You have the experience. You have the skills.
Now you just need the job.
And for that to happen, you need a stellar resume to help your application stand out from the competition.
That’s why, in today’s article, we’re giving you an in-depth guide on how to make a resume.
Before we dive in, though, we should mention that this isn’t a resource you’ll want to consume in one sitting.
Instead, bookmark this page so you can quickly refer to the following information:
Like we said – this isn’t your standard starter post.
By the end of this article, you’ll have everything you need to create a highly personalized resume to get you that much closer to landing your dream job.
Ready to start? Let’s dive in.
A resume is a document used by most job seekers to showcase their education, skills, work experience, achievements, and other relevant information to potential employers.
Resumes are usually the first point of contact between a job seeker and a hiring manager.
They’re used to make a positive first impression and convince the employer that the candidate is a good fit for the job.
The best resumes are tailored to a specific job and company, and they highlight the most relevant information regarding your professional experiences/interests.
They are typically one to two pages long and often accompanied by a cover letter.
One-page resumes are ideal, so you’ll want to prioritize only the most relevant work history and achievements based on the role you’re applying for.
There are many benefits to adding a personalized resume to your job application because resumes can:
That last one is particularly noteworthy.
For better or worse, most employers ask for a resume and cover letter as a requirement to apply for a position.
So let’s look at a few reasons hiring managers still ask for resumes in the application process.
In 2023, having a resume is still a common expectation in the job search process.
While some job applications let you apply with non-traditional formats, like with a LinkedIn profile or an online portfolio, most employers still expect a polished resume.
And it’s easy to see why.
A clear resume helps hiring managers get a faster glimpse of whether or not an applicant is suitable for the role. Plus, it shows a candidate’s attention to detail and personal standards for excellence.
A resume filled with typos, grammatical errors, or poor formatting implies a general lack of professionalism.
So whether you create resumes because you want the personal advantage or because it’s required for the job you want, consider this:
If you need to make a resume for your application, why not make it the strongest resume in the bunch?
After all, 90% of candidates don’t take the time to personalize their resume or cover letter. Doing so on your applications gives you an immediate advantage over other candidates.
On that note, let’s start breaking down the common elements that make for a stellar resume.
Unless expressly stated otherwise, your resume should include the following:
Since resumes are best kept to a single page, this should give you more than enough sections to flesh out.
But before diving into our tips on making a resume, let’s make sure we’re clear on some things you should avoid adding to your resume.
There are certain things you should leave out of your resume, as they won’t help connect your work experience with the job you want.
That means the hiring manager makes lightning-fast judgment calls about each resume that passes her desk, so everything you include must be on point.
Avoid adding the following to your resumes:
Remember, the purpose of your resume is to highlight your professional qualifications and make you stand out for a specific job.
Stick to information related to the position you’re applying for and avoid adding personal details that aren’t relevant to the job.
Now you understand what a resume is, what should be included in a resume, and – more importantly – what to leave out.
Now let’s look at a few ways to make a resume.
There are many tools that people use to make their resumes. In this section, we’ll briefly look at the main pros and cons of the following tools:
Microsoft Word is one of the most common ways job seekers make resumes.
Here are some of the pros of using Microsoft Word:
And here are some of the cons of using Microsoft Word:
It's important to consider the potential limitations and drawbacks of Microsoft Word before investing in the software.
That way, you can ensure it aligns with potential employers' expectations and preferences.
Google Docs is essentially Google’s version of Microsoft Word.
The main difference? It’s free.
Here are some of the pros of using Google Docs to create a resume:
Here are some of the cons of using Google Docs to create a resume:
Using Google Docs to create a resume can be a convenient and cost-effective option, particularly if you need to collaborate with others or work on your resume from multiple devices.
But if you want to stand out from the crowd, the templates offered may not be visually appealing enough to grab the hiring manager’s attention.
Here are some of the pros of using Canva to make a resume:
Here are some of the cons of using Canva to make a resume:
For a more detailed discussion, check out this post on Canva resume templates.
Canva’s strength is enhancing your resume’s design.
But most hiring managers ultimately care more about your resume's content than how it looks.
LinkedIn is one of the most used social media platforms for professionals.
It boasts 900.2 million users and helps job seekers find new opportunities daily.
Here are some pros to using LinkedIn to build your resume:
Here are some cons to using LinkedIn to build your resume:
That limited formatting holds you back when creating a resume with LinkedIn.
It’s a good way to get started, but it isn’t easy to personalize for each position you apply to.
It can also come off as “lazy” to hiring managers if other resumes were built and designed with more professional tools.
Resume builders (like TealHQ) can be an ideal solution for job hunters.
It often allows you to create personalized and high-impact resumes for an affordable monthly subscription.
Here are some of the pros of using resume builders to create your resume: :
Here are some of the cons of working with resume builders to create your resume:
We should clarify that the last point would depend on the resume builder you’re working with.
For example, Teal leverages generative AI to help you write personalized cover letters in minutes.
Research the right resume-building platform to ensure it covers all your needs before investing in a solution.
Ok, we’re almost at the point where we’ll start building your resume.
Before we can, you’ll need to decide which resume format you want your resume to have.
There are two main types of resume formats you should be familiar with:
While there are technically more formats for resumes available, these are the two most used (and the best places to start).
Let’s look at each in more detail.
The chronological resume format for a resume is one of the most common and traditional types used.
In this format, your Work Experience section of the resume gets presented in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position held and working backward in time.
Many employers prefer this format as it provides a clear and easy-to-follow account of the candidate's work history, first highlighting the most recent and relevant experience.
It also allows employers to quickly assess a candidate's career progression and longevity in previous roles.
A chronological resume typically includes all the usual resume sections, such as education, skills, and any relevant certifications or professional development.
The functional resume format for a resume is a type of resume that focuses on the candidate's skills and abilities rather than their work history.
In a functional resume, the candidate typically includes a summary or objective statement at the top, followed by a section highlighting their key skills and areas of expertise.
This section may be organized by skill category, such as communication and interpersonal skills, technical skills, or leadership abilities.
The Work Experience section of a functional resume is often condensed, with less emphasis on specific job titles or employers and more emphasis on the candidate's accomplishments and transferable skills.
This section may be organized by relevance to the job the candidate is applying for rather than by date.
A functional resume is often used by candidates with gaps in their employment history, changing careers, or having a non-traditional work history.
It can also be used by candidates who want to emphasize their skills and accomplishments over their work history.
For example, someone may be relatively new to the workforce, but they’ve already made a measurable impact in their company.
When looking for a new role, this candidate may want to emphasize what they’ve achieved rather than how long they’ve been actively working.
So far, we’ve covered everything you need to know about resumes, what information you should include, and how to format resumes for the best results.
Now, let’s get to the heart of this post: how to make a resume.
At this point, you have all the tools you need to organize, format, and write your resume.
And you have a list of platforms where you can start building immediately.
Now, we will look at how to make a personalized resume.
And at the end of each section, we’ll also share how Teal makes the process totally pain-free.
If you follow along with Teal, you could have a personalized resume built in 10 minutes from right now!
Let’s get started.
When creating a resume, it's important to include contact information so potential employers can easily reach you.
Here are some essential pieces of contact information to include:
Make it easy for potential employers to contact you by only including professional contact information that’s accurate and up-to-date.
With Teal, you can actually modify which contact information you include/exclude for each resume you build.
Once you enter your Contact Information, you can add or remove these as necessary with the click of a button:
This helps you quickly tailor your resume to what a unique job description asks for.
A target title is the job title for which you are applying, and it should appear prominently on your resume.
The reason target titles are so important is often misunderstood.
Many applicants believe that employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes for keywords and job descriptions that match their open positions.
While employers do use ATS software, it usually isn’t to eliminate candidates based on keywords.
Instead, your target titles are important because they’ll jump straight out to the hiring manager reviewing qualified applications.
For that reason, your target title should be the same as the title of the position you’re applying to.
This is another reason why you should have personalized resumes for each position you want.
Related Post: Check out this article if you want to learn how to find the best ATS-friendly keywords for your resume.
Adding target titles to your resume is easy with Teal.
Simply go to the Target Title section and click Add Target Title:
Then insert the specific title of the position you’re applying to and click Save.
A professional summary is a brief section at the beginning of a resume that provides a high-level overview of your skills, experience, and career objectives.
It's typically a few sentences long and serves as an introduction to the rest of your resume.
The purpose of a professional summary is to grab the attention of the hiring manager and give them a quick snapshot of who you are as a candidate and what you can offer.
Here are some resume-writing tips for your professional summary:
Your professional summary is likely the first thing a hiring manager will read. Make sure it hooks their attention and immediately addresses what makes you the best person for the role.
Writing professional summaries couldn’t be easier with Teal – mostly because our software will write it for you.
Teal includes generative AI directly in your dashboard to let you beat writer’s block and craft the messages you need to land interviews.
When you go to the Professional Summaries section in your resume builder, you’ll have the option to Generate with AI:
Then, with a single click, Teal will generate a professional summary for you:
You can polish the wording to your liking and have this section completed in 60 seconds flat.
Work experience demonstrates that you have practical knowledge and have applied your skills in real-world situations.
Employers look for candidates who have relevant work experience in their field or industry, as it helps them to identify the right person for the job.
When listing work experience on your resume, focus on the types of work experience that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
List work experience that showcases your skills and expertise in a particular field or industry.
This includes any paid or unpaid work experience, such as internships, part-time jobs, volunteer work, or freelancing.
Be sure to also include details about your job responsibilities and accomplishments.
This helps employers understand the level of responsibility you had in your previous roles and the impact you made in those positions.
With Teal, you have two options for adding work history:
Importing your LinkedIn information is a great way to move the resume-writing process along, as it can be done with a click.
But remember, getting your dream job will mean personalizing every aspect of your resume if you really want to land an interview.
Teal lets you manually enter information with an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard.
In the work experience section, click Add Work Experience:
Then fill out the required information (company, position, length of employment, etc.).
When you’re done, click Save.
Under each position you save, you’ll also be able to add any noteworthy achievements while you held a specific position:
And as we saw with professional summaries, Teal’s generative AI can help you craft the right wording to highlight this achievement to hiring managers:
While you should never rely on AI to write the entirety of any message (professional summaries, achievements, cover letters, etc.), it drastically speeds up the process.
Use AI to generate the first draft of your achievements and manually personalize them to the role you’re applying to.
Education demonstrates that you have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in your field, and it can also help distinguish you from other candidates.
The educational section of your resume relates more to where you went to high school, college, and any graduate work you may have completed.
Include information about the degree you earned, the name of the institution, and the date you graduated.
You can also include additional information such as your GPA, academic honors or awards, relevant coursework, and extracurricular activities.
Pro-Tip: See what the job description asks for regarding educational requirements. When you meet those requirements, show this clearly on your resume using the same language in the job description.
Teal breaks everything down in an intuitive way. For the Education section of your resume, simply fill out the following fields:
You’ll also have a place to include written information for outlying scenarios (to explain why a GPA was low, for example, or to share extracurriculars completed while studying):
Adding certifications and licenses to your resume provides employers with tangible evidence of your knowledge, training, and expertise in a particular field.
This goes beyond general education (high school and college) to show that you’ve achieved a certain level of competence in a specific field.
Both are important, but certifications take your educational section to the next level by showing how you’re trained for the unique job.
When listing certifications and licenses on your resume, the process is pretty straightforward. Include the name of the certification or license, the issuing organization, and the date you received it.
You can also include additional details about the specific skills or knowledge that the certification or license demonstrates.
Go to your Resume Builder and head to the Certifications section. Click Add Certification:
Then add the relevant information about your certification in each field as necessary:
Each certification will be saved to your Career History, so you can pick and choose which ones to include.
From there, Teal will handle all the formatting for you!
Relevant skills can demonstrate your suitability for a particular job and show that you have the necessary qualifications to excel in a specific role.
When listing skills on your resume, it's important to include both hard and soft skills.
Hard skills are specific technical or job-related abilities, such as proficiency in a programming language, data analysis, or using a specific software program.
Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, are personal attributes and qualities that enable you to work effectively with others. They emphasize skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, or adaptability.
The types of skills you should list on your resume depend on the job you are applying for. You should review the job description carefully and identify the skills that the employer is looking for.
Here are a few pro tips for getting the most from your skills section:
Consider the role you’re applying for and research which type of skills would most strengthen your resume.
By now, you probably understand how user-friendly Teal is.
And you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that adding relevant skills with Teal is just as simple as anything we’ve seen so far.
Head to the Skills section of your resume and click Add Skills:
Then add your skill and hit Save:
Use Teal’s Resume Builder to customize each resume with the option to select and deselect all the skills relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Adding interests to your resume sets you apart from other candidates and gives employers a better understanding of your personality and character.
Including interests on your resume can also establish common ground with potential employers and make you a more relatable candidate.
The main thing to remember here is that you should only add interests relative to the position you’re applying to or some massive achievement (qualifying for the Boston Marathon, for example, shows extreme discipline and dedication outside the office).
Head over to the Interests section of your Resume Builder, and click Add Interests:
And add your relevant interests as necessary:
When you’re done, click Save, and add new interests as needed.
This is one of the most important aspects when making a stellar resume.
Six in ten resumes contain at least one mistake. That’s nearly two-thirds of your competition.
You’ll have an instant advantage over other candidates by turning in an error-free resume.
In other words, you need to review your work to ensure it’s free from typos and grammatical errors if you’re serious about getting an interview.
If you’re using Microsoft Word or Google Docs, you’ll have a built-in spell checker that’s pretty accurate – but not perfect.
We’d recommend using another tool like Grammarly with a second pair of human eyes.
Ideally, you’d have someone in your industry (a mentor, supervisor, colleague, etc.) review your resume.
That said, getting feedback on a resume from colleagues can be difficult if people don’t know you’re planning to transition jobs.
In a pinch, you can always ask friends and family to review your resume looking specifically for typos and grammatical mistakes.
Cover letters are an essential piece to most job applications. Like resumes, many employers expect personalized cover letters from each applicant.
Here are some best practices for writing your cover letter, many of which are similar to constructing your resume.
For most job seekers, writing a cover letter is one of the more tedious aspects when applying for new roles.
Related article: If you need some help getting started, check out this resource on how to write a cover letter with ChatGPT.
But if you’re using Teal to build your resume, then you can have generative AI write a personalized cover letter, too.
In Resume Builder, click the Cover Letter icon (it looks like a page of text that’s been dog-eared):
Again, it’s important that your cover letters are personalized to the position you’re applying for. That’s why Teal lets you match the job you want with the resume builder.
Then, by leveraging built-in generative AI technology, you can make a custom cover letter in seconds.
First, make sure you’re writing a cover letter for the right job. If not, click Switch Job:
When you’re sure you’ve got the right job for your cover letter, click Generate with AI:
And just like that, you’ll have the first draft of your cover letter written and tailored to a specific job in under 60 seconds.
From there, you can polish your cover letter until it truly reflects what makes you the best candidate for the position.
In this article, we’ve taken an in-depth look at how to make a resume.
We also explored a few options people can use to create resumes, which begs the question: Why get started with Teal?
Tools like Google Docs and Microsoft word help with the text portion of your resume but can be clunky and limiting in terms of formatting.
It’s also harder to personalize/track each of your resumes if you’re applying to multiple positions at the same time.
A resume builder like Teal, however, is the best and most affordable place to start. With Teal, you can:
If you’re ready to start building some serious resumes, get started with Teal 100% free.
You’ll get a sense of how powerful our resume builder is and learn first-hand why job seekers everywhere are landing their dream role with TealHQ.