A Comprehensive Guide to Building A Resume That Stands Out

What is a Resume?

Resume (also spelled as résumé and pronounced as rezjʊmeɪ) is a French word meaning
“summary”. A resume is a document with a summary of your personal details, your education, your skills, your work experience, and your achievements.

Though resumes can be used for many purposes, it is most popularly used for employment
purposes. Usually, a resume is the first step towards securing a new job.

Is there any difference between Resume, CV, and Biodata?

You must have heard or seen a resume being referred to as CV (Curriculum Vitae) or Biodata,
and wondered if they are the same or is there any difference between the three.

Essentially, a resume, CV, and Biodata are different names for the same kind of documentation.

The differences among them are subtle. They vary in length, format, and terminology used in
different parts of the world.

A resume, more popular in today’s times, aims at displaying your details, abilities, work
experience, and achievements relevant to a professional role, in a succinct manner.

Ideally, a resume consists of one or two pages and highlights only those experiences and
qualifications that are relevant to the desired job position.

The terminology, CV is commonly used in European countries in place of a resume. However, in US academic circles, a CV contains the similar information as a resume, but tends to be longer and much more detailed.

Biodata also called “Biographical Data”, is considered to be an archaic terminology for the
account of personal and professional details of an individual, including hobbies, interests, etc.

Why is creating a resume important for your career?

A well-built resume is a key to help you advance in your career by helping you land your dream job.

For the recruiters, resumes are the primary screening instrument. Every job posting requires you to, first and foremost, present your resume; based on which the recruiters decide whether you qualify for the next step in the recruitment process. The next step most commonly being the interview.

Your resume continues to hold the same importance, even when you have secured a call for an interview. The interviewers take your resume as a reference point for getting to know you more.

As a job seeker, your resume is your most potent marketing tool. It gives you an opportunity to
showcase your abilities and convince the recruiters why you are the right fit for the job you have applied for.

With the rise of online job portals, networking platforms, and virtual advertisement channels for job vacancies, it has become easier for applicants to find a job vacancy.

On the other hand, the wide accessibility of these portals has increased the competition among the applicants tremendously.

On average, 250 applications are received for 1 vacant post.

In such a scenario, the information in your resume has to be presented in such a way that it immediately catches the recruiters’ eyes.

You must be thinking you will need to learn designing tools to make your resume look attractive or you will need to get your resume made by a professional resume designer. It will take a lot of time and you will have to shell a lot of money to create your perfect resume.

No, you won’t need to do any of it.

You can build a perfect resume quickly and easily using an online resume builder for free.

What is an online resume builder and why should you use it to create your resume?

If you have ever used a basic text editor to create your resume, you must be aware of how
painstaking and tiring it can be.

You spend hours fiddling with the formatting, trying to get a clean and good-looking resume, and failing to get a perfect result. And just in case you need to make some further edits, the whole format gets messed up.

A resume builder is going to be your savior!

An online resume builder is a software tool that allows you to generate a professional resume
effortlessly in minutes, saving you from the struggles of a regular text editor.

A good resume builder, like InstaCV, provides you with easy-to-use, industry-approved resume templates and designs for you to choose from where you just need to fill in your details.

The editing features in an online resume builder give you the freedom to customize different
elements of the resume (color, font-size, layout, and much more) to suit your needs.

Resume builders at par with InstaCV’s have many incredibly useful features such as a spelling checker that helps you avoid errors in your resume.

The features like keywords suggestion, specific to your industry and job type, helps to highlight your skills and experience in the words recruiters look for, making your resume more noticeable to the recruiters. It also gives you expert tips and advice to help you perfect your resume.

InstaCV is your go-to resume builder which lets you create a super polished, flawless resume to make yours truly stand out in the crowd of applications.

Creating your resume using an online resume builder, like InstaCV, has some great advantages.

● It’s classy yet professional. Your resume looks professional, attractive, and up-to-date.
You don’t have to know anything about designs.
● It’s easy to use and saves a lot of time. Just pick a template and start filling in your
information. You don’t have to stare at a blank screen wondering where to start.
● It’s flexible. You can choose from a variety of layouts and customize the colors and fonts
of your resume to your liking. You have all the freedom.
● It’s share-ready. You just have to hit the download button to start sharing your resume.
● It’s free. You get your perfect resume at no cost.

Moreover…

● It can enhance the quality of the content of your resume. Features like spell-check make
your resume content error-free.
● It can give you new ideas. Browsing through the collection of templates and sample
resumes can help you refine your resume.
● It can be updated any number of times. You can always go back and tweak the
information in your resume to tailor it for different job applications.

What should your resume include?

Your resume must demonstrate that you are employable, you have the qualifications, education, experience, and skills fit for the job and organization’s growth.

Depending on the experience, requirements of the job, and best practices of the industry you
work in, your resume should typically include:

1. Contact information – your first and last name, your email address, and phone number.
You can also include your city, LinkedIn profile link, personal website link, or portfolio
link.

2. Summary/objective statement – to give a brief overview of what you will bring to the job in the context of your experience, education, and attributes suitable for the job. It should be concise, engaging, and should illustrate the qualities that make you an attractive
candidate.

3. Work experience/employment history – the positions, time period, and organizations
you have worked for, the tasks you carried out, and what you accomplished. You can
also include volunteer experience and internship experience if you are just starting out your career or have lesser work experience.

4. List of most relevant skills – the technical skills and soft skills you possess relevant to
the position and that can enhance your appeal as a candidate. You can also add your
proficiency level against each skill to set the right expectations.

5. Education history – the highest level of education you have including the date of
startings and completions. You can also add licenses and certifications you hold
appropriate to the job.

6. Achievements/awards/honors – the accolades you received for your academic,
professional, or co-curricular activities to demonstrate the results of your hard work.

How to build an amazing resume with InstaCV: Step by Step Guide

From start to finish, creating a resume using our builder takes only a few minutes. Just choose a template, follow our directions and suggestions, do quick proofreading using our tools, save and download your resume, and you are ready to conquer your dream job!

Step 1: Choose the Resume Format and Layout That is Right for You 

Picking the right resume format and layout is the first step in building your perfect resume. A “format” is the order and style in which the information is displayed on your resume. 

InstaCV offers you a number of formats to choose from. These are segregated based on various parameters such as industry, job title, experience, function, and style. 

Depending on the parameters you fit into the best and your personal preferences, you can select the format and layout you like the most and get started on the way to a resume that will help you land your dream job. 

Let’s take a look into the types of resume formats and when to choose them. There are mainly three commonly used formats of a resume: 

  1. Chronological resume format the main feature of this format is that the professional history section is placed first. If you are an experienced professional and have a rich work history with no gaps in employment, you should go for this format. 
  2. Functional resume format – this format puts emphasis on the skills section. If you are switching industries or have some gaps in your employment history, this option is more suitable. 
  3. Combination resume format – this format focuses equally on professional work experience and skills; and is more flexible. It is a good option if you have some work experience and unique skills valuable to your industry. 

Choose the resume format and layout that fits best to your industry, experiences, skills, and personality, and tailor the information accordingly.

Step 2: Fill Your Personal Details and Contact Information 

The first things InstaCV resume builder asks you to fill out your resume are your first and last name, your phone number, and email address. 

It is a best practice to have a highly visible name at the top of your resume with a bolded or larger font. With InstaCV you just need to type in your information, our resume builder takes care of the font size, style, and every other factor. 

Depending on the layout and format you have selected, and the specifications of the job advertisement, you can add other information such as a link to your LinkedIn profile, your portfolio, or your address. 

Step 3: Add Resume Summary/Objective Statement 

A resume summary or an objective statement is a great place to intrigue your potential employer. 

The resume summary is a short statement that briefly describes your skills, experiences, qualifications, and abilities specific to the position you are applying for. Through this statement, you can give the recruiters a glimpse of what you have to offer. 

Including a resume summary is ideal for your resume if you are an experienced professional. 

If you are including a summary statement, use active language, describe relevant skills and work experience, and focus on what the prospective employer is seeking rather than what you want from the job. 

Unlike the resume summary, the objective statement that describes your career goals. You should add an objective statement if you are a recent graduate with little or no professional experience. 

Just type in a compelling summary and your job is done for this section.

Step 4: Add Your Work Experience/Employment History 

Next comes the most important section of your resume where you have to take your employer through your professional history and experience.

Where you have worked, when you worked there, what responsibilities you held, and what you achieved are some of the key information recruiters look for in this section. 

You can also include the learnings or growth you experienced in your previous roles. 

Some of the ways to make this section of your resume impactful are: 

  • List your previous employment or internships in reverse chronological order. Put the most recent position first. 
  • Be concise. Write short sentences. Mention only the most relevant work and key accomplishments. Remove filler words like “and”, “the”, “a”, “with”. 
  • Use present tense for current job and past tense for previous jobs 
  • Use active language and power words to describe your work. For example, “developed”, “managed”, “led”, “achieved”, etc. 
  • Mention keywords from the job description. For example, if the job requires you to grow sales, mention how you “Increased sales by 70%…” in your previous jobs. 

This section is a challenging one when it comes to displaying information neatly and effectively. 

With InstaCV layouts, you don’t have to focus on the formatting at all. Just write the relevant information in the placeholders and it’s done.

Step 5: List Your Top Hard and Soft Skills 

This section is a high-value section of your resume. It helps your potential employer assess what you can bring to the table if you are hired for the job. 

In this section, you should add both your hard skills and soft skills most relevant to the job position and which have given you proven success in your previous roles. 

Hard skills are technical skills such as programming, writing, data analysis, product management, etc. You should also mention the relevant software/tools you can operate. 

Soft skills are the interpersonal skills that help you get the work done irrespective of the industry or job function. Some of the desired soft skills are good communication, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, time management, and so on. 

Evaluate yourself and mention the skill sets that make you get fit for the job. 

This section is best displayed in bulleted points and keywords. Type in the keywords for your skills, and you are good to go.

Step 6: Mention Your Education History 

Mentioning your education history on your resume is valuable especially when you have recently graduated and have limited work experience. 

You should include the area of your study or degree, the name of the institution, and attendance dates. You can also add relevant projects/coursework, your grade (especially, if it’s high), awards, achievements, or co-curricular experiences. 

If you are an experienced professional and are applying for a mid-level or higher-level position, you should only include the name of the institution and dates of attendance. 

List your education history in reverse chronology. Unless your industry requires it, avoid writing a long education section to make room for other important information.

Step 7: (Optional) Include Additional Information – Awards, Interests, Certifications, Volunteer Experience 

Once you have added all the crucial information to your resume, you can consider including additional information that can help you stand out. 

You should keep in mind that this section should supplement the overall resume rather than overpower it. 

If there is a lot of space left in your resume or you have employment gaps, you can add volunteer experience, awards or honors you have earned for your expertise, or your co-curricular achievements. 

You can also include your personal interests that are strongly related to the position you are applying for. 

Make sure you mention only the information that is relevant to the job and supports your career goals.

Step 8: Make Sure Your Resume Is Tailored to Job Ad 

Now that you are mostly done with building your great resume using InstaCV, it’s time to quickly revise it to tailor your resume to the job advertisement.

Take a look at the job description and see if you have emphasized the same terms in the summary, work experience, education history, and skills sections of your resume as mentioned by the recruiter. 

Using the terms and keywords from the job description helps your potential employer see you as a great fit for the advertised position. It also helps your resume get a strong match for selection by applicant tracking systems (ATS), a software used by companies to screen applicants. 

Make the changes as per your findings, and your resume is all set!

Step 9: Customize If You Want 

InstaCV offers a wide variety of templates and layouts to suit all your resume needs. Still, if you wish to add a more personal touch to your resume, InstaCV is your playground. 

You can use the customization features in our resume builder to make your resume a piece of art. 

All the customization options in our resume builder are hand-picked to match the resume best practices. For example, we only offer the font type options that are more readable and recommended to be used in a resume, minimizing the chances of unwanted outcomes. 

You just need to put on your creative hat, choose from different font types, font sizes, themes, colors, and background options, mix and match them to create a highly personalized resume.

Step 10: Double-Check Your Resume 

After finishing all the typing in and adding your personal touch, it’s time to do a final check. 

InstaCV features like spellcheck help you minimize errors in your resume, still, you should do a double check on your content to find out if you missed out on something. 

Also, check for consistency in your writing in terms of using tenses, using filler words, avoidable information, and overall grammar. See if some of the information could be shortened, or if some sentences could be combined. 

You can also show your resume to a trusted friend, family member, colleague, or professor to get an opinion on consistency and readability.

Step 11: Name the Document and Download 

Last but not least… save your resume and hit the download button to make your share-ready in an instant. 

Make sure the file name of your resume contains your name. It helps the recruiters track your resume easily.

Resume References to Inspire You 

Here are some outstanding resume templates you can take inspiration from to launch yourself towards a successful career.

Wrapping Up… 

A resume is the most important document you will ever build for yourself. Getting it right paves the way to success by helping you bag your dream job. 

InstaCV, the online resume builder makes the task of making a perfect resume effortless for you in easy steps. 

So, get inspired from this guide, follow these simple steps, and voila… you have a resume that will make you stand out in the crowds of job applications.

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