How to Compose a Resume: Tips From an Expert

What should you focus on when compiling a resume, what information should you include about yourself, and what should you leave out? Ksenia Leshik, Moonfare Talent Acquisition Coordinator, gives us the benefit of her expertise in the tips below.

Ksenia Leshik

— A resume is the first impression a candidate makes on a recruiter, or anyone else who sees it. Just by looking at the document, it is possible to draw some conclusions about the candidate based on its structure and appearance. Someone who glances at your resume can quickly assess how well you organize information, for example, and how important presentation and appearance are to you.

My first key piece of advice is don’t complicate things. Your resume should be as simple and straightforward as possible, specific (not boring), and compact (1–1.5 A4 pages). That doesn't mean you can't use fancy letterhead or custom formatting, but remember that the main purpose of a resume is to convey information. A Christopher Nolan-style presentation, sophisticated typefaces, and controversial color schemes are best saved for other documents.

Recruiters read dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes a day. The more clear and easy your resume is to read, the more likely it is to attract and hold their attention. In addition, companies often have more than one vacancy available, and by looking at a well-written resume, a recruiter can immediately determine the most suitable position for a candidate.

Resume structure

Your resume should be divided into blocks as follows:

  • Contact information;
  • Basic skills and tools;
  • Work experience (for foreign companies, it is worth mentioning internships and practices);
  • Education; and
  • Additional Information.

Contact Information

In this block, you want to include:

  • E-mail address;
  • Phone number(s);
  • Messenger;
  • Link to your LinkedIn profile; and
  • Current location (this is important for understanding any time zone difference).

Include only contacts and methods of communication that belong to you personally, and that you regularly check. Otherwise, you should not be surprised if the letter from the recruiter gets lost in the "family inbox," or if you do not realize that you received a call back to your "home" for a long time. To make contact as convenient as possible for all parties, you can indicate your preferred method of communication.

Basic skills and tools

This block must be as “clean” and compact as possible.

  • Highlight the main skills that you use in your work;
  • Divide the skills according to: hard / soft or tech / non-tech; and
  • Don’t overdo it: for soft skills, include a maximum of 4-6 main ones.
  • There may be more tools listed than skills. List only those with which you have worked and are quite familiar. Do not list a program if you only heard about it from YouTube or saw a colleague working in it. But if you have mastered a program on your own, and think that you understand it well, you can indicate this.

    Work experience

    • Focus on your most relevant experience. It is often recommended that you not include work experience unrelated to the position you are applying for. Seeing some abstract experience on a resume does not bother me, and I would say that relevant skills can be found in almost any position. Therefore, if you think that your experience as a barista will help in performing work tasks as a QA, then include it. If some aspect of your past experience does not resonate with the vacancy in any way, though, you can leave it out.
    • If you have a lot of experience, and it is very diverse, it is better to include only the most relevant information. You can talk about information not included on your resume in an interview as the need arises.
    • If you worked somewhere in an Internship or Working Student capacity, this can be indicated.
    • It is not necessary to identify places of work where you did not spend much time (a position lasting only a week or a couple of days does not need to appear on your resume).
    • When describing your experience, spell out your tasks, responsibilities, and achievements as cleanly and clearly as possible. Don’t go into too much detail; include only necessary information. When deciding how much information to include, keep your focus on the main question: “Do you have the knowledge and skills necessary for the position?”
    • Do not try to make your resume heavier by adding a description of the company you worked for; the recruiter will easily find this information on the Internet. The same is true for information about your team — this can be covered in an interview.
    • Also remember that work experience in resumes is usually listed in reverse chronological order, starting with the most current or recent information.

    Education

    — Add information about your secondary and higher education. If your higher education is not completed, indicate this.

    In the same block, include data on training courses you’ve taken and internships that are relevant to the vacancy. If you are applying for a developer position, then the ceramics course you took should be placed in the block with additional information and indicated as a hobby.

    Additional information

    — This block contains the information that is not listed in the previous blocks. Remember relevance, though; you should not write an essay about what a wonderful person and friend you are, we will see that anyway.

    It’s best to add:

    • Portfolio links;
    • Sources with articles or other works prepared with your participation;
    • Project activities;
    • Participation in hackathons;
    • Speaking at conferences; and
    • Hobbies (optional).

    Resume writing tips

    To summarize:

    • Write a compact and clear resume containing relevant information.
    • Include only accurate information that you can confirm and that concerns you personally.
    • For readability, divide your resume into the blocks identified above in any way you like, using: font, color / fill (use calm tones), paragraphs, formatting, dividing lines, etc.
    • Use appropriate, professional fonts: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, etc., with a font size of 10-14.
    • If you don't know how to structure your resume, use a template from well-known, respected sites or carefully fill out a LinkedIn profile — if necessary, you can upload a pdf of your profile instead of a resume.
    • You can attach a photo if you wish, but if you do, choose a professional, standard one.
    • Proofread your resume, double-check for spelling and grammatical errors, or have someone else do it, since they might catch errors you will miss.
    • When you are applying for a position, remember to attach your resume in the appropriate language. If you apply to an English-speaking company with a resume in Spanish, there is a risk that the recruiter will simply not understand it and will overlook you as a result.
    • Finally, after following all of the tips to make your resume shine, remember that it reflects you and should please you.

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