No matter where you are in your career, you’ll need to know how to write a resume.
There are many companies that need the right employee to fill an open job position. Based on how you communicate your skills, work experience, and professional background on your application depends on whether or not you can land an interview.
That’s why in this article, we’ll be showing you how to write your resume step by step to ensure you secure your next career!
Here's a quick overview of how to format a professional resume:
- Pick the right format
- Include a resume header
- Have a powerful resume summary
- Describe your work experience
- Include your education and certifications
- List down your relevant skills
- Customize and tailor your resume
- Proofread and edit
How Do I Write a Simple Resume?
The best way to write a simple resume is to choose a resume template online and format it with the appropriate resume sections. Add some detail into each section involving your professional skills and expertise. Then, proofread and edit your resume so that it’s customized for the specific company you’re applying to.
As for the first step, you need to beat the applicant tracking system. This is recruiting software used by hiring managers to filter the qualified candidates and find the best fit more efficiently.
In terms of the resume sections, job seekers will need to include the following:
- Contact information
- Work experience section
- Skills section
- Education section
There are a few steps, including key details that you need to know throughout the resume writing process.
The other easier option is to use an AI resume writer to build a complete resume for you.
1. Pick The Right Resume Format and Layout
The type of resume format you go for is important. It’s different for everyone as it depends on your employment history and where you are in your career.
The three main types of ats resume format are:
- Reverse chronological resume
- Combination resume
- Functional resume
Each of these resume formats is ATS-friendly.
All employees in general should list their work experience in reverse chronological order. It’s best this way because you’re showing your most relevant and recent experience first, down to the oldest.
The combination resume is for applicants with 1-3 years of experience. It’s also known as the hybrid resume. This format highlights both your professional work experience and skills.
The functional resume is for applicants with less than 1 year of experience or having no work experience at all. This format conceals the gaps in your employment history by making your skills the main spotlight for recruiters. It can emphasize you’re still more than qualified for the job position despite not having the ideal requirements.
When you have no work experience whatsoever, we recommend you to send a personalized cover letter with your resume application.
2. Add Your Contact Information to the Resume Header
The resume header only needs to be one line long. Any further than that is a waste of space.
It’s essential for every resume to have a header, which includes the key contact information such as:
- Phone number
- LinkedIn (optional)
Here’s an example from Rezi:
Get straight to the point so it’s easier for both the ATS and a human reader. You may also use minimal resume icons to make it stand out.
3. Include a Powerful Resume Summary
A resume summary section is typically used by an employee who has been in the workforce for a considerable amount of time. At this point, you’ll usually have lots of professional work experience.
With a resume objective, these are typically used by a candidate who isn’t as experienced in the corporate working environment.
Both of these are optional, so they aren’t compulsory to include.
Every hiring manager is different. But, some employers prefer prospective employees to omit this section. These can be seen as outdated and a waste of space, so it’s not always preferable. Then again, every recruiter is different.
4. Describe Your Work Experience
You’ll need to include the following:
- Name of the company
- Your job position
- Dates of employment
Underneath these in your what to write in a resume for work experience section, you should be describing your job responsibilities.
Write down any significant result or accomplishments that you've been responsible for. Use examples to reinforce these points, as well as data and statistics for evidence.
Weak action verbs resume can also be used to add further significance to your achievements.
If you have additional work experience which we recommend including, you should create another section dedicated to this. Name these appropriately, e.g. projects, involvement, training, etc.
Be careful not to use the resume buzzwords to avoid too. Everything needs to fit with the context and make sense!
5. Include Your Education, Professional Qualifications, and Certifications
List down the qualifications that you’ve earned, e.g. a bachelor’s degree. You also need to mention where you studied, as well as the date for when you completed your education and achieved the qualification.
Optionally, you can put in your GPA level if you’ve at least achieved a score of 3.0 or higher. It works well for entry level resume tips too.
Apart from your formal education and years in school or university, you can include relevant qualifications in other appropriate resume sections such as:
6. List Your Relevant Skills (Both Soft and Hard)
- Hard skills
- Soft skills
- Technical skills
- Transferable skills
All the skills you have that are required for the role must be included. If you have different but relevant types of skills that will help you do your job better, recruiters will be keen to know!
That means any interpersonal skills, communication skills, or any area of expertise that is beneficial for your professional growth in your career.
At Rezi, we’ve found that the more competent candidates have more skills than the average.
From the job description, you should also write down the skills that are resume keywords. Your prospective employers will be looking out for this.
7. Customize and Tailor Your Application
There are other things you could do to tailor and customize your application for the best chances.
One of them being the optional resume sections to consider, such as:
- And more...
Every resume you send should be tailored to the company’s values and job postings. Don’t send the same one to multiple companies even if you’re applying for the same job position because every company’s job description is different.
Have you matched the job description and included the keywords for an ats optimized resume?
At this stage, you’ll want to make sure you’ve included everything you need to complete and perfect your application.
8. Proofread and Edit Your Resume
Do make sure you’ve proofread and edited your resume before sending it. A common mistakes on resumes is actually more common than you think. If these are picked up, there’s a good chance you’ll be rejected even if the hiring manager hasn’t read until the end.
A Simple Resume Example from Rezi
Let’s break down our data engineer resume example:
This example ticks off all the steps in this guide. All the essential resume sections are included with the key details underneath that the recruiters would want to see. The format is also clean and readable, simple enough to scan through.
In terms of highlighting information, use headers and bold text to do this. For every resume, use bullet points to describe underneath each section when describing it.
Want to find an ATS resume template for your specific job? Browse through our list of 189 ATS resume templates!
You can find samples inside our dashboard too in the sample library for you to use:
Writing a Resume for Beginners: FAQ
How Do You Write a Resume For The First Time?
The steps are the same as everything we’ve discussed in this guide. But, you would have to consider an alternative approach as you may lack in other desirable areas your prospective employers are looking for.
When writing a resume with no work experience, for example, decide what resume format and sections would be best for your situation!
What Should Not Be Included In a Resume?
Your resume only needs to contain information relating to your career and professional background. That includes your work experience, skills, qualifications, and most importantly, your contact information.
Anything related to your personal background, should not be included, e.g. your gender or age. There are general resume dos and don'ts every worker should follow.
How Do I Make an Impressive Resume?
Buzzwords and action verbs are good strategies to make an impressive resume. Ensure the format of your resume is easily scannable for your reader. If you’re describing something, try to include statistics and personal examples. When you highlight the positive difference you’ve made, these can catch the attention of any employer.
As a word of advice, personalize and tailor each application for your specific job posting.
Key Takeaways for Writing Stellar Resumes
Hopefully, you’re feeling more confident in writing your resume! Apply each of these steps and you’ll find yourself with incoming interviews in no time.
Knowing how to write a resume will help you advance and progress further in your career.
If you want to skip past all the effort using a more simple solution with a solid chance of landing your next job, consider signing up and using Rezi’s ATS resume builder.