Resume-Making 101: Resume FAQs and Writing a Resume That Stands Out

By Deniel Floria

Instagram: @buk0pandenn_

Got any Inquiries? Email me at dennfloria@gmail.com


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You have just graduated from university, and everyone is congratulating you. The first few days felt thrilling as you know that you will be reaching new heights in a new stage in your life, again. But there is one problem: You have no idea how to apply for a job. Offers from here and opportunities there come by quickly. You feel rushed and pressured, but you do not know where to start.


You need a resume and a CV. You work on them, and it seems a bit old-fashioned. But you feel confident in what you wrote, so off you go.


You notice that online and offline, the job market is very dense and crowded. Companies who give good compensation require their applicants to have experience. Then you found one, but you are not the only one who just graduated, and you are not the only one applying as well. How will you fare? You look at your resume and find it differently this time. You are left uncertain whether or not you should pass your resume.


I. Today's Job Market

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The job market has been more crowded than ever because of the higher population of students graduating every year. Couple this with the current economic situation with the pandemic around. The graduating population increased, but employment decreased. This resulted in mass unemployment among countries, especially third-world countries where skill-based jobs are dominant. Moreover, with a transition to flexible online work, a lot of people got laid off and terminated from their jobs. They add to those who are actively seeking employment.


Whether you are a student seeking an internship, or a graduate looking for work, companies today require people in their team to be flexible yet still competitive, and most of the observation process will be seen on items you will digitally pass, like your resume. So, you must focus on tweaking your resume to be a good reflection of how you work.


II. Resume VS Curriculum Vitae

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You have surely heard the words ‘resume’ and ‘CV’ in the movies, and maybe in your career ventures, too. In some cases, you are required to present both, and in some, you are only needed to present one. Depending on the country, you must consult with your university's career guidance counselor or your professors which one is preferred in your country. In the US and Canada, resumes are preferred. On the other hand, in the UK and some other parts of Europe, a CV is preferable for employers. If you still have no clue about what these two terms mean, and if they can be used interchangeably or not, worry not! This article will go through both the definitions and characteristics of the terms!


A resume is a 1-2 pages summary of your qualifications for the job. Everything that the applicant thinks will be relevant to their work or industry is in their resumes. Human Resource Managers find resumes helpful when sorting through applications because it is undeniably easier to go through one page per candidate. And so, resumes are used mostly in working for profit-oriented or nonprofit organizations, or simply for work. However, the reality is that resumes often have to battle for appeal. Plain, boring resumes just will not cut it, even if your qualifications fit the job.


A Curriculum Vitae, meaning "course of life" in Latin, is one's full document about themself. It is composed of 2 or more pages, depending on the number of things the applicant will put. Unlike the resume, every opportunity taken relevant to the candidate's career path, skills, education, and development is put, usually in detail. CVs are mostly used in applying for fellowships, grants, and in academia.


III. Importance of Making a Resume

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Resumes are the bridge between the applicant and the employer. Through it, the employer can see the applicant's qualifications and weigh them against other applicants. You are introducing your merits, background, and your reason why you should get the job through your resume. Moreover, resumes help employers see what you might need or on what grounds and agreements you would feel comfortable with if you get the position and the call afterward. In job-seeking, your resume is your communication line to the companies and employers you applied for.


Unlike your CV, your resume can vary depending on what you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a non-profit alt-media organization, then you can set up your resume with elements that relate to it. (e.g. inclination to technical work like graphic design, or news writing) If you are applying for a profit-oriented accounting firm, then you should put the conferences you have led that are exclusive to accounting or other experiences with the work. You do not include graphics design in your resume for accounting and do not put inclination to accounting in your resume for creative work in an alt-media organization.


IV. Making Your Template (Apps to Help You!)



- Canva. Canva is mostly free (you will not need the premium offers for your resume, anyway) and it offers numerous templates for your resume! So, if you cannot get your creative brain working but need to create one at this instant, do not shy away from using Canva! Link: https://www.canva.com/


- Evernote (or any note-taking app). Before you work on your final resume, you have to list and work on making everything concise. Remember, a resume has very limited space, so use it well! Note-taking apps help because you can eliminate and paraphrase. Link: https://evernote.com/


- Grammarly. Grammarly is for the final touches on your work. It offers free revision and grammar-checker services, which would exponentially help you with your resume. No matter how concise, you must make sure that the grammar is still correct! Link: https://app.grammarly.com/


- Merriam Webster Dictionary/Thesaurus. HRs are probably easily thrown off when they see the same words applicants use because “it fits the corporate set-up” or whatnot. You want your resume to stand out, so avoid using commonly used words put in resumes. You do not need to be literary or academic in your resume (again, be concise!), but you do need to tweak it a bit to make it appealing and creative on the inside. Link: https://www.merriam-webster.com/


- LinkedIn. It is a platform where you can digitally put your resume or credentials. It is really helpful because companies can use your LinkedIn profile as an extended resume to get to know more about you. Set up your own account now! Link: https://www.linkedin.com/signup


(BeyondDreams has a blog about guides in making a LinkedIn profile, check it out here: https://www.beyonddreams.org/post/guide-to-creating-a-linkedin-profile)


V. General Tips


Here are some key tips in making your resume!

  • Determine your contact details. A lot of companies use Gmail nowadays, so if you still do not have a Gmail (or a Google account) make sure you set up one now! You can also provide your social media accounts. However, make sure that those are set a bit privately because companies do want to investigate their applicants, and of course, you have your own social media where you have the right to freely express yourself. If you can, set up professional social media accounts.

  • One-page resumes are the most preferable resumes.

  • Use PDF when passing your resume, or any other file you need to pass. This is to avoid any automatic adjustments made in other platforms like Microsoft Word.

  • You can opt for using really concise terms like (Technical-Inclination) in your resume’s skills category.

  • Put your non-negotiable skills and interests. You are still human and most of the time HRs want that connection with the applicant. You are going to be working with them once you get hired, after all.

  • Read it. Does it make sense?

Sources:

CareerCast.com. (2021, January 4). How to Handle the Crowded Job Market of 2021. https://www.careercast.com/career-news/job-search-2021


Resume vs. Curriculum Vitae: What’s the Difference? (2020, May 30). Internship and Career Center. https://icc.ucdavis.edu/materials/resume/resumecv


Sundberg, J. (2021). CV vs. Resume: The Difference and When to Use Which. The Undercover Recruiter. https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/cv-vs-resume-difference-and-when-use-which/


Tomaszewski, M. C. (2021b, February 11). What is a CV vs a Resume: the Difference in Meaning Between Them Explained. Zety. https://zety.com/blog/cv-vs-resume-difference?utm_source=google&utm_medium=sem&utm_campaign=10165549881&utm_term=&network=g&device=c&adposition=&adgroupid=104431603569&placement=&gclid=CjwKCAjw6qqDBhB-EiwACBs6xx6mSTuzJSmLeY5mPFfF76d3Gg-uumJ8B60X4AQ5RxOqPCG3L9ZWFBoC7vUQAvD_BwE

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