When thinking about how to create a compelling resume, you must identify only information that will be relevant for the role you are applying for, and avoid your resume looking like just a list of your qualification and experience.  

The five basic but important elements to include in your resume should be: a heading, your objective, skills and experience, education, certifications and awards, interests and finally, references. We deep-dive into points for considerations under each of these seven key elements.  

Heading:

  • Do not mention resume or curriculum vitae as your first heading, it is obvious
  • Mention your name in CAPITAL and BOLD so that you can be easily found 
  • Specify your location, that is, city and country
  • Do not miss out on specifying your email address for instance should they wish to contact you for an interview
  • Mention nationality and date of birth only if this information is specifically requested
  • Add a professional photo, again, only if it is a specific requirement by the employer

Objective:

  • Mention your career objective or a short description of your professional aspiration to help the employer know more about you 
  • Do not make it too long or vague for the reader, it should be to the point with specific details only
  • Your statement should describe why you are the best for the job

Skills and experience:

  • Be aware of gaps in your career and make your reason clear to address the curiosity of the employer. Mention what you did in during that gap (e.g. a short course, diploma or an internship for extra knowledge and practical skills)
  • A brief summary of your skills relevant for the job as well as experience with timeline because the employer could give anywhere from 10 seconds to 15 minutes reviewing your CV and deciding if you are eligible for the post or not
  • Use short sentences and single words to describe your skills instead of paragraphs
  • Use keywords or phrases that are in the description of the job you are applying fory
  • Mention your work experience in a reverse order with the most recent on the top
  • Must write your key accomplishments related to the obtained skill (technical or soft)

Education:

  • After your experience section, list your academic qualifications next
  • Start with your most recent or on-going educational degree
  • Mention institute and major course name as well as city and country where you are pursuing this course from
  • Your obtained marks or GPA/ Grade/ Division 
  • Any awards or achievement in the relevant degrees

Certifications/Awards:

  • Provide details about any achievement/award with proper sequence
  • Share details of your added skills, that is, technical course, internships, diploma, project
  • List down any published articles with proper reference and details
  • Mention language skills, computer and software proficiency (if any)

Interests and activities:

  • Pegged to the position you are applying for, add interest and activities to provide a way to make you a more compelling candidate
  • Understand that your interests and activities will reflect your personality
  • Mention any activity that describes your command on leadership qualities, project handling, strong communication skills, organizational management as well as implies good health and lifestyle
  • Avoid giving this section a heading such as ‘Hobbies’ because that could be inferred as unprofessional
  • Avoid describing vague interests such as ‘reading’- instead specify the kind of books or genre you like reading (again make this relevant to the role you are applying for)
  • Do not mention your political or religious activities or views 

Reference:

  • If reference is available, provide relevant details upon request

We have a lot more articles around enhancing your CV and writing cover letters in our Career Advice section. If you are searching for a job this year, browse our current roles

If you are planning to build professional skills and are preparing for any certifications or exams, then you can access more resources here.  
 

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