It's crucial to use the right resume outline for your career situation.
A recruiter will only look at your resume for 6 seconds, on average.
Therefore, it's crucial that you use the right resume outline to make it easy for the recruiter to visually scan and easily find key components. This is not the place to get super creative - stick to a resume format that is proven to get job seekers noticed for the right reasons.
So what does that format look like?
First, think about the information hierarchy. This is a fancy way of saying: write things in the order you want the recruiter to read them. You should think about this before you even sit down to write your resume, or look at resume examples on the internet. Why?
You want to highlight the elements that make you a good fit for the job, among thousands of job seekers who probably applied. To do this, think about what would stand out to the hiring manager. After all, a good resume is one that will market you the most effectively.
If something from your past experience makes you stand out, this is what you should use to make a strong first impression.
Resume writing advice is full of harmful information, so let me say this upfront: what your resume looks like will depend on your competitive advantage. Stop following resume templates unless you can clearly identify why they apply to your specific case.
While something like work history is required for everyone, other resume sections like volunteer work or hobbies are both not required and not recommended.
Let's look at some outline examples for different scenarios and levels of professional experience.
Use a resume summary. If you're changing careers, the best resume is one that addresses that head-on. This is one of few resume formats that should use a resume summary or objectives section. Put some thought into this. It should feel like a mini cover letter, orienting the recruiter on how to sell you to the hiring manager. Emphasize points that will help you with this new career path.
In professional resumes, the emphasis is on showing tangible proof you're qualified. This might mean projects you've done that are technically complex or skills you have that are hard to acquire.
Free resume templates are tempting to download and fill out, especially when you're pressed for time. However, these are never one-size-fits-all. Spend some time building a strategy and picking the right outline for you. Not all professional resumes are built the same. While some staples like your contact information are required, other resume sections like the objectives are only necessary for some.
The best resumes take your individual circumstances into account to help you make the right first impression with the recruiter and hiring manager.
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