, phone, address if you want, LinkedIn
- All your experience headings. Fill in each of your company’s name, location, years of service and job title.
- Fill in your education
- Certifications or training
Step 3. Quickly find a few job descriptions before you start writing your experience
- Do a google search of the positions you might be applying for or positions that are asking for like experience.
- Make sure to not spend to time on this!!! 10min maximum on getting examples.
- Find 2-3 positions and copy and paste the qualifications in the descriptions into a document. These are reference points!
- We want to use the bullets from the descriptions as questions and then how do you relay your experience answer those questions.
- Tip on doing this efficiently: I have my resume on one side of my monitor while I have the job descriptions on the other. This allows me to reference in real time.
Job board Websites to find job descriptions:
- Companies like our company (Moseley Technical Services)
Step 4. Start writing your bullet points under each job.
- Start listing job duties, accomplishments, and skills attained in your job bullets.
- This lets you free flow creating bullets that you think are relevant that you performed at each of your jobs. Do this while referencing the job descriptions, you copied.
- Continue to the next position until you have filled out bullets for each of your jobs.
- I do not want you thinking about the number of bullets that you have created. Just keep creating them, and the editing will come later.
Step 5. Create an overview for each of your jobs.
- Now that we have created your bullets for each of your jobs, we need to create a short synopsis of your job while at that company.
- It is much easier to do this once you have all your bullets filled out.
- This is a one to two sentence overview of your role.
Example: Direct Hire Staffing Recruiter providing technical recruiting services nationwide for engineering solutions-based customers such as contractors for the Department of Defense, the Missile Defense Agency, the United States Intelligence Community, NASA, and others.
Step 6. Create your overall Summary at the top of your resume!
- I always prefer waiting until the end to create your summary. This is going to be the thing that freezes so many people! You are literally writing a synopsis of an entire book before you have written the book!!!!
- Your summary could be one sentence, or it could be an entire paragraph. This is truly up to the person writing the resume.
- I always advise only writing the most important information in this section. For many professionals that could take up multiple sentences, and for other this could be done effectively in a sentence.
- What I have seen that should be in the Summary:
- Stating the type of professional you are or that you are wanting to become. (Example: I am an experience Direct Hire recruiting with a diverse background in data analytics, sales, marketing, and management. Or: I am a recent college graduate who is seeking a position in the “insert industry” to start my career.)
- Anytime that years of experience is something I want the hiring manager to be aware of I would make sure that we have that stated in the introduction. You can even add it into your first sentence as “I am a senior level marketing manager with 10+ years increasing the digital footprint throughout many diverse industries.”
- If you have any exceptional industry certifications, education, or experience I would make sure to add that into your opening
Step 7. (Optional) If your profession has a lot of hard skills or tools create a skills section.
- This is something that I know is effective in getting the attention of hiring managers and recruiters for specific roles.
- You can create a “skills” section below your summary to go ahead and showcase where you are proficient.
- This is a beneficial way to format for professionals that must have experience in very specific software or certifications: any technical engineers, accounting, program management, data positions, administrative positions, HR positions, and other technical jobs.
- This allows you to create a bullet list and split them into columns to quickly show the hiring manager that you have worked with these specific tools to make them want to continue to read your resume.
Step 8. TIME TO EDIT!
- Now we have arrived at the point to finish our product.
- Where I start editing are going to be the “bullet points”.
- Start at your least important positions and work your way backwards with editing your bullet points. This could be your oldest job, the job you stayed at the least amount of time, or the job that does not have any correlation to the job you are wanting to land.
- We want to start condensing bullet points that may seem redundant. You may have two different bullet points where you worked with a specific software, or you managed two different things. You can take that from two bullet points and create one.
- The goal is to try and make each of your bullets its own statement that does not repeat itself later in the description.
- The next portion I go through is to make sure that my overview for each job is concise and are not worded the exact same on each of my past jobs. I do not want to have the exact same wording on each to make a hiring manager feel like I may be lazy in writing it.
- The last thing that I edit is the opening summary. My resume may be shorter or longer than I was expecting after editing. This is where I will decide to add or subtract from my summary after editing down my bullets.
- The last thing is to go over and read through our entire resume to check on spelling and typos. I have had hiring managers get upset over typos so this is something that we want to make sure that they cannot have an opinion on!!!
Step 9. Finalize the Formatting
- This is the point that you need to make common sense edits to your formatting.
- I will make sure that each of the pages flow to the eye and do not break up significant information on separate pages.
- Things that I change at the end:
- Create new horizontal lines to create a separation of information.
- Change sizes of font on the entire document or specific areas to create a more intentional document from page to page (try to stay above 10pts for readability)
- ***If you decide to change the font size on something like your past “job titles” make sure you do this on all your job titles. If you change the font size on the bullets on one job continue your font size change on all the other bullets throughout the document.
- Bold and italicize specific words I want to stand out.
- Use extra spaces to format specific sections to look intentional
- Create split list if needed to condense space of the bullet list (highlight list, go to layout, click the “columns” icon, and select list levels.
HIT SAVE AND START SENDING IT TO COMPANIES!
Resumes are my first introduction for my candidates to my clients looking to hire. I cannot walk you into their office at the start so think of your resume as the tool we use to peak the hiring manager’s interest. This means your resume needs to thorough, but it is just the introduction. Do not get stuck on creating your introduction.
The in-person or video interview is where you land that next position, so let’s get that resume done today!