Resumes are an essential part of your job search, allowing you to introduce yourself to a variety of employers.
This begs the question: how do you write a resume? If you’re early in your career, you may not be sure what accomplishments to list. If you’re later in your career, you may be wondering how to best show the value you’ve added to various institutions.
Regardless, in this article we’ll take you through the writing process. We’ll start with the top of your resume and work our way to the bottom.
At the top of your resume, you’ll want to list your name, the type of role you’re applying for, your email address, phone number, and location. While this is the most basic step in writing your resume, it’s also an important one. Giving employers multiple forms of contacting you ensures that they can reach you.
The objective is the next section of the resume. In a few sentences, you’ll want to state who you are and what you’re looking for in your next position. When writing this section, it’s important to keep in mind that employers sift through a vast amount of resumes very quickly using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). These systems scan your resume for keywords to determine whether or not you would be a good fit for the position.
This means that it’s worth taking a look at the words used in the job description itself. If the verbiage you use throughout your resume is similar to the verbiage used in the job description, your resume has a much better chance of being seen. The objective section is one of the best sections to use those keywords.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that you’ll want to list each of the places you worked at, as well as the dates during which you worked for them. When describing your work experience at each of these places, though, you don’t want to simply list your job responsibilities.
Instead, the best way to capture an employer’s attention is by listing what you accomplished during each part of your career. Numbers are particularly useful, since they show the results that employers might be able to expect if they hire you.
For the skills section, you’ll want to list out the abilities you have that most align with what the employer is looking for. As with the Objective section, this is a place where it’s useful to look carefully at the job descriptions you’re most interested in. These will clue you in to the keywords that will help your resume rank well in ATS search results.
This is typically going to be the shortest section of your resume, stating the most advanced degree that you’ve earned. You’ll want to state the degree, the institution you achieved it at, and the dates that you attended.
You can also state this information even if you haven’t completed your degree. In that case, you’ll just want to state your expected date of graduation.
There are other sections you can add, depending on your situation. For instance, if you speak multiple languages, it’s useful to list that on your resume. How fluent you need to be in a language to list it on your resume is a subjective question, but we recommend being at least at a B2 Level, according to the CEFR Scale.
As well, it can be useful to add a section for any awards or certifications that you’ve received.
The process of writing your resume never completely ends. Each time you start applying for new jobs, you’ll of course want to update the document with any experience you’ve gained.
Along with that, though, it’s important to keep in mind that you can create multiple resumes over the course of a single job search. This could be in order to highlight different aspects of your career, such as if you’re applying to multiple kinds of jobs you have the relevant experience for (e.g. someone well-suited for both nursing manager and charge nurse positions).
This is also useful when optimizing for the aforementioned ATS: if you consistently tweak the wording of your resume to match the verbiage of the job descriptions you’re applying for, your resume is more likely to be seen.
Talent Corps – Strengthening America’s Workforce
If you’re looking for a veteran-owned people company, you’ve come to the right place. At Talent Corps, we’re committed to helping talent and companies find each other. We have extensive experience in the trades, and our Medical Talent division is committed to helping traveling nurses find work.
Whether you’re looking for talent or looking for work, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
This article is part of a series on Strengthening America’s Workforce.