Knowing how to prepare a killer resume may be all that stands between you and your dream job. That is why it is of vital importance that you know how to prepare a resume that will knock off a prospective employer’s socks.
There is a ton of conflicting advice online about what makes a dynamic resume. My goal is to share with you how to prepare a resume in just 4 easy steps.
These simple steps will help you ensure that your resume stands out above all other applicants and gets you to the next step in the interviewing process.
Assemble Everything You Need
As you learn how to prepare a resume, you must first assemble everything you will need to properly complete it. You will need all of your previous work information, including personal accomplishments and core competencies.
References and their addresses and phone numbers may also be needed, depending on the type of resume you create. While you may not place them on the resume, you need to have a separate document ready with just your references on it that can be given at a moment’s notice. Dates and locations of any education or other training you have received are also important. Once you have all of these items, you can sit down at your computer and begin.
Choose the Type of Resume You Want
If you have a specific job in mind, you may want to create a target resume, which features an summary statement pertaining the job you want. A chronological resume that lists your work and education history in order may be suitable for standard job hunting, as you can leave it with any prospective employer who requests it.
You could also use it for volunteer applications. If you don’t have a lot of work history to show, you may want to create a functional resume that highlights your skills and experience. A combination resume, which includes both functional and chronological items, is a good choice if you cannot decide.
Enter Your Data into a Template
Once you choose the style of resume you wish to use, search for a free template using that style online. After you find one that suits your purposes, copy it into a word processing document and enter your own data where the sample data is placed.
Feel free to delete any sections you want omitted, such as if a hobbies and interests portion is included that you do not wish to fill out. You may choose to enter or omit references. You may also enter “References available upon request.” Be sure to flesh out each section, including the important roles you fulfilled at each job or your major focuses of study at school.
Finalize and Preview Your Resume
Play with the header of your resume where your personal information is located to make it stand out. Feel free to make it big or add different styles of borders and patterns to make your name stand out, but refrain from making it too flashy. Add bullet points in front of any information you really want to highlight, or format the text in bold.
Make sure you use a formal, businesslike voice to your text, avoiding contractions and slang. Once you are satisfied, have a friend check it for errors. If you know someone who regularly hires people, see if he or she will review your resume with you.
After you have learned how to prepare a resume, each new resume you create for specific purposes gets easier. Be sure to keep a file of all of your resumes so you can easily make changes. You can also copy information from one resume to the next if you need separate copies for different positions.
Article by: David Clemens is a freelance writer and career expert. He enjoys writing about resume tips, interviewing advice, and how to build a better career.