No matter what kind of job you're applying for, your resume needs to look professional. Every applicant—no matter their job title or industry—should have a professional-looking resume that clearly lays out their qualifications. It takes time to develop a good resume, but the value it offers to your job hunt is well worth the effort.
Before you get started, let’s look at what’s in a professional resume.
What’s in a Professional Resume?
There are typically five main section to a professional resume. Header, which includes your contact information. Professional Summary, which consists of 3-5 sentences explaining your professional highlights. Skills which lists your most relevant skills. Work Experience which lists your past roles, responsibilities and accomplishments. Education, which outlines your credentials, professional certifications, and special training.
How Do You Write a Professional Resume?
- Have your information handy. Gather the names and addresses of employers, dates of employment, and other information in advance.
- Study the job ad. Include your skills, experience, and education in the Skills section of your resume.
- Choose the resume format that is best for you depending on your situation.
- Proofread several times. Ask a trusted friend to proof it, too.
- Need more help? Use a professional resume builder.
4 Pieces of Advice for Writing a Winning Professional Resume
1. Never submit a resume that has grammatical errors in it.
Some of the errors that prevent your resume from looking professional are actually very easy to fix. If you’re creating your resume in a word processor such as Microsoft Word, then use the spell checker to fix your spelling errors. The spell checker will also pick up on major grammatical errors that you can fix as well. Just keep in mind word processors can’t and won’t pick up on every mistake.
It's always best to have someone else read your resume to make sure that every word is spelled correctly and it reads smoothly. If you know an English teacher or a professional writer, then that would be even better. LiveCareer has a resume checker that can help you to create a resume that looks great and sounds professional.
2. Choose a professional looking structure.
The most important thing about a resume's format is consistency. If you decide to use lists of accomplishments in your educational section, then you need to use lists throughout your entire resume.
In reality, there's no right or wrong way to format a resume. There are, however, some formats that are more widely accepted than others. Find a format that you like and then create a consistent and professional looking resume that will impress hiring managers.
3. Be careful with how you start your resume.
The hiring manager who reads your resume does so in two phases. The first phase is to scan your resume looking for something that catches his attention. He'll start at the top and scan down until he either loses interest or finds something he likes. The second phase is either setting your resume to the side, or reading the whole thing.
Try to think like a hiring manager and imagine how you would approach your resume. An objective statement is nice, but would a summary of qualifications be more effective? A professional resume is one that reaches out and grabs the reader's interest. The best way to do that is to make sure that you start off with information that the hiring manager is looking for.
4. A professional resume is customized to each company.
The worst mistake you can make is spend hours creating a great looking, but generic resume, and then send that out to potential employers. The first draft of your resume is a template that you’ll fill in with specific information that'll interest each individual hiring manager.
A good job hunter does her homework on each company she applies to and has updated information on the position and the company itself. Your summary of qualifications, professional experience section, and even your cover letter should all be geared towards showing the hiring manager how you can fill the specific needs of his company. A truly professional resume is one that looks like it was created specifically for that hiring manager.
Give Yourself a Professional Look with a Professional Resume.
It doesn't matter what field you’re in, you always want to look like a professional to prospective hiring managers. LiveCareer has all the resources you need to make your resume look professional. The site’s award-winning Resume Builder will help you pick a template, insert pre-written resume examples, and create a stunning, professional resume that gets more job offers.
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