How to Write a Professional Resume: The Ultimate Guide

How to Write a Professional Resume: The Ultimate Guide

It is time for you to write your first resume but doesn’t know what to write? Don’t worry – we got your back!

Whatever the position you are applying for is, we can show you how to write a professional resume that will land your dream job.

An unprofessional resume or a resume that is hard to read, covered in errors, confusing or unrelated to the job you are applying for – will get tossed in the trash. Hiring managers get hundreds if not thousands of applicants for one job and an unprofessional resume will cost you a possible interview.

Let’s see what the resume formats are and how you can give your current resume a professional boost, and learn how to write a professional resume.


4 Steps to Write a Professional Resume

It is not hard to write a resume, especially when you know the four main steps – choosing a resume format, structuring, styling, and conclusion.


Step 1: Choose a Resume Format

Before you start writing your achievements, you need to decide what format of resume you want to use.

When choosing, there are a few factors to consider – some formats do a pretty good job of displaying your skillset while others are better at highlighting experience and qualifications.

There are three main formats:

  • Chronological: This is the most common format when writing a professional resume. Chronological resumes are perfect for displaying your work and educational history. It is best to use to illustrate your career progression over time, to whose upward career mobility, and when applying for a similar job.
  • Functional: This is the opposite of a chronological resume. This format focuses on specific skills, accolades, and accomplishments. When using this format your career highlights and your skills are highlighted. It is great for freelancers and project-based workers. It is best to use to highlight a set of skills, when going back to work after a period of time, and when changing careers.
  • Combination: This is a combination of chronological and functional formats and is great if you want to show a mixture of experience and skills. It is perfect for workers who want to present a specific set of skills. Make sure to use to when you want to show that you are extremely skilled, to show a unique skill or when changing careers and industries.


Step 2: Compose Your Resume

Now that you are familiar with the formats available, you need to organize your information. Remember, how you present your information is going to depend on your personal preference and the format you want to use.

  • Contact information: This section is how a company or brand can get in touch with you. It is best if you place your information in this order – Name, Address, Phone Number, email, website, and LinkedIn profile.
  • Resume introduction: There are three introduction styles and all of them are great in different scenarios. The introduction part is another tool for highlighting experience and skills.
  • Summary of qualifications: This is a list of bullet points telling why you are suitable for the position. It should be descriptive and super clear. Add a summary of qualifications in your CV when you have lots of experience, you have a new skill set you want others to know about, the job requires specific abilities you need to own.
  • Career objective: This part is less about what you can do. It is about what you will do. Keep it down to 3 sentences. Use it when you are an entry-level applicant and lack experience in the industry you want to get in.
  • Professional profile: The professional profile is a combination of the first two introductions. It is usually written in 2-3 sentences and it is best to use it when you have skills that might give you an advantage, highlight huge achievements in other jobs, and applying to a similar job you currently work.
  • Professional experience: Your professional experience is a very important part of the resume. For most hiring managers, this is what they look for and as such, it is important to write this section well.
  • Bullet points: Under each job, include a few bullet points to illustrate your experience, the level of responsibility, accomplishments, and more. Depending on the form you choose, include 3-5 bullets for each job you are applying to.
  • Certifications and licenses – If you have certifications or licenses, make sure to include them. Some popular certifications are HVAC for repair workers and maintenance, Certified information security manager, Government security clearance for government agencies, commercial drivers license for shipping and transportation, etc.


Step 3: Make Sure Everything is Polished

You are done with all the hard work and now it is time to make sure everything looks beautiful and appealing. There are a few stylistic things you can consider during the writing process.

  • Number of pages: When writing a professional resume and cover letter, it is recommended to include all the information on one page. If you have more information that is crucial for the position you are applying for, you can include one extra page.
  • Font size and style: There are no rules when it comes to what font to use. Make sure to avoid using silly or unique fonts or extra larger sizes. If you can’t decide, use Times New Roman. It’s a classic.
  • Lines and breaks: Using lines to highlight some sections can make your resume easier to read. Avoid using too many breaks.
  • Margins: The spaces that separate the edges of the page from the content are called margins. Stick with 1-inch margins all around. If you need to include more information, it is okay to make the margins as small as 0.5 inches. Do go smaller than this.


Step 4: Check and Edit

Before applying for your dream job, make sure to double-check your resume and edit the mistakes (if there are any). You don’t want a small mistake to cost you an interview.


If you have followed our advice, you now know how to write a good professional resume.

Good luck!

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