So, it’s time to apply for a new job. You know that you need a resume, but getting started creating one can be intimidating. How do you begin? What should you put down first?
Don’t worry. Here at CareerBeacon, we’ve been connecting candidates with job opportunities for decades now, so we’ve seen our share of professional resumes. We can walk you through creating yours step by step, starting right at the top of the page.
Step one – Your name and professional job title
This is simple enough. Type your full name, the same way you would like to be referred to professionally. So, generally this wouldn’t include middle names or initials, but if that is your professional brand, then go for it.
Your professional job title should be the exact title of the job you are applying for with the resume – or in the case of a resume or profile you are posting online, it should be the job title that you are hoping to be hired for next. Either way, there should be no doubt right from the start that this is a resume for that specific position.
Step two – Your contact information
Again, this is pretty easy. Underneath your name and title, you should list your contact information. Obviously, use a professional sounding email address. Only list one phone number, and make sure it is one that you will actually answer and that has a voicemail that you check regularly.
Your mailing address is debatable. You can also include links to your social media pages or LinkedIn profile if they are assets to helping you land the job. Otherwise leave them off.
Surprisingly, some candidates do get this section wrong. What employers see in your resume contact information (that you don’t).
Step three – Write a professional summary
This doesn’t have to be tricky. Your professional summary is just an elevator pitch. It should be few sentences that summarize your key selling points for the job title up above. This can include your years of experience, top roles you’ve held, and any significant accomplishments that set you apart.
Step four – Your professional experience
Employers will want to see where you have worked and when. They prefer to see this information in reverse chronological order. So, start by listing your most recent employer and work your way backwards.
Include the company name along with the date – or at least the years – that you worked there along with your job title.
Then use bullet points as a place to highlight your most noteworthy achievements in that role. These are the accomplishments that set you apart – and it is this information that impress future employers.
Step five – Sum up your areas of expertise
This is your chance to list all the things that you are good at. If you are applying for a job, make sure that this list includes as many of the required skills as possible from the job description. Match your wording as closely as possible to the employers, because they may have software screening resumes for specific keywords.
This section can be made up of both your technical skills and certifications as well your soft skills. Your education and credentials can also be a past of your expertise summary section.
There you have it. Five easy steps, starting at the top of the page and working your way down to a complete professional resume. Just remember, the theme of the entire document is to sell your candidacy for the job title at the very top. So, include the most relevant information for that goal all the way through.