After a lot of sweating and scrolling through the job offers, you finally have “the one” job advertisement in front of you, and the only thing standing between you and a happy future is – resume.
Every resume should consist of at least five sections: personal information, work experience, education, skills and languages. In addition, you can also modify or expand it by adding personal projects, workshops, competitions, volunteering experience, achievements and awards or hobbies and interests.
This section sounds so logical that it is questionable whether it should even be mentioned, but we have seen too many student resumes without listed contact information, while there were even some without names. Highlight your name, write down your contact phone number and email address, place and country of residence, and you can also add links to your GitHub and LinkedIn profiles. Citizenship, date of birth and marital status are not required, and you do not have to specify those. This is also the only section that does not require a title.
One of the most important elements of a resume is work experience. The logic behind that is simple – your employer expects that you will be more successful in performing the tasks you have done before. Work experiences should be listed in a reverse chronological order so that the last job you did is listed in the first place, and you should specify the start and end dates of your work (month and year). If you are employed, you can write “presently” instead of a month and year. Write the job title in the first line, name of the employer in the second line, and then briefly list your achievements or work assignments. Choose those work assignments and jobs (if you had more than one job) which demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills required for your future workplace.
If you lack work experience in your profession, employers will focus on your education. To be precise, they will be interested in the knowledge and skills you acquired during study. Just as with work experience, list your education in a reverse chronological order, along with the month and year of the beginning and the end (or expected end) of study. Put the title you acquired (or will acquire when you graduate) in the first place and write down the full name of the university and faculty under that. Highlight the topic of your bachelor or master thesis and supervisor and list only those courses which are relevant for the application. If you used some skills or knowledge important for the prospective job only during your study, describe the way you applied them next to the course.
The aim of the person who oversees the hiring process is to find someone whose skills and knowledge are suitable for the job in question. Your particular skill set should already be evident from the descriptions of work assignments, courses you took and projects you participated in during your study. Because of that this section should be simple and concise. List the skills you have that are relevant for the job you are applying for. The more the merrier, but don’t put those you don’t know anything about – a lie has no legs. 🙂 Besides listing them, it is advisable to group your skills with regards to your proficiency level; for example, basic and advanced levels or basic, intermediate and advanced – pick what suits you best.
Languages are usually given in a separate section where you only list a language and self-assessed proficiency level. It is best to use Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Hobbies and Interests
Knowledge and abilities are important for candidate assessment, but employers are looking for people, not machines. Because of that it is important to show what kind of person you are – your interests and what you do in free time. Maybe you like running or board games, or you are interested in ecology or photography – write that! Be reasonable with the amount of information (and the type, binge-watching might be best left out), two or three entries are enough.
Additional: projects, workshops, competitions, volunteering experience
You will always tailor your resume according to the job you apply for and write it in a way which will show that you are an excellent candidate in the best possible way. If you have personal projects or volunteering experience which are relevant for the jobs you apply for, list them in separate sections, in the same way as work experience. You can also list participation in workshops or competitions. If you have already completed your studies and attended vocational training, you can supplement the education section.
Now you know what a resume should look like. You should remember to write a new resume for each job, to best demonstrate to the employer that you are a good enough candidate to be invited for an interview. Good luck and feel free to contact us if you need help! 🙂