A resume is like your whole career life in a documented form, and your future job and growth prospects depend on it. The more impressive it looks, the more opportunities you get. But 8 out of 10 people who have an impressive record fail in documenting them. 

What is the recruiter or employer looking for?

Recruiters look for the following things on your resume.

  • What did you do?
  • Why did you do it?
  • What was the result?

If you answer all three questions in your resume, you will increase your chances of securing the job interview. The key to a perfect resume is clear, easy-to-understand and concise language. Many resumes lack qualitative information that match with the specifications or requirements of the role the candidate is applying for. 

What should a resume look like?

A resume is as important as your appearance during an interview. It serves as your first impression in the recruiter's mind. Unless you are applying for a creative position such as a graphic designer or a content editor, we recommend keeping your resume template very clean and simple, though you can also use online resume templates or resume building latest mobile apps.   
 
Following are the steps to how your resume should look:

Good font

Try to use a simple font such as Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri in black color and a font size of 10 – 12 pt. Type up the resume and add more alignment, keeping it the same for the cover letter (if this is a document also required by the employer). 

Evenly set margins

Keep a 1-inch margin on all four sides of the resumes. It looks more presentable. But if you want to cover more on a single page, you may require more space leaving a margin of at least half an inch. 

Consistent line spacing

Line spacing adds to the overall look of your document; you could use a 1.15 spacing for all sections and double space before and after a heading and in between entries.

Recruiters do not like to entertain jam-packed resumes, as it is unpleasant for the eyes and gives a messy look too. Your CV should have breathing space. So, make sure to keep the proper spacing between the lines and paragraphs. You can check whether your spacing is right or not by having a thorough look on your resume printed form and see if it pleases your eyes or not.

Clear section headings

Give your headings a little more prominent than the rest of the text.

No graphics, no photos

Avoid using fancy graphics or decorations on your resume; it may cause your CV to be incompatible with the ATS scan. Add your picture if it is required by the recruiter others wise keep it text only. Besides, many applicant tracking systems read only text. Sometimes, your photo could be deemed unprofessional by some hiring managers, and may distract from your relevant skills. If you are looking for a place to add your professional photo, job boards and LinkedIn is it. 

Ideally one-page

The most crucial part of a resume is the length.

  • How long should it be?
  • How many pages should it include?
  • What detail should be added?

Go for a single- or two-page resume (for experienced candidates) and try to make it specific to the role you are applying for, including relevant details. Make every word count. 

The Important Sections

So now you know all the basics of a perfect resume and how to present it. But what about the content – what to include and what not to? 

The order of the content in your resume might differ depending on your professional experience; the headings can be different for different people. It is best to follow the rules of a standard reverse-chronological resume format. Here is a standard list of sections you must include in your resume 

  • Resume heading with your contact information, name, email, home address, and contact number. You can add the link to your LinkedIn profile
  • Include a professional summary of qualifications and/or a career objective
  • Work experience
  • Academic qualifications and any relevant certifications
  • Soft and technical skills (relevant for the role)
  • Hobbies / interests (relevant to the role in question) Awards and recognition 

If you would like more advice on your CV and cover letter, please visit our Career Advice. There are a lot more resources in our Candidates section. 

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