Anyone who has looked for a job in the 2020s knows how time-consuming and difficult it can be to write a CV. Contrary to appearances, creating a good resume or CV that stands out from the crowd and will make a recruiter take notice of you can even take days of work!
Many people also have trouble updating their resume or want to know how to create a resume with no experience. You want your resume to contain crucial information about you, your employment history and present your skills and talents logically - but creating one is not that easy, if you have no experience in resume writing.
In this article, we'll explain what to include in a resume and how to format it to differentiate yourself from hundreds of candidates… and much more. Are you ready? Let's get started!
How to do a resume for a job?
Writing a resume is an art that can be improved with some tips. A strong resume can get you an introduction to a job interview, so it's half the effort. Here are some ideas and strategies that will increase your chances of getting hired for the perfect job.
Always maintain a formal tone
Before a potential employer looks at your resume, they will judge you based on how it is presented. It's a good idea to maintain a professional appearance even in more casual fields, such as design or advertising. A cartoonist and designer's resume may stand out in regard to style, but animated characters should not be there either way.
There’s a neat trick which people who have a resume with no experience might not know: if you’re handing out resumes in physical form, you may want to print them on colorful cards to make them eye-catching! It is still formal, even if it’s printed on blue or green paper.
Present the basics
Your template for a resume should include contact information to reach you, such as your legal name, cell phone number and email address. A modern template of a CV also contains a link to your professional website or online portfolio. Many people these days also include a social media profile—especially for LinkedIn which is essential for running a business. Unless you're looking for a remote job, it's also a good idea to include a physical address.
List your best qualities
Your resume is a summary of your work experience. Employers are constantly inundated with applications and resumes, so you need to highlight your best qualities quickly and succinctly. Even in a resume for college students with no experience, you can showcase your professional and personal qualities—not just the skills you use every day. If people tell you that you have good people skills—state it!
State your hard and soft skills
Include a detailed description of your skills in your resume. In today's competitive job market, even seemingly irrelevant skills can make you stand out from the crowd. Also consider whether you're leaving out something essential.
For example, Americans typically don't include driving skills on their resumes—and if you're from the U.S., it's worth mentioning if you want to work in Europe. Similarly, European immigrants to the United States rarely boast of knowing more than one language in their resume. Free templates available online can showcase various skills categories.
Both soft skills (for which references are not required) and hard skills (which can be proven) have a place on your resume. However, it's a good idea to have proof of soft skills—for example, if you're good at working with animals, have stories, photos and maybe even confirmation of farm work ready, for example.
Your work history
Your perfect CV should provide a description of your work history, major accomplishments and lessons learned from these. Describe your past experiences, highlight your accomplishments, and detail the skills that will set you apart as an ideal candidate for the position. Put down "I sold professional printing equipment worth several million" instead of "I sold machines" to show that you can demonstrate your successes.
If you have had some success, you can add a few lines to your resume to highlight your most important achievements and accolades. Even if you were employee of the month in a field unrelated to your current job, it's still worth highlighting!
What if you have no experience?
If your work history is short so far—maybe you just finished school, or maybe you were taking care of children, you can include a "purpose" or “goal” section in your resume. Not every resume template will contain it, but in this section you will describe what you want to do and how you want to achieve.
Even if you are writing a resume with no experience, It's worth highlighting your relevant life advantages and skills. For example, if you are a recent graduate and looking for your first job, it is quite acceptable to have zero employment history. Companies that recruit young people usually select them with their professional future in mind, so don't be afraid to highlight relevant internships, volunteer work or interests on your resume.
Use keywords in your resume
Many companies, especially those in the information technology sector or those that advertise highly sought-after job openings, rely on artificial intelligence (like applicant tracking systems, ATS) to sift through all the resumes that come to them.
That's why it's wise to include relevant keywords in your resume; study the job ad you’re answering to see which phrases are emphasized, such as "salesman," "working with others" or "Python programming." Add these words to your resume, but remember that they must sound natural.
Give your resume to someone to review
Send your resume for review. If you have friends who are teachers or editors, consult with them to correct grammar and spelling. You can use an online app like Grammarly, but these are never perfect and can’t replace a professional review. Even if you want to start a career in IT, spelling mistakes can make a bad first impression. You can even have a graphic designer work on your resume if you want something great looking.
A standard curriculum vitae format should include your contact information, education and qualifications, work experience (if you have it), interests, achievements, skills, and references. It is worth remembering to tailor your resume to the specific position you are applying for, and create it in a fairly formal tone.
If you are a student, you may not have much work experience to include in your CV. But be sure to include and highlight all your acquired skills. You may also want to emphasize your academic experience and the talents you gained during your studies.
Your resume (and cover letter) is your only opportunity to sell yourself to a potential employer, so you should make it as convincing as possible. Write in a clear, concise, interesting and upbeat manner. Make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors, and that it is easy to read. Your chances of being invited to an interview are greatly increased if you take the time to prepare a quality CV.