how to

write a resume.

Randstad recruiters put over 450,000 people to work every year. They review and submit thousands of resumes every month to hiring managers. Below, Randstad recruiters provide resume tips and give advice on how to write a resume that appeals to the hiring manager, provokes thought, invites questions and lands you interviews.

before you begin

write a resume for the employer

One of our best resume tips is customizing your resume for every job application. Before applying, try to understand a company's values and core competencies. Analyze the key responsibilities of the job description and include key words and phrases in your work experience and cover letter to show that you are the perfect fit for the position.


know your audience

Human resources, hiring managers and recruiters scan resumes first and read them later. They have dozens or even hundreds of resumes in their inbox, and the ones that get chosen from the stack are usually those that the hiring manager or recruiter can scan and determine to be a skills fit. Make the first cut by writing a scannable resume.


layout basics and header

layout

Your resume should be chronological. Begin with your name and contact information, highlight your accomplishments, detail your complete work experience and education, make mention of additional skills and interests and end with your reference statement.


your contact info

Personal data should include your name, address, phone number and email address, but be sure that your age, gender and marital status do not appear.


work experience

career highlights

Quickly replacing the more traditional "objective" statement, "career highlights" is a bulleted section that provides a summary of the career accomplishments a potential hiring manager will find most attractive on your resume. If possible, use data points that prove your value, such as "grew revenue by 87%...", "cut costs by 90% in first year...", etc.


work experience

Detail all of your relevant work experience in this section. Each new job in your work history should begin with your job title, the name and location of the company where you worked and employment dates. Below each title, detail your accomplishments and duties, highlighting wins, tools used and other relevant work experience gained.


quantify for scanning

Where possible, try to quantify the accomplishments and results of your work experience. Remember that hiring managers and recruiters are likely scanning your resume, so make it easy for them to pick out your accomplishments. Use the numeric form of numbers (90%) instead of the written form (ninety percent).


periods of unemployment

When you have been out of work for two years or more, it's important to include information that explains the employment gap. If you spent any time during the period performing volunteer work, be sure to include it. Otherwise, you may decide to include titles such as "full time student", "family management" or "personal travel". It is not advisable to mention injuries, rehabilitation or other details that could allow an unscrupulous hiring manager to discriminate against you.


education

degrees and certifications

Be sure to state dates of attendance, majors, minors, degrees and honors for every degree or certification you have earned. Place more relevant degrees higher in your list, even if they are out of place chronologically.


GPA

One of the most asked "how to write a resume" questions is whether or not to include your GPA. List your GPA if it is 3.0 or higher, or include your major GPA if it's higher than your overall GPA. A lower GPA could be included if you are in a very challenging program. As you progress in your career, GPA becomes less important and can be withdrawn.


layout

For more experienced job seekers, education is usually not as important as work experience (unless you work in academia) and can be placed below it in the resume layout. For workers with fewer than five years of work experience, education is more important to hiring managers and should therefore be placed higher up in the resume layout.


skills, awards and references

skills and applications

Not every tool you use at work can find its way into your work experience section, so listing out additional skills, tools, software applications, spoken languages or software languages can fill out your resume. In addition, the presence of these skill sets can make your resume appear in search results when recruiters and hiring managers conduct candidate searches on resume databases.


interests and awards

In addition to work experience, company culture is also significant to hiring managers. The interests and awards section is where you can show on paper who you are personally. Be sure to highlight relevant personal and professional accomplishments. Be different and specific.


references

A references section is not necessary for most resumes, but if you choose to include one, say that your “References are available on request." Be sure to actually prepare a list of references with names, titles and contact information. Being able to quickly send a requested references list to a prospective employer will demonstrate your responsibility. Be sure your references are aware that they may be contacted.


...and don't forget...

file formats

Choose the appropriate file format for presenting your electronic resume. It is important to format your resume for electronic use to ensure it appeals to the reader when viewing on screen or when printing, proofing and editing. For heavily formatted resumes, be sure to save the file in PDF format to ensure the resume is presented as you intended. Have a trusted friend or family member proof-read and suggest edits. If your resume contains industry specific terms, have a peer take a look.


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