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How to Write a Professional Resume

Mohamed Hesham

A good and professional resume is the key for finding a suitable job, as it is the part that will push the employers to consider you for an interview. Consequently, learning how to write a professional resume is a critical and very important issue.

However, many people fail to qualify for the interview despite their suitable experience, education and personality, just because their resume did not catch the recruiter’s eye.

When writing a resume, some attributes should be considered: the resume should be a one or two pages maximum, it should be written in a simple and readable way, and it must highlight all the skills and experiences related to the targeted job.

In this post, the content that should be included in the resume (the format), some tips that should be taken into consideration, and some common mistakes that people do when writing a resume will be discussed and highlighted.

Attention: The information included in this post are just guidelines, and they do not match all kinds of resumes or CVs. The CVs used for academic, research or some other purposes are usually different.

What should be included in your resume?

When writing a resume, try to include all the important information that describes you and proves that you are suitable for the position you seek. Here is the information that should be written in your resume:

  • Name and personal contact details: you must write your full name, phone number and Email at the beginning of the resume;
  • Objective: if you have a personal statement about why you want the job, and what are you expecting from it, you can write this in the objective. Nevertheless, if you feel it will not add a real value to your resume, omit it;
  • Education: include your education in a reverse chronological order, the newest credentials on the top;
  • Experience: illustrate all the work experiences you had from newest to oldest. Highlight the skills you gained and accomplishments you achieved at each one, especially the ones related to the job you are applying for;
  • Skills: mention all the skills you have such as the computer skills, and any skills related to the targeted job;
  • Extracurricular Activities: write about all the activities you participated in during the period of university studies. This proves that you have gained skills such as communication skills or leadership skills;
  • Volunteering: mention any volunteering experiences for the same reasons as above;
  • Hobbies and Interests: highlight them if they are special and add a value. Do not write the stereotype things like “watching football, reading, playing music….etc” unless they directly relate to the targeted job;
  • Languages: point out the languages you speak and your proficiency level.

Important tips

  • Ensure that it is max 2 pages.
  • Keep the document size small.
  • Use a professional email: do not use something like “badboy@gmail.com”.
  • Proofread your resume before sending it to check if there are spelling or grammatical mistakes.
  • Do not mention grades unless you are an honor student or applying for academic, research, or a technical job in your field.
  • Do not mention the studied subjects.
  • If you studied extra courses that were not included in your education program, you should add a section for them including the course name, duration and provider, and what you learned in each one, especially if they directly relate to the targeted job.
  • Remove personal and communication skills: your experience and activities should talk about you.
  • In each section, mention the newest data on the top, and the oldest on the bottom.
  • You do not have to mention the driving license, unless the job requires it.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Do not forward your resume. Send it as a new email to each employer.
  • Never send it to a mailing list. Each employer likes to see that you are interested specifically in his job.
  • Remove any link for your social media profiles; mention only LinkedIn.
  • Do not include personal information such as the religion, marital status, health conditions, or gender, unless you feel it will be beneficial for your application. For example, if you apply for a job in construction, it will be very good to mention that you are strong and have a good health.

So, what can you do now?

If you still do not have a job, you should move on, the world will not wait for you. You have three options: either you open a Microsoft word file and start creating your resume by yourself, or get a template from google and modify it with your information, or you can use the online resume makers where you just input the information. In all cases, make sure not to forget using the above tips. Go and seek your career now!

There is also an additional option, in which you can hire a professional resume writing service. In this case, you will save time and effort, and receive a high quality resume that can help you land many interviews.

Now you have got your resume? Checkout our useful job search tips. You may also read our interview guide!

If anybody wants to add any information or feedback regarding the post, you are more than welcome to leave a comment below. As I say every post, we all have the same goal: to help each other to become better.

 

 

 

  1. Great article! and a lot of useful information in it. I am a Human Resources Professional, and although recruitment isn’t my area of expertise, I often see resumes come across my desk for consideration of roles and the biggest mistake is over sharing and not making the resume appealing to the eyes. We eat with our eyes first right? same goes with shopping or buying. I like your comment about “Experience: Include all the work experiences you had from newest to oldest. Highlight the skills you gained and accomplishments you achieved at each one, especially the ones related to the job you are applying for.” Once you get to a certain level in your career, I’d say around that senior level, professional recruiters shift from needing to see Tasks that you performed, to accomplishments you achieved. For example, Recruiters know what a “procurement buyer” does but what did you as an individual do? “Saved the organization X Dollars buy contract review & improvements” or something to that effect.
    Think you have hit the hammer on the nail with this post. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you so much Lindsay for your feedback. Glad you liked the post. And, yes, mentioning accomplishments in the CV is more valuable than just mentioning the tasks, unless the mentioned job is not common.

  2. Thanks for sharing. One thing did not appreciate when i had to sift through CVs was someone listing the last 20 years of work experience and high school details if you have tertiary level education. I think it at a professional level, you should have a career highlights section, employment records from last 2-3 employers or 5 years should suffice.

    • Thank you for your comment. Yes, you are right, stuffing the CV with old or non useful information is not a good idea. Also, after many years of work experience, the career highlights section sounds a very good idea.

  3. Thanks for the tips on writing a professional resume; they were very helpful. I would never have thought about adding any hobbies or interests in the resume. In my opinion, you should have a professional look at your resume no matter what; that way you have an unbiased opinion.

    • Yes, exactly, you should have an unbiased look at your resume! Glad you enjoyed.

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