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How to Write a Resume in 2024

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    It’s no secret that the job industry is competitive. Thankfully, there are lots of strategies to help you get ahead, including perfecting your LinkedIn profile and learning how to write the perfect cover letter. That said, the importance of a well written and professional resume cannot be overstated. After all, the purpose of a resume is to highlight your strengths, while differentiating you from other candidates and landing you an interview.

    In this article, we will discuss the importance of tailoring your resume and targeting keywords. We’ll also review the different types of resume formats, as well as provide you with valuable resume building tips. So if you’re looking for advice on how to write a professional resume in 2024, look no further!

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    The importance of tailoring your resume

    resume making Before you begin writing your resume, consider the various positions and industries you want to apply to. Depending on your interests, you’ll likely have to create several versions of your resume. This is because you’ll want to highlight certain qualifications and skills, depending on the specific job position.

    For example, someone considering both private sector and public sector work, should not submit the same resume to a government customer service position and customer service position at a Fortune 500 company. Knowing what positions and industries you’d like to apply to will help you determine what strengths and skills you should highlight in your resume in order to be invited for an interview.

    You’ll also want to target specific keywords listed in the job ad. This will help you rank well on an Applicant Tracking System — a hiring tool used by the majority of mid-sized to large companies.

    Overall, the process of adjusting your resume by including specific keywords and highlighting different qualifications is known as “tailoring” your resume. Most seasoned professionals will have three to four “tailored resumes” at their disposal. It’s a lot of work, but well worth the effort!

    Before you begin writing your resume, consider the various positions and industries you want to apply to. Depending on your interests, you’ll likely have to create several versions of your resume. This is because you’ll want to highlight certain qualifications and skills, depending on the specific job position.

    For example, someone considering both private sector and public sector work, should not submit the same resume to a government customer service position and customer service position at a Fortune 500 company. Knowing what positions and industries you’d like to apply to will help you determine what strengths and skills you should highlight in your resume in order to be invited for an interview.

    You’ll also want to target specific keywords listed in the job ad. This will help you rank well on an Applicant Tracking System — a hiring tool used by the majority of mid-sized to large companies.

    Overall, the process of adjusting your resume by including specific keywords and highlighting different qualifications is known as “tailoring” your resume. Most seasoned professionals will have three to four “tailored resumes” at their disposal. It’s a lot of work, but well worth the effort!

    resume making

    Understanding the different types of resumes

    To start, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of the different professional resume formats: chronological resumes, functional resumes, and hybrid resumes. A chronological resume is written in reverse chronological order and highlights past work experience; it’s also the industry standard. A functional resume is great for entry-level professionals because it highlights skills, objectives, and passion. A hybrid resume combines elements of chronological and functional resumes. Each resume format has its advantages and disadvantages. The key is to find the format that works best for you!

    For more guidance on what professional resume format to choose, refer to our article, What format should I write my resume in? The different types of resume formats.

    What to include in a resume in 2024:

    resume building After you’ve selected a resume template online, you’ll need to focus on the content. Your resume should include the following sections: contact information, education, experience, skills, and awards. Some optional sections include hobbies, languages, interests, publications, volunteering, and other industry-specific information.

    It’s also worth noting that for the vast majority of the positions, you should adhere to the one-page rule. According to a CareerBuilder study, 17% of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds reviewing a resume. With such little time to impress the person reviewing your resume, it’s imperative you do so quickly. Maintaining your resume to exactly one page and using keywords found in the employer’s job description will help push your resume into the “yes” pile.

    Now, what don’t you want to include? You don’t necessarily need to include an objectives section; your cover letter will include this information and more. You should also avoid including personal information including photographs, gender, age, and/or race. Last, refrain from including references, as the employer will request this information if it is necessary.

    After you’ve selected a resume template online, you’ll need to focus on the content. Your resume should include the following sections: contact information, education, experience, skills, and awards. Some optional sections include hobbies, languages, interests, publications, volunteering, and other industry-specific information.

    It’s also worth noting that for the vast majority of the positions, you should adhere to the one-page rule. According to a CareerBuilder study, 17% of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds reviewing a resume. With such little time to impress the person reviewing your resume, it’s imperative you do so quickly. Maintaining your resume to exactly one page and using keywords found in the employer’s job description will help push your resume into the “yes” pile.

    Now, what don’t you want to include? You don’t necessarily need to include an objectives section; your cover letter will include this information and more. You should also avoid including personal information including photographs, gender, age, and/or race. Last, refrain from including references, as the employer will request this information if it is necessary.

    resume building

    01

    Contact information

    The contact information section should be the focal point of your resume. Write your name in the largest font and include your phone number, email, and mailing address in a smaller font below. Be sure to use a professional email address and avoid emails with the following domains: @yahoo.com, @aol.com, @hotmail.com, and @bellsouth.net.

    01

    Contact information

    The contact information section should be the focal point of your resume. Write your name in the largest font and include your phone number, email, and mailing address in a smaller font below. Be sure to use a professional email address and avoid emails with the following domains: @yahoo.com, @aol.com, @hotmail.com, and @bellsouth.net.

    02

    Education

    Your education section should include your university degree, graduation month and year, and any academic honors or accolades. Your GPA should only be included if it is required by an employer or if it will portray you as an accomplished student.

    Depending on the breadth of your experience and the relevance of your education, your education section may come before or after your experience section. If your college major is tightly related to the position you’re seeking, but your experience is a bit disconnected, you should begin with your education section. If your experience better connects to the position you’re seeking, you should begin with your education section.

    02

    Education

    Your education section should include your university degree, graduation month and year, and any academic honors or accolades. Your GPA should only be included if it is required by an employer or if it will portray you as an accomplished student.

    Depending on the breadth of your experience and the relevance of your education, your education section may come before or after your experience section. If your college major is tightly related to the position you’re seeking, but your experience is a bit disconnected, you should begin with your education section. If your experience better connects to the position you’re seeking, you should begin with your education section.

    03

    Work experience

    The experience section of your resume is the most important section of your resume. Before writing this section, review job descriptions to curate a list of keywords to feature on your resume. This will help impress the hiring manager or recruiter. It will also help you rank well with Applicant Tracking Systems.

    Now, what about the order? In general, this section should be organized in reverse chronological order. That said, if your most recent experience is unrelated to the position you’re applying to, you should organize this section based on how relevant each position is in relation to the current position you’re seeking. When drafting each experience, list the name of the company first, then your title. If your title better correlates to the title of the position you’re applying to, you should include the title first.

    The work experience of your resume should be written in bullet point format. Wondering how to write good resume bullet points? To start, each bullet point should begin with an action verb that illustrates your responsibilities and achievements. Ensure that the action verbs describing your responsibilities at a former position are written in the past tense and that action verbs describing responsibilities at your current job are written in the present tense.

    You’ll also want to quantify your experience and contributions wherever possible. You can do this by describing the number of customers you assisted, providing the number of employees you managed, or the dollar amount you contributed to sales for the companies you’ve worked at. Use industry-specific vocabulary whenever possible to demonstrate your experience. Lastly, avoid using pronouns (e.g. I, you, he, she).

    For more tips on how to complete this section successfully, check out our article, 5 writing guidelines to follow when writing a resume.

    03

    Work experience

    The experience section of your resume is the most important section of your resume. Before writing this section, review job descriptions to curate a list of keywords to feature on your resume. This will help impress the hiring manager or recruiter. It will also help you rank well with Applicant Tracking Systems.

    Now, what about the order? In general, this section should be organized in reverse chronological order. That said, if your most recent experience is unrelated to the position you’re applying to, you should organize this section based on how relevant each position is in relation to the current position you’re seeking. When drafting each experience, list the name of the company first, then your title. If your title better correlates to the title of the position you’re applying to, you should include the title first.

    The work experience of your resume should be written in bullet point format. Wondering how to write good resume bullet points? To start, each bullet point should begin with an action verb that illustrates your responsibilities and achievements. Ensure that the action verbs describing your responsibilities at a former position are written in the past tense and that action verbs describing responsibilities at your current job are written in the present tense.

    You’ll also want to quantify your experience and contributions wherever possible. You can do this by describing the number of customers you assisted, providing the number of employees you managed, or the dollar amount you contributed to sales for the companies you’ve worked at. Use industry-specific vocabulary whenever possible to demonstrate your experience. Lastly, avoid using pronouns (e.g. I, you, he, she).

    For more tips on how to complete this section successfully, check out our article, 5 writing guidelines to follow when writing a resume.

    04

    Skills and awards

    Your skills section should indicate your level of fluency in a language or experience using a variety of software systems. Be sure to list the software systems that you’ve used that are most relevant to the industries and positions you’re applying to. If you’re writing an entry-level resume, don’t be afraid to list soft job skills as well. Take a look at our article, ​​Positive Character Traits You’ll Need In Every Workplace, for some ideas.

    04

    Skills and awards

    Your skills section should indicate your level of fluency in a language or experience using a variety of software systems. Be sure to list the software systems that you’ve used that are most relevant to the industries and positions you’re applying to. If you’re writing an entry-level resume, don’t be afraid to list soft job skills as well. Take a look at our article, ​​Positive Character Traits You’ll Need In Every Workplace, for some ideas.

    05

    Other information

    Depending on the job position, you may choose to include additional information like volunteering, hobbies, and publications. The hobbies/interests section could be used to humanize you as an applicant or build a connection with the hiring manager based on a common interest. You may also include any volunteer or extracurricular experience if it is related to the company’s mission or if you are applying right out of college. Last, you may include additional industry-specific achievements including publications or relevant coursework.

    05

    Other information

    Depending on the job position, you may choose to include additional information like volunteering, hobbies, and publications. The hobbies/interests section could be used to humanize you as an applicant or build a connection with the hiring manager based on a common interest. You may also include any volunteer or extracurricular experience if it is related to the company’s mission or if you are applying right out of college. Last, you may include additional industry-specific achievements including publications or relevant coursework.

    Key takeaways and moving forward

    After you’ve drafted a resume, ensure all stylings and headings are consistent. You’ll also want to use a professional font. Consider using a graphic design platform to perfectly align dates, titles, and other information included on your resume. If you’re applying to a company with a youthful or creative culture, you may add small design elements in order to really stand out. For further guidance on how to make a resume look professional, check out some of the Best Resume Templates 2024 to help you get started. You might even be interested in trying out our free, AI-powered resume builder. After all, it can be difficult to know how to write a good resume and AI-generative tools can be a great place to start!

    Perfecting your resume is a great step towards finding meaningful employment. That said, there are lots of other factors to consider. For further guidance, check out our article, 5 Typical Job Search Mistakes and How to Solve Them. You may also be interested in learning how to write a Thank You Email After an Interview and/or how to resign from a job and secure a good job reference.

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