The internet is a job seeker's best friend. Job boards and career advice forums are popular resources, but you can also use the web to build a high-quality resume. Many sites offer free online tools to help you create your perfect resume—but not all these tools are created equal. Some focus on style and rely on you to provide the content, which is great if you're a strong writer.
However, if you're like most job seekers, you're looking for more targeted, step-by-step guidance, such as:
- Industry-specific pre-written bullet points that describe your background
- Guidance on which skills and experience to highlight in your resume
- Suggestions about the best resume design and format to showcase your experience
LiveCareer's resume builder offers all these features and more. Follow these tips to see how to easily build a resume online in minutes.
Give your resume the right bones
A visually appealing resume might jump out at the recruiter, but you'll need to back up that style with substance. Content is king—you must clearly show your qualifications for the position. You won't make it into the interview chair if your resume's content doesn't show that you're a solid fit for the job. Your resume must be written to present your experience and credentials in a persuasive manner. Here's how:
Summarize your experience
Your resume's professional summary should be one to three sentences that showcase what you bring to the table. It sounds simple, but this short section can feel like the most daunting part of writing a resume, due to its brevity. Many tools and templates provide examples of what this section should look like, but they offer less guidance on how to write it. LiveCareer's resume builder walks you through exactly how to craft an engaging professional summary.
List your skills
Use the skills section strategically by customizing it each time you apply for a job. After all, you may have superior plumbing experience from a past career, but if you're applying to be a bank manager, the employer probably won't be interested in your leak-stopping skills. Instead, start by studying the job ad. List any skills you possess that show up in the job requirements. Then add in other transferrable skills you've acquired that are relevant to the role, such as customer service.
Are you having trouble identifying all your relevant skills? LiveCareer's Resume Builder will generate a list of suggested skills to choose from. With one click, you can add any of the recommended skills to your resume.
Include relevant history with measurable achievements
While you may have heard that a resume should be no longer than one page, this isn't always true. One helpful rule is to write one page for each decade of experience you have. If you have a long work history, limit the job history section of your resume. Avoid a "data dump" by sticking to only the most relevant history and including measurable achievements.
So how do you choose which positions and credentials are appropriate? It depends. If you're applying for an entry-level job just after college, you should include that part-time server job at IHOP, as it demonstrates that you have a job history and work ethic. However, by the time you're seeking mid-level or senior-level roles, leave it off. We recommend limiting the jobs you include in your work history to the following:
- The past 15 years
- Roles that offered you skills and experience that are directly transferable to the role at hand
- Past jobs in the industry in which you are applying
- Jobs that you have held in the last 15 years
Entry-level workers have more leeway in their Work History section. If you have limited work experience, feel free to list all your past jobs, even if they seem unrelated. A solid work history is valuable.
Word Choice Matters
What you say is important, but how you say it may be what really separates you from other candidates. Whether you're trying to land your first job or you're seeking an opportunity to advance up the ladder, word choice can have a significant impact on the impression your resume leaves.
The online resume builder should help you select industry-appropriate language. Look for resume builders that accomplish the following:
Identify relevant job skill terms
The terms you use to describe your skills and experience should match up with the terms that you find listed in the job requirements. What your current company calls a work request may be called a creative brief by another company. Pair LiveCareer's online resume builder with a thorough review of the job ad to describe your skills and experience through industry-specific terms that are instantly recognizable to recruiters and hiring managers.
Customize each resume for the role
Studying LiveCareer's resume examples and samples can help provide inspiration for your resume, but resist the temptation to mimic them. Instead, use these examples as a blueprint for personalizing your resume for the job you want.
Rather than copying and pasting boilerplate sentences into your own resume, study the job posting. Make a list of requirements and customize your resume using those words and phrases. Opt for concise sentences or bullet points that make it easy to scan your resume. LiveCareer's resume builder provides sentence suggestions that you can select and personalize. You can even mix and match to create your own.
Gain bonus points for style
Don't underestimate the power of style: it may be what helps you stand out from the competition. Your resume's overall appearance isn't just about visual appeal. A well-designed resume is easier for a person to read and an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan. By using a resume builder, you won't have to agonize over formatting and design. LiveCareer's resume templates have already had the benefit of a designer's eye. Your resume design is important because it helps you:
Understand your audience
Some online resume tools only provide a one-size-fits-all template. However, the resume design that works for a creative industry might be frowned upon in a more conservative industry. Instead, opt for a resume builder that offers multiple templates. This way you can choose a design that is appropriate for the industry you want to work in and that represents your professional style. LiveCareer's resume builder offers dozens of templates and makes it easy to switch between designs.
Choose a colorful design for an advertising role, and then switch over to a cool, minimalist resume template for a role at a law office. With our templates, it only takes seconds to customize the look of your resume.
Pass the ATS
Your job history and skills list aren't the only things you should limit to relevant details. Extra graphics, lines, borders, and other embellishments can make your resume appear cluttered and have the potential to confuse an ATS. Using a resume builder ensures that your resume is easy to read by helping you choose a recruiter-friendly design and font.
Use LiveCareer's online Resume Builder to create a professional resume in a matter of minutes. Our builder offers stress-free choices like easy-to-scan templates and text and keyword suggestions that will highlight your best accomplishments.