Before you apply for a job, there are two things that you should never forget – a resume and a curriculum vitae. Most employers require you to submit either one of the two or both. They are essential so that the recruiters and the hiring managers will have an idea of your background, skills, and experiences.
A resume is a document that provides a summary of an applicant’s qualifications for a particular job. A good resume increased the potential of the applicant to be interviewed. According to experts, only 2% of the total number of job seekers make it to the job interview while the 98% are eliminated during the initial resume screening.
What are the resume guidelines?
There are several types of resumes that you can use in applying for jobs. It depends on your personal and professional circumstances. You can choose a chronological, combination, function or a targeted resume.
The maximum length of your resume should be two pages. However, most employers prefer a one-page resume.
Font and Size
Choose the simplest typeface that can be easily read by the recruiter. Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri are some of the best fonts. Your font size should be between 10 and 12 points. However, it depends on your spacing as well. Just make sure that it is readable. You can also make your name and section headings bold and a little larger.
The standard page margin is 1 inch on the top, bottom and left and right sides of the page. However, if you wish to fit everything in one page, you can reduce the margin to 0.5 on each side.
There are different ways on how to design your resume. But the main target is to make it look professional. Also, everything should be organized and uniform. For example, you should be consistent in making your headlines bold or italicized.
Before printing your resume or saving it as a .pdf file, make sure that it is error-free. Check the spelling, grammar, tenses, names of people and companies and the layout of your resume, among others.
What to include?
In organizing your resume, here are the sections that you should not forget.
To start your resume, of course, you should write your full name. Follow it with your address, telephone number, and email address. Use your professional email address. You may also include your other accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
This section is optional, however, it is ideal that you include your objectives after the identification section. In writing your objectives, keep it concise and specific. State your desired job or field and the things that you wish to accomplish for the company.
In this section, write all your educational attainment. Write in reverse chronological order, with the most recent degree you attained first on the list. Include the name of the institution, its location and your date of graduation. Also include major and minor fields, GPA, honors and notable accomplishments.
Again, in writing your work experience, write in reverse chronological order, with the latest job first listed. Include the name of the company, your position and the date of employment. Apart from your employment history, you may include internships, volunteer work, and training.
Lastly, write all your skills, especially those that are relevant to the position you apply. This may include the foreign languages you are familiar. Rate these skills according to the level of familiarity – beginning, intermediate, proficient, and fluent.
You may also include in your resume your hobbies and interests and your references.
Do not include some irrelevant personal information like birthday, height, weight, marital status, names of children and salary history, unless the job requires it.
A curriculum vitae is a Latin phrase that means the “course of my life.” It is like a resume, but more detailed. Most companies require a CV as it is used in screening applicants. Thus, it is important that your CV be clear, concise, complete and up-to-date.
What to Include in a CV?
Similar to resume, CV has personal details, contact information, education, employment history, and skills. But to make a more detailed synopsis of your background, including the following information:
- Study abroad
- Technical, computer, and language skills
- Hobbies and Interests
Again, do not include your photo, your salary history or the reason why you left your previous job. It is also advised that you separate your reference list when you pass your CV.
Tips for writing cover letter
Constantly revise your CV
Do not just write your CV once. Always perform several revisions of your CV. Make sure that you update it with your latest employment, certifications, training, etc. Also, proof your CV to make sure that it is free from any typographical errors, grammatical errors and misspells.
Keep it short
As much as we want the recruiter to know us better, keep your CV brief and concise. Instead of too many details, summarize your employment and education history. Use formal and well-written language. Avoid slang and abbreviations.
Inasmuch as possible, your CV should be at most two or three pages. It is also advisable that you make use of bullet points rather than full sentences to minimize your usage of words.
It can be tempting to sensationalize your CV to make yourself sound better. But remember, integrity is very important in the workplace. If you cannot be honest with your CV, then there’s no reason for the company to trust you.
Moreover, companies conduct a background check. They will get in touch with your references to know more about you. If they will find out that you are fabricating some information in your CV, then expect that you’ll be rejected.
Make it look good
Lastly, make it look professional. Now, CVs are becoming more creative, being done in graphics editors. As long as every detail is structured and it doesn’t look messy, then it is a good-looking CV.
You can also search the internet for some samples of resumes and CVs so that you can use them as your template or basis in creating your own.