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How to Build Your Resume to Land Your Dream Job

By: Cidney Langlois

Edited by: Kaya Crawford

Photo by Jess Bailey

Building a resume can be a daunting task. From colors to how many pages, deciding how you want to present yourself to employers and hiring managers is an overwhelming challenge. With that being said, we live in a digital age with plenty of resources for you to learn how to craft your perfect resume and set yourself apart from the competition.

To start, every resume should include 5 basic elements: your contact information, summary statement, work experience, education and skills. Using these five elements ensures that your resume has all the necessary information that allows hiring managers to get a feel for you and your background. From there you can include things like licenses and certifications, languages spoken, and volunteer experience. All these aspects are considered to be extras in your application, but they can seriously help you stand out from the crowd when trying to land your dream job.

How you choose to format your resume can be up to your discretion, but the recommended layout is to have your name and contact information at the top of the resume. Following that, you should have your summary statement. Finally, you can list your education, skills and experience in whichever order you want. If you don’t have much experience to list, you can put your education and skills higher and vice versa if your experience is greater than your education.

Defining the Parts of a Resume

Contact Information: This section should include your name, email, phone number and potentially your mailing address. You could also include any relevant social media platforms or your LinkedIn profile.

Summary Statement: Include a brief summary about your professional experiences, qualifications and milestones.

Work Experience: You can include any work, volunteer or internship experiences you have had in this section. Include start date and end date, your role, where you worked, what you did in the role and any major accomplishments.

Education: This section should include your degree, the establishment, activities you took part in and start dates and graduation dates.

Skills: This section can include any skills (soft skills or hard skills) that you feel are relevant to the position that wasn’t fully showcased in the education or work experience section.

Photo by Clark Tibbs

To help you continue your journey in building your perfect resume, keep these additional tips in mind:

  • Start each bullet point in your work experience descriptions with action verbs such as “managed”, “created” or “directed”.

  • Focus on your accomplishments as well as your responsibilities to fully show your time at the company.

  • Use keywords from the respective job description throughout your resume.

  • Use bullet points throughout your resume sparingly.

  • Use statistics and specific metrics to quantify and better strengthen your experience.

Following those suggestions, you should be able to create an efficient and easy-to-follow resume that will effectively communicate your message and why you are the best candidate to fill any role. This is just a starting point, from here you can dive deeper into formats, language, ATS (applicant tracking services) and so much more. With a great resume, you’ll be able to show any hiring manager just how perfect you are for the role!

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