Top formatting tips for your resume

5 amazing tips on how to format your resume perfectly!

Last Updated on September 3, 2021 by iSchoolConnect

There are endless decisions you need to make when writing a resume – design fonts, colors, pointers, and resume format. Only some of them will make your resume stand out. Read on to get the best resume writing tips that will help you succeed.

What is one way to ensure a university or a company that having you on board is the right decision? A resume that stands out. With the worsening impact of COVID-19, competition for top colleges and good positions has only increased. In such a competitive environment, getting into the university of your dreams or even landing your first job could be a task. However, you get one step closer to achieving it if your resume sells you better. And we’re here to help find the perfect resume format for you.  

Before we dive into the topic of how to make a resume compelling, let us first understand what a resume is. 

What is a resume?

A resume is a formal document comprising your background, skillset, and accomplishments. Resumes could be used for a variety of reasons. However, securing a job based on your resume is the primary purpose of creating one. If written rightly, a solid resume can lend you ample opportunities. A good resume can keep an evaluator’s attention captured, further making you stand out from other applicants.

One of the most essential parts of a resume is its format. So let us understand what a resume format is and its types. 

What are the types of resume formats?

Your resume format helps you organize and put out your information in a unique and appropriate manner.

Your goal while creating a resume should be to deliver a document that showcases your skills in an easily scannable manner. To achieve this, there are mainly three types of resume formats you should follow. Depending on your objective and background, you can choose anyone from these three-  

1. Chronological Resume (not advisable for freshers) 

This resume format is the most traditional way of writing. You begin your resume with the most recent work experience followed by older positions. It is the most practical and simple resume format for someone who has been employed for quite some time. This resume format is a “no-no” if you are a fresher. 

A chronological resume format usually includes these components- 

  • Contact information
  • Objective 
  • Relevant skills
  • Professional experience
  • Education
  • Additional information (volunteering, hobbies, achievements, etc.) 

This resume format is also not the right one for someone who has an employment history but wants to switch careers. They should go for a functional or a combination resume format. 

2. Functional Resume (advisable for freshers)

This resume format focuses more on skills and less on work experience, making it an apt resume format for freshers. 

A functional resume usually contains these elements- 

  • Contact Information
  • Objective
  • Skills 
  • Additional Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Education

However, a disadvantage of creating a functional resume is that the ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) have difficulties reading this type of resume.

3. Combination Resume (advisable for freshers)

This type of resume format for a job focuses equally on the skills and work experience. It is a combination of a functional and chronological resume. So, if you have some relevant work experience even as a fresher, then this resume format is the best way to go. 

A combination resume usually includes-

  • Contact Information
  • Skill Summary
  • Additional Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Education

Components of a resume 

Depending on the resume template, the details may differ however this is what a typical resume consists of

ComponentWhat to include?
HeaderThe header is a component that includes your personal details like name, address, phone number, email, Social Media IDs.
Objective This is one of the important segments of a resume that highlights your intentions and accomplishments to the evaluator.
Qualification/EducationThis includes the level of education you have including bachelor’s, master’s, secondary, higher secondary education. 
Experience This includes your work experience till the current date. It could also talk about all the projects that you were a part of, the internships you’ve done, etc.

How to write an effective resume as a fresher?

fine arts abroad-career options
There are lots of benefits and advantages of using a resume template to build your resume. You can find ample resume templates and formats online.

A resume that gets results is the one that is serving you right. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind while creating your resume as a fresher- 

1. Decide upon the objective behind writing your resume

Content and format both play an equal role while creating a resume. As mentioned in the previous article, if you are freshly graduated and looking for a job, a resume covers your work experience and skills. You can get ample resume templates and formats online that serve your needs.

Once you decide on what needs to be added and which resume template to tailor your resume to, depending on the evaluator, you can move on to the next step-

2. Know what the evaluator is looking for 

It is vital to balance what you want your resume to tell about yourself and what the evaluator is looking for in a candidate. To achieve this, you do thorough research on the evaluator and tailor your resume keeping it in mind. It is always a best practice to tailor your resume for each university/company you apply to.

How do you exactly know what the evaluator is looking for?

  • Research the evaluator. 
  • Thoroughly read about the course/job description. If required, go through similar courses/job descriptions.
  • Try networking with current college students/industry professionals to get better insights.

3. Tailor your resume  

Girl speaking confidently at an interview
Focus on your skills and past work experiences that highlight your diverse background but still keep the core focus intact in your resume.

Keeping your resume updated at frequent intervals is a good practice to keep it up-to-date. When you stumble across an opening, you have a resume ready to slide in. You must tailor your resume to each college/job that you apply for, even if what they’re looking for is the same. This way, you are putting what is most important to each evaluator. Changing terminologies depending on the college/job description also will take you a long way. 

For example, suppose you are applying for a job that is looking for SEO content writers. In that case, your resume should mention SEO content writing as your primary skill set. While if another firm is looking for someone to write business copies, include business copywriting as one of the primary skillsets. Your resume should be built around keeping the core focus of the recruiter in mind.  

The above stands true if you actually have knowledge and experience in SEO and business writing, as bluffing on your resume regarding your skills to get hired will backfire.

Focus on your skills and past work experiences that highlight your diverse background but still keep the core focus intact. Focus on what is relevant and pick and choose experiences related to it. Also, suppose you have worked in a different career domain and are now a fresher in a new career; in that case, it is best to only mention skills relevant to your current experience.  

For example, if you have worked as a manager in your former organization and are looking to pursue a Computer Science course, do not elaborate on your above-par managing skills. You could write a sentence and leave it at that. 

4. Ensure thar your resume is neat

woman writing a resume with all the important points in mind
A neat, well-written resume is that is appealing to the eye. Pick the content to include in the resume and maintain a professional tone that highlights your experience.

Now that you have curated your resume, it is time to make it appealing to the eyes. These three things make for a visually appealing resume- 

Ease of reading. Your resume should crisply communicate things with organized components. Margins, easy-to-read font, white spaces play a vital role in preventing your resume from feeling cramped. 

Design. Your resume should have a simplistic design that is easily comprehensible by humans or applicant tracking systems. Too many colors, graphs, and visual aids can make it look a little fuzzy. 

Length. Ideally, the length of your resume should be one page unless you have experience of more than 10-15 years that putting all of it in a single page could become a task. In such cases, a resume could drag up to two pages at maximum. 

Things you should never include in your resume

Avoid these things in your resume-

  • Too much information. The evaluator could lose track while going through it.
  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. They show that you are not serious about the application. 
  • Inaccuracies about your qualifications or experience. Vague qualifications or experience fail to convey your abilities.
  • Unnecessary personal information. Why would an evaluator be interested in your home address or your parent’s phone number?
  • Age. Putting age in a resume is no longer standard practice. 
  • Negative comments about a former employer. Even if you left your former organization due to toxic work culture or an unhealthy boss, your resume doesn’t need to reflect that.
  • Details about your hobbies and interests. Evaluators don’t need to know the stories behind your hobbies or interests.
  • Passive language. Always write in the active voice to provide more clarity.
  • Miscellaneous extra content. Adding unnecessary information just to make your resume lengthy will only result in lost interest of the evaluator. 

So there you have it! Everything you need to know for writing a good resume – both format and content-wise.

In case you’re still stuck drafting your resume or have any more questions, feel free to reach out to us or drop a comment! We’d be more than happy to help.

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